BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
REGULAR MEETING
February 16, 2010
1:30 p.m.
Harris Hall Main Floor
APPROVED 3/17/2010

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

11. PUBLIC WORKS

a. DISCUSSION/Lane County Project Applications for Surface Transportation Program-Urban (STP-U) Funds in the Metro Area for FY 2011-2013.

Celia Barry, Public Works, reported back on the STP-U funds.  The Board asked her to report back on the MPC approved application.  She added the Board wanted a prioritized list of option projects in addition to the 30th Avenue project.  She indicated the Board wanted options for additional Lane Transit District funding with the $350,000 they are recommending spending on the Beaver Street extension feasibility study.  She added that Board wanted them to identify one to two safety projects for pedestrians and bicycles. (Copy in file). 

Barry reiterated that none of this money is guaranteed to them at a specific level.  She said they are applying between $3 million and $5 million between 2011 and 2013 for the whole MPO area.  She said they have to negotiate with their partners and eventually the MPC will approve a list of priorities to spend the money.  She said if they succeed in getting $350,000 for LTD, then that funding will go directly to LTD, and not come to the County.  She said that $350,000 would preserve about .7 percent of transit service.  She said they usually recommend preservation or project development for STP-U money because federal money comes with strings and they have to do an extensive study whenever they use federal money.  She was asked whether $350,000 could go for a future unidentified project.  She responded that there was no precedent.  She indicated that they could allocate the money to a project , amend the STP and reallocate the money elsewhere in the future.

With regard to the Beaver Street project, Barry reported the reason they are recommending the project is because the city of Eugene is interested in seeing the pedestrian and bicycle facilitates extended.  She indicated they will be putting in the west bank bike path extension that would terminate at Beaver Street and this would be the opportunity to address the foot traffic needs.

Dwyer commented that the city of Eugene always wants the County to cooperate with them in everything they do, but he doesn’t feel the cooperation coming from the other direction.  With regard to Beaver Street, he wanted to see cooperation from the city.  He didn’t know if it was in their interest to get involved with the LTD project.  He said it was in the County’s interest to keep the money in projects or for maintenance.  He thought it was in their interest for short and long term to bring Game Farm Road up to urban standards and then give to the city and let them assume the maintenance.  He also wanted to see traffic calming devices put on the street so they discourage travel on Laura Street.  He wanted $200,000 to be allocated for number 2, Game Farm Road, with the understanding that they expend the money and the city will assume future maintenance.

Celia explained the $200,000 would only be for an overlay, not for any urban standards and the city would not take the road for just an overlay.  She noted on the Beaver Street project the state is doing the Beltline study and by including the Beaver Street extension as an extension of the study, they will be looking at a more system wide approach in solving the solutions.  She has been in contact with the city of Eugene staff and there has been an indication for the future they might come up with match money if they need it.  She noted that any federal money used on pavement widening (putting more money toward Game Farm Road) would require NEPA work.  She noted this item is for the STP-U Program and they have been going through a process at the MPC to develop frame work for expenditures of the expected money.  She said they have approved the application form and they are getting ready to program projects for the 2011/2013 period.  She recalled that Handy asked them to bring back other options.

Sorenson asked if the 30th Avenue project is off the list.

Barry responded that the MPC allocated funds for the 2010 period, having to program them before they received reauthorization for the full four year period.  She noted in that vote the MPC and the Board supported a motion that included a provision in the motion that should additional monies become available this federal fiscal year, those funds should be directed to the 30th Avenue overlay application and the 30th Avenue overlay should be prioritized for future 2011 STP-U funding.  She recalled that the Board had already approved having 30th Avenue one of its priorities.  She asked what other priorities they should negotiate with any remaining STP money they could get.  She said there was $3.1 million allocated in 2010 and they only expected to get $2.5 million.

Handy asked if they had the option of helping LTD on the crisis with the bus service.   He said it was mentioned there would be a 10.27 percent match required.  He asked how that would hold the County harmless.

Mark Pangborn, LTD, responded that any money would help them reduce the amount of service they would have to cut.  He said they have enough money in their local operating budget to match any funds they receive.  He said if they took the money and spread it over a three year period, it would buy more service.  He said he would hold the County harmless to any of the service cuts.  He indicated that they are still taking public input.  He said they will try to keep service in neighborhoods where there is less productivity.

Handy asked if there was an option to support Game Farm Road and to provide an allocation to LTD.

Barry said they could submit an application for both.  She said there will be a vote at the MPO.

Dwyer said he wouldn’t support it, as it is not the right pot of money, because LTD now competes for the same money.

MOTION: to prioritize an overlay on Game Farm Road and with funds permitting that they do the Irvington to Calla project, the shorter segment as the first phase.

Handy MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

Dwyer supported an overlay on if they could put traffic calming devices as part of the overlay so when the city takes it over they could bring it up to the standards they want.  He indicating that is what the neighbors want.  He wanted to know if they could put traffic calming between Hayden Bridge and Beltline.

Barry said she would have the traffic engineer review it.  She didn’t think the city would take the road if they put traffic calming devices on them.  She noted the city has a policy not to take substandard roads.

Handy believed their current policy is not to fund traffic calming projects but they could take an exception in this situation due to safety issues. 

Dwyer asked Handy to amend his motion.

Handy amended his motion to include traffic calming. Dwyer SECONDED.

VOTE: 5-0.  

12. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS

a. DISCUSSION/Identifying a Process By Which the Board of Commissioners Can Have Early Engagement With All City Applications That Impact Lane County, Including Land Use, Transportation, Comp Plans and Periodic Reviews.

Handy said they were looking into integrating into the Comp Plan considerations around transportation, land use, public health and greenhouse gases.  He wanted to look at streamlining the process.  He wanted to get feedback from the cities as to where they are with their comp and transportation plans.  He noted in ORS there is a statutory reference to the responsibilities of each County through its governing body affecting land uses including planning activities. 

Matt Laird, Land Management, said he will work with Marsha Miller and Celia Barry in Public Works to come back with a response.  He said the Board wants to participate early in the process.  He said he will talk to Legal Counsel to get the opportunities to make it happen.

Fleenor asked if Laird saw a collaborative effort  with the County, DLCD and cities with cataloging various mandated periodic reviews and other types of activities to work in a coordinated manner.

Dwyer stated that he is looking for a cheat sheet that is comprehensive listing the cities and where they are at, who has been notified and whether notice has been required.

Stewart thought they should look at how they process comp plans to get them involved sooner.  He wanted to know the legal requirements.  He thought they should try to meet regularly with each jurisdiction and receive an update as to where they at with their transportation plan and land inventories.  He said with Eugene and Springfield they have a time chart of HB 3337 and he wanted something similar on all of the different issues.

Sorenson was hesitant to set up a meeting with cities without asking what they are doing.  He wanted to have an update on what cities are supposed to be coordinating with the County in a chart format  He wanted to know what the next three months looked like coming to the Board.

Laird said he would report back later on this matter.

(The following took place in the afternoon).  

Fleenor wanted to see an easy process by which they could work with city partners to facilitate and enhance the process.  He commented that there is no need to work across purposes.  He said they need to have as much information as early as possible.  He hoped there could be mutual cooperation.

Handy thought they could solicit information from the cities about their various plans and timelines so they have the information in a chart and if something jumps out at them, they could review it.  He said they should establish guidelines and criteria at the County for the cities to consider and for them to be involved early.

Fleenor asked if they could incorporate transportation in Public Works.  He wanted to get at the front end of the process as early as possible to help the cities facilitate a successful outcome.

Laird spoke with Legal Counsel and received a copy of their 190 Agreement with the small cities.  He said the 190 Agreement was adopted in 2002 and it requires a 20 day notice period to the cities.  He noted that typically when they get those notices, (while it is not in the 190 Agreement) they will ask if they will give the Board a work session.  He indicated that sometimes the projects span multiple years and by the time it comes back it is a different board.  He thought they should touch base more frequently.  He said they will ask the cities for work sessions on the bigger items they have coming forward.  He said renegotiating 190 Agreements would have to be added to their long range work program as it would be more in-depth than drafting a letter.  He said he will come back with the long range planning program to see how the Board wants to reallocate resources.  He said the code amendments are bigger than what they originally thought.  He added that a planning matrix would also be a long range planning resource issue.

Fleenor said they were more interested in developing a strategy that would develop a policy that would allow the Board and the staff to interact with the cities on a more cooperative basis.  He thought they could put together a form that could be filled out on line that the cities could access and have it ongoing.

Laird commented that an interactive web site would be resource intensive.  He said they could put it on their work program but they would have to find out from IS how much it would cost.  He didn’t know if there was any obligation for the cities to keep it up-to-date or to maintain.  He was concerned the cities would fill a form out once and then forget about it.

Handy wanted to focus on the ways they could engage their partners so they could gather information.  He wanted to develop a mechanism to reach out to the cities and suggest that it is important to have this information.    He thought it would be in the cities’ best interest to spend time and energy upfront proactively together. He wanted to work to get to yes without spending FTE.  He asked how they deal with the policy issues that come up.  He thought they could ask the stakeholders around code changes.

Fleenor said they shouldn’t overlook LCOG and their function with coordination with the cities.  He thought using them as a resource was a way to accumulate data.  He thought they should invite LCOG staff to do brainstorming on how they could help track it.

Laird commented that it feels like it is long range planning with no given resource allocation to work with.

Fleenor asked Laird to see if there is interest and resources and bring back a briefing.

Laird reiterated that he would contact LCOG and the cities to ask about their long range planning projects they are working on and ask them if they see opportunities where the Board could get involved early on these projects, especially anything that would come to the Board for co-adoption.

Fleenor asked to contact LCOG and then the cities to find out if they are interested.  He added if they are, to start compiling information.

Sorenson recommended writing a letter about coordination and asking them to respond.

Fleenor asked Spartz to work with Marsha Miller, Land Management, to write a letter to the mayors and city managers with a copy to LCOG stating they are interested in working with them in a collaborative manner and to come up with a process that the chair could sign and distribute

13. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sorenson said that he attended a briefing on the National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition regarding work for the reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools funding.  He announced that tomorrow night at Harris Hall he. Handy and Mayor Piercy are holding a forum on food security.

Stewart announced that tonight the city of Coburg is having a final townhall meeting on the city sewer project that will be going for a vote.

Fleenor announced that he is having a community dialog in Junction City at the Moose Hall.

14. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

Per ORS 192.660(2)(h) for the purpose of potential and pending litigation.

15. OTHER BUSINESS

None.

There being no further business, Commissioner Fleenor recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 2:40 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary