January 22, 1998
LANE COUNTY FUTURE FOCUS TASK FORCE MEETING
Commissioners' Conference Room
4:00 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carolyn Chambers, Bob Fenstermacher, Gretchen Pierce, Hal Reed, Bill Van Vactor, Mike Moskovitz, David Garnick, Tanya Heaton, and Rick Schulz. Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary.

I. CALL TO ORDER

Hal Reed called the meeting to order.

II. TASK FORCE BUSINESS

MOTION: Approval of January 15, 1998 Minutes.

Pierce MOVED, Fenstermacher SECONDED: 4-0.

Minutes from January 20, 1998 were distributed.

Garnick distributed an updated Financial Plan and a calculation of taxes under Measure 50 (see material on file). He walked them through the plan. Garnick explained that Hyundai will come on the tax rolls in 2001, noting that they don't have Sony's figure yet.

Regarding local/state/federal, Garnick included a new page with the breakdown of this amount (see material on file). He said Fund 18 is included and adds $4 million due to the psych hospital. Garnick noted that also included are one-time revenues that were used to balance this year's budget in the general fund and explained that this is the reason why the local/state/federal goes down in 98/99.

Garnick discussed the 5% prudent person reserve, noting that lapse has been used in past years toward this reserve. He stated that, in this model, the reserve has been restored to 5% so they won't have to rely on a lapse. Garnick said the additional contingency is anything over and above that. He remarked that because there is a higher than anticipated cash balance and the tax revenue is coming in at a higher level, he hopes to maintain more of a cash reserve for a few more years, noting, however, at some point, it will go to zero when they will have to go into the reduction mode. Garnick stated that the Sony value may take care of this.

Pierce stated that this plan would not suggest that there could be any services added. She said their challenge is to determine if there are any new services that are necessary now.

Garnick noted that they do not have funds for the Juvenile Justice facility at an enhanced level, the work camp when the jail addition opens and the law enforcement system, AIRS.
Pierce asked for a summary of future funding needs and estimates of the cost.

Pierce and Reed concurred that they may find ways that the county can do things differently, looking at it from a business perspective.

III. PUBLIC COMMENT

None.

IV. PRESENTATIONS

Road Fund Finplan

Ollie Snowden, County Engineer, distributed the road fund financial plan and revenue and expense charts (see material on file). He noted that the Board, concerned that revenue forecasts were declining, made some changes in planned expenditures, stating that if that wasn't done, they would go into a negative cash balance in year 2000. Snowden noted that a few years ago, the cash carryover was $53 million. He stated that, as a result, that reserve is being drawn. Snowden talked about the comparison between new revenue to total expenses, stating that for a number of years, they are planning on spending more than they are taking in. Snowden explained Figure 2, showing road expenditures in two general categories; the first being Operation, Maintenance and Preservation (OM&P) and second, Modernization. He defined Operation, Maintenance and Preservation as things typically expected of road maintenance as well as transportation planning, facility permits and overlays; and Modernization as projects that are typically contracted out for widening, adding shoulders and lanes and rebuilding bridges as well as money given to cities and other agencies per the City/County Road Partnership Program. Snowden noted that in the past, they used to provide more than $5 million to the cities but that that is now being reduced by the Board and will be down to $2.5 million soon. He noted that the Board has funded several projects inside the cities, such as the Ferry Street Bridge.

Snowden walked them through the financial plan. He said the Board directed that they fund OM&P solely out of the State Highway Fund Transfer. He explained they receive funds from transfers from ODOT for a part of the gas tax monies, weight mile fees and registration. Snowden said the gas tax revenue is now flattening out. He commented that rather than using the federal money, they use the "fund exchange," which means that ODOT has said to the cities and counties that if they can use their federal aid, they will give them $.94 on the dollar and in return the County gets state money and does not have to do environmental impact statements. Snowden stated that the timber receipts are used for capital projects, modernization, money shared with small cities and the economical development and assisted housing programs. He remarked that it if they didn't have the guarantee, there would be a major impact on the road fund. Snowden said they assumed that they will continue road maintenance operations as they have with no cuts and that, if there is balancing to be done, it will come at the expense of the modernization program.

Responding to Chambers, Snowden stated that there aren't many deficient bridges left. Fenstermacher asked about retrofit and risk to the County. Snowden stated that most county bridges are smaller and don't have a lot of seismic exposure. He noted that the larger bridges do have seismic exposure but they factor in things such as detours. Snowden noted that this is a topic that has not received much interest at the political level. He said the State is looking at earthquake susceptibility, commenting that they will deal with this issue by either retrofitting the superstructure or retrofitting the foundation, which is very expensive.

Van Vactor noted that they are not cutting down expenses in OM&P because Finance and Audit and the Board feel responsible for the county road system and want to maintain that system as long as they can.
Video Lottery

Heaton distributed a video lottery allocation table (see material on file), noting that she will provide a product list by next Thursday's meeting. She explained that the table shows a five-year history. Heaton stated that the Revenue Office had anticipated a drop this year and, therefore, they budgeted for that drop which has not come. She said it is leveling out. Heaton explained that she allocates video lottery for the budget year with any extra put into cash balance and that they then decide in the budget year how much of that cash balance to allocate.

Pierce asked if other counties are as creative in the use of these funds.

Van Vactor stated that some counties put the money right into Public Safety.

Heaton commented that the Association of Oregon Counties sends a form each year to see where the money goes, stating that she will ask for those results.

Budget Document

Garnick stated that, in response to questions asked by the task force, he is providing them with the complete budget document. He explained that within each department, there is a summary page that breaks down the funds and revenue and expenses.

Transient Room Tax

Garnick referred to material previously distributed in the General Expense packet (see material on file). He explained the capital projects/debt service and explained that 5% of the room tax goes into the debt service fund to be used to retire the debt services payments on such things as the ice rink, livestock arena and other fairground improvements and the Florence All Events Center. He explained the transfer of room tax to the Parks program to free up the car rental funds. Garnick said this transfer could only be done as a one-time transfer and noted that the cash carry drops due to this expenditure.

Pierce asked if there are any performance criteria for CVALCO, noting that they receive a substantial amount of money and want assurance that the County is getting something for the additional money. Garnick said they are continuing to see growth in the revenue.

There was agreement that the task force would like performance measures for CVALCO.
Van Vactor will ask Kari Westlund from CVALCO to provide a presentation for this group.


PSCC Presentation

Green introduced Mrya Wall, PSCC Principal Planner, and Jim Carlson, Director. He distributed material explaining the history of the Public Safety Coordinating Council (PSCC), its composition, mission and accomplishments, noting that all counties are charged to have a council. Green stated that the PSCC policy group has a draft recommendation (see material on file). Green walked them through this proposal. He indicated that their desire for a levy would be in November, definitely not in May.

Wall stated that they are trying to keep it in a range of $14-15 million at the top end or about $1.00 per thousand as the tax rate, noting that the policy group is not in agreement yet. She said there is a process in place to do analysis of both the adult and juvenile systems to address the issue of prevention through juvenile justice as well as address the issue of population flow in an attempt to make sure that what is identified as necessary match what they are asking for on the levy.

Green indicated that areas needing more information have been reviewed by the full PSCC, who are requiring additional detail.

Pierce asked if the inexpensive custody space is the same as discussed with the District Attorney. Van Vactor stated that it was, noting that this is important to the cities because of their need for remedy to street offenders that are not extremely dangerous. Pierce stated that a holding area for failure to appears would stop inefficiencies. Wall stated that they have hired a consultant to look at the population and the impacts of the failures to appear and said they also have someone looking at the cost of an inexpensive facility. She said they will also be looking at what other areas are doing. Wall stated that after these things are done, they will be able to tell how many beds are needed and the best way to manage these people.

Van Vactor stated that Harcleroad has a solution in mind and that the PSCC is not in agreement yet.

Reed stressed the need for the levy to address custody space, noting that citizens will not agree to pay for this unless there is a place to put the criminals.

Van Vactor stated that there is additional capacity with the work camp and the jail addition. Carlson noted that the Lane County jail is primarily a pre-sentence or processing facility, noting that most failures to appear have not been convicted yet.

Pierce asked about prevention categories and if the numbers include new programs and if they are using nonprofits. Green responded that they are, noting that the use of nonprofits has been demonstrated to work but that coordination is missing. Pierce said there are successful programs out there that could be expanded with additional funds.

Carlson remarked that the PSCC is looking at how the whole system works. He noted that this levy is primarily the county portion with the prevention area being a mix. Carlson stated that the cities may go off on their own.

Van Vactor stated that in terms of capacity, Eugene and Springfield can do the policing, but without capacity in the county, it won't do them any good.

Green added that with the current composition of the PSCC and the work they are doing, they will be in the best position ever to make a difference tomorrow.

Status Report on Comparative Data

This item was not discussed and will be on next week's agenda.

V. TASK FORCE DISCUSSION

Next week discussion on report and format.

VI. ADJOURN MEETING

There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 1:34 p.m.

Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary

 

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