BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION

Tuesday, February 20, 2001

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 5/2/01

 

Commissioner Anna Morrison presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., and Peter Sorenson present.  Cindy Weeldreyer was present via telephone.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. PUBLIC COMMENTS

None.

 

2. YOUTH SERVICES

 

a. DISCUSSION/Youth Services-Current Issues.

 

Lynn Schroeder, Department Youth Services, reported they utilize the balanced approach of community protection, skill building and accountability.  With the forest funds, she noted they were going to develop a juvenile work camp program that may allow extension of the detention population.  She said detention capacity was critical because beds will be lost statewide due to budget cuts.  She added Lane County could lose 23 beds, causing more kids to be out.  She said they had been doing risk assessments and for the past two years, they found that 50 percent of the referrals were not regularly attending schools.  She said that alternative schools and the Court School were developed for these students.

 

With regard to Mental Health, Schroeder reported Lane County was severely lacking.  She reported that 70 percent of the high-risk youth have serious mental health needs and Mental Health doesn't  always know where to send them.

 

Schroeder said victimsí issues were important.  She said they hadnít done well in the past, but are focusing on improving.  She noted that most of the youth do not have positive things happening in their lives and some of the younger ones are the most challenging.  She said they have to find opportunities for youth to be involved in their community.  She added a lot of youth have parents involved with adult probation and parole.

 

Lowerly discussed the community service program.  He said it helps to make the victims whole by having the offenders earn restitution.  He said these youth work on trails for Lane County, the City of Eugene and park maintenance.  He noted they have placed 517 youth in the past year into community service and they were able to disburse $15,000 of restitution to victims.

 

Lowerly discussed the Centennial Education Center (court school.)  He noted the court school deals with difficult students who were expelled from their schools.  He reported there is a waiting list and the school provides education for kids who did not receive one from any other venue.

 

With regard to mental health services, Lowerly explained it was a model used by other agencies.  He said mental health services and detention are composed of a suicide panel where each child is evaluated for risk of committing suicide.  He reported there had not been any suicides or serious injuries.

 

Regarding the co-op program, Lowerly said they have a counselor assigned to a team of professionals from adult and family services, development disabilities, their department and school districts. He said they meet every week and each agency can bring a case.  If the case is accepted, the resources of all agencies are available to that client.  He noted they would provide services to the children of that family.

 

Linda Wagner, Youth Services, distributed and explained an overview of the projects in program evaluation and research (copy in file.)

 

Sorenson asked about unmet needs.

 

Wagner responded mental health, association with delinquency, and residential treatment beds for girls.

 

Schroeder echoed Wagner and noted there were long waiting lists for most placements for youth in the system.

 

Lowerly said there needed to be more local residential treatment beds.

 

Steve Carmichael, Youth Services, noted the biggest needs were detention beds.  His biggest disappointment was that they had 36 full beds 12 years ago and they are still only operating with 36 beds.

 

Green wanted to see the charts on the information.  He wanted to know if there was success in decreasing crime.  He also wanted to know what agencies are pro-active.  He asked about the impact of reducing beds locally.

 

Schroeder responded they would work with the Oregon Youth Authority on more intensive supervision of paroled youth.  She said they would have to look at their resources and may have to reallocate staff across the agency because they are also slated to lose a probation officer funding from OYA.  She said it would be a difficult situation and they will have to focus on the most for their money.

 

Morrison said when they do this evaluation again (looking at the cost and results) they need to seriously look at how they deliver services.  She hoped the annual report would really give the information for Lane County and not national statistics of what best practices are.  She hoped to see results in the work Lane County was doing because the annual reports had not provided that information.

 

Concerning the report, Wagner noted there was no template at the County on what each departmentís annual report should look like.  She said theirs had been evolving each year in obtaining data.  She said they would have a more local emphasis on evaluation.

 

3. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. ORDER 01-2-20-1/In the Matter of Committing Lane County Child Advocacy Center Property and a Certain Portion of Tax Lot 17-03-29-40-400 to the Child Advocacy Center Relocation and Expansion Project.

 

Peter Thurston, Economic Development, reported that Lane County was an eligible applicant for community development block grant funds from the State of Oregon for different projects. He noted they received conceptual approval from the  Oregon Economic Development Department for the child advocacy center relocation and expansion project. He noted the existing child advocacy center site was established in 1993 with community development block grant funding to address child victims of sexual abuse managed through the law enforcement system.

 

Thurston explained that the order proposed the property be sold as a part of this project and the receipts from it be used as part of the total budget.  He said the second property has to do with the site where the proposed center would be located on Centennial Boulevard.  He noted the tax lot number referenced in the Board packet has one extra zero.  He said the correct site number is 1703294, tax lot 400.  He noted in the file a question about zoning.  He researched the item with the planning staff at the City of Eugene, confirming that it is zoned public lands.

 

Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, stated the need had been greater for the facilities. He said they propose to build one that is about 6,000 square feet and is fully functional.  He added as they found the money, they could add to it and the County owns it, so it is zoned appropriately.  He wanted it centrally located near the courthouse.

 

Harcleroad explained they have a capital budget of $1,551,000 (composed of several components.)  He noted they asked the City of Eugene for $150,000 and Springfield for $75,000. He said he had not received a response.  He couldnít represent that they had the commitment.  He hoped to have the commitment before they moved forward with the application for the community development block grant funds.

 

Morrison asked if they didnít get the commitment, where the dollars would come from.

 

Harcleroad responded if they didnít get the $225,000 (or only a portion) they would have to scale the project back and find sources elsewhere.  He noted the market value of the building is $486,000 but valued it at $400,000 because he had the same concern.  He noted they had one inquiry on the property.

 

Morrison said if things didnít fall into place, she would seriously look at how they go forward.

 

Harcleroad noted there was some risk but it was small.  He said it was important to get in line for the CDBG funds as they have other applications coming in.

 

Van Vactor stated that County Administration was supportive, but before accepting the application he and Harcleroad agreed that there needed to be an agreement between their non-profit board and Lane County government.

 

Morrison asked what would happen if the non-profit was unable to raise funds. She also asked about long-term maintenance on the facility.

 

Harcleroad responded the Friends of the Child Advocacy Center, Inc., had taken care of the building.  He added that the Friends also apply for funding and they use the District Attorneyís office.

 

Dwyer was concerned that they were going on faith to get these funds.  He was also concerned about operations coming out of the general fund.

 

Harcleroad said if things donít happen with the money, they would reverse the application.  He said they would not start doing anything until they know the project would go.  He had no intention of setting anyone up to fail. He wanted a  place in line for the money.  He added they will monitor this closely and if money is not available, they will scale it back.  He said the agreement between the Child Advocacy Center, Inc. and Lane County should spell out the responsibilities.

 

Weeldreyer said since 1993, the Advocacy Center had more than demonstrated success by outgrowing their facility.  She said it is prudent that the Board of Commissioners reward risk taking and success when it happens.

 

Green was supportive of the application and obtaining funding.  His concern was the intergovernmental agreement and general fund support.

 

Van Vactor asked if the Board needed to select the specific site today or if it could be referred to the Facilities Committee for an analysis.

 

Morrison recommended referring it to the Facilities Committee.

 

MOTION:  to approve ORDER 01-2-20-1.

 

Green MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.

 

Dwyer was not opposed to the motion.  He recommended checking the governorís budget for child development for operational funding.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 10:45 a.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary