BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

WORK SESSION

May 10, 2005

9:00 a.m.

Commissionerís Conference Room

APPROVED 12/14/05

 

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

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Debbie Jeffries, Eugene, noted a Goal 5 planning session tonight at the City of Eugene. She indicated the reason she came to the Board was that she had been in dialogue with the city. She stated that the city would not amend what she pointed out.She indicated that she had gone to the original planning meeting.She said that she is in the E76 area and the city said the pond was not man made.She indicated that they did not follow the Oregon Administrative Rule.She wanted the city to say that at LCDC the County did not establish an adequate factual basis in the record that the portion of E 76 subject to the appeal (the County portion)satisfies the definition of a riparian area in OAR 660.023 0090. She said it had nothing to do with significance criteria.She wanted the ordinance to state that.She said it is wrong and should be written correctly.She noted that the city had done its ESEE analysis.

 

Dwyer thought the ordinance should accurately reflect what had transpired.

 

Wilson explained the generic description that was given when they have to re-notice an ordinance is accurate.She added with regard to land use, it is taken more tightly.She noted that the planning commission could change the ordinance.

 

Dwyer suggested giving the planning commission the appropriate language.

 

3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Dwyer commented about the drought.

 

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

None.

 

5. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. STATUS REPORT/Road Fund Review.

 

Ollie Snowden, Public Works, explained that the CIP coming to the Board tomorrow is what they think is a financially constrained CIP. He said it begins on July 1, 2006 and runs to June 30, 2010.He said it is the document they use to program CIP projects, preservation projects and revenue sharing agreements with other agencies.He recalled in the past they had a program that was financially constrained and in the out years was more of a wish list.He noted that this year if they assume that the Secure Rural Schools is going to be reauthorized by congress at 100% of the current level, then they have put together a CIP that is reasonably close to matching the revenue stream that they expect to see.He added that if the projects in the out years decline to such an extent that they donít have enough work for all the related engineering staff in Public Works, then they are anticipating that they would have to make about $1 million in staff reductions about 15 months from now.He added in another year they would be making about another $1 million in staff reductions.He noted the other thing the CIP does is ends the City County Road Partnership and revenue sharing at the end of Fiscal 07.

 

Snowden discussed funding from the Secure Rural Schools.He expected in FY 09/10, that their new revenue is going to be about the same level in 2002.He said when they look at the revenue, their operating expenses are increasing faster than the revenue.He said in FY 05/06, the budgeting operating expenses are about 38% higher than the actual operating expenses in 01/03.He explained the rise in costs were due to benefit increases.He noted that personnel costs were not the only reason for increases; and that materials are also going up.

 

Dwyer asked what would happen if the money were not reauthorized.He wanted Snowden to put in the numbers if they were not to receive any reauthorization.

 

Snowden noted that the road fund would have about a $38 million fund balance at the end of this fiscal year.He added in the past few years they had been spending more than what they had been bringing in.He said their road maintenance operating budget is close to $25 million per year and they only get about $15 million out of the state highway fund transfer.He noted that if they cut back on Secure Rural Schools to 50%, they would barely have enough to cover the operating expenses now without any revenue sharing.He noted their last Secure Rural School payment is in December 2007.

 

Morrison asked what the operating expenses would be if the Secure Rural Schools were not reauthorized.She commented that they were naÔve to plug 100% for the reauthorization.She thought it was more realistic to put in 75%, as that would give them a better picture for the next five years.She also wanted to show what would happen if they were to do away with Secure Rural Schools and go back to the old formula of $6 million.

 

Dwyer concurred with Morrison on reducing the expectations.He would rather add something then have to do away with it.He wanted to reflect the re-authorization of 75% and then they could prioritize the add backs if they are successful.

 

Sorenson asked what they currently receive for the road fund.

 

Snowden replied they are getting about $20 million per year from Secure Rural Schools.

 

Sorenson asked what Snowden would do if they did not get the money reauthorized.

 

Snowden said they are trying to anticipate the transition in a number of ways.He said when he talks to the engineering staff; he has them look at the skills and the abilities they have to consider how that could be used for the community as a whole.He wanted them to look at ways to bring other revenue in for services they could provide.He said it could delay the reductions.He said the recommendation they are giving the board is based on a 100% reauthorization.He added that they took the Countyís Strategic Plan that laid out operation, maintenance and preservation of the County road system as the highest priority.He noted that modernization was a lower priority and that the County would revisit the County City Road Partnership.He indicated their recommendation was a CIP that cuts back substantially on the funded projects and cuts off the City County Road Partnership in two years.He said at some point they have to make the choice to retain some skills in engineering and cut back on maintenance instead of getting rid of other positions.

 

Van Vactor noted that this process with the CIP involved intergovernmental partners.He said if they wanted to change the CIP there should be a conversation with the intergovernmental partners and then send it back to the Roads Advisory Committee for comment if there was a significant change.

 

Snowden recommended that the Board adopt what is presented to the Board.He said the Board could always amend the CIP in the coming year.He said they have a three and four year lead time on many of the projects.

 

Stewart asked what the bottom line was to maintain the current roads they have.He asked if there were options for maintenance instead of on a five-year rotation.He asked if that would save money.He thought it was important to get together with the partners to try to solve the problem.

 

Morrison wanted the CIP to move forward. She thought they could provide the services on a longer rotation.

 

Snowden said they would need to do a more in-depth look as they move forward.He thought there might be other reductions that havenít shown up yet.

 

Dwyer wanted to move forward with the CIP.He said they needed to plan for the best and prepare for the worst so Congress knows they are continuing the partnership with the Forest Service.He didnít want to send the message to Congress that they didnít think they would be getting this money.

 

Snowden noted the current choices for funding are state and federal revenue.

 

Green thought they should ask their partners what the priorities are with them.

 

Snowden recalled that the Board asked them to put together some proposals for a countywide local option motor fuel tax that would allow the Board to continue with the City County Road Partnership.He noted that they went to the Roads Advisory Committee with the memo (Attachment 3).He indicated they used some prior research that the City of Eugene had done and worked from those estimates.He noted there is no reliable estimate of the number of gallons sold within Lane Countyís corporate limits.He said that Eugene and Cottage Grove are collecting substantially more money than what they had originally estimated.

 

Snowden explained that they were looking at three scenarios.He noted that a three-cent countywide motor fuel tax would be for gasoline and diesel for everything but farm equipment and heavy trucks.He indicated that a three-cent per gallon tax should generate $3.5 million each year in Lane County.He stated they would then be able to continue the $2.5 million City County Road Partnership and it would set aside another $1 million that could be used for an ODOT match for regional road modernization projects.He noted a second alternative was a five cent per gallon countywide tax or $6 million annually that would allow for $2.5 for the continuation of the County City Road Partnership and $3.5 million they could set aside for an ODOT match for projects.He noted the third alternative would be a five-cent countywide gas tax with the condition that those cities that had gas taxes would roll back three cents of those motor fuel taxes in return for the Countyís five-cent tax.He said if that were done, it would cover what the cities are collecting.

 

Morrison commented that the cities were not going to support Lane County putting forward a gas tax.

 

Dwyer suggested a registration fee that could be dedicated to the road fund.He thought that was easier than being hit at the gas pump.

 

Green recalled that it was his initiative to look at this.His intent was to assist the cities so they could use some of the funding for their maintenance issues.He didnít want a gas tax.

 

b. FOURTH READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance No. PA 1221/In the Matter of Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan (Metro Plan) to Clarify and Provide Greater Flexibility for Public Safety Service Delivery in the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area (Metro Plan, Growth Management, Policy 15) (NBA & PM 4/5/05, 4/19/05 & 5/11/05).

 

Kent Howe, Land Management, provided the Board with the packets for the first and second readings and public hearings of April 5 and April 19. He said it included the supplemental packet for April 19 that had the four alternatives, listed in increasing order of restrictiveness.He noted the ordinance before the Board today is a recommendation of the Lane County Planning Commission of April 19, Exhibit A.He added that today he is providing responses to the joint elected officials questions that were raised at the public hearing and the minutes of the work session and the public hearing.He noted that Springfield is scheduled to act next Monday at 7:00 p.m. and Eugene is scheduled to act next Wednesday at noon.He said the two criteria that are applicable to the Metro Plan Amendment are consistent with the statewide planning goals.He added that the proposed language keeps the Metro Plan policies internally consistent.

 

MOTION: to adopt Ordinance No. PA 1221.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

Van Vactor noted the list of public safety uses on Exhibit A, PA 1221, (f) concluded in the last line as patrol,that they had some informal discussions with the city partners about the issue of double taxation.He said in response to that, their current thinking at a staff level is that the logical thing to do is not fund patrol and fund patrol on the $1.28 of the existing property taxes.He added that funding prosecution in the public safety district would be a qualifying use and then all taxpayers in Lane County would pay a uniform base rate for that level of patrol that relates to compression.He noted the compression issue is whether or not they should amend the language and suggest adding language to the effect that they would want to make their intergovernmental partners whole for their losses from compression as a permissible use for the public safety district.He thought it would be better to leave the word ďpatrolĒ in because the purpose of the funding for the public safety district would be public safety and if the city or other partners have a compression loss, they would provide funding for other public safety services by taking the money from the general fund for patrol and making up for the loss of compression.He suggested adopting language they have that has the word ďpatrolĒ and silent as to compression and then have a discussion with their partners to see what they would prefer with language.

 

Van Vactor noted that the Eugene Planning Commission had recommended a single countywide district and if their partners want to go with the language, they recommend it as a single district within Lane County.He added they have different language with how tight they want the language as to what is permissible for public safety purposes.He thought about sending a letter to the two city councils identifying these issues, conveying what the Board had enacted and suggesting hearing from the cities and amending it as necessary.

 

Wilson explained they would be using district funds to pay for district services that the City of Eugene does that qualify as public safety services.She said the City of Eugene would then make the choice to use their general fund for libraries.

 

Morrison asked if the district is approved and it moves forward, if they know the operating expenses of the district would continue to increase

 

Dwyer said they need to send this forward to their partners, but also need the letter to explain that this is a required first step.He wanted to include the letter in the motion to approve.

 

Stewart wanted to add the compression language.He wanted to make sure the patrol stays in the wording and that all of the public safety services are in the wording.

 

Dwyer wanted to leave the ordinance alone and send the letter.

 

Stewart agreed.

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

Sorenson believed that before the County initiates an ordinance that would deny the City of Eugene $3 million in voter approved measures for youth and libraries, that they would make an appropriate recognition in their ordinances, if they were intent upon getting their approval of the proposal.

 

Van Vactor indicated that this was just an amendment to the Metro Plan that would allow them to make the proposal.

 

Dwyer wanted unanimity.He asked Sorenson what it would take to change his vote.

 

Sorenson said the compression is a major issue that affects a lot of the communities in Lane County.

 

Dwyer MOVED for the immediate reconsideration of the vote which they approved the ordinance

 

Stewart SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Wilson said they could add to Policy F at the end and the effects of compression loss.She said it would be a decision every year of the Budget Committee and the Board of the districts.

 

Vorhes indicated that compression changes every year based on the real market value and the rates that are established by local option levies and permanent rate levies. He said it might be difficult to anticipate all of the changes that compression would bring.

 

Sorenson wanted language that stated that the district shall pay the cost of compression to the local taxing district.He said it is a policy issue of whether they were going to do that or not.

 

Dwyer said he had no problem adding that.

 

Van Vactor indicated that there are urban renewal districts that cost Lane County funds.He said he wanted to get Lane Countyís property loss back due to urban renewal.He noted if they make a commitment in the Metro Plan to do a full compression loss.

 

Sorenson wanted to add full compression loss.

 

Dwyer stated that the above was incorporated into his motion.

 

MOTION: to approve the Fourth Reading and Setting a Fifth Reading and Deliberation that contains the above stated language on June 1, 2005.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Howe said he would take the proposed language to Eugene and Springfield for deliberation next week.

 

Van Vactor indicated a draft letter would accompany it explaining they adopted the language as is and if there is significance to the cities, they are prepared to review that and modify the ordinance.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Morrison indicated there were two openings on the Planning Commission and she was looking for a volunteer to help her screen applicants.

 

Stewart volunteered to help.

 

7. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

8. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

None.

 

9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 10:40 a.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary