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Heytvelt and Jones digitize local history


October 10, 2019

POMEROY-Lillian Heytvelt, Denny Ashby Librarian, met with the commissioners regarding approval of a contract for a $5,000 Digital Heritage Grant she recently received. Previously, Heytvelt had requested that the commissioners approve the extra hours she would need to spend on the project, which would have qualified for overtime pay. The commissioners were unable to give that approval due to County rules prohibiting overtime for County employees. She explained that the grant is a pet project of hers involving the documenting of a collection of local history, including photos.

Heytvelt has been working on the project collecting family and historical sites photos from around the county. The grant has been offered to help offset the cost of creating a digital record of the collection. This person must have the appropriate computer skills, and knowledge of local community history. She has arranged for Cody Jones, proprietor of the Seeley Theater, to help with the project. Jones will be paid as a part-time, temporary employee removing the need for overtime pay for Heytvelt. A request was made to amend the contract with Jones’ name in place of hers, and the commissioners agreed to approve the amended contract.

Sheriff Drew Hyer informed the commissioners and Rod Norland, County Roads Director, that he had recently received an email from Washington State Department of Transportation stating that they may be using less de-icer this winter on state-maintained roads, and using more sand instead. Norland speculated that the reason behind such a decision could be due to the fact that the sand is cheaper and less corrosive to the road surfaces.

Commissioner Justin Dixon reported that he had obtained a copy of the forest management plan discussed with Sam Ledgerwood at the September 30 meeting. Ledgerwood had requested that the commissioners appoint a representative from Garfield County to attend an upcoming joint Oregon and Washington meeting for the purpose of writing an updated plan of management of forests and road maintenance. At the time, the commissioners had not previously been made aware of the meeting. Dixon announced that there will be a meeting of the Blue Intergovernmental Council, made up of U.S. Forest Service representatives and County Commissioners from the counties included in the Blue Mountain area. The meeting will be in Pendleton, Oregon, on November 22, 2019. Dixon said that he will forward copies of the plan he had received to Asotin, Columbia and Walla Walla counties.

Commissioner Wynn McCabe said that he had received information that the article published in the Whitman County paper, reprinted in the Lewiston Tribune “Roundup” section, and discussed at the commissioners meeting September 23, was in error when they reported that Whitman County would be cutting their E911 service budget in half due to budget shortfalls on behalf of the State of Washington. Sheriff Hyer confirmed that the information McCabe had received was correct, and that the article was in error.

Hyer also reported that the Sheriff’s office is still looking for another part-time dispatcher. He was asked about the missing person that was recently reported to be somewhere in Garfield County. Hyer stated that the man had come from Pendleton, Ore., but had never actually made it to Garfield County. He was eventually found in another location by an off-duty prison guard and was well and in good spirits.

The next meeting of the Garfield County Commissioners will be held Monday, October 15, 2019, at 9 a.m. at the Garfield County Courthouse. Steve Pozzanghera, Regional Director with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, will be meeting with the commissioners at 10 a.m.


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