BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

(following HACSA)

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 2/13/2009

 

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

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

Sorenson requested item 3. F. 1) be pulled off the Consent Calendar for a separate vote.  Stewart noted item 3 C. 1) is also pulled from the Consent Calendar.  Stewart noted there is an item for Emergency Business regarding the CAFR grant.  Stewart added an item for correspondence regarding Jim Gillette requesting a lien be removed from tax lot 4009.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Josh Green, President of Florence Chamber, Florence, talked about the issue of  room tax.  He said that Florence does a successful job in bringing millions of dollars money into the County in tourism.  He added that the money they get from room tax is never equal to what they give.  He said they donít want it threatened or lessened in reference to the motion that was passed where the Budget Committee wanted to put that money into the general fund.  He noted the Florence Event Center, the City of Florence, the Pioneer Museum and the Chamber have taken a limited amount of funds to turn it into profit for the County.  They are concerned about losing proceeds.

 

Cindy Land, Eugene, commented that the ice arena at the fairgrounds has lost money ever since it was put in.  She recalled in 2003 the Fair Board wanted to put in a sports center instead of a livestock arena and it didnít happen. She added the planetarium came in next and the voters didnít approve it.  She commented that the livestock arena is a viable facility.  She indicated that it was left out of the November 2006 feasibility study because at the time they were already told that it was going to be leased to the YMCA.  She suggested the Board look at the financial viability of the livestock arena as a reality, not as a novelty.  She stated the arena has been making $100,000 per year.

 

Bob Still, Creswell, stated that today is D-Day.  He commented that the commissioners worked hard to get money from Secure Rural Schools and he thanked the Board for their effort and continued work to try to get this money.

 

Diana Robertson, Eugene, stated that she represented SARA.  She thanked the Budget Committee for adding a volunteer coordinator for LCARA.  She thought it was a step in the right direction. She urged the Board to adopt the budget as presented with the position.  She recommended that the position be expanded.

 

Michael Smith, Human Rights Party of Oregon, said they are a new political party focusing on poverty, education and environment.  He thanked the Board for their position on the income tax.  He thought the election was a mandate against an income tax dedicated to public safety.  He wanted the Board to consider gross receipts corporate income tax that focused on out of state corporations.

 

Cliff Kelly, Elmira, recalled that the 4H pre-fair was held at the fairgrounds.  He reported that the kennel club had a dog agility trial in the building.  He said there were people that came to the gaming show.  He commented that people in the equestrian community think about the fairgrounds as home, not the Horse Center.  He announced that the Alpaca Show is coming up in June.

 

Green asked if the community would support a bond measure to make it work.

 

Kelly thought enough people in the community would like to see it happen.  He thought the Board needed to create a vision and the money would follow.

 

Conrad Magnuson, Veneta, recalled that almost a year ago the Board gave the planning department money to implement the airport protection.  He stated that up to this date nothing has been done.  He was upset at the money it was costing him by his not being able to use the property the way it should have been.  He recalled in 1984 his property was zoned an airport and his property was in the plan. 

 

Jim Gillette, Eugene, wanted something to be done about tying up his property.  He said that he never had a hearing.  He thought Sorenson voted against him.  He thought compliance was out of whack the way they treat people.

 

3. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A. Approval of Minutes:

June 28, 2006, Regular Meeting, Following HACSA

April 11, 2007, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.

 

B. Assessment and Taxation

 

1) ORDER 07-6-6-1/In the Matter of a Refund to SNB Properties LLC in the Amount of $28,407.53.

 

2) ORDER 07-6-6-2/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute an Intergovernmental Agreement Contract Amendment  1 Between the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS), Building Codes Division and Lane County to Accept Applications and Fees for Ownership Document Transactions and Trip Permits as an Agent of the DCBS.

 

C. Board of Commissioners

 

1) ORDER 07-6-6-3/In the Matter of Ordering the Appointment of a Lane County Local Government Member of the Benton, Lane, Lincoln, Linn Regional Investment Board.

 

D. Health and Human Services

 

1) ORDER 07-6-6-4/In the Matter of Approving the Lane County Public Health Authority Plan for FY 2007-2008.

 

2) ORDER 07-6-6-5/In the Matter of Approving the Department of Human Services Financial Assistance Agreement for the Period July 1, 2007 Through June 30, 2009 and Appointing the County Administrator or His Authorized Designee as County Financial Assistance Administrator for the Agreement.

 

E. Management Services

 

1) ORDER 07-6-6-6/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property for $100 to the City of Springfield (Map No. 17-02-34-23-00400, Within 60th Street Right of Way at "E" Street, Springfield).

 

F. Public Works

 

1) ORDER 07-6-6-7/In the Matter of Approving the Sale of the Parks Property ďGlenada DunesĒ in PSA, Exhibit A, to the State Of Oregon in the amount of $397,000 and Authorizing County Administrator to Execute the PSA and All Necessary Agreements.

 

2) ORDER 07-6-6-8/In the Matter of Considering a Ballot Measure 37 Claim and Deciding Whether to Modify, Remove or Not Apply Restrictive Land Use Regulations in Lieu of Providing Just Compensation (PA06-7323, Barnes).

 

MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar with items C. 1) to be rolled to next weekís agenda and F. 1) to be discussed separately.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

F. 1)

 

Sorenson recalled that the Board chose this property as being eligible for park designation.  He indicated that today they are finalizing the Board approval of selling the park to the State of Oregon to be used as a state park.  He added the state will pay the County for the park.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-6-6-7.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

ORDER 07-6-6-9 Approving the Amended County Assessment Function Funding Assistance (CAFFA) Grant Application to the Oregon Department of Revenue for FY 2007-2008.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 07-6-6-9.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Dwyer explained that this grant was important as it makes up the difference and allows them to do what they are required to do by the Department of Revenue.  He added it is recognition that they donít have the resources without this grant.

 

Stewart noted that it is nearly a quarter of the funding for the Assessorís office.  He thought it was important that they apply for the grant.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

5. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

Sorenson said as they are in a transition to a new fiscal year, he thought the Board should embark on a public outreach effort.  He wanted to take ten Tuesdays and Wednesdays and each commissioner would pick two locations in their district.  He added that the Board would go along with the other elected officials to have an educational program for the public about where things stand with the budget now that they have the Secure Rural Schools funding for one year and the challenge of whatever comes in the next budget cycle.

 

Green said he is speaking as chair for NACo under the Public and Justice Committee.  He stated on June 5 AP released a report on how murders rise in big cities.  He objected to the news coverage the following day.  He said the report claimed the increase was due to African American and Latinos.  He resented that fact because it gave the public the impression that only African American and Latinos are committing crimes.  He thought it was racial bias in the media.  He commented that when that image is trickled down to the local level, it would be disingenuous on the public safety department to target those people as felony offenders and gang members.  He said there are some indicators in the community that there is a rise in gang community.  He indicated that it was not isolated in the communities of color.

 

Fleenor concurred with Sorenson that they should go out on the road to connect with citizens.  He thought ten sessions might be too many.  He wanted to have two in his district.  He thought it was imperative that due to the defeat of the income tax they go back out to try to connect with the citizens.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. REPORT BACK AND DISCUSSION/Fairgrounds.

Feasibility Options

Alternate Uses of Livestock Building

 

David Suchart, Management Services, reported that at Board direction, he contacted Don Stewart of ECS, (the potential feasibility consultant) about doing more of a scoping study than a feasibility study so he had a better idea about the issues.  He  reported that the issues included fair viability, site issues, land use issues, economic and marketing issues, public opinion and perception by users in the general public.  He said that Don Stewart responded that he would like to come up to Eugene to meet with the Board.  He also wanted to see the fairgrounds and he would bring up the architect he works with for an observation of the buildings. Suchart indicated that Stewart would review all materials.  Suchart noted the price for this would be a $10,000 fee and  $2,500 expenditure for him and the architect.

 

Sorenson asked what was done last year with the scoping study.

 

Warren Wong, Fairgrounds, explained what took place last year with Market Consulting was two studies.  He indicated one was an economic impact study that demonstrated the impacts to the local economy of the Lane Events Center.  He added the second was a market feasibility study based on the existing infrastructure at the fairgrounds at the existing site.  Wong said in that study he recommended that they look at various other activities that could come to that site.  He said he didnít comment on the integrity of the infrastructure and whether it was an appropriate site.  Wong asked him about the viability of animals on that site as an animal use facility.  Wong stated that Don Stewart said in his opinion, it was not a workable site for animals because of the transportation to the site and paved ground not working for horses.  Wong recommended that the consultant come in while the fair is taking place so he can see how that site works for a traditional type of fair.

 

Green said they still have animals at the fair and entertainment.  He agreed with Wong to have Don Stewart come to the fair to see how the fair is running.  Green was concerned whether or not the priorities of the Board are in sync with the communityís priorities.  He said it wasnít clear to him what the communityís priorities are.  He didnít want to get in front of any effort that represents what the Board believes are community priorities and then have it work against them.  He asked how they would pay for it.  He thought they needed to have a public discussion about their priorities.  He said if the public want animals year round at the fairgrounds, it would require some changes.  He had concerns about spending money for a consultant to come back with a study that the Board wouldnít embrace because it costs money to produce.

 

Dwyer commented that there are a lot of opportunities.  He thought animals are a critical part of a fair with the traditional appeal for all of the community.  He indicated the environment got in the way of what it is they are trying to do.  His goal is to look at the broader vision.  He indicated that whatever they do it has to be a dual track.  He said that was why he wanted a moratorium on the sale of the fairgrounds because it is going to take time to develop whatever it is they do.  He added that they needed a concurrent process to keep conventions coming to the fairgrounds.  He hoped by the end of the ten year moratorium they would be in a concurrent mode that transitions them away from the problems they have related to the fair and is inclusive of all the community.  He agreed not to spend money at the current time or to sign a lease with anyone.

 

Fleenor agreed that nothing should happen overnight.  He thought part of the listening tours should include the future of the fairgrounds, their structural deficit and Secure Rural Schools.

 

Sorenson asked Wong whether they should do anything different for the short term.

 

Wong thought the logical step would be to have a conversation among the Board.  He added there are policy issues the Board needs to discuss and come to consensus before they hire a consultant or go to the public.  He asked the Board if they want a traditional fairgrounds.  He thought Deschutes, Linn, Douglas were good examples.  He said that would mean they would have a fairgrounds where they could have animals year long and a rodeo with an outdoor arena and concerts.  He asked the Board if they wanted to be in the exhibition facility business.  He thought the Board should let the private sector or another public entity take it over.  He said the site was selected 110 years ago and it was rural Lane County at the time.  He said if they want a fairground, the current location is an inappropriate site and it doesnít work.  He said they wonít be able to make a profit based on how it is staffed and operated.  He said if the Board wants to make a profit, they need to get out of the business to turn over to the private sector.  He commented that if it is going to be a public operated facility that it needs to be subsidized. He added the infrastructure is old and the Board will have to make a decision about the care of the buildings.

 

Green thought they needed to be up front with the public.  He supported what Wong suggested.

 

Dwyer said they need to have a discussion based on the policy decisions Wong requested and he wanted to do that as soon as possible.  Dwyer thought given leadership and visioning, the public would buy into it.  His goal would be to take Wongís advice and schedule another meeting to discuss the policy issues. 

 

Sorenson wanted Wong to outline in a memo what the policy issues are.  He said they would have a structured meeting to address the policy issues.  He thought there should be some education.  He noted the number of county fairs in the United States is going down.  He thought they needed to know about the trends.

 

Wong thought they could develop a brief discussion on each policy issue in about a month.  He recommended having a facilitator.  He said they need to have a larger conversation about County government and how this fits into a bigger discussion.

 

Green supported revisiting this issue in the fall.  He thought they could give direction to Van Vactor to ask Amber Fossen, Public Information Officer, to craft an informal survey for people attending the fair to get that type of data for consideration.

 

Stewart reiterated that they take advantage of the fair to do informal polling of citizens and poll the users.  He wanted information gathered for a September meeting.  He said in the meantime the Board will have offsite meetings and they will ask the questions of the citizens about their thoughts of the fairgrounds. 

 

Dwyer didnít think it was in the Boardís interest to sign a long term lease with any entity that might tie up their ability to explore the options.  He said they need to develop the vision, and ask the questions.  He said they need to develop the strategy of the questions.  He added that the city was important because of the zoning. 

 

Fleenor concurred with Dwyer.  He also wanted to add additional questions on the survey about infrastructure and adequacy of facilities and the location.

 

Wong said he will talk to the consultant to see if the consultant is willing to come to the fair for observation for one day.  He added that the consultant wonít write a report.  Wong said he might ask for a memo on his professional observation and he will keep it under $3,000.  He indicated that they annually contract with the University of Oregon to survey fair attendees on how they like the fair.  He said they would work with them to expand the survey and they would also survey the exhibitors of the facility.  He indicated that they will develop a policy issue they could identify and work with County Administration for a meeting in September.

 

MOTION: to not accept any long term leases on the fairgrounds or any building or facility until they have policy questions answered

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Dave Perez, YMCA, commented that he thought the Board was missing an opportunity to do things for kids.  He indicated that they had taken the long term lease off the table at the last meeting.

 

Fred Moore, YMCA, indicated that they would be no longer interested in initiating a proposal on utilization.  He said after they find out the information, and they want to expand recreational facilities, that the YMCA might be one of the participants in the RFP proposal.  He said the policy of the YMCA would be to withdraw their proposal as of today.

 

Green supported the direction of the YMCA.  He didnít want to be an impediment to the progress of the YMCA.

 

Dwyer withdrew his motion because it was not necessary and he gave his commitment that they will work together as they develop the concepts with the venue and the needs of the community into the future.

 

Fleenor withdrew his SECOND.

 

b. ORDER 07-6-6-10 Authorizing Execution of a Release of Lien for James Gillette

 

Stewart recalled that Gillette wrote a letter on May 4, 2007 requesting the County to release liens on his property.  Stewart indicated Gillette called him asking if they could release the lien on parcel lot 4009. Stewart noted that Gillette has a neighbor who would like to purchase 1.5 acres of the property.  He spoke with Liane Richardson, Assistant County Counsel, and she concurred that Gillette had done everything and he was waiting for a final inspection on his equine building.  He stated that this only releases the one parcel, they have other parcels they could use to cover the additional money owed to the County.

 

MOTION: to release lot 4009 as described from any lien encumbrances for the purposes so stated.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.

 

VOTE; 5-0.

 

7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

8. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. REPORT BACK Fees for Reinstatement of Building Permits.

 

Craig Starr, Land Management, reported that this is a report back on fees for reinstatement of expired building permits.  He said their building permit system and the fees are controlled by Lane Code and Lane Manual.  He said they also have the stateís Uniform Building Code.  He explained how a permit expires is closely controlled and explained in the Building Code.  He noted that a permittee has 180 days after a permit is issued to show meaningful progress and if they havenít done anything, the permit will expire unless they take an action to ask that it be extended.  He said assuming they do some construction and ask for a required inspection, each time they ask for an inspection, it rolls the time period ahead 180 days.  He said anytime they are called out to do an inspection, the time frame moves ahead and if there is no activity, the permit would expire.

 

With regard to fees, Starr reported that their system is tied to a 1991 version of the State Building Code.  He said it was prescriptive about what local governments could do.  He said since then there have been updates and the codes in todayís environment allow the County more flexibility than what used to exist. 

 

Stewart asked if they might have more flexibility if they tied themselves to a newer version of the state code..

 

Starr responded that they would be able to have more flexibility with the establishment of the code.  He said they have to develop a new fee schedule and refer it to the state building code for review. He stated the 180 day permit is prescribed in the State Building Code and he commented that local governments donít have the flexibility to deviate from the code.

 

Dwyer thought they needed to develop the flexibility in the code where they could. He said Starr needs to make recommendations to Policies and Procedures and to Finance and Audit for the structure of the fees and then to the building code division for their approval.

 

Starr said their intent is to have a comprehensive review of the fees in Land Management this calendar year.  He thought the Board might want to consider a graded schedule for reinstatement when they review the whole fee schedule.  He said there is a legal restriction in changing fees more than once in a calendar year.

 

Green said they want to make this work for the citizens.  He said in doing it, they have to get their fees to a level where they are at full cost recovery and then they could have a graded schedule.  He commented that it is a fee based operation and if they canít collect the necessary amount with what is commensurate with the time and amount of work, they donít want to have to come back to lay people off.  He thought it was a good direction.  He commented that this is the Boardís direction and not staffís.

 

Dwyer thought a critical piece was a tickler system to warn people that their permits are going to expire.  He said if people want to ignore a deadline then a deadline has to have consequences. 

 

b. REPORT BACK Regarding the Costs of Public Benefit Facility Permit Fees as Defined in Lane Manual 60.851 (NBA & PM 5/23).

 

Frank Simas, Public Work, recalled that on April 11, the Board approved amendments to the Lane Manual to revise fees for facility permits.  He stated that part of the adoption was the implementation of a public benefit event permit to be issued at no cost, providing the event met the definition in Lane Manual of a public benefit event.  He added that the Board asked him to come back with a report as to what the cost of issuance would be going forward for last year.  He reported that based on 2006, there were 17 total event permits issued and eight would fall under the Lane Manual definition of public benefit.  He noted that the total cost of issuing the permits was $8,222 or $1,027.82 each.  He added that if the Board were to recover the cost of these permits from another source, (from direct labor and operating overhead) it would amount to $6,000 for the year.  He reported that Public Works is hosting a meeting on June 14 with the applicants for events permits to inform event organizers how they could help to reduce the cost of issuance of the permits.  He added there would also be a multi-year issuance based upon compliance with the permit conditions.  He  indicated they would go out and inspect the event to make sure the requirements were being complied with. He thought $6,000 would more than cover the cost for permits for the next year.

 

Dwyer asked about a surcharge for the public benefit utilizing money from the video lottery program.  He thought Simas could meet with Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, as there could be more creative ways to cover the cost.  He said that way the road fund would be out of the picture and it  would be tourism economic development

 

Stewart wanted to continue the direction that they would not charge for public benefit facility permits.   

 

 

9. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

 

a. FIRST READING AND SETTING A SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING Ordinance No. 7-07/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 18 of Lane Code to Reflect Ambulance Service Area Boundaries Changes (LC 18.020) (Second Reading and Public Hearing:  June 20, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. in BCC Conference Room)

 

MOTION: to approve a First Reading and Setting a Second Reading and Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 7-07 for June 20, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. in the BCC Conference Room.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

10. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

Stewart received a letter from Steven Hobbs, Oregon Department of Forestry.  He asked the Board if they have issues with the Department of Forestry suggestions.  He asked the Board to fill out their own form and send it in.

 

11. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Fleenor said he will have a meeting in Walton about Highway 126 and the possibility of slowing the traffic down.  He announced that tomorrow he will be at Daniís Coffee Shop with City Councilor Mike Clark.

 

Green announced that Angel Jones has been appointed by Mayor Piercy to serve as the interim city manager pro temp following Dennis Taylorís departure on July 26.

 

12. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

Per ORS 192.660(2)(d) for the purpose of deliberations with labor negotiators and per ORS 192.660(2)(h) for the purpose of consulting with counsel on litigation.

 

13. OTHER BUSINESS

 

Citizen Outreach

 

Stewart indicated there was support to having Board meetings in different districts.

 

Green asked that the record showed he proposed doing this two years ago and it was rejected by the Board.

 

Dwyer wouldnít object to have a meeting in Springfield and joining Green and Sorenson within the city, as they are trying to educate the citizens.

 

Sorenson hoped to have five board meetings in five different locations, all located outside the Lane County Courthouse.  He wanted to have it during the evening as more people could attend.  He wanted to invite the Sheriff, Assessor and District Attorney.  He indicated that the meetings would have a presentation about the current Lane County situation of the services they provide and the challenges they will have in the event the Secure Rural Schools funding is not renewed.  He thought the second part of the meeting would be listening to ideas the public have on how they would approach things.

 

Dwyer stated that they also needed to have a conversation around the fair.

 

Stewart asked the Board to come up with potential locations in their own districts.

 

Van Vactor commented that the biggest problem is no one showing up.  He thought they needed a specific strategy to draw people to the meeting.  He stated that he would bring this to Management Team on Monday.

 

Green asked the Agenda Team to work on an outline on the logistics and message.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 3:40 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary