BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
March 17, 2009
Commissioner Pete Sorenson, presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor and Rob Handy present. Faye Stewart was excused. County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO
RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE
Dwyer announced that 150 years ago today Oregon found out that it become a state. He added that Oregon became a free state by one vote.
Fleenor commented that when Oregon became a state, there was a great celebration and drunkenness in the streets.
Sorenson announced that there will be a Mircroenterprise Meeting tonight with comments by Micro-Entrepreneurs. He added that they will be approving the Junction City Community Block Grant and discussing the idea of using bonds to increase insulation and alternative energy in Lane County.
4. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
DISCUSSION/Benton County Water Project - Phase 1.
Benton County Commissioner and Adam Stebbins, Water Project Coordinator, gave a
power point presentation on Phase 1 of Benton Countyís Water Project. (Copy in
Handy asked when
they look at climate change how they can make progress with water quality.
that she didnít know what the future held, but she stated they have problems
with water splitting among agencies. She
indicated that the governor is looking for water to be integrated and they need
to include the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Agriculture
She said they have to work closer together to separate the quantity from
the quality of water to keep fish going. She
stated that they need to build scenarios and whatever the assumptions are and
whatever people value, she didnít know about the equity element in water
distribution regardless of water rights. She
added that farming is an issue, as they need to have food and energy production
and how to utilize it as most efficiently as possible.
that Oregonís water problems are unique.
He indicated that to do anything meaningful, they will have to change the
Constitution and the Doctrine of Prior Appropriation:
the first in time, first in line. He
added there is an absolute right to water and the state canít tax water or
restrict it. He thought the laws
needed to be carefully reviewed.
Handy asked Modrell
what they wanted from the Board to move forward.
Modrell said the
goal is to get an affirmation of a continuance of a memorandum of cooperation.
She wanted to work together. She
wanted to put together another meeting in the summer that everyone could attend
hosted by the Water Resources Department for people who work for the county and
talk about working together to get to common goals.
She indicated that they need to get more money into the project.
She wanted to see how they could leverage money form outside, talking to
the Bureau of Reclamation and requiring everyone to come together.
Sorenson said the
Board would be willing to participate in a multi-jurisdictional meeting.
DISCUSSION/Insulation and Renewable
Energy Bond Proposal
Sorenson wanted to
have Mike McKenzie-Bahr, Economic Development, come to the Board to talk about
bonds, who would be eligible and how they might be used.
He asked how they could produce energy in Lane County and reduce energy
consumption. He asked how they
could play a role to jump start the process.
He commented that people donít take advantage of home insulation or
solar energy and there is a gap between the savings and existing programs.
He indicated that there is a gap on what the homeowner has to pay out of
their own pocket that benefits them. He asked how they could bridge the gap at
no cost to taxpayers. He thought
Lane County could authorize staff to look into a cost recovery program, spending
staff time with economic development dollars to figure out what the gap is.
He said they could retrofit for insulation and solar thermal.
He added there needed to be sufficient equity to issue a bond for the gap
that would repay the County for the cost of putting together a bond. He said
they could have an acceleration clause. He
said they have to have IGAís. He
said they would make an agreement with a utility.
He added that the utility would have the Countyís resource to make up
the gap. He said the homeowner has
to pay interest and other costs. He
indicated that there will be no taxpayer money involved.
He noted that another benefit would be homes being better heated and
cooled, creating savings and comfort for the homeowner.
He said under the proposal he is advancing, it reduces the amount of
energy they have to import into the community.
Dwyer thought it
wasnít a bad idea, but it needed a lot of work.
He said they learned years ago they could conserve more energy than they
could produce. He said they need to
write the utility companies to quantify the need if that program were made
available to them.
Fleenor said they
need to have a benchmark and look at the County as a system and part of an
experiment. He said they should
establish the fundamentals of how much energy they are importing to the County
and exporting out to determine whether they are making progress.
Handy thought this
went back to job creation. He
commented that the county and state are in turmoil and the role of government
(when this creative thinking is used) is beneficial for the County and
communities. He wanted staff to look at piecing this together with what David
Suchart, Management Services, is doing regarding McKinstry Essention.
He was supportive of the direction to explore and close the cap to create
jobs. He thought this had
to get back true costs. He
wanted Richardson to encapsulate this conversation with Spartz and Garnick and
then report back to the Board. He
asked if there were proper controls on borrowing of the money on the IGAís
with utilities. He envisioned this
being voluntary and homeowners would be under no obligation to do this.
He wanted to build a competitive way to bridge the gap.
Fleenor wanted to
invite the local utilities for a work session to brainstorm their ideas and
obstacles they have encountered with low income families..
Sorenson said their
role is not to reinvent the wheel but to make an attractive package for the
utilities. He said they will get
the bond councilís opinion on whether they can do this. He added that Richardson will take comments and give them to
Spartz and involve people at HACSA so they could get a work plan.
5. PUBLIC WORKS
Jackson, Land Management, prepared a document regarding road actions and
compared it with the city of Eugene. (Copy in file).
Miller, Public Works, recalled that they were directed to come back to the Board
to discuss road surrenders.
indicated that his concern is with annexation and cherry stemming, using the
public right-of-way to grab extra city territory.
He asked about the process of surrendering a road right-of-way.
responded that they only surrender a road after annexation.
He said a city will ask the County to surrender a portion of the road and
they will surrender it within the city limits.
Drechsler, Land Management, explained that road surrenders are driven by urban
transition agreements and road fund money.
He added that most surrenders are by road improvement and construction.
asked how they put a price on the road when they vacate or surrender it.
He asked how they generate funds for the County.
said they have never been charged for the surrender process.
He indicated that they are giving up roads that cost money to repair
asked about the status to review assumptions about vacations and how they
indicated that they will have a work session in April.
She revisited legal opinions on charging for vacations.
She indicated that it is a murky area, as it is a special benefit and
charging for it is not allowed.
asked that when this comes back that they have a range of alternatives to
discuss involving different revenue options and assumptions around philosophies
and how other counties are dealing with them.
asked if they could surrender Delta Highway to the state.
responded that they are talking with the state and ODOT about the issue.
wanted to have a definition when the public interest outweighs the special
benefit. He said there are reasons
to have roads in the public. He
wanted a discussion on whether it was in the publicís interest to have gates
on public roads. He wanted a report the gates that are currently up.
wanted to make sure they are complying with SB222 for subdivisions.
He stated that needed to be coordinated with Land Management
asked for the written materials before the April 29 meeting so it could be
posted on the website. With regard
to road vacations, he wanted to see what other people were doing.
He wanted a way to help finance and find more creative ways that other
counties have used for the road vacation process.
indicated they will be coming back on April 1 to set a public hearing for
another road surrender
6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
DISCUSSION/McKenzie River Basin - Salmon
Handy asked how
they are going to make changes and address them in a timely way.
Natural Resources Advisor, State of Oregon, responded that with increasing
urban growth boundaries, there will be a challenge.
She added that with the climate change they could be more in tuned to
opportunities to be involved in restoration projects on an individual basis to
protect habitat quality and water quality.
She commented that with municipal jurisdictions, counties and cities have
jurisdictions over habitat use and impacts to water.
She said when implementing the recovery plan, setting up an
implementation structure and inviting counties to be involved helps entities
implement the plan.
Sorenson asked if
federal agencies find a fish is endangered that they have to make a recovery
plan. He asked if that was the case
in the upper Willamette.
Knapp said there is
a semi-draft document they have but it is not fully complete and the state will
move forward in the next six months. She
added in fall they will have a public comment period as the draft document is
posted on the federal register.
Sorenson asked if
Knapp if she could send the Board an e-mail regarding what changes if any in
Lane County land use ordinances will be required as a result of the finalization
of the recovery plan.
that nothing was required. She said
this lays out what the limiting facts are for fish and the actions they can take
to alleviate the threats. She added
that it was not required that they change the land use ordinance.
She said there were elements they could be cognizant of as land use
decisions are made and what the needs are for the recovery plan.
Handy asked what
they can do to have setbacks and incentives in place so they can have an area
where spawning can take place He
asked what they might do to target those areas that are the most critical to
make sure there are successes.
Knapp was not sure
about county watershed councils that will be looking to restore habitat in
critical areas. She stated that
above Dexter Dam the habitat is in good shape.
She commented that one of the reasons they believe the fish they placed
in the area was in good shape was due to the Forest Service and BLM improving
Handy asked why
there was no data on fish kill with turbines.
there is preliminary data from the ODF& W.
She added that the Corps of Engineers have conducted studies of fish
mortality of fish going through regulating outlets. She indicated that the Corps of Engineers is on the hook to
conduct studies that would inform them as to what would be the most appropriate
and beneficial fish passage. She
indicated that it will entail fish studies with different operations and testing
regulating outlets. She added that
they will have to do feasibility studies.
that if they want to help salmon, they need to have a passageway.
He said they need to have fish ladders, but they are expensive.
Knapp stated that
it takes a long time to make
progress on protecting fish species. She
indicated that fish ladders are for adult salmon.
She anticipated that in the next 15 years fish ladders might be
considered for dams. She commented
that it is important for adult fish to get up but more important for juvenile
fish to get down. She thought they
would need to install fish screens.
Sorenson asked what
the counties could do to aid in the recovery of endangered fish.
that they could be a participant in planning forums of the implementation of the
plan. She indicated that feedback
is important and within their jurisdiction, commissioners could make decisions
regarding development, land use or transportation, if they were cognizant of
what is needed to improve habitat for salmon and use the information as they
make decisions. She said a critical
need is habitat property but water quality and temperature is also important.
She commented that what they are doing along the river is important to
improving habitat and water quality for fish.
Handy asked what
they could do to prevent damage in the first place. He asked what they are doing with the state and timber
industry to help partner with this.
that the State Department of Forestry has the Forest Practices Act for private
timber operations. She said they
work with private small woodland owners to implement restoration projects on
land and eliminate fish passage barriers and install culverts and follow
resource planning documents.
that as they move forward, they need to put value on the environment.
He asked how much the salmon run, clean air and water was worth. He
asked how they quantify free enterprise capitalism.
He commented that they take it for granted if they donít have
quantified value. He thought they
needed to find a common ground to work together to have a unified picture.
Knapp stated that
economics for recovery for clean water and salmon needs to be better quantified
for the public to understand what it is they might be losing.
She said if they are able to improve habitat and water quality for
natural resources for fish and wildlife, it also improves the quality of life.
Sorenson wanted to
set up another phone call for an update in October.
7. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting at 5:05 p.m.