BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

WORK SESSION

January 27, 2009

10:00 a.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

APPROVED 2/11/2009

 

Commissioner Pete Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Rob Handy and Faye Stewart present.  County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Laura Potter, Springfield, represented the Home Builders Association of Lane County in support of the implementation of firewise activities and associated community wildfire and mitigations.  She said the Home Builders Association believes the program will benefit Lane County. She indicated by working with the homeowners to improve property against fire risk, it offers fire protection to the community.  She added that it assists homeowners in creating possibilities to improve the value and safety of their home and property.  She said the program creates opportunity to improve energy efficiency in existing homes. She thought this program could provide financial assistance for structural improvements.  She said this helps families with the cost of heating and it lowers the community’s carbon footprint.  She believes the program will be an economic stimulus for the community.  She asked the Board to consider the program and all the benefits for the community.

 

3. COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE

 

Sorenson announced that he had a meeting with Senator Merkley.  Sorenson said Merkley reiterated his promise to introduce a county forest payments bill as his first bill.

 

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

None.

 

5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. DISCUSSION/Projects Submitted Under Title III of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Program, P.L. 110-343 for Fiscal Years 08-09 and 09-10.

 

Christine Moody, Budget Analyst, reported that this was the continuation of the previous federal revenue.  She indicated there have been changes in Title III projects.  She noted the major change is allowable uses on where the County could spend money. She said they could use the money for activities under the Firewise Community Program, Search and Rescue and other emergency services on federal forest lands and developing community wildfire protection plans. She reported that there is decreasing funding over the next four years.  She said $2.2 million could be spent per year to allow for constant projects.  She indicated that they submitted requests for additional information from the departments.  She noted that they have to certify each year to the Secretary of Agriculture after they spend the money.

 

Sorenson wanted to know many jobs will be created with the money.

 

Handy asked about the Sheriff’s priorities.  He wanted to know about the cost per unit per service.  He asked if they could pick and choose projects with their final totals.

 

With regard to the Youth Services’ program, Stewart asked how many youth they could potentially serve.  He asked what problem exists today that they are trying to correct.  He wanted to know how many youth are causing problems on federal forest lands.  He wanted to make sure they were starting a program that was addressing the need.

 

Sorenson indicated that the Board would receive responses to questions asked.  He noted that departments will have a reasonable time to respond to the questions.

 

Fleenor asked for a sixth question asking if money would be able to be used to reimburse Information Services.

 

Judy Simpson, Sheriff’s Office, explained that Title III funds allow for indirect to be  part  of all programs.  She said in out funds, they would add departmental support through indirect at $50,000 per FTE.  She indicated that would bring money into the general fund for dispatch and records.

 

Sorenson asked Spartz to review these programs and to make a recommendation.  He wanted to know how to spend the money over a five-year period. 

 

Stewart asked if they were currently using the Dunes Patrol.  He asked if Wildland Policy Police and emergency service were the same programs that were cut.

 

Simpson responded that it was the same program, but they have reduced the deputies by one FTE.  She noted that if they add all the deputies, they will have to add one more communications and records officer.  She indicated that they would be in the general fund but the department support would generate more than enough funding.

 

Fleenor retracted his request about adding an item on the question sheet since all Title III projects will be equally qualified to have indirect funding. 

 

Handy wanted to make they sure they get family wages and contract with people locally.  He asked if they could put in criteria to see if the values are addressed.

 

Stewart asked if there was duplication of efforts.  He wanted to make sure there was no overlap.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. RESOLUTION/ORDER 09-1-27-1/In The Matter of Supporting Nature Conservancy Acquisition,  a  Long Term Conservation of the 193 Acre Renaghan Big Creek Property Located Along the Central Coast Between Florence and Yachats.

 

Sorenson read the resolution into the record.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 09-1-27-1.

 

Fleenor MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

Derek Johnson, Nature Conservancy, said this is an acquisition they have been working on for a year.  He recalled the Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service have attempted to bring this property into conservation ownership.  He noted it is a 200 acre parcel with critical habitat for listed species.  He added that a 30 acre portion of the property is zoned for resort development.  He said they have completed an appraisal of the property and as of August 2008, it was appraised for $4 million. He said they have been working with Oregon State Parks to work on a combination of grant funds to help pay for the property.  He said they would transfer the lands once the Nature Conservancy takes ownership and then transfer the land to State Parks during the next biennium.  He said that State Parks sees this as a natural resource addition, not necessarily a recreational expansion. He indicated that he has been working on a Memorandum of Understanding between State Parks and the Forest Service that gives roles and responsibilities for long term management and to secure grant funds.

 

VOTE: 5-0

 

b. DISCUSSION/U.S. Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration.

 

Sorenson discussed Paragraph 1.1 of page 2.  He said if they adopt this, they would maintain an inventory of  County government operational greenhouse gas emissions.  He said they would continue to implement policies, programs and operations to achieve significant and measurable and sustainable reduction of the operational greenhouse gases.  He said they would urge Congress to lower them.  He asked how they would maintain an inventory of County government greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Spartz thought they would have to put resources in place to establish the baseline generation.  He said they would track that over time.

 

Sorenson hoped they could take out parts of the resolution that are past tense and not relevant to Lane County.  He asked that this be brought back to the Board in a few weeks.

 

Dwyer commented that he thought it was a good effort but it was too late to work on this.  He didn’t think they could really make a difference with greenhouse gases.

 

Fleenor stated that every community and person working together will make things happen.  He supported this in principle, but he said there are practical applications.  He asked where the money would come from and when they would do it.  He said they don’t have the resources and he didn’t want to use general fund money to put towards this item.  He thought this needed to be within available resources yet to be identified.

 

Sorenson thought they should move forward on this resolution.  He thought there are fiscal impacts that have to be answered.  He asked Spartz to put this back on the agenda

 

Spartz indicated that there are firms that will evaluate operations for energy consumption and if they find a good rate of return where savings can be made, they will finance the investment needed and they will take a share of the savings until they have recovered their investment in a reasonable rate of return.  He said that would only address the County’s internal operations, not things in the community.

 

Handy said his biggest priority is public health and public safety.  He said they need to be addressing climate change and greenhouse gases.  He said their vision is dealing with the short term challenges and making sure they have a sustainable framework for moving ahead.

 

Stewart commented that the health issue is a concern.  He wanted to get a presentation by LRAPA who monitors all the gases in the community.  He said they could show the gases have been declining over the years.  He said if they want to move forward, they should gather more information.  He asked where they would find the money.  He was concerned about the County Administrator’s time and the funds available.  He added that if this does move forward, it should be specific to Lane County.  He thought they should add that reductions could be made through having healthy forests.

 

 

7. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

8. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting at 11:15 a.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary