BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

9:00 a.m.

February 9, 2005

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 3/9/05

 

Commissioner Anna Morrison presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present.Commissioner Bill Dwyer was excused.County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

Morrison noted the HACSA meeting is rescheduled for February 16, 2005.She noted item 6. d) had been pulled.She noted item 7. B) has been corrected to $1,700,799.35.Sorenson requested that item 7. B) 1 be pulled from the Consent Calendar.Morrison noted the Legislative Committee Report should be placed as a committee report and requested it be taken after Commissionerís Remonstrance.Green requested placing an item about earned income tax credit for Board direction under other business.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

David Hoffman, Eugene, commented that Santa Clara should have 125 acres of community gardens.He said there is no substitute for food, as it is the top priority.He said it is hard to grow food if there is no quality food growing soil.He noted that most building plans give little to no design for solar access for gardening.He added there are zero acres of Class 1 soils in the land swapped in the south hills.He didnít think they should waste time or tax dollars when the development plan didnít go past the food test.

 

Martha Snyder, Eugene, explained that thanks to the Boardís approval of last yearís tourism special projects grant, she was given the opportunity to complete a project she started in 2001.She noted the project is Eugene for the Visually Impaired, a bronze sculpture of the city looking from the south from Skinnerís Butte to Spencerís Butte.She invited the Board to the unveiling on Tuesday, February 22, at noon on top of Skinnerís Butte.

 

Cleve Dumdi, Junction City, distributed information about predator control.He saidWildlife Services wanted a comment in writing from the Board of Commissioners regarding their predator control program.He commented if they lose this program, they are also losing $13,500 of federal money and state funding of $12,200.He requested $10,000 from the Board of Commissioners with producers matching that money.He said the program doesnít just kill coyotes, it assists Public Works in beaver control.He added they also serve as bear control for the major timber companies.

 

Morrison responded she did give the letter to Van Vactor.She recalled that in the 03/04 budget cycle is when the Board cut the program from the budget.She noted that last year she gave $12,500 out of her personal County budget fund and the farmers matched it.She stated that last year during the 04/05 budget cycle Dumdi came to the Budget meeting and expressed his concerns.She noted in the budget process it was decided to defund the program in its entirety.

 

Roxie Cuellar, Home Builders Association, Springfield, indicated the City of Eugene has put out new land use fees for public comment and it is due by February 23.She said there is a two-tiered approach for applications within the city or for development that annexes into the city.She added there is a different fee for County residents outside of the city limits and inside the UGB.She said they are trying to collect 100% of what they consider cost recovery from county residents.She said to partition a piece of property goes from $1,500 currently to almost $9,500, with additional increases each year.Her concern is they want infill and developing at urban standards inside the UGB.She noted in the Santa Clara/River Road area, they have a lot of people who have houses on acreage and if they want to split property, the cost is $10,000 and it is not the cost of recovering that fee.She added that inside the city the cost is much less.

 

Van Vactor recalled they had a discussion at SEL on Friday and one of the issues they discussed was the proposal that people wouldnít pay the higher fee if there was an application to annex at the same time.He noted they would be treated as in-city residents.He said they discussed it and it wouldnít be much of an impact.He saidit would be beneficial if the County were to ask the city to do some analysis based on past experience on how many people would really be impacted.

 

Jim Carlson, City of Eugene, reported they are trying to find out how many applications there would be.He added they were just discussing land use application fees.He noted that building permit fees are already at 100%.

 

Morrison requested that this come back to the Board with a presentation.

 

Carlson said he would get back to the Board within a week with the impact.

 

Mona Lindstromberg, Veneta, recalled that after the 2002 approval of the amended version of the Telecommunication ordinance, the only applications that Land Management had received are on co-location facilities.She noted the first tower that came in was on Territorial Road near Lorane.She reviewed the application and found out the actual cell phone tower never had a final building permit approved on it and it had been in existence for several years.She added the applicant was confused about the new regulations as was staff.She said when this was placed on Land Managementís long range planning, she asked why the planning director allowed this part of the code to go forward as it couldnít be implemented.She commented that the process was counterproductive.

 

Paul Spain, Eugene, stated they own a property at 409 River Avenue.He said in looking at the assessments, there was an engineering charge of 23% or $400,000 of the $2.2 million total cost of the project.He didnít know what it was for.He thought it looked like a mark up.He commented that it was vague in the cityís proposal.He stated he was in favor of the project.He noted most of the neighbors want to see the street improved, the question had been about the expense and the cost distribution of the project overall.He commented there is a lot of pedestrian traffic that goes down River Avenue and it is dangerous to drive as there are no bike lanes or sidewalks.He hoped the Board supports the project.

 

3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Sorenson commented that the Lane Transit District and the Amalgamated Transit Union are in a contract discussion about the wages of the 250 people in the union.He said there is a potential of a strike.He noted a group has come forward to try to intervene, called the LTD, ATU Community Committee.He said he attended one of their meetings.

 

5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

b. ORDER 05-2-9-1/In the Matter of Considering Charter Communicationís Notice of Rate and Service Adjustments for Cable Customers in the Florence/Dunes City Service Area.

 

Peter Thurston, Economic Development, indicated that Charter Communications has made a proposal that Lane County acknowledge the proposal that Charter is making for rate changes.He noted in Lane County there are two franchise cable television systems where Lane County is the franchiser, one with Charter that coversthe coast system and the other service provider in the Metro area is Comcast.

 

Thurston explained this matter is a request by Charter to have Lane County acknowledge changes they are making in the charges for basic television service in the areas around Florence and Dunes City.He said the same request has already been taken to the city councils of Florence and Dunes City and action was taken supporting Charterís request.He noted that Charter provides service around the county and most of the service areas are deregulated. He said that meant by federal law the franchisers have nothing to say about the way in which rates are charged from basic service to the highest levels of services.He noted when a service is regulated in the Coast system, then the franchiser has something to say.He said the request is not for an approval or denial but an acknowledgement.

 

Thurston noted they received a letter in January (copy in file) that laid out the changes.He passed out a revised set of numbers on rate changes based on a new filing of a 1240 Form.It is informational as opposed to requiring action.He said it changes the numbers they are proposing for basic service costs in the system.He noted in several of the other communities around the county,they received a letter from Charter that changed the rates in those locations. He added that there is a reduction in the number of overall channels.He commented that Charter could do these things whether Lane County does anything or not.He stated the Board may choose any action requesting more information or as proposed in the order, to give a 30-day period for public comment and then take action.

 

Morrison thought they should opt for number four on the board order.She said they had no control over this and it was useless to have public comment.She added she hadnít received any comments from anyone regarding the City of Florence or Dunes Cityís action to approve.

 

Green asked why Thurston was recommending public comment.

 

Van Vactor noted that it was done for Dwyer who had interest in having public comment.He said that option was designed in case the Board did want to have public comment.

 

MOTION:to move to approve Option 4 of ORDER 05-2-9-1.

 

Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

Sorenson didnít understand what the Board is doing approving a proposed rate for cable television when they are not required to do it and donít have a role in it.

 

Green asked if Lane County had no role in this why Peter Thurston was working with the cable companies.

 

Thurston wanted to bring that question back to the Board in the context of public policy issues in Attachment 4 at a later date.

 

VOTE: 3-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

 

6. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. DISCUSSION AND DIRECTION/River Avenue Assessments.

 

Green explained he wanted to bring this back to the Board because he wasnít able to participate in the final deliberation.He noted this is an improvement to River Avenue that is needed.He indicated the key issue is the assessments.He added the issue the neighbors game to the Board with was not to the City of Eugeneís assessment policy but creating a local improvement district for the properties that are in the county.He recalled the city came to them for permission but not for funding.

 

Kurt Corey, City of Eugene, indicated street improvement projects in the City of Eugene are constructed through some type of assessment process.He noted about five years ago the City of Eugene and the Board of Commissioners came together and determined that as those situations are encountered, there would be an arrangement under which County projects would assess city residents under County assessment policy, city assessment properties would access unincorporated properties under the city assessment policy.He added that on the strength of the board order and understanding, the River Avenue Project was initiated effective with the FY 2001 City of Eugene budget and the work that has continued toward that end on the premise that that arrangement would be incorporated at the time of construction. He said the project is about three-quarters of a mile and involves frontage of about 50 properties.He added that 40 of those are incorporated, 10 are unincorporated and the total project is about $2.25 million, with the total cost to be assessed about half of that amount.He said the cost assessed to County properties is about 20% of the total assessed value.He noted the order that was passed five years ago under which the cooperative arrangement had worked and is still in effect and authorized the resolution moving ahead with the River Avenue project.He said if that is not the case, they need to know how they should move ahead with the project.He added there were no other good alternatives. He asked if the arrangement was something that could be continued in the future or how they could fix it to move the River Avenue project ahead.

 

Carlson indicated that River Avenue had been in TransPlan for about 20 years and was adopted again by all three bodies when the TransPlan was updated three years ago.

 

Green commented that there is a benefit to having assessments to get the roads improved.He added the market value of the property goes up.He thought those who benefit should pay.

 

Sorenson asked how they could get this project to be built.He thought there were public safety issues involved.

 

Carlson responded that under the way they initiate and build projects, they need the Boardís approval to use their assessment practice or if they donít approve the assessments, they could fund the portion of the project that would otherwise be assessed for the unincorporated properties.He added there were equity issues.

 

Sorenson agreed to allow the use of the City of Eugeneís assessment policy outside of the city for the project so the project gets built.

 

Green wanted to be consistent.He noted there were concerns about the cost of the project, but he didnít think the concerns were reasons why the project shouldnít get done.He suggested getting value engineering so the costs could come down proportionately for the property owners.He added if the project doesnít go forward, it is not because Lane County is not being consistent, it would be on the Eugene City Council to see the merits of this project.

 

Morrison said she would agree to move forward if they did the same thing they did on Game Farm Road.

 

Carlson noted the Countyís standards on an urban facility would require sidewalks and bike paths on both sides.He noted that an urban growth boundary was involved.

 

MOTION:to approve ORDER 05-2-9-5 to move to allow the City of Eugene to form a LID and have County staff work with the City of Eugene for River Avenue.

 

Green MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 3-1 (Morrison dissenting).

 

b. REPORT/Lane County Parks and Open Space Master Plan Update.

 

Celia Barry, Public Works, explained they are updating the Lane County Parks and Open Space Master Plan for the first time since 1980.She said this would provide a compass for Parks to meet the recreational and open space needs for the County citizens and visitors to Lane County.She added another aspect of the plan is to provide for the long-term financial health of the Parks system. She noted the Parks Department does not receive any property tax funds and they see it as being important to meet the needs of the citizens for parks and recreation.She said they want to get the public involved early in the process. She indicated they sent out a mailing to over 1,900 contacts.She added they contacted different civil organizations, non profits, chambers, all of the cities and staff, youth groups and schools to let them know they were doing this.She said they would be holding about 14 meetings throughout the county.She noted that there is a Technical Advisory Committee and they are committed to reviewing the first draft and it will then go to the Parks Advisory Committee.She added the Parks Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission have both approved the public involvement plan in November. She noted there would be a State Outdoor Recreation Plan from 2003-2007 that provides data that includes Lane County.She noted it is a land use document and will be an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan.She said they would be back to the Board next year.

 

Morrison was pleased with the outreach to the rural areas.

 

c. ORDER 05-2-9-2/In the Matter of Authorizing Allocation of $70,000 in Transient Room Tax Special Project Funds to Public Works, Parks Division, Fund 216, for an E-Commerce Project to Implement an Online Reservation System for Parks.

 

Morrison indicated this came to Finance and Audit and it moved forward to the whole Board.

 

Todd Winter, Parks, reported that currently Lane County Parks operates three overnight campgrounds at Harbor Vista, Richardson and Baker Bay.He added they also have 17 reservable picnic areas and marinas that could be integrated into the system.He noted the only methods currently available for reservations are either by phone or in person at the campground or division office.He said an online reservation system is a high priority for the Parks Division.He said it is one of the goals of Public Works to monitor, evaluate and improve service to the customers.He noted that State Parks and the Army Corps, (their competition) are currently using online reservations.He said the customers like the convenience of booking reservations and paying for it at home.He said the competition is using it and they are lagging behind.He added it is a common request by their customers that they initiate online reservations.

 

Winter indicated they went to Finance and Audit and were endorsed to bring the issue forward.He said there were some questions with the IS project estimate review.He said the matter is allocating $70,000 from the special projects funds and Parks staff believes it is an appropriate use of the money in that it promotes overnight stays, tourism to Lane County, ancillary spending and it generates transient room tax.

 

Morrison commented that Lane County was behind.She indicated that Finance and Audit thought this was an advantageous thing to do.

 

Stewart was in favor of this.He said it was important to give Parks the tools to be successful.He thought this would ultimately reduce costs and it would be a plus for the department.

 

MOTION:to move to approve ORDER 05-2-9-2.

 

Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

d. ORDER 05-1-19-3/In the Matter of Amending the 05-09 Capital Improvement Program by Allocating an Amount Up to $50,000 for the Simmonds Creek Culvert Replacement Project, Blue River Road, MP 0.45, under the Culvert Replacement for Fish Passage Category; and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute Agreements with the McKenzie Watershed Council Related to Said Project. (PULLED)

 

7. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A. Approval of Minutes:

January 19, 2005, Regular Meeting, following HACSA

January 19, 2005, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

 

B. Assessment and Taxation

 

1) ORDER 05-2-9-3/In the Matter of a Refund to Qwest Corporation in the Amount of $1,700,753.

 

MOTION:to move the balance of the Consent Calendar with item 7 B. 1) pulled.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

7. B.1)

 

Jim Gangle, Assessment and Taxation, explained that Qwest is the utility property and value of the account is set by the Oregon Department of Revenue.He noted in this case, the Department of Revenue used a different approach to set the value on Qwest.He said they used a stock and debt approach.He noted it was more of a market approach instead of a cost approach.He said they valued the property and Qwest appealed the value.He said the result in the reduction of value was a settlement that was reached between the Department of Revenue and Qwest.

 

Sorenson asked if the Board had any role in the decision.

 

Gangle responded the only role is giving the refund.He noted that the Board by statute is required to order all of the refunds that go through his office.He said the Board has delegated that if it is less than $10,000 he takes care of it.He added anytime it is a sizeable amount of money the Board takes action.

 

MOTION:to move to approve ORDER 05-2-9-3.

 

Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

8. MANAGEMENT SERVICES

 

a. ORDER 05-2-9-4/In the Matter of Creating a Classification and Salary Range for Budget/Financial Planning Manager.

 

MOTION:to move to approve ORDER 05-2-9-4.

 

Green MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

Van Vactor commented that this was an important step in succession planning with regard to the County Administrator.He said they are creating a strong budget and financial planning position in Lane County government.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

b. Legislative Committee Report.

 

Tony Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager reported that on the United Front list of projects, one project is $1.5 million for infrastructure improvement to the recreational facilities at Fern Ridge Dam.He said it gives them an opportunity to make an appeal for federal assistance to improve and expand the capacity to provide recreation services to the citizens.He noted the other new project is the methamphetamine abatement initiative demonstration project.He commented it is a nexus between an enhanced awareness and willingness in Congress to address the issue and the fact they arenít making progress in containing the impacts of methamphetamine use in the Willamette Valley.He thought they could make a case to get more federal resources for treatment, prevention, and law enforcement of the meth problem.He said they are proposing a three-year demonstration project for $5 million to increase some of their capacity.He noted ongoing requests are for capital dollars to take care of the facility for the FQHC in Springfield, the public safety communications request from the Sheriffís Office and the ongoing study money to provide some preliminary work on the Beltline corridor between River Road and Coburg.

 

Green asked if they were successful in receiving the methamphetamine money, if they could demonstrate a plan for sustainability beyond three years.He explained it becomes a grant project and when the grant money is out, the expectation is that it comes from the general fund or is contracted out.

 

Bieda said he would work on finding out the information.

 

Bieda passed out a copy of the letter for the Secure Rural Schools from the Board to go to Lane Countyís delegation.

 

MOTION:to move to support sending the letter to Lane Countyís delegation.

 

Green MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

VOTE:4-0.

 

Bieda indicated he asked for a draft from the legislature that clarifies some of the statutory conflicts pertaining to the potential creation of a countywide service district for public safety.He said it includes a provision to change the authority of the Boundary Commission so that it does not include the authority over the creation of the countywide public safety district.He noted the Lane Library League had expressed interest in trying to remove the Boundary Commissionís authority for what they might want to do.

 

9. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

10. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Stewart announced that on Monday night he attended the Springfield Economic Development Agency and he and Dwyer were added to their Board.He said the application deadline was extended for the Glenwood Advisory Committee to February 28, 2005.He said there were several positions they needed applications for and they hadnít received any.They wanted to do a further outreach to get further applicants.He said they wanted Lane County to extend the deadline as well to February 28.

 

There was consensus to extend the time.

 

Stewart stated that it has come to his attention for the appeal process in Lane Code 5.017(7) that they require appellantís to post their bond in full.He said it could be several thousand dollars.He wanted to have staff review that policy to see how it is working.

 

Sorenson attended the NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. He noted that Green was given an award at the dinner. He added that Stand For Children was going to Salem for school funding.

 

Green announced that Art from the Heart will take place.He said it is a fundraiser that will take place tomorrow night.He said he attended a ODOT Region 2 meeting in Salem.

 

Morrison reported that she and Stewart attended the Rural Oregon Day at the state capitol.She said there is a Legislative Committee Meeting at AOC on Monday.

 

Van Vactor asked what the Board wanted to do with the contract with Wildlife Services.He said the Budget Committee did not provide any funding.He asked if he should contact the Portland office to let them know there is no funding.

 

Green suggested they put it in writing that at this time they are not able to participate.

 

Morrison supported what the program does but she thought at this point they would have to cut things.

 

Van Vactor said he would communicate that it is not provided for in the budget and it could always be brought back.

 

Sorenson thought this should have been done in a budget meeting.

 

11. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

To be taken at the end of the meeting.

 

12. OTHER BUSINESS

 

ORDER 05-2-9-6 Transferring $1,900 from the General Fund Operational Contingency to County Administration to Cover Mailing Earned Income Tax Credit Pamphlet

 

Green recalled that last year he brought to the Board a request for funding around the Earned Income Tax Credit. He said the City of Eugene and Lane County helped to promote unclaimed dollars in Lane County.He said in 2003 over $3 million went unclaimed for families who are low to moderate income that could earn as much as $4,000 by filing for it.He said last year $1 million came back to Lane County by refunds.He noted the Board funded it last year at $1,900 and he had asked that it come out of the Boardís contingency but it came out of the Commissionerís budget.He asked the Board to commit to funding at $1,900 to help with the mailing and stuffing with the utility companies.He wanted the money to come out of the contingency fund.

 

MOTION:to move to approve ORDER 05-2-9-6.

 

Green MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

Morrison wanted a follow up to see how effective they are.She wanted to see if they increased the money claimed.

 

Green indicated that next year the United Way would be taking this over.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 11:20 a.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary