June 15, 2010
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Bill Fleenor presided with Commissioners Rob Handy, Pete Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. Bill Dwyer was excused. County Administrator Jeff Spartz, County Counsel Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
a. DISCUSSION/Ice Arena Infrastructure.
Spartz, David Suchart, Management Services and Jim Hartnet, EIS Rinks, gave a report on the Lane Events Center Ice Arena. (Copy in file).
Rick Reno, Fairgrounds, thought they needed to have a consultant come in and give them the facts so they can make a good decision. He thinks the information they now have can move them toward a decision.
Spartz commented now that they have the data, (even if the Board chooses to make substantial repairs) Reno has done the work on the structural costs but he couldnít see how the ice arena could operate at break even. He thought they would need more money to break even.
Richardson was concerned with the Band-Aid approach. She didnít know what damage had been done to the refrigeration system. She said they have been told of the risk and they might not be able to get everyone out in time. She doesnít know how much longer the ice center will operate. She didnít want to just use the Band-Aid approach without just fixing up the dasher boards. She didnít know what $20,000 in repairs would do and if it would minimize the gaps. She commented that from a legal and risk standpoint the Band-Aid approach scares her.
Handy asked if they went with the Band-Aid approach what their liability would be.
Richardson indicated that they have been informed of the risk including oxygen being taken out of the air. She didnít know about the courtís discretionary liability. She didnít know if they would succeed. She recommended making the best choice, recognizing that people can always sue them.
Fleenor asked about discretionary immunity.
Richardson responded that the ice rink is pleasurable and not part of government. She indicated that it would work against the County if they kept functioning at a level that wasnít safe.
Reno reported that he pulled the ice out last March. He indicated that he was already looking at seasonal operations. He said they will keep the ice out until the end of July and then put in back in August.
Stewart was not in favor of the Band-Aid approach. He thought it was a waste of money to spend $750,000 to $900,000 to make useable space for concerts and $1.3 million to spend to fix the cooling system. He couldnít give direction today. He doesnít know how to justify this expenditure when they are looking at a new roof at the cost of $1 million. He thought they needed creative ways to pay bills before they consider any options.
Reno concurred with Stewart. He added that if the Board is saying there is no money to accomplish this unless he comes with money generated, then he said they need a complete closing until they can get enough money to get options. He stated that he has no other choice financially. He thought they could operate it as a non-ice rink and bring in some money. He said they could come back with a ten year plan with a non-ice related facility that might make sense. He commented that if they try to keep it as an ice facility with the amount of money just to fix it, they would have to look at a public private option that open up legal issues they would have to go through before they made any decisions.
Richardson said that without looking at the ice being gone, there are concerns about the floor failing. She added if they put in foam to keep the form of the floor and make it just a general purpose facility then she doesnít have more concerns for this building than most other buildings.
Fleenor said that the ice rink needs to know whether they are going to reopen the facility for this fall. He thought it was a difficult decision and this is something that Reno and Spartz want to have done. He asked what they are going to do.
Reno indicated that the Eugene Generals, the Ducks, hockey people and hockey camps are waiting for them for the upcoming season. He said they need to make a decision immediately or they canít proceed with anyone. He added that based on what he had heard and the safety and risk issues, it is difficult to operate this year. He thought they could do things piecemeal until they come to a major decision.
Richardson agreed. She didnít recommend the Band-Aid approach.
Reno indicated that he has a client ready to do five or six events a year in the facility if there is no ice. He thought they could figure out rent facilities for specific types of events and looking at a phased in approach.
Handy asked what the cost would be for tearing down the building.
Suchart said he wouldnít have the number until July.
Handy wanted to have a page with options and what the costs would be so it is easily understood. He said they need to give people an opportunity to respond now that they know the numbers. He wanted to know what the other options are.
Fleenor wanted a non-profit to come back with a proposal and liability if they are going to move forward. He stated that they need to take action quickly and they need contractual language with liability limitations. He said they need feedback from the users and what they see as a solution.
Reno indicated that if they were to go with a public private partnership that they couldnít complete that in less than six months. He had already done preliminary work and the amount of issues that needed to be discussed. They would have to know who was legally responsible for capital and operations. He doesnít see how they can do this in a timely basis.
Fleenor commented that if they receive no serious proposals, then they will know the decision.
Sorenson wanted to have an opportunity for the users of the facility to give their perspective.
Fleenor asked for any viable proposals as soon as possible and if it makes it through the course they will bring it back as Emergency Business as soon as possible.
10. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
DISCUSSION/Kerry Lieberman Energy Bill.
Alex Cuyler, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, stated that this is an update on a piece of legislation several weeks ago that came before the Board. He indicated that it created the most stir in Washington, D.C. for cap and trade legislation. He noted that it is the American Power Act, developed by John Kerry and Joseph Liberman. He indicated that it is a prepared document. (Copy in file). He noted because of the oil spill in the Gulf and elections coming up and the Congressí schedule winding down, he doesnít think they will get to the discussion about cap and trade. He said that unless they see something change, he didnít want the Board to have him draft a letter about the carbon sequestration issue. He recalled he wrote one letter on carbon sequestration and what they are looking forward for this bill is language that would be inserted.
11 COUNTY COUNSEL
12. PERFORMANCE AUDITOR
13. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Handy reported that he will be attending the Em Ex steering committee meeting. He attended the dedication of the McKenzie High School track in Blue River.
Sorenson reported that last week there was a successful NCAA Track Meet for 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. He said there has been a change in policy regarding election of precinct committee persons. He completed his newspaper for his district. He announced that he is having a Town Hall Meeting on June 22 at the Hilyard Community Center about the budget.
Stewart thanked Handy for attending the dedication of the Track in Blue River.
Fleenor stated he was having his 169th dialogue. He said he will be in Junction City.
14. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
15. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Fleenor adjourned the meeting at 3:25 p.m.