Okanogan County legal notices — official announcements about land-use decisions, changes to county code and tax foreclosures — will be published jointly in the Methow Valley News and Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune again next year, starting July 1.
State law requires public agencies. including counties and cities, to publish legal notices in the newspaper that’s “the best and lowest responsible bidder.” County commissioners can consider circulation to provide the widest publicity.
The law requires counties to publish notice about actions on ordinances and resolutions, announcements of competitive bids for county projects, budget hearings, environmental determinations, and land-use decisions. Notices inform the public of potential actions or changes and provide a way to obtain additional information and to comment. Notices must also be published in certain situations regarding custody matters and probate.
Okanogan County spent about $16,000 on legal ads in 2022. The county spent about $24,000 on employment and elections advertising in the Omak–Okanogan County Chronicle, according to the commissioners.
The Chronicle also submitted a bid for the legal-ad contract. Newspapers are required to submit the rates and a layout of sample ads. The commissioners selected the Methow Valley News and Gazette-Tribune because the overall cost was lower. The News and Gazette-Tribune split the payment for the ads.
Requests for qualifications for construction projects and professional services are published in many local and regional newspapers to ensure a large pool of qualified applicants, the commissioners said.
The commissioners are considering additional ways of informing the public about proposed projects in their area. That could include notifications about such proposals through the county’s emergency-alert system if people request that information.
Legal notices are published in the printed newspapers and on both papers’ websites.