Commissioners discuss opioid settlement funds, assign ARPA money

Editor’s note: The following meeting summary of the Board of Commissioners of Okanogan County (BOCC) for the fourth week of January, is provided by County Watch (


Monday, Jan. 23, a.m.

• Commissioners discussed uses for the opioid settlement money.

• Commissioners heard an update from Olympia by Zak Kennedy, the county’s lobbyist. Kennedy said 40 percent of the legislators and their aides have never worked in an in-person legislative session before and do not know how to talk to each other.

• Commissioners heard an update from Pete Palmer, Director of Planning, regarding how to deal with two members of the Planning Commission whose terms will soon expire. Also, the Mazama Subarea requested $25,000 to hire a consultant to help write the Subarea Plan. The Commissioners will decide about this request after the Comprehensive Plan has passed its legal challenges.

• Commissioners and Ester Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor, continued to discuss updating the County Code. They discussed Chapter Two in detail.


Tuesday, Jan 24, a.m.

• No Public Comment

• Discussion with Lifeline staff regarding Emergency (Ambulance) Management Services (EMS) Districts challenges in Tonasket/Oroville and how to remedy.

• Possibility of contracting Public Records Request due to volume of workload. Human Resources to schedule presentation with a vendor. Approval to sexual harassment training scheduled. Discussion of court security with emphasis on immediate situation and overview. Will meet with dept. heads.

• Public Works update with County Engineer: snow Parks trail grooming staff payment and training, Proposed Hunter Mountain WDFW purchase, proposed discussion Omak School District, Sand Flats, intersection; meeting in Mazama regarding parking and snowstorm maintenance.


Tuesday, Jan. 24, p.m.

• Planning Commission’s recommendation for Upper and Lower Tunk Basin and Tamarack Springs zoning code amendment (County Ordinance 2023-1) adopted by BOCC. 160-acre designation created, status of cannabis operations, fruit, vegetable and dairy stands, gravel pits and quarries change from permitted use to conditional use. At Commissioner Branch’s recommendation road maintenance issue and comp plan’s mention of basins’ rural character added to amendment. BOCC to work with Department of Ecology on closing the basin, will investigate water storage systems for existent lots.

• As part of her review of county code, attorney Esther Milner from Prosecutor’s Office pointed to benefits of hiring a Public Records Officer. BOCC to research cost of staffing this position. Recommended adopting a revised fee schedule to charge more for copies of electronic documents.

• American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds approved for Fire District 6’s station project and the Economic Alliance.



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