Sunday, February 25, 2024

North Central ATV requests more county road access

Narcan considered at courthouse


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

OKANOGAN – An all-terrain vehicle club asked the Board of Okanogan County Commissioners for more county road access, and a County Watch member requested more consideration of alternate road fire exits.

Monday, March 6, a.m.

  • Isabelle Spohn of County Watch asked the Commissioners to discuss exit routes if fire has blocked the three paved routes out of the valley. Commissioners discussed pros and cons of alternate routes.
  • To prepare for the upcoming discussion with the North Central ATV Club’s request to make certain county roads legal for WATV travel, the Commissioners discuss whether SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) would apply if they decide to make the changes.
  • Clerk of the Courts, Susan Speiker, updated the Commissioners on the courts. The remodel is almost complete allowing staff to work more efficiently. Speiker has arranged exchanges with the staff in the Support Center that handles domestic violence cases. If the court staff and the Center’s staff learn who does what in the other office, it makes both offices more efficient.
  • Spencer King of the North Central ATV Club discussed changes in several county roads that would open up those roads to wheeled all-terrain vehicles, so WATV riders could have easier access to the many unpaved roads in the valley. Changes could include lowering the speed limit to 35 mph or establishing duel-posted roads (with one speed limit for cars and a lower one for WATVs).

Tuesday, March 7, a.m.

  • A walk through and interview was conducted with potential contractors of the Juvenile Justice building on Wednesday, March 8.
  • Chairman signature for the “across the river” project clarified for the Coroner’s Office.
  • A metal detection system will be installed in the courthouse – preliminary safety measures especially for election security. Funding is available to move and move the Licensing office to a different room (102), The security guards working well.
  • 277 employees completed sexual harassment training in person – the remainder will complete online. Human Resources (HR) is advertising for a Public Records Coordinator – onboarding process/session for public records platform next week, HR provided a certification waiver for one employee based on proficiency. HR is considering having Narcan available at courthouse – working with Health Dept. HR/Risk Manager completed all certifications.
  • Two bids have been received for the Spokane Grade Overlay project.
  • Solid Waste update:
    • Upcoming legislation requiring recycle/compost. Manager suggests proactive approach.
    • Landfill working with Conservation District for a “green” day, reduction of organics by 2030.
    • Also reported: April 18th, Walmart will not be providing shopping bags. Explains reduce vs recycle.
  • Maintenance and road conditions: Contractors beginning on Tonasket Shop. Need to be looking for property to make another pit. Current Public Works projects.

Tuesday, March 7, p.m.

  • An architectural firm and engineering firm have been chosen as “go-to” consultants; needs include barn building, courthouse HVAC, jail boiler replacement, and safety evaluations.
  • Oroville affordable housing project to break ground, similar work underway in Winthrop.
  • Tonasket ranger reported on:

      ⁃ Stepping back from forest collaborative in light of lawsuits by a member.
      ⁃ Wildfire mitigation, thinning in Aeneas, Bonaparte, Conconully, prescribed burning on Mt. Hull, creating control line areas around designated “pods”, and maintenance burning.
      ⁃ Commercial harvesting; difficulties convincing “stakeholders” of public 
  servants’ commitment to forest health.



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