BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

September 24, 2008

1:30 p.m.

Commissionersí Conference Room

APPROVED 10/22/2008

 

Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor,  Bobby Green, Sr. and Peter Sorenson present. County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

14. PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 08-9-24-4/In the Matter of Receiving Comments From the Public Through a Public Hearing about Community Development Needs, Proposed Projects to Meet These Needs, Lane Countyís Performance of Community Development Block Grant PO4019 and Setting Project Priorities.

 

Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, explained that the Public Hearing is to hear input on CDBG Project PO4019, a Mapleton water system project and how Lane County manages and implements the project and to receive public comment and suggestions for new potential CDBG grant projects that serve low and moderate income families.  He said with the CDBG grant there is language they need to get into the record.  He indicated that Lane County currently  has two open CDBG grants through the State Economic and Community Development Department to improve the water systems in Mapleton and Blue River.  He said Grant PO4019 for the Mapleton water system is ready to be closed out by September 30, 2008.  He said the CDBG guidelines require that the Board of Commissioners receive comments from the public about the CDBG projects that are recently closed or nearing completion.  He said the public may comment on any aspect of the CDGB program delivery.

 

McKenzie-Bahr reported for CDBG Grant PO4019, Lane County received Oregon Community Development block grant funds in the amount of $750,000 for improvements to the Mapleton water system to meet the needs of low and moderate income County residents.  He noted the existing 20 year old water treatment plant had deteriorated and lacked the necessary automation and control required to ensure safe drinking water at all times.  He added the plant was unable to meet the treatment requirements of the federal long term treatment rule and had frequent violations.  He indicated that the water filtration project completed this month included installation of a new membrane for a filtration system and related equipment to meet state drinking water requirements.  He said the water system improvements will benefit at least 320 local residents of which at least 60 percent are low or moderate income. He added the total cost is $750,000 and the total amount of the contract award was for $745,060.  He said the total dollar amount for non-construction contract was $148,700.  He indicated there were no contracts awarded to Section 3 businesses as no Section 3 businesses bid on any of the project work.  He added that it did not need to meet CDBG requirements, as it was a Public Works project.

 

With regard to the application process for new grants, McKenzie-Bahr said there are two separate application processes for CDBG grants, one for Housing and Community Services Department for housing related projects and for the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department for all other CDBG projects including Public Works, community facilities, economic development and technical assistance.  He noted under the CDBG guidelines the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department will receive applications quarterly for projects. He said the projects are developed under the guidelines with the OECDD regional team and staff to help identify the best potential funding sources to meet community development needs and assist with the application process.  He said the application process includes the following steps:  initial contact with state OECDD staff to request review of the project concept, an OECDD invitation to apply for funding, draft application prepared and available for public review and comment applications submitted to OECDD on the timeline.  He indicated this application process will close on December 31 for the current round.

 

McKenzie-Bahr explained that Lane County may have up to three open CDBG projects for Oregon Economic and Community Development at any one time and housing grants are not counted as part of the three grants.  He noted that Lane County has two opened grants:  Mapleton Water System Improvement Project and the Blue River Water Project.  He added the Blue River project is scheduled to be closed out by November 30, 2008 in time to meet their December 31 new applications. 

 

With regard to eligible applicants, McKenzie-Bahr said that only CDBG non- entitlement cities and counties are eligible to apply for grant funding.  He said the rule is a federal grant requirement and remains the same as in past years.  He added that Lane County is the eligible applicant for all projects that serve unincorporated communities and individuals in unincorporated communities of the County.  He said that Lane County may cooperate with other eligible city applicants through an intergovernmental agreement and Lane County does not qualify countywide for CDBG funding according to OECDDís calculations for identified low and moderate income communities.  He said each project must be approved for the specific population served. 

 

Commissioner Stewart opened the Public Hearing.

 

Alicia Hays, Eugene, Children and Families, talked about what the Commission for Children and Families have been doing around the comprehensive plan.  She said they focused on increased child care for children zero to three.  

 

Susan Sowards, LCOG, said she is a consultant to the Commission on Children and Families and behalf of the communities of Florence and Cottage Grove.  She reported in Florence, the issue is that there is no child care centers.  She indicated that two have closed in the past three years.  She noted since 2000 they have had several large new employers in the community and they also note the lack of childcare as retention and recruiting issue for employees.  She reported from a poverty perspective that 32 percent of the families with children under five in  Florence are in poverty according to the Census 2000 and female single head of household is 65 percent.  She recalled that last year the Florence area coordinating council formed a work group that began the Quality Childcare of Florence.  She said the Boys and Girls Club is their umbrella.  She added they are looking for additional technical assistance grants. She noted in Cottage Grove the Family Relief Nursery is hoping to lead the effort there for infant care.  She said in 2004 they expanded their facility and they were serving 35 to 60 children and last year they served 166 and are a growing operation.  She noted they had an opportunity to purchase adjacent land to hold for them to take a house that was foreclosed upon and remodeling it to be an infant care center.

 

Jenny Alberty Department of Health and Human Services, Florence, said she is on the Quality Childcare Florence Committee.  She indicated that they are a Board of 11 people and they make up a range of the community.  She noted that in the past year they have made up great strides.  She said living in Florence, she finds child care a huge challenge and they have no center in their town.  She indicated that what they have is limited.  She added the home providers will not take infants and the quality of care is not what it should be.   She said they are losing doctors and nurses.  She wants to be able to make child care facilities a priority.  She said they could offer Florence a state certified facility that would serve ages zero to six.  She added that there is a lack of care for infants zero to three.  She said it could be for people who work in the community.  She thought it could be beneficial for the whole community.  She said they plan to be a non-profit and they are currently working with the school board to get their land.

 

Green asked if the Boys and Girls club change their status to non-profit, if it would increase their liability.

 

Alberty indicated that they were waiting back with a quote on how much it would be. She stated that they are giving this a try and if it doesnít work under the umbrella of the Boys and Girls Club, they are prepared to apply for their own 501C(3) and operate independently.  She thought it was a help to have the name and trust.

 

Heather Murphy, Family Relief Nursery, Cottage Grove, said in Cottage Grove they have been watching the infant care crisis.  She indicated they are an agency that already serves young children but they are not child care.  She was approached five years ago about considering options.  She said they have been attempting to get a center that serves infants.  She commented that it wasnít cost effective for people to provide care for infants with the regulations in place.  She said they see clients struggle with choices for child care.  She said there were opportunities to purchase a house and they thought it would be ideal to start an infant care program.  She indicated they would have to research their 501(c)(3) status because they donít charge for their services.  She explained that they would be looking at a program but not to make money.  She thought they could have a sliding scale. She said they have the legitimacy of their organization to stand behind this.  She added they will be working with the school district and other community partners. She said they hoped to raise money from private foundations and community block grants.

 

Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, reported that in 2007 and 2008 the Board of Commissioners identified the following projects for possible CDBG funding:  Row River water system improvements to solve drinking water problems and the Child Advocacy Center to replace the center that was sold.  He noted that both projects are listed in the attached order.  He noted the application for Row River is almost ready to be submitted for December.  He added that the Child Advocacy Center still has more work.  He noted that both projects are on the recent Lane County needs and issues list as submitted to the state.  He said if they add a project, they would want to get direction to get whatever project they had onto the list.

 

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

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-9-24-4.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Stewart declared that his wife is on the Relief Nursery Board. 

 

ORDER 08-9-24-6 Receiving Comments From the Public Through a Public Hearing about Community Development Needs, Proposed Projects to Meet These Needs, Lane Countyís Performance of Community Development Block Grants and Setting Project Priorities

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-9-24-6 with the addition of the Child Care Center project to the RIB list.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.  

 

 

15. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. REPORT BACK AND ORDER 08-9-3-11 Commenting to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) on Region 2, Area 5 Earmarks Requests List Priorities

 

Celia Barry, Public Works, recalled that this item was before the Board on September 3, making recommendations for ODOT Area 5 OTC Earmark List of highway modernization priorities.  She was asking for adoption of an order.  She recalled on September 3, three people testified and the Board requested she report back on two items. She said Green asked for a statewide list of earmarks. (Attachment B to the Cover Memo).  She added that Sorenson asked for additions to the letter accompanying  the order to recognize County sustainability values.

 

Barry stated there is a revision to the order and Attachment B, a description of all the projects on the project list.  She noted the list is proposed as the same list as was in the original packet.  She said Attachment B has 80 projects.  She indicated they were projects sent to Area Commissions on Transportation and Lane County.  She indicated the ACTS had not yet taken action to make recommendations on those priorities.  She said the list will go down to about 45 or 50 projects and those projects will go to ODOT and ODOT will take them directly to the OTC.  She added there will not be an all area meeting.  She noted in October they will be taken to OTC for initial review and criteria.  She said in November they will go back to the OTC with a smaller list of about 20 projects.  She indicted the Board could participate in the November meeting and provide comment after they received a list back.  She added in December OTC is expected to take action to adopt an official list of about 15 or 20 priorities.  She commented that there is one development project but it most likely would be on the final list.  She said they are proposing eight projects and some projects will come off the list.

 

Green said he brought this up so the public could see the magnitude and scope of the competition with regard to projects and funding.  He commented that there was not a lot of dollars associated with the projects.

 

Barry reported that values werenít included because they were too diverse in how the individual requesters came up with them.  She said the Portland area took action on their priorities.  She said the Columbia Crossing will be going to Washington, D.C.  She added that it will be requested out of a different pot of money.  She said they would be requesting $400 to $500 million, with the project worth $4.5 billion.  She said that ODOT indicated they would be requesting money for that out of a nationwide pot of money. 

 

Barry read the revised changes to the board order.

 

Fleenor asked if they could put down rail as a change.

 

Sorenson asked how difficult it would be to get the dollar amounts associated with the projects that are in Exhibit B, the statewide highway program authorization earmark proposals.  He said the projects from Lane County have no dollar amount.

 

Savannah Crawford, ODOT, responded that the reason they werenít provided today was that they were not accurate on a consistency scale.

 

Sorenson asked in the future for Barry to get more information about Lane County, the governorís sustainability executive order and what ODOT is doing to modify their previous plans with respect to transportation.  He asked about the vehicle miles traveled and if it could be put into the chart.

 

Barry stated that she didnít have the information.  She indicated that some of the projects include bicycle and pedestrian facilities. She added they would be capacity reducing projects to support traffic that is now congested. She commented that the building of the facility is not going to lead to a certain level of traffic.  She said they have to have this order adopted by September 30.

 

Sorenson wanted to know a designated number of vehicles mile traveled.  He said they are being told by another branch of government that they have to promote projects to bring down VMT. 

 

Barry didnít know about the dedication of staff time that would be needed.  She recalled by ORDER 08-4-30-10 the Board adopted priorities for the statewide transportation improvement program and most of the projects are out of the program.  She noted Exhibit B of their order has detailed information about each project.  She said they have been told that Area 5 supports these projects.

 

With regard to inserting the word ďrail,Ē, Green thought there should be examples given with light rail and passenger rail.  He said if they donít fill it in, they leave it up to them to define it.  He said they want to move passengers but they also discussed having fewer trucks on the road, having them travel by rail.  He thought it keeps it clean.

 

Dwyer said I-5 Beltline and VMT is a capacity issue.  He added that all of the issues are capacity issues because they are at capacity.  He noted there was an alternative bridge built over I-5 to reduce VMT.  He said that Lane Transit also reduces VMT.   He said the figures are available until 2025.

 

Sorenson wanted to list as many rail descriptions as possible.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 08-9-3-11 with corrections and all rail aspects included.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Sorenson said he would be voting no out of the difficulty of making the decision based on anything other than his own personal preferences.  He thought many of the projects were important.  He said if he could get comparative data he would be more inclined to support it.

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

Dwyer said this was not perfect, but it was the best they could do and doing nothing was not an option.

 

Fleenor supported this but hoped in the future that they get more information.

 

 

b. DISCUSSION/Chapter 14 Code Amendments.

 

Stewart indicated that Fleenor asked that this be put on the agenda for direction from the Board.  He stated that for staff, Land Management is experiencing a reduction in applications and the reduction of the money being brought in.  He said they also allocated time out of Land Management to the Metro Plan process and the coordinated population forecast.  He commented that as they move this forward, they have to think about how they make compensation for time and money for the project.

 

Fleenor said his original intent was to talk about a process by which items like this could be brought forward by commissioners or interested citizens.  He didnít think today was a good time to discuss this.  He was looking for an opportunity for the Board to take action on a  flow chart he prepared.  His proposal was to simplify it and make it more user friendly and cost effective.  He said he took 90 percent of the work load off of Land Management.  He asked if the Board would be willing to advance this forward through a process yet to be determined to start working on the code revisions and bring them forward for review.

 

Green thought this was on Land Managementís matrix sheet previous discussed.

 

Matt Laird, Land Management, recalled on August 5, 2008, Land Management Division brought the list of 24 items on the long range planning work program before the Board.  He said Item u was listed as review of appeals process which is this item.  He recalled at that meeting the Board had a discussion on long range planning work programs and it got transferred into a growth discussion.  He said ultimately the Board approved work on items q, w and x which are the coordinated population forecast, the urban transition termination agreements and the Metro Plan policy fundamental amendments.  He said this item was not directed by the Board to be worked on.

 

Sorenson asked about a proposal to take the work that has been done and set up a first reading and public hearing and see if both sides are interested.  He said they would have a public hearing with the Board and the Planning Commission so the public could come in and let them know how they feel.  He said if after the public hearing it appeared there was going to be a small amount of work necessary, they could get people representing the usual parties to agree to do some of the work and if there was interest by the Board, they could move it for another public hearing on the final version of these code amendments.

 

MOTION: to direct the Agenda Team to set a First Reading and Public Hearing and set the proposal for a joint public hearing with the Board and the Planning Commission.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Fleenor SECONDED.

 

Fleenor sent this out to one dozen land use attorneys and the Home Builders and received several responses.  He thought they were a win-win.  He commented that there might be language they could tweak with the code.  He thought all the players would be interested in moving this forward.  He didnít think there would be much opposition.

 

Dwyer didnít support the motion.  He said they need to run the proposal by the Planning Commission before they have a public hearing and have the Planning Commission review the code and get their read on how it would work and get their recommendation.  He said that way staff would also be involved.  He thought that was the proper way to operate. He commented that the Planning Commission was not listed on the document and they need to be included in the process.

 

Sorenson asked if they could have an amendment to have the Agenda Team prepare an order requesting that the Planning Commission consider this proposal. or a letter from the Board.

 

Green asked if it was reviewed by Vorhes.

 

Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, said he did not spend time reviewing it.  He said the charts first came in as a proposal on the consideration for the fee package and the substance of this was sent around earlier when Fleenor sent it out.  He was included in the e-mail and he knew it was in the work program that long range planning was developing to come to the Board. He said until they got direction from the Board on working on the project, he did not spend time on this.  He understood some of the changes.  He said if the direction of the Board is to review this, it could be folded into some of the discussion at the Planning Commission.  He said the Board has legal discretion in terms of structuring on how to review the applications for planning actions and set up appeals.

 

Green wanted Vorhesí review as a good practice to follow.  He asked what the impacts would be to his department. He said he gets nervous when they start taking money away from the operation of the department that relies on fees.  He thought from a fiscal impact it could have some impact.

 

Kent Howe, Land Management, said if the Board wants to take this to the Planning Commission, they will do it and let the process go forward.  He noted the Hearings Official Decision following an initial public hearing that was proposed by Fleenor was the way things are done now.  He said the Hearings Official makes the decision and if the Board doesnít want to hear it that is up to the Board.

 

Fleenor didnít completely change everything.  With respect to the budget, he didnít think it was the governmentís responsibility to create such a convoluted process that they extract money from people who maintain cash flow in order to pay for the overhead resulting from a convoluted process.  He said as they de-convolute the process, staff time should be reduced, not increased.  He said  the purpose is to get the job done as efficiently and effectively as they can and he didnít see it happening.

 

Matt Laird, Land Management, explained by streamlining the process, he sees removal of the flexibility to reconsider decisions if there has been an error made or new information brought to the table.  He said it is not used very often.  He said most of the time an appeal is following that process. He noted over the past ten years they have done seven elective planning director public hearings.  He added in 2007 they did two of them with 418 director decisions.  He said most of the time it is following the standard path to LUBA on an appeals process.  He noted one of the bigger processes for staff in doing any type of code amendment is not the re-write, they have to go through code with links to the section through it.  He said there will have to be re-wording throughout the code.

 

Spartz stated that staff and Land Management are tightly stretched with the work priorities the Board laid for them. He said if this takes more than a modest amount of effort, they will have to make some decisions about reallocation of priorities of available resources.

 

Richardson said they want to have these types of discussions before public comment.  She was concerned about the resource allocation as it might take time out of their department.

 

Dwyer commented that if it is not broken, not to fix it.  He wasnít opposed to having the Planning Commission review this.  He said see what they think about it instead of putting out a lot of staff and lawyer time into it.   He added the Board chose what they wanted Land Management to do, Land Management didnít choose what they wanted.

 

Sorenson was in favor of the amendment being sent the Planning Commission to discuss it.  He said they knew staff had this on the long range work plan, but it didnít mean there wasnít people out in the community that were concerned about the problem and they wanted to write up an alternative process that would not advantage either side.

 

Fleenor hoped the Planning Commission considers this and if there is merit and there are issues, they might be able to have an ad hoc committee take over and draft it to the satisfaction of the Planning Commission so they minimize staff time.

 

Laird distributed a list of what it takes to change a code amendment to get it through the Planning Commission.

 

Green said they already have processes in place and they should be honored.  He said they should always have the true cost for services.  He stated that when they donít have the true cost and increase the fees, there is an outcry by the citizens because the fees are low.  He commented that there is a cost for doing business.  He added that they are not in it to make a profit but they need to recover their costs to provide customer service. 

 

Stewart was concerned about Land Managementís work load.  He asked if this could go before the Planning Commission within their work load and revenue sources.  He asked if they could then hear back from the Planning Commission.

 

Laird responded that based on the last long range planning work program approved by the Board, their estimate of a time commitment was 3.5 FTE.  He noted currently in the long range planning work program they have 2.4 FTE working.  He estimated this item would take .5 FTE through the entire process to get it from the Planning Commission up to the Board.  He said he could bring back an evaluation of the specific tasks of the long range planning program and what staff is working on.  He added that they have mandatory assignments and discretionary items by the Board.

 

Stewart asked if they had resources under the current work load to send to the Planning Commission.

 

Laird stated they could do it but it will have impacts on other things.  He said when they are doing that then they are not working on the urban transition agreements or the Metro Plan policy amendments.  He said there are consequences if they do it.

 

Fleenor indicated that he would do as much preparation  as he could  to minimize Land Managementís time and resource commitment

 

Laird gave a list of what needed to be done for any type of code amendment. He said it would be the long range planning work staff doing the work.

 

VOTE: 4-1 (Stewart dissenting).

 

Stewart said this Board had given direction on the work plan and because of the workload of the employees, he wanted to be mindful of what they could do time and money wise.

 

Laird indicated that he would take this to the Planning Commission and then come back to the Board.

 

16. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Dwyer said tomorrow at noon the Economic Development Standing Committee meets in the Bob Straub Room to rank the proposals.  He indicated that it wasnít on the calendar.

 

Fleenor received  a letter congratulating Amber Fossen on participating in a Leadership Program.  He announced he was having a community dialogue at the Gingerbread House.

 

Stewart announced that he started having community conversations.  He accomplished three of eleven scheduled.  On Thursday he will be at the Lorane Grange, on October 2 he will be in Creswell at the Community Center.  He reported last night 12 people showed up at  the Cottage Grove meeting.

 

17. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

Stewart indicated that he received correspondence from the U.S. Board of Geographic Names and they approved the proposal to apply the new name of Hayward Saddle, the gap located among the boundary between Lane County and Linn County.

 

18. OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 3:20 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary