LANE COUNTY

WORK SESSION/FLORENCE

July 22, 2008

Driftwood Shores Meeting Room, Florence

APPROVED 9/3/2008

 

Present:  Bill Fleenor, Bob Thorp, Port of Siuslaw, Faye Stewart, Joshua Greene, Port of Siuslaw, Jeff Turk, Christy Monson, Attorney for the Port of Siuslaw, John Wolf, Attorney for the Port, Jeff Spartz, Bill Dwyer, Mark Freeman, Port of Siuslaw,  Susy Lacor, Port of Siuslaw, Ralph Saulsen, Port of Siuslaw, John Buchanan, Port of Siuslaw, John Scott, Port of Siuslaw, Peter Sorenson, Marc Kardell and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer.  Bobby Green, Sr., was excused.

 

a. Tour of Port of Siuslaw.

 

b. DISCUSSION/Port of Siuslaw Parcel Deed.

 

Mark Freeman, Port of Siuslaw, recalled that his letter addressed their concerns.  He said his intent is to make sure the property gets used so they can bring in jobs and move forward on some type of plan for the project.

 

Stewart wanted to know if the city had any type of plan in place.

 

Dwyer indicated that the city has a facilities plan.  He thought the Port would have to get that from the city.

 

Joshua Green, Commissioner, Port of Siuslaw, asked what the best and highest use of the property would be.

 

Dwyer noted that industrial land is in short supply.  He said the County still has title to the property.  He added there was an agreement about how it was to be developed.  He indicated that not much had been done.  He added that it was a tax foreclosed property and if the County gets is back, they would get nine cents on the dollar and it would be distributed to 90 taxing districts.  He asked what mechanism they could come up with to allow the Port to acquire property for the original intent.  He said it would be less than market value.  He wanted a win-win situation.

 

Fleenor wanted full cost recovery on what Lane County may have invested.

 

Dwyer reported that the cost for time was under $250,000.  He said the Port would have to pay for an appraisal and they would have benefit to utilize the property while they were negotiating a settlement.  He wanted a one time deal the Port could handle. 

 

Stewart commented that it was impossible to recreate what happened.  He was not opposed to working on a different type of contract.  He thought the contract could spell out the amount of development  and sites to be created.  He said the intent is to create jobs.  He said the County has money invested and the approach should be when the property is sold to take the expenses off the top and they could put it toward jobs or job creation and economic development. 

 

Dwyer wanted the money to go to Lane County and not distributed to the 90 taxing districts.

 

Jeff Turk, Management Services, said they have to go through a process.   He noted the County doesnít own  the land, the title is with the Court and is subject to a reversionary clause.

 

John Buchanan, Siuslaw Fire Department, declared a potential conflict.

 

Sorenson wanted to focus on the economic development feature.  He thought they should ask the Port Manager and the County Administrator to create something that would be in the interest of both the County and the Port, getting rid of the old agreement and getting a new agreement that is clearer, spelling out when the property sells, what the County gets. 

 

Fleenor wanted the full cost recovery to go into the general fund.

 

Dwyer stated they could legitimately recover the cost for Turk.

 

Turk explained that percentages are based on the sale of the property.  He thought they should ask the Port what their plan is.  He said when they first started with this project, it was going to be a Port asset.  The Port was going to keep, manage and enter into a long term lease agreement.  He said they are now talking about the Port selling the land and the County getting a percentage.  He stated if the Port gets a long term lease, it becomes a different issue.  He added that the Port has never had a plan that showed how they envisioned things.  He said the Port has to come up with a vision on what it is going to do so the Board knows what they are going to deal with.

 

Dwyer agreed to have Mark Freeman, Port Manager,  work on options and relay them to Spartz.

 

Fleenor said they need to determine what the full cost recovery is and they need to add interest.  He wanted a limit of a five or ten year period whereby if Lane County doesnít get paid, for the Port to sell the property or( within 10 years to lease the property) so there is a time certain the County would be paid with interest. He said if they sell the property they should get ten percent right away and if they lease it over time, to charge five or ten percent.

 

Dwyer indicated he would be willing to work with the Port.

 

Joshua Green, Port of Siuslaw said the problem with the property is the ownership and making it available as a lease option..  He commented that it is not a good return on that type of approach.  He added this piece of property could get full ownership.  He said they are now ready to focus on it.  He indicated there were other issues in the past.  He didnít want the property to be subject to the Countyís approval.  He wanted the understanding that they are trying to make money.

 

Sorenson asked if they were to put a value on the reversionary clause, what it would be worth to the County. 

 

Dwyer said the County Administrator and the Port staff could work together to determine the options.

 

Kardell said if they want to give money to the Countyís general fund, with properties in the past, they have declared it to be Parks property, selling it with the money going to Parks.  He said otherwise the money would be split between the 90 taxing districts.  He suggested a conveyance back for part of the property (or for the entire property) and they encumber with a $250,000 lien after they declare it to be Parks property.  He was reluctant to have the Port donate money to the County, to have the County give up its rights to reversion.

 

Sorenson wanted to keep it in the Parks system.  He said the encumbrance would then be paid off by the Port District and they could keep a majority of the money.

 

Dwyer stated that they have to have the City of Florence agree.  He noted that the Port has to work with the City of Florence, it wasnít up to the County or the Port..  He added if the City of Florence objects, this wonít happen.

 

Turk explained that if it is within the city and becomes park land, they will need the City of Florenceís concurrence.

 

Fleenor thought they could get there faster by declaring it cost recovery and avoiding going the Parks route with the same results.

 

Dwyer wanted to keep it simple.  He said they should find out what the plans are and put together options.  He added there needs to be a meeting with the Port and Spartz and it should take place within 90 days.  He added that he wanted the land used as industrial, not single family residences.

 

Sorenson said if the County insists that this is industrial but the economic conditions have changed and the value of the property could be for commercial or residential, the longer the County has a role in this, the more difficult it is for the Port to deal with it..  He didnít think it was in the Countyís interest to insist on a type of zoning.  He thought it was better to settle on an amount or a computation on how they arrive at the amount.  He didnít think they would resolve the zoning.  He said the Board needs to get the declaration that it is Park property but that it means they could transfer the money into the County and could only use those funds for Parks purposes, subject to the dollar amount they would agree on.

 

Stewart recommended directing the County Administrator, the Port Manager and legal counsels to meet to find a way to honor what the Port wants to do. He believed there has been a change in what was represented 15 years ago and the cost recovery. He wanted to see a percentage of some sort of value.  He said both bodies should make requests and have them reviewed with counsel making the recommendations.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 1:49 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary