BOARD OF COMMISSIONERSí
March 15, 2011
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Jay Bozievich, Rob Handy, Sid Leiken and Pete Sorenson present. County Administrator Liane Richardson, County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Item 11 b., Ordinance No. PA 1274 will be moved to Wednesdayís meeting.
Handy pulled item 5.G.1) from the Consent Calendar.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Chris Page, Eugene, indicated the Board of Commissioners will be meeting soon to discuss whether or not to appeal the decision of Judge Charles Carlson in the matter of the construction of a hospice on River Loop One in the Santa Clara area. He urged the Board to appeal that decision. He said Cascade Health Solutions requested a special use permit to build in a rural residential neighborhood. He explained that it is a $4.3 million 15,500 square foot facility with a 50 car lighted car parking lot, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He recalled the application was turned down last April by the Lane County Land Use Hearingís Official Gary Darnielle. Page indicated that after learning they were denied the permit, Cascade Health Solutions did not choose to appeal that decision to LUBA, but decided to take the matter out of the land use process and bring it into Circuit Court, to be heard by a judge who is not a land use expert. He said they filed a Writ of Mandamus against Lane County asserting that Darnielleís decision had not been timely. He noted the decision had been two to three weeks beyond the deadline but at that time no one seemed to know there was a deadline. He said in the end they were given a trial in Circuit Court before Judge Carlson. He said Judge Carlson (who admitted that he is not a land use expert) overturned Darnielleís decision and found in favor of Cascade Health Solutions. He and his neighbors thought that certain land use codes and case law were overlooked or misrepresented by Judge Carlson who said he had found the land use legal system a maze with no exit. Page said the River Loop One neighborhood is waiting to hear if Lane County will appeal the ruling by Judge Carlson. He asked for the Boardís help. He said they believed the hospice is a commercial urban use not permitted in a rural residential neighborhood by Lane County land use codes and they want the Board to stand up to the codes. He urged the Board to appeal Judge Carlsonís ruling.
David Hoffman, Eugene, said the real estate evaluation for the Extension Building is not accurate. He said current value is what someone is willing to pay. He commented that location is everything. He indicated the building is centrally located and easy to access and has adequate parking He said the old Extension Building has adequate space for offices, storage of education material and for teaching classes. He reported the St. Vincent de Paulís proposal preserves an existing resource without costing the County any money. He added that they will gain year round countywide education in growing and preserving food. He thought preserving the Extension Building should be a logical and easy decision. He said they want their old Extension Building back.
Daniel Stotter, Corvallis, discussed the Florence 2020 Comp Plan for tomorrowís agenda. He thought they have moved forward to a positive place to where they are now talking about one paragraph of disagreement that represents years of progress between the city of Florence and the County. He said there could be a win-win for both parties that accomplishes concerns raised by the city of Florence and the interests raised by the Board of Commissioners. He discussed the changes.
Doc Archer, Florence, stated he is the President of the Oregon Festival League. He said they had concerns about the commissionersí inability to form plans to alleviate the ongoing financial problems occurring at the Lane County Fairgrounds. He said the facilityís decay has been going on for more than 40 years. He said the Countyís elected leaders have failed to refuse that the Fairgrounds is a regional asset instead of a liability. He indicated the facility continues to be rented at exorbitant prices without regard to substandard conditions. He recalled the Board asked Lane County residents to submit concepts regarding ways to restore the Fairgrounds. He indicated that several groups gathered ideas and the commissioners ignored the public. He challenged the Fair Board, Fairgrounds Administrators and the Board to act on behalf of the County instead of internal interests. He thought the public should decide which plan best suits Lane County. He added if the Board fails to provide a better plan, then the Board should step aside and let an independent team step in.
Jim Gillette, Eugene, addressed a letter about giving him a hearing. He was fined $6,700 for paintball tournaments that never took place on his property. He indicated that he didnít say there hadnít been paintball tournaments on his property, there had been two. He said he was fined for one that did not take place. He said the tournament was cancelled. He said he leased his land to Curt. He commented that you donít go after the landowner, you go after the person leasing the land. He said the County never threatened Curt, the County fined him. He said he is being bullied by the County and that is why he is fighting this so hard. He stated that he wants to get this over with.
Peter Thurston, Eugene, recalled that last year the Board of Commissioners asked that a group from the Save Lane Extension Program group look at the commercial building on the Fairgrounds site, (known as the Extension Service Building) to help evaluate how it could be maintained instead of being torn down, as was being recommended. He said they went through a process. He distributed a matrix (copy in file) on what it would take to bring the building back. He said the building was put out for an RFI and proposals were received from the Fairgrounds and from St. Vincent de Paul. He thought the proposal from St. Vincent de Paul demonstrated that the building has significant value. He thought there was an incorrect assumption that there would be a comparison of proposals that came from the RFI. He indicated there was no lease terms put together that describe in detail the value that would come from a lease with St. Vincent de Paul and the programs that would operate out of that building as they have proposed. He said there was no way to evaluate and compare with the other proposal to raze the building, and turn it into a parking lot. He asked the Board to specifically ask for a set of conditions for a lease that could be variable with length and what it could provide so it could be compared with increasing the parking area at the Fairgrounds. He wanted to assist if County staff didnít have the time to take on the development of a set of lease terms, to then bring back to the Board.
Dan Armstrong, Eugene, said he is a member of the Lane County Food Policy Council. He said last year the Community Planning Workshop at the University of Oregon researched and wrote a Lane County Food Market analysis. He said in the process of doing the analysis, the city staff took that part out and there is no direct market analysis in the report. He said the message from the report was clear, that finding ways to explore the local food markets is a sound economic development strategy. He thought the Fairgrounds was the prime site. He didnít think it made sense to destroy the Extension Building until they have a plan for the entire site.
Zachary Vishinoff, Eugene, distributed a flyer (copy in file) about a hearing on the Riverfront Development. He commented that St. Vincent de Paul has a history of having great proposals that have great impacts on the community. He thought the County should go with St. Vincent de Paul.
Terry McDonald, St. Vincent de Paul, said the Fairgrounds Extension Building is an opportunity to show good stewardship of public resources in a way that will create an opportunity in the long run for the community to be better. He indicated that they were not trying to hold this property hostage, it is to work in tandem with the public policy. He commented that taking a building down doesnít show good stewardship.
3. COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE
Sorenson stated that he has had four forums on the future of the Lane County Fairgrounds. He recalled when the Board had a proposal to sell the Lane County Fairgrounds, he was one of the leaders to oppose the sale. He indicated the Board recently authorized bonds to fix the roof at the Events Center. He hoped they could keep the Extension Building intact until they can figure out something better. He wanted to use the facility instead of destroying it.
Leiken congratulated the Springfield High Schoolís Girls Basketball Team in winning the State Championship. He noted it was the first ever State Championship win for the Springfield Girls Basketball Team.
Handy sent his thoughts to the people of Japan. He commented that nuclear power is not safe. He hoped the fallout doesnít reach the United States. He said the commissioners have been active with the Fairgrounds. He added he heard they have to be upfront in getting a master plan for the Fairgrounds. He proposed forming an exposition, recreation and food security food commission as part of updating a master plan. He said when they look at options for the Extension Building, he is looking at what is the best use as a public asset. He commented that tearing the building down to put up a parking lot doesnít meet his threshold.
Bozievich extended his thoughts to the people of Japan. He hoped for a speedy recovery for the tragic event. He thanked the local County emergency workers who did a wonderful job during the tsunami warning on Friday. He also thanked the citizens for an orderly evacuation. He indicated that a lot of emergency workers are still cleaning up from the windstorm on Sunday. He stated they had stretched their Sheriffís staff. He was thankful for having everyone in place. He said he has personally met with people about the Fairground proposals. He added they have been involved as a Board in looking at things seriously. He commented that they do not have a safety issue about nuclear fallout in Oregon.
Stewart thanked everyone for the emergency response from Lane County and the electrical companies for working the last few days non-stop for getting people back on the grid. He understood there are still some people who do not have power after 36 hours. He commented that it is disturbing to hear they havenít been planning for the Fairgrounds. He stated that it has been a conversation and they have done an incredible amount of work over the past six years to figure out what to do. He said the Board took a big step at the last meeting to authorize spending $1.4 million on a roof for repair of a facility they will struggle with in how they are going to pay back to make it work. He said the Board is committed to the facility. He stated that personally he knows the impact and the need for the facility for the local businesses and jobs it supports in the community.
4. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
5. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
May 12, 2009, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
May 13, 2009, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
June 23, 2009, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
August 25, 2009, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
August 25, 2009, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
August 26, 2009, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
September 22, 2009, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
September 22, 2009, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
September 23, 2009, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
May 19, 2010, Regular Meeting, Following MWSD
May 19, 2010, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
December 15, 2010, Regular Meeting, Following HACSA
February 7, 2011, JEO, 6:00 p.m.
February 7, 2011, JEO, 7:00 p.m.
February 9, 2011, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
February 16, 2011, Regular Meeting, Following HACSA
February 22, 2011, JEO, 6:00 p.m.
February 23, 2011, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
February 23, 2011, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
B. Assessment and Taxation
1) ORDER 11-3-15-1/In the Matter of a Refund to 28th St. Properties LLC and Umpqua Bank in the Amount of $22,664.70.
C. Board of Commissioners
1) ORDER 11-3-15-2/In the Matter of Appointing a Member to the Lane County Commission for the Advancement of Human Rights.
2) ORDER 11-3-15-3/In the Matter of Appointing Two At-Large Members to the Charter Review Committee.
3) ORDER 11-3-15-4/In the Matter of Approving Bylaws of the Charter Review Committee.
D. County Administration
1) ORDER 11-3-15-5/In the Matter of Transfering $32,500 from Operational Contingency to Materials and Services within the Special Revenue Fund in General Expense to Fund the Baker Bay Project.
E. County Counsel
1) ORDER 11-3-15-6/In the Matter of Appointing Justices Pro Tempore for the Central and Eastern Lane Justice Courts Through January 6, 2012.
F. Human Resources
1) ORDER 11-3-15-7/In the Matter of Creating the Lane Events Center Sales Representative Classification and Establishing its Compensation Range.
G. Management Services
1) ORDER 11-3-15-8/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract for Phase 4 of the Performance Contracting Program to McKinstry Essention, Inc., as the Energy Services Company (ESCO) for the Design and Construction of Energy Saving Projects at the Lane County Courthouse/PSB to Include the Steam Conversion Project.
2) ORDER 11-3-15-9/In the Matter of Readopting Lane Manual 4.020 Relating to Investment Policies.
H. Public Safety
1) ORDER 11-3-15-10/In the Matter of Ratifying the Application Submission to the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service for Title II Funding for the Adult Inmate Work Crew and Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign the Required Agreement Documents.
I. Public Works
1) ORDER 11-3-15-11/In the Matter of Approving the Application for and Acceptance of a $161,500 Grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for the Armitage Park Campground ADA Restroom Reconstruction Project and Delegating Contract Signature Authority to the County Administrator to Sign and Execute all Related Contracts.
2) ORDER 11-3-15-12 /In the Matter of the Alteration of North Enterprise Road and North Morningstar Road (County Road Numbers 311, 665 and 397) (18-02-34 & 19-02-03).
3) ORDER 11-3-15-13/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Eugene Regarding Building Official Duties.
4) ORDER 11-3-15-14/In the Matter of Approving a New Fee Schedule for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Amending Chapter 60 of Lane Manual to Add Fees for GIS (LM 60.856) Effective March 15, 2011.
5) ORDER 11-3-15-15/In the Matter of Appointing Five Members to the Tourism Council to Evaluate and Recommend Awards for the Lane County Tourism Special Project Grants for 2011 and to Review Grant Processes, Procedures, and Administration.
MOTION: to approve the balance of the Consent Calendar.
Handy MOVED, Leiken SECONDED.
Handy thought the issue was that they had a cloudy memo. He noted the options and recommendations were murky. He asked to roll this to another week to get an amended memo so they know what they are voting on.
David Suchart, Management Services, said they are trying to move this as quickly as possible as they have an aggressive schedule to get off of the steam.
Handy said he would be in support of this but he thought it was a murky memo.
Suchart noted in the memo he sent to Handy that the section on Option 1 was written by someone else and he inserted it. He stated he should have changed the language to say it was Alternative 3. He indicated that Option 1 is the recommendation they are making.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 11-3-15-8.
Handy MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
6. COMMISSIONERSí BUSINESS
a. WORK SESSION/Envision Eugene.
Alissa Hanson and Lisa Gardner from the city of Eugene gave a presentation on Envision Eugene. (Copy in file).
b. REPORT/Travel Lane County Semi-Annual Report.
Kari Westlund, Travel Lane County, gave her semi-annual report. (Copy in file).
Stewart indicated that there had been a discussion about the NACo Conference Annual Meeting in Portland from July 15 to 19. He thought it might be an opportunity to capitalize on the visitors coming to Portland to also promote Lane County activities. He added that they have been asked to make a contribution to the event.
Westlund indicated that she will follow up and get back to the Board.
7. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. DISCUSSION and ACTION/Disposition of the Extension Services Building.
Suchart reported the recommendation from the Facilities Committee is the proposal from the Lane Events Center for the demolition of the building and putting in infrastructure that could be used for the 4H Club and during the fair.
Stewart said there is concern among the citizens and the Board about coming up with a long range master plan. He asked about a timeline and what efforts are being taken into a long range planning effort.
Suchart indicated that the Facilities Committee was to make a recommendation to the full Board. He said they want the property prepared in time for the 4H Club, leading to the Fair. He thought by September or October they could find old studies. He indicated that he could bring a summary of those studies and what conclusions were made leading up to this point. He believed in their review of the study so far with further expansion of property available for the Fair and Events Center activities in keeping with previous studies. He added that some studies said they should acquire more property, but nothing was said specific about the Extension Building. He believed they could have information back to the Board after the Fair is completed about a master plan.
Bozievich stated that St. Vincent de Paul is one of the best non-profit organizations in the country. He said what they just heard from Travel Lane County in competing with other facilities in the area is that they donít have additional flexible space and there are price point issues. He was concerned about making sure the Events Center is a viable entity. He believed they need to complete a master planning process. He didnít want to wait until that happened before they decide to do anything with this building. He thought if they rented the building to St. Vincent de Paul for $1 per year the County would be losing $100,000 per year. He added there was an issue in their proposal as to what it would really cost the County. He thought staffís proposal was the best for the good of the Events Center and the long term functioning as an Events Center and Fairgrounds.
Rick Reno, Fairgrounds, reported that made a proposal to the Facilities Committee. He was pleased to see the recommendation come out of the committee to recommend their proposal to the full Board. He indicated the Jefferson Westside Neighborhood Association consulted with him and lent their support. He said the main thing that comes out of this is the greater the flexibility afforded management to manage whatever entity there is within the footprint, the better chance they have for success financially. He added that the removal of that building gives them immediate flexibility for the County Fair and the Lane County Youth Fair. He noted there will be camping opportunities. He stated that if the decision is to not go with their proposal, they will have many challenges. He indicated that the primary user groups that bring money into the facility are concerned that if a private entity were to go into the facility, it might create logistical and financial challenges.
Bozievich asked about the Fair Boardís opinion.
Reno responded that the Fair Board is unanimously in support of their proposal. He added the Fair Board was listed on their RFI.
Stewart stated he has spent a lot of time on this matter and he is not taking this decision lightly. He had concerns over the different proposals. He stated that his priority is to make sure the Fairgrounds is open to the public because of what it offers to local business and the citizens. His recommendation is to demolish the Extension Building and to accept the Lane Events Center proposal. He commented that the proposal made by St. Vincent de Paul wanted to invest money to upgrade the facility to operate and in exchange they wanted a long term lease for 15 to 20 years. His concern was if they proceed and the Fairgrounds needs that much money to bring the facility up to standards, how they buy out St. Vincent de Paul and move forward. He believed they need to be committed to the Fairgrounds moving forward. He said they are not putting anyone out of business.
Handy agreed that it is not an option to leave the building vacant. He said the master plan is essential for them to move forward. He said they need to form another committee for exposition, recreation and food security. He thought they would bring credibility, momentum and private funds to the table to move a master plan forward.
MOTION: to move that they direct Lane County to work with St. Vincent de Paul on terms for a five year lease on their proposal and to address the outstanding concerns that have been raised.
Handy MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Handy spoke with St. Vincent de Paul and they were comfortable with revising their stipulation that it be a 15 year lease. He indicated they were interested in a five year lease. He urged the Board to proceed with the St. Vincent de Paulís project given the master plan and the other elements will take several years. He thought the highest and best use for a public asset is to include multiple use values. He thought instead of competing with other counties, to look at a master plan that will look at this opportunity as a unique situation and a value added opportunity for Lane County. He added that within five years they will form a new commission and work on a master plan and when the lease is up with St. Vincent de Paul, to have a plan in place that will take advantage of Renoís talents and those of the community.
Leiken stated he will vote no on Handyís motion. He commented that St. Vincent de Paul has been a successful model in the city of Springfield over the years. He believed that this is a grand opportunity for them to start focusing on what the Fairgrounds should be about. He thought they are fortunate to have Reno in place with a significant background in events and event planning. He doesnít view the demolition to be just a parking lot, it is for a 4H experience. He stated they are not in a position now to think about selling the Fairgrounds to a private entity and moving the Fairgrounds to another place. He said from a budget standpoint, it makes no sense. He wanted to focus on Fairgrounds related activities. He didnít think St Vincent de Paul in this building was the right location.
Bozievich stated he will be a no on the motion. He indicated that when they put this out as an RFI, it specifically mentioned they were looking for $116,280 annual rent on the space. He said the response submitted by St. Vincent de Paul did not address that. He said it requested the rent as $1 per year. He said if they were to accept the proposal, they would be open for a legal challenge because they did not advertise to all entities that they would be willing to take $1 per year rent for improvements. He thought if they put it out again, they would receive more responses. He added they are looking at an opportunity cost for over $500,000 for a five year lease. He didnít think they could afford to make that kind of subsidy to any organization now as the County. He said he would be willing to look at other St. Vincent de Paul opportunities. He noted there is other empty space across the County, but he didnít think this was the right place. He wanted to allow Reno the flexibility to be successful. He didnít want to tie up this portion of the Fairgrounds for five years.
VOTE: 2-3 (Bozievich, Leiken, Stewart dissenting). MOTION FAILS.
MOTION: to accept staffís proposal by the Lane Events Center to call for the demolition of the former OSU Extension facility.
Leiken MOVED, Bozievich SECONDED.
Sorenson commented that this is a highly precipitous action and it is not in the publicís interest. He will be voting no.
VOTE: 3-2 (Handy, Sorenson dissenting).
b. UPDATE/Ice Rink.
Reno recalled the issue of the ice rink has been deferred since last December. He reported that at one point they met in March last year to determine whether or not they would open the arena, currently used as an ice rink in that manner again this year. He indicated that the Board directed him to move forward. He said they were able to work with Hockey Oregon, LLC led by Ken Evans. He said that Hockey Oregon has done a lot of ice rentals and Evans has been able to offer time at a more reasonable rate than what was previous listed for public skating rates. He added that it has generated more revenue for them this. He reported that they are operating in terms of a direct revenue and direct cost in that manner. He said they fully anticipate by the end of June 30, 2011 to be at a full cost recovery, meaning direct revenue, and direct cost. He added that does not include depreciation or indirect costs assessed to them by the County.
Reno reported the only safety issues addressed were the dashers. He said they appear to be working safely. He added that the underlying safety issues still have not been addressed as per the consultantís report. He thought those should be considered as they move forward. He indicated that no money has been deposited in their account. He noted the other edict was for the user groups to raise approximately $2.1 million by the end of this month. He indicated to this date there has been no money received. He stated they are going to be in the same spot as last year. He noted March 31 is the end of the season and they will be taking the ice out. He said everyone including Evans would like to know if they are going to be in operation next year and if so under what conditions. He stated that currently they have no guidance as to whether they will be open as an ice rink next year and under what parameters. He recalled the Board stated that if the fundraising had not taken effect, they wouldnít be open next year as an ice rink.
Richardson stated the Board needs to give direction because the vote was that they would get one year to raise the required funds to prove that they could move forward and do the rest of the changes and if not, there would not be an ice rink in the future. She said if the Board wants to change that, Reno and Evans need to know.
Bozievich asked if there was a safety risk exposure if they operate it for another year.
Suchart reported that they still have permafrost below and it isnít shirking. He said they have infrastructure issues surrounding the slab. He said they have put monitors in for the R22 Freon, but they still donít know how well the things are down below. He indicated things are stable now. He thought it will remain as stable as when the report was done, but it will not improve without taking the permafrost completely out. He said the major problem is the Freon leak. He also thought a skater could injure themselves because of the ice not being completely straight.
MOTION: to move that the Board direct staff to report back in one month on a plan to keep the ice arena open for the 2011/2012 season.
Sorenson MOVED, Handy SECONDED.
Sorenson didnít think they could resolve the issue. He said the decision they had last year to have a substantial fee increase resulted in keeping the facility open. Instead of making the decision today, he thought they could have a discussion among the parties and Reno can come back and give his views on how to keep the facility open.
Stewart was in support of the motion. He said they donít have the financial capacity to change the current facility into another facility. He added that it is paying for itself, although he was concerned that it is truly full cost recovery. He thought if they donít operate the facility it will sit vacant. He noted that Evans has the ability to put together plans. He wanted to continue the operations, but he doesnít want to put an unrealistic stipulation on this.
Reno said if they can work out a public private agreement similar to the one they have now, they could be as much as ahead by $50,000 ahead next year. He will come back in 30 days with a plan. He added that it will have to include what the agreement was so they can achieve the numbers that he reported on.
Stewart stated if something happens with the facility that is expensive to fix, it will be someone private stepping in because the County cannot be looked at to be committed to the repairs. He said it has to be clearly stated that Lane County doesnít have the revenue. He recalled that Reno voiced concerns about staffing issues. He said if they canít continue with the same agreement, it could be a substantial cost increase.
Leiken supported the motion to bring this back. He thought Willamalane could possibly help. He wants to hear from the people who are currently operating the rink now. He also wanted to discuss the foundation problem.
8. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
(Commissioners' Conference Room)
Per ORS 192.660(2)(d) for the purpose of discussing labor relations.
There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart recessed the meeting at 12:10 p.m.