BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

May 4, 2005

1:30 p.m.

(Commissionersí Conference Room)

 

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

 

15. PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a. ORDER 05-5-4-9/In the Matter of Receiving Comments from the Public About Community Development Needs, Proposed Projects to Meet These Needs, and Lane Countyís Performance of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Projects.

 

Peter Thurston, Economic Development, reported that this is a required public hearing to close out the grants they have, and to hold a public hearing to ask the public about comment on how Lane County is doing in administering Community Development Block Grants.He noted the grant they are closing out is a housing rehabilitation grant.

 

Thurston said the second item is to ask the community for projects that could be funded through the Community Development Block Grant process and where possible, specifically name what those projects are, the amounts and anything about them where there would be a need that could be accomplished.

 

Thurston indicated he received three letters from interested parties:the Blue River Water District, the Blue River CDC regarding downtown improvements and the Lane Microbusiness program.He noted in the order is a specific action that would ask that the Board recognize certain projects for development this year.He included these projects as well as the Housing Rehabilitation Program that has been meeting through its policy committee.He said they indicated they intend to apply through Lane County and from Florence and Oakridge.

 

Morrison opened the Public Hearing.

 

Anne Williams, St. Vincent de Paul, requested the Boardís support for the Lane County Region Housing Rehabilitation Program.She indicated that includes the cities of Oakridge, Westfir, Lowell, Cottage Grove and Florence.†† She said it has been a successful program.She indicated that they had been able to complete seven rehabilitation projects with the average loan of $18,000 per household.She explained that many of the households served are low-income households for whom their home is their only real asset.†† She noted they have an existing loan pool of almost $1.6 million and as the loans are repaid, they could be re-lent out to further the activity. She thought with another couple of applications successfully funded by the state, they are approaching a program that could be sustainable over time without new grant funds.She urged Board approval for Lane County to submit an application and for support of the cities of Florence and Oakridge in the applications.

 

Shawn Winkler-Rios said there is need for economic opportunity in the form of micro-enterprise development and assistance. He said rural communities are asking for help.He said they do not have the capacity to serve them all.He commented that the need is growing and it is countywide. He noted there are potentials for new businesses and economic activities in Oakridge and Cottage Grove.He indicated the communities have a loan fund they would like to get more widely utilized but they arenít seeking the type of clientele with the training that needs to make the best use.

 

There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Morrison closed the Public Hearing.

 

Thurston explained the process for the Housing Rehabilitation Program that comes through the Housing and Community Services Department has set a deadline of June 15.He said they would develop that application and bring it back for the County Administratorís signature, based upon the order.He said it would proceed forward.He noted all other projects are with the OECDD.He said they donít set deadlines; they invite applications.He said by listing other projects, the Board would tell them to go forward and develop them with the applicants who have indicated when the state agency is ready to receive them.He suggested adding two others to the list in the ordered section of the order:from Steve Manela, Health and Human Services, on public health facilities that serve low and moderate income people in the Cottage Grove area and a project listing with regard to the Blue Riverís CDC letter, the Blue River downtown improvements.

 

Green asked how they would measure the vagueness of the Blue River CDC letter.

 

Thurston commented that Blue River and the downtown blockhave the need.He said there is no plan, but they would need a plan to start out.

 

Morrison thought they had applied within the past three years to try to get money to do a plan and it was not funded.

 

Thurston stated they needed help in order to move to a plan.

 

Dwyer noted they were asking to be allowed to receive comments about the community development needs and the proposed projects that meet their needs.

 

MOTION:to approve ORDER 05-5-4-9 with the added projects.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.

 

Dwyer said this starts a process and the Board has a final say in the process.He said it sends a message to the community that the Board is interested in what they develop.He wanted Thurston to bring the proposals back.

 

Stewart commented that Blue River needed all the help they could give them.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Thurston asked if by this action they could have the County Administrator sign the housing rehabilitation application that is due June 15.

 

Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, indicated they would amend the motion for the County Administratorís signature.

 

16. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

17. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 2:50 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary