BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
January 26, 2010
Harris Hall Main Floor
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.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Stewart reported item 5 a. was asked to be pulled by the attorney
#2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
John Steele, Cottage Grove, stated he had a copy of suggested language regarding the Dorena Dam hydro electric project to support the resolution. He supported the Boardís effort for fish and protecting water quality. He thought the resolution is the next step along with work the costs.
3. COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE
Dwyer commented that as a citizen, he was disappointed. He was disgusted with Congress, the Supreme Court and with the system that continues to allow corporate dominance over people. He noted the recent ruling allows corporations to spend what they want to spend.
Sorenson said America is watching Oregonís vote on Measure 66 and 67. He reminded people to get their ballots turned in today.
Handy stated the basic needs of people are water, food and a roof over their head. He said when they talk about basic services; there is discussion about priorities of the decision makers. He said that water and food security are important.
Fleenor also had concerns about the recent Supreme Court ruling. He commented that it transformed government into a process driven by corporate money and greed.
4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
5. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. DISCUSSION/Dearborn Island Bridge. (PULLED)
b. ORDER 10-1-26-1/In the Matter of Approving an Amendment to the Memorandum of Cooperation with Benton County Regarding a Water Policy and Supply Study Effort.
Handy explained the partners with this Memorandum of Cooperation (MOU) are Benton County, some cities in Linn County and Lane County. He noted there is a perception that Oregon is water rich. He stated they have limits on how much water can be used and the quality. He asked for the Boardís support to protect water by signing the MOU. He noted that Linn County is in a watch and support mode but other cities in Linn County are involved. He said they are examining shared water quality and quantity issues. He indicated there is a work plan that has been drafted to get at some of the surface water zones. He noted one of the goals is to provide clean water for all users. He asked the Board to support the MOU.
Keir Miller, Land Management, commented that this will be an important regional issue in the year to come and staff is looking into it.
Dwyer stated that the law recognizes exempt uses up to 15,000 gallons per day for each house not in the city that is not regulated, on a well and is exempt. He was concerned about being charged. He thinks there will be a serious problem in the future. He wanted the Board to be aware that there are state law changes. He said he will not support changes. He asked about metering or restricting.
Miller understood those were valid concerns. He indicated that so far there has been no discussion of the future and the goal of metering exempt wells. He added that it has to deal with protecting water quality. He reported that they are considering a drinking water protection overlay zone.
Stewart asked how the overlay zone would work and if it would mesh with their current plan. He asked if they were expanding the system.
Miller indicated that this was on the long range work plan. He said it might be similar to the Springfield protection overlay zone where there are critical groundwater protection areas.
Fleenor thought water needed to be monitored and if they want to collect data, regarding the water flow, there needs to be a meter. He said once they measure and meter it, people will think they will be taxed and restricted. He thought it was a slippery slope.
Dwyer raised the issue of awareness.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 10-1-26-1.
Handy MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
c. DISCUSSION/Lane County Membership on the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA).
Fleenor indicated that they were not able to assign a commissioner to this agency. He said that LRAPAís meetings happen at the same time as the Board of Commissioners meeting and it would be difficult for the chair to attend both. He asked the other commissioners if they would be interested in serving on the committee. He received two responses. He asked how they appoint commissioners to this agency. He also wanted to know if they could have more than one representative and if the vote could be split.
Richardson said she and the attorney who advises LRAPA have reviewed this. She noted that LRAPA is created under state statute ORS. 468(a)120 and the statute requires that one member of the governing body of each participating county be designated by appointment. She commented that it wasnít a question about changing an IGA with LRAPA, it is a state statute that would have to be changed to allow two commissioners to be appointed. She suggested appointing one commissioner, with another as an alternate..
Dwyer nominated Stewart as the representative on LRAPA for continuity and the fact that he has performed. He didnít know why Stewart shouldnít be on the committee. He didnít see any reason to jettison a functional member of a committee who wants to continue.
Handy said what led to his interest in being the representative was that they had information from Stewart that he was not interested in serving another term. Handy stated that he was interested in serving. He wanted to make sure the LRAPA agency takes seriously the work of protecting air quality. He recalled that he went to LRAPA meetings as a private citizen. He thought the conversations at LRAPA are too bogged down in representation issues. He wants to see LRAPA step it up around issues that face the citizens of Lane County.
Dwyer asked Handy why he should replace Stewart.
Sorenson nominated Handy to be on LRAPA
Fleenor commented that he looks at this appointment as someone representing the center of the Board (as they are supposed to do) on the various committees they are appointed to.
Stewart believed LRAPA is an excellent organization. He commented that it gives local control. He stated the single most important issue the County is facing is revenue and how they are going to come up with a new payment from federal funding. He wanted to give that his utmost attention but there were two issues with LRAPA that are critical. He thought for continuity on the Board, that it would be good for him to serve at least one more year, as he has studied all the items. He stated that air quality in Lane County has gotten better since LRAPA has become involved in the community. He said the organization has been instrumental in bringing in new technology to the community. His overarching concern is the membership. He said that LRAPA governs the air for all of Lane County, not just Eugene. He noted the make up of the current board is more urban and there can only be at any given time one rural representative guaranteed on the Board from either Oakridge or Cottage Grove. He commented that these are tough budgetary times and there are concerns with Springfield, Cottage Grove, and Oakridge about how long they can stay a member and afford to pay the dues. He wanted consistency and to be able to finish up items that are needed. He commented that it is difficult at times to attend the meetings because they have Tuesday Board meetings.
Handy asked Stewart about the representation issues. He said this Board expressed distaste when the legislature made a special law for Lane County around forming an area commission on transportation. He thought there might be an effort to have a legislative component to mandate the membership of LRAPA. He asked how active Stewart would be testifying against all parties involved.
In response to Handyís question, Stewart noted that the Board has not given direction to that body at any given time. He said if the Board gives direction, he will do what the Board wanted and he does that in all of his committee assignments. He noted there are nine members on the committee with an agency for a budget of $2 million per year. He thought there was merit in looking at the composition of the board and how people get placed. He noted that Lane County pays $135,000 in dues for the organization and has one member on the board. He added that Eugene pays $150,000 and they have four members who serve on the board. He noted that Springfield pays $50,000 and because of the population, they will have two designees. He asked where the equity is on the board and its make up. He thought it was worth reviewing.
Handy withdrew is nomination.
Sorenson withdrew his motion.
6. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
a. DISCUSSION/Presentation on Prevention Best Practices and Implementation in Lane County.
C.A. Baskerville, Health and Human Services, gave a presentation (Copy in file).
7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Spartz reported that Sorenson sent him an e-mail about NOAA moving its headquarters to Newport. Sorenson said there is grant money for the improvement of fish habitat. Spartz said they will review the grants to see if they have opportunities to make an application for the grants. He said he would let the Board knows what happens.
Handy asked about the progress on carbon sequestration. He asked about the next steps and what the County has been doing since the last meeting.
Spartz recalled that Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, thought he didnít meet with the right people at the University of Oregon. Spartz said that Cuyler is trying to identify who it might be and talk with them. Spartz said that Cuyler is also talking with OSU and the Department of Forestry. Spartz said he found references of Kevin Matthews but nothing with carbon sequestration or carbon offsets. He noted that Lane County owns 3,400 acres of forestland in the County and it could be part of a demonstration project.
b. DISCUSSION/Lane County Rail Network.
David Wilde, stated that he came to the Board through a one pager. He wanted to resurrect the proposal of development of the Lane County Rail Network for a streetcar system to accommodate vintage trolleys and street cars. He gave a presentation. (Copy in file).
Wilde wanted a joint letter of endorsement so he can go to the private sector and engage the community to buy into the project. He also wanted to put this on the United Front and for consideration of a public private partnership. He hoped between all of the jurisdictions to come to an agreement to work together. He hoped to raise funds within the next three years to make this happen.
MOTION: to ask the County Administrator to review a letter of endorsement that Fleenor wrote in October 2009 and a letter from Wilde and bring back a proposed letter to the Board that expresses their excitement.
Sorenson MOVED, Handy SECONDED.
Spartz commented that these cost a lot of capital to build and cost subsidy money to operate. He said they have to sit down with LTD because they are already having funding difficulties with their existing route system. He stated that this system works best in dense corridors. He commented that there are serious questions that have to be raised before they could commit to do this.
Handy thought this would compliment the LTD. He said if the private sector is not investing in this then this could be a role for government. He thought the MPC would be a good place to have an initial introduction. He asked Wilde to work with Cuyler and Spartz to help put this on the United Front.
Stewart stated that until Wilde has a plan and the true costs, it would be difficult for anyone to give him money. Stewart also didnít think this was ready for the United Front. He didnít think this project would be received well. He thought Wilde could ask Lane County for $50,000 from economic development funds and from Public Works to see if there is development money. He thought this could be a first step.
Spartz thought this should go to MPC after the letter of endorsement.
VOTE: 4-0 (Dwyer out of room).
There being no further business, Commissioner Fleenor recessed the meeting at 12:00 p.m.