Weekly Review: Board of Commissioners
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Posted on Tuesday July 28, 2020
This document is a weekly review of the Board of County Commissioners meeting, Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
Information related to agenda changes, Consent Agenda, and Public Comment are on the County website.

Main Topics Discussed
Prosser Economic Development Association’s New Executive Director – Deb Heintz, Executive Director
The current Prosser Economic Development Association’s (PEDA) Executive Director, Deb Heintz, introduced the organization’s new Executive Director, Neil Ripplinger, who shared his background with the Commissioners and expressed gratitude for the County’s continued support. Deb is retiring after 16 years of serving as the Prosser Economic Development Association’s Executive Director. No Board direction or vote.

Trust Water Rights Review Briefing – Darryll Olsen, Benton County Water Conservancy Board & Mark Nielson, Benton Conservation District
The Commissioners received an update briefing from the Benton County Water Conservancy Board regarding its comments on the Trust Water Rights Program review process that is being conducted by the Department of Ecology, to determine whether new legislation should be proposed for 2021. This could change how the County does water right trusting, change/transfers, and marketing and several water right holders could be affected. Additional information can be found on the County’s website in the Agenda Packet. No Board direction or vote.

Change Order No. 3 w/ Banlin Construction on New Administration Building – Robert Blain, Director of Operations & Capital Programs
Additional unforeseen items have been identified to complete the Administration Building Project. This change order consists of four modifications: 1) Changing specified key cores on the doors in order to match existing cores and work toward a County-wide master key system, for a total cost of $2,830.71 plus WSST; 2) Changing the required fill material around the foundation based on an updated Geotech report, for a total cost of $25,109.47 plus WSST; 3) Revising the atrium stair design to provide proper support needed, for a total cost of $23,650.49 plus WSST; and 4) Adding equipment required to support the addition of the Information Technology room in the basement (approved in Change Order No. 2) including upsizing the transformer, several electrical circuits, and additional HVAC equipment and ducting, for a total cost of $147,221.73 plus WSST and an additional 14 days of contract time. These changes, combine, comprise Change Order No. 3 for a total cost of $198,812.40 plus WSST and increasing the contract time by 14 calendar days. The Board moved and seconded to approve the Chairman to sign Change Order No. 3 with Banlin Construction, LLC for the New Administration Building project, increasing the contract by $198,812.40 plus WSST for a new contract amount not to exceed $13,474,938.56 plus WSST and increasing the contract time by 14 days for a total of 499 calendar days. Motion carried.

CARES Act Funding to Cities for Increased Jail Expenses – Matt Rasmussen, Deputy Administrator
As a result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the Benton County Corrections Department has reduced the number of outside contract inmates it has within the County Jail in order to comply with social distancing directives and improve public safety. As a result, jail costs attributed to each City that participates in the Jail have increased. Benton County received funding through the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which may be distributed to other local agencies that have had increased expenses directly related to actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to assist the impacted cities and offset the increased expenditures, the County desires to distribute up to $500,000 of its CARES Act funding to the cities, in an amount proportional to their calculated expenses pursuant to their respective contracts. The Board moved and seconded to approve a Resolution authorizing a one-time distribution of CARES Act funding to cities in Benton County in relation to Benton County Jail operating costs due to COVID-19 related impacts. Motion carried.

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Contact: Shyanne Palmus, Communications Coordinator

Benton County    620 Market Street    Prosser, Washington 99350
Phone: (509) 786-5710 or (509) 783-1310
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