Sherman County eNews #84

CONTENTS

  1. Notice. Sherman County Court Session, April 3

  2. Notice. Sherman County Court February & March Minutes Online

  3. Sherman County Cultural Coalition 2019 Spring Grant Cycle

  4. Retired Educators Offer Scholarship

  5. Cascade Singers Welcome Singers as Rehearsals Begin

  6. Sherman County Court News, February 20

  7. Sherman County Court News, March 6


“Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.” ~John Wooden, American basketball coach https://www.thewoodeneffect.com/pyramid-of-success/ 


1. Notice. Sherman County Court Session, April 3

ShermanCoLogoThe Sherman County Court session scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. will be held in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Sherman County Courthouse, 500 Court Street, Moro, Oregon, 97039. The agenda, including updates, will be posted on the Sherman County Website at www.co.sherman.or.us.


2. Notice. Sherman County Court February & March Minutes Online

Approved minutes for the February 20, 2019 and March 6, 2019, Regular Sessions are now available in the Archive of County Court Meeting Minutes https://www.co.sherman.or.us/county-meeting-minutes-archive/


3. Sherman County Cultural Coalition 2019 Spring Grant Cycle

Applications for the 2019 Spring Grant Cycle for Sherman County’s Cultural Coalition are now being accepted. Applicants may be individuals and/or groups and need not be legally recognized non-profits.

Application Deadline: March 29, 2019

Awards up to $1,500 will be granted in support of local Sherman County activities and events which promote Culture, Humanities, Heritage and the Arts in Sherman County.

Additional information including Grant Guidelines and the application form, may be found at: https://www.shermancountyculturalcoalition.com

Completed grant applications may be mailed to:

Sherman County Cultural Coalition
P.O. Box 23
Moro, OR 97039

Or emailed to: shermanculturalcoalition@gmail.com

Questions?
Contact Melva Thomas at 541-442-5488 or shermanculturalcoalition@gmail.com


4. RETIRED EDUCATORS OFFER SCHOLARSHIP

MID COLUMBIA UNIT 20 OF THE OREGON RETIRED EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION IS OFFERING A $750 SCHOLARSHIP TO A 3RD, 4TH, OR 5TH YEAR COLLEGE STUDENT (AS OF THIS COMING SEPT.) WHO ASPIRES TO BECOME A TEACHER AND IS ATTENDING AN OREGON SCHOOL.  FAMILIES MUST RESIDE IN HOOD RIVER, WASCO OR SHERMAN COUNTIES.  APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MAY 1.


5. Cascade Singers Welcome Singers as Rehearsals Begin

music-notesFrom Hildegard of Bingen to contemporary composers and arrangers, women’s contributions to the musical scene will be featured in Cascade Singers’ spring concert June 1 and 2. The community choir has just begun rehearsing for the “We Celebrate Women” event and welcomes interested women and men singers.  Rehearsals take place Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, 10th and Union Streets, in The Dalles.  One-hour work sessions also happen Thursdays at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church.  Contact Director Miles Thoming-Gale at milesmansfield93@gmail.com for more information.


6. Sherman County Court News, February 20

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) List, Quarterly Reports, and Rural Renewable Energy Designation (RRED) were the main items on the agenda during the February 20th session of Sherman County Court in Moro.

Georgia Macnab, Planning Department, reviewed the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) list with the County Court; once the top 10 projects were ranked she would send it to Mid-Columbia Economic Development District for their board to officially rank. The County ranked the projects as follows: 1-Workforce Housing; 2-Rural Fiber; 3-Biggs Service District Water System; 4-Fairgrounds Event Center; 5-Wasco School Events Center; 6-Cities of Rufus, Wasco, and Moro Emergency Generators; 7-Moro Water System/Telemetry Upgrade; 8-Rufus Water Metering Update and Upgrade of Well; 9-Wasco Road Resurfacing; 10-DeMoss Park.

Marnene Benson-Wood, Community Transit, gave County Court an update on the Transit quarterly report. She stated the first page of the report was all zeros as it is all volunteer based. The second page listed the total passenger one way rides with the majority of the rides being for senior and disabled individuals, as well as, listing revenue and expenses; the total revenue was $483,785.97 for the year, and agency expenses were $630,153.96. This shows the department negative until they receive their requested funds. Page three was on grant information; the first one has all been completed, the second one was discretionary funds from the new transit vehicle, the third one was for Special Transportation Funds (STF), which was operating funds that were cut back last year. Page four showed the fourth the grant to purchase a smaller American Disabilities Act (ADA) vehicle with a ramp, and Asset Management which is the vehicle inventory. Non-ADA vehicles can no longer be purchased and receive funds for it. Page five shows the bus barn expansion. Benson-Wood also reported that the Transportation Department was short on drivers, and Paula King, Transportation Coordinator, would be retiring in May 2019.

Nate Stice, Regional Solutions, gave a quarterly report. He stated that the Court would need to appoint a Commissioner to the North Central Regional Solutions Advisory Committee; under the Charter of the Committee, each County in the region is entitled to one City representative and one County representative. Kayla von Borstel, Administrative Assistant, reported that Judge Dabulskis was appointed to the Committee during the prior meeting. Stice has been keeping up with Frontier TeleNet (FTN) meetings to see if there was any way the State could be of assistance. He wants to make sure the County is gaining useful information from the Economic Opportunity Analysis project meetings for The Department of Land Conservation & Development (DLCD). Stice mentioned there could potentially be funding again through DLCD for a housing needs analysis, and the County should look into pursuing this option if it became available. Brief discussion was held on the Broadband project funding, and FTN.

The Public Hearing opened at 10:00 a.m. Georgia Macnab, Planning, stated the Public Hearing was taking place to consider the Rural Renewable Energy Designation Zone (RREDZ) for renewable energy only that would be a property tax relief for rural renewable projects County wide, and acts similar to an Enterprise Zone; an Enterprise Zone however only covers the Cities. The County possessed a RREDZ previously, except it expired in 2017. Macnab has sent notice to the Special Districts, Cities, Fire Departments, Biggs Service District, and the County, with no feedback received. The Zone can be designated up to $250 million; Sherman County capped the amount at $50 million on the last RREDZ to bring in small projects on a three year limit, and have the larger projects apply under a Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP). Brian Walsh, Avangrid Renewables, stated he was in favor of using the RREDZ; this would be another tool to incentivize Avangrid to come to Sherman County implement to projects, as SIP agreements for small projects does not make economic sense; RREDZ would be a much more appropriate option. Brian also stated that Avangrid would like to come to Sherman with a battery storage project, as it’s more realistic to locate the project in Sherman with the tax incentive through RREDZ. Discussion was held on keeping the $50 million cap, or amending the proposed agreement to increase the amount to the limit of $250 million. Court motioned to amend the proposed draft resolution in the County Court of the State of Oregon in and for the County of Sherman County in the matter of requesting that the Oregon Business Development Department designate a Rural Renewable Energy Development Zone (RREDZ) in Sherman County Oregon with the County of Sherman setting the amount of real market value (RMV) for qualified property that may be exempt in this RREDZ from $50 million to $250 million, based on the RMV of property for the assessment year at the start of the exemption immediately after property is placed in service. Court motioned to approve the resolution as amended during Sherman County Court in the County Court of the State of Oregon in and for the County of Sherman County in the matter of requesting that the Oregon Business Development Department designate a Rural Renewable Energy Development Zone (RREDZ) in Sherman County Oregon, and authorize the County Court to sign. The Public Hearing closed at 10:35 a.m.

Actions taken by the Court included:

  • discussion on Coordinating Care Organization (CCO) Boundary Change. No action taken.
  • appointment of Janet Pinkerton to the Senior Center Advisory Board for a term of 3 years to expire December 31, 2021.
  • appointment of Gary Thompson to the Sherman County Grant Housing Review Committee.
  • appointment of Roger Whitley to the North Central Public Health District Board for a term of 2 years to expire December 31, 2020.
  • removal of Linda Thompson from the North Central Public Health District Board.
  • approval of the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) County College tuition for Commissioner Bird in the amount of $750 for the 2019 year.
  • approval of Oregon State University (OSU) proposal for an Ag Extension Agent to be housed in Sherman County, with total County cap set at $120,431.00 for the OSU budget.
  • approval of the Biggs Service District Ordinance #11-7-18, in the County Court of the State of Oregon in and for the County of Sherman for an ordinance establishing regulations regarding connections, operations, and rates for water services for the Biggs Service District.
  • approval of minutes of November 7, 2018, as amended to section 1.2, and supersedes the previous set of minutes adopted on January 16, 2019.
  • approval of minutes of December 19, 2018, as amended to section 1.1, and supersedes the previous set of minutes adopted on February 6, 2019.
  • approval of the minutes of January 16, 2019, as presented.
  • approval of the minutes of January 30, 2019, as presented.
  • approval of the Revenue/Expenditure Summary for the month of January 2019, as presented.
  • approval of the Treasurer’s Report for the month of January 2019, as presented.

Topics of discussion were Senior Center Head Cook Designation and Commissioner Reports.


7. Sherman County Court News, March 6

The Compensation Board was the main topic on the agenda during the March 6th session of Sherman County Court in Moro.

County Court entered into Compensation Board, and opened the floor for discussion. Debbie Hayden, Finance Officer, reported the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) needed to be reviewed, and this would take effect starting July 1, 2019. The Federal COLA has been set at 2.8%, as well as the Northwest Consumer Price Index (CPI). Hayden stated Medical and Dental rates would go up 0% this next year; however, Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) will have an adjustment of 4.3% which will cost the County over $111,000 based on current salary rates. Commissioner McCoy believed 2.8% for COLA seemed to be a good average with the current inflation rates. Commissioner Bird stated Sherman has been 5% above the Federal COLA for last 10 years combined. Mark Coles, Road Master, reported that during the last 10 years the County has been catching up using the COLA, as in previous years, the County had passed on the COLA due to insurance costs; the COLA’s now are helping even everything out. In the last two years insurance had increased significantly with the deductible rising from $500 to the current $2,500. Court motioned to approve a 2.8% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase for County Employees for fiscal year 2019-2020. Court motioned to continue Employee insurance benefits at the current level.

Court motioned to enter into Executive Session in Accordance with ORS 192.660 (2) (i) Personnel. Executive Session entered at 9:15 a.m.; discussion held on Employee compensation recommendations; Executive Session exited at 10:20 a.m. Court motioned to approve step increases for those eligible with the following written requests: Travis West, Kyle Pfeifer, Paul Yoon, Solomon Jacobson, Bruce Olsen, Gary Shull, Richard Jauken Jr., and Amy Asher, with Amy’s weekly hours increasing from 20 hours to 25 hours per week. Court motioned by to approve step increases for the following County Employees: Kristi Brown, Daniel Son, Magee Kennedy, Drew Messenger, Kayla von Borstel, Kari Silcox, Dan Aldrich, and the RV Camp Host to increase from $350 per month to $400 per month, as requested by Georgia Macnab.

Actions taken by the Court included:

  • approved the Joint Resolution in the matter of participation in funding activities of the Oregon Office for Community Dispute Resolution before the County Court and Boards of Commissioners for Gilliam, Hood River, Sherman, Wasco, and Wheeler Counties, whereas, the County Court and Boards of Commissioners believes that the settlement of disputes by mediation may lead to more long lasting and mutually satisfactory agreements, and authorize Judge Dabulskis to sign.
  • approved the Weed Control Intergovernmental Agreement between the State of Oregon, and Sherman and Wasco Counties, as the State wishes to utilize County resources to provide vegetation and noxious weed abatement within the State jurisdiction and right of way, and authorize Judge Dabulskis to sign.
  • appointed Sharon Spencer to the Senior Center Advisory Board for a term of 3 years to expire December 31, 2021.
  • appointed Dan Aldrich to the Special Transportation Committee for a term of 3 years to expire December 31, 2021.
  • proclaimed the week of April 7-14, 2019, as Sherman County Crime Victims’ Rights Week and authorize Judge Dabulskis to sign.
  • approved the Sherman County Public Transportation Advisory Committee proposed Bylaws amendment, and authorize County Court to sign.
  • appointed Judge Dabulskis to the Central Oregon Workforce Consortium (COWC).
  • approved the submittal for the Special Transportation Grant Application for the 2019-2021 Biennium.
  • approved the grant submittal form for the Special Transportation 5310 Grant Application for the 2019-2021 Biennium.
  • approved minutes of February 6, 2019, as corrected.
  • approved the Claims for the month of February 2019, as presented.

Topics of discussion were County Projections, and Commissioner Reports.