Friday, September 16, 2011

September 14, 2011 Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Official minutes available once approved by board

Full Audio Transcript
Dredge plan supported
The board voted to join a declaration of cooperation in support of the “Mouth of the Columbia River Regional Sediment Management Plan.” The document was prepared by the Lower Columbia Solutions Group with funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency and states of Oregon and Washington and draws on several years’ worth of research. It lays out a long-term strategy for handling the approximately 4 million cubic yards of river sediment dredged from the mouth of the river each year for maintenance of the shipping channel and protecting navigation structures, beaches and other resources while minimizing impacts on fisheries protected species.
The plan recommends establishing four new near-shore disposal sites for the dredged material to combat erosion that threatens the jetties at the river mouth and nearby beaches. It also calls for a regional planning approach and integrated regulatory oversight among the various involved entities.

Zoning application remanded
The board voted to remand a zone-change request back to the county planning commission for further review. The application, from Michael Benesch, Warrenton Fiber Co. and Waldo Veelle, seeks to rezone a 13-acre property on Dolphin Road near Warrenton from Residential Agriculture-5 to Light Industrial and Natural Uplands and transfer two “density credits” to a yet-to-be determined location.
A review by the county’s land-use counsel raised concerns about the application’s consistency with county land-use code and standards. The applicants are now considering a partition in order to meet the requirements.

Board amends counsel contract
The board approved an amendment to the county’s labor counsel services contract, increasing the budgeted not-to-exceed amount from $15,000 to $55,000 for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The increase covers unanticipated costs of defending a grievance brought by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2746 on behalf of a former county employee, a building inspector. The case was heard by an arbitrator who on Sept. 5 rejected the grievance.
County Manager Duane Cole told the board that the grievance charged the county with firing the employee as a retaliatory measure stemming from the development of new flood-plain building rules in 2010. The ruling confirmed the county’s claim that the lay-off was solely the result of budgetary considerations. “We feel good about this decision since it reflects core county values and the excellent employment relations we support,” he said.
Money to cover the increase will come from the Building Codes budget to be adjusted at the end of the fiscal year.

Other Business
In other business the board:
-Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation for the agency to provide free of charge to Clatsop County up to $150,000 worth of preliminary engineering and design work for the planned improvements to the Wahkiakum Ferry landing at Westport.
-Approved a proposal of the Clatsop County Commission on Children and Families to take on the task of distributing $30,000 in county funds to local non-profit social service agencies. The board had previously disbursed the dollars through an annual application and review process.
-Approved a proclamation recognizing National Preparedness Month, established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
-Appointed Joyce Stuber to the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority.
-Appointed Kathy Kleczek to the Northwest Area Commission on Transportation.

Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 325-1000 ext. 1312

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