Sunday, February 25, 2024

County commissioners discuss how to get the word out


Editor’s note: The following meeting summaries of the Board of Commissioners of Okanogan County (BOCC) for the first week of May 2023 are taken from notes provided by County Watch (

OKANOGAN – The Board of County Commissioners discussed options to bring news of their meetings and proceedings to the attention of county residents who do not have computers. Regular printed news releases mailed to residents were among the possibilities discussed.

Monday, May 1

  • Bob Eubanks made a public comment about zoning issues in the county area between Omak and Okanogan. He and his neighbors prefer to remain in the county instead of being annexed into a town.
  • Pete Palmer, Planning Director Pete Palmer would like to hire someone to help the department work on proposed planned developments.
  •  Emergency Management Director, Maurice Goodall, described some areas of flooding from spring runoff.
  • Palmer and Commissioners finished discussing the proposed county rezone code, except for the District Use Chart, scheduled for agenda of Monday, May 8.

Tuesday, May 2, morning

• Public comments: Meetings, special meetings, and significant action should be publicized better since a lot of Okanogan County folks don’t have computers. News releases might be helpful and/or mailing.

• Discussion of code revisions/policy changes with the Civil Deputy - removing things that are obsolete. Civil Deputy will work on resolutions and/or ordinances to codify changes. Things like office hours need to be updated for all departments. BOCC is the legislative body to determine these. There are some rules/regulations that come from the Health District.

• Team Okanogan to come to BOCC next week.

• Discussion of whether to assess a misdemeanor or infraction for non- compliance with Planning.  

• Public Works Update: Maintenance & road conditions, Owhi Lake, Bonaparte Lake, Seal Creek, Wolf Creek, upcoming projects – speed reduction for Barnholt Loop Road requested. Waiting for the sale of Hunter Mounting acquisition to close. First draft of 2024-2029 road project list in draft form.

• Okanogan Homeless Coalition looking for funds to continue construction.

Tuesday, May 2 afternoon

•  Housing officials appeal for funds to cover $750,000 spending gap for Oroville Housing  Authority’s 16-unit project, due to break ground in June; county can foot half the bill.

•  Human Resources director says Lifeline is the cheapest for CPR/defibrillator training: $5,000 for 100 employees; cost of adding defibrillators (with spare parts) to courthouse: $4,500.

•  First opioid settlement received, more to follow.

•  Commissioner Neil not happy about farmers’ emergency winter housing ousted to build Oroville’s affordable housing development. Commissioner Branch mentioned county right of way activity, problems with the State waiving rules.

•  Water Board member approved.

•  Commissioner Hover’s comment letter asking for participant status in grizzly re- introduction plan signed by Whatcom and Skagit counties; Chelan and Snohomish wrote separate letters.

•  In informal discussion Commissioners Branch and Neil expressed skepticism over animal management programs; Branch suggests possible BOCC third term.



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