June 29, 1994
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 10:00 a.m.
Chair Jerry Rust presided with Steve Cornacchia and Ellie Dumdi present. Marie Frazier and Jack Roberts excused. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.
Doug Card, 1272 Jackson, presented a letter to the Board (see material on file) and briefly summarized its contents with regard to the 150th anniversary of the Oregon Trail opening. He mentioned that in two years the opening of its southern alternative, the Applegate Trail, will be celebrated. Card stated that he is here today to inform the Board of volunteers' efforts and ask the Board for a letter of support in acquiring a portion of funds available from the state of Oregon for educational and interpretive sites. He noted that these efforts will benefit education, tourism and economic development. The Board concurred and Rust asked Card and Peter Thurston, Economic Development Coordinator, to draft a letter for his signature, indicating general support.
1. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. PRESENTATION/All Events Center, Florence, Oregon.
Rust introduced Roger McCorkle, Mayor of Florence, who summarized that Florence representatives are here today requesting support for securing more debt service for the All Events Center. He remarked that Florence has invested a significant amount of room tax revenues on the project ($60,000) for studies/consultants. McCorkle indicated that the city is doing fund raising and hopes to raise in excess of $1 million. McCorkle introduced Jon Taylor, Finance Director for the City of Florence; Jim Breithaupt, attorney; and Keith Martin, the city's attorney. Rust observed that finance and legal issues will probably be the "meat" of the discussion today. McCorkle reviewed the six conditions originally set up by Lane County (see Exhibit A).
Tom Stark, architect, presented visual material for the Board which detailed the plans.
Cornacchia questioned where the money for operation and maintenance was going to come from. McCorkle and Taylor responded that in the beginning room tax revenue would be used, along with general fund dollars which would include contributions from the local area. Taylor indicated that the goal in five years was to be self-supporting. Taylor confirmed that pledges for construction and pledges for operations were being kept separately.
Cornacchia indicated that, with regard to the County contribution, he was interested in following staff recommendations to have a set figure. Breithaupt remarked that his firm has been the financial advisor to the city for some time and developed the bond financing plan. He stated that the dollar amount required for the city to net $2.2 million depends upon a crucial decision to be made with regard to whether the County could make a promise of $200,000 per year for 20 years, without having to make an annual decision on that figure. Breithaupt indicated that County insistence on a "non-appropriation clause" would 1) increase the interest rate on borrowing (approximately l/3 to l/2 % annually), and 2) require setting aside a debt service reserve of approximately 10%, or about one year's annual principal and interest payment.
Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, explained that a non-appropriation clause allows for making a pledge that County staff will use their best efforts to encourage the Budget Committee and the Board to make the appropriations, but it reserves the right for the County to discontinue the agreement if the appropriation is not made, thus protecting the ability of a governing body to respond to current budget circumstances. She stated that in this instance there is a County ordinance which adopts the room tax, which at the present time has some dedication in it, but has an annual budget process component in it. Wilson noted that the Board has the right to change the room tax ordinance by an ordinance amendment, which could affect the dedication of funds to be collected in the future. She reported that historically Lane County has not issued any debt since at least 1977 without a non-appropriation clause except where there has been voter approval of the bonds. Wilson indicated that County staff has been discussing these issues with people from Florence for approximately a year.
Responding to Rust, Wilson confirmed that it is her view that the constitution of Oregon would require that this language be placed in the document, although Martin is reported to have done some research (which Wilson hasn't seen) which would suggest that the Special Fund Doctrine would apply. Responding to Rust, Breithaupt indicated that the consequence of the higher interest rate would be approximately $5,000 per year, stressing that it is minimal compared to the requirement of the 10% "set-aside." Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, conveyed that County staff had met with Florence representatives approximately two months ago outlining the County's requirements. He also noted that the County's original commitment in 1990 was $1.8 million, which has now been elevated to $2.2 million.
Cornacchia indicated that his bottom line is a commitment of $200,000 per year for 20 years, which is $20,000 more than was pledged earlier, and inclusion of the non-appropriation clause. Dumdi concurred with Cornacchia. McCorkle clarified that once the commitment is made (at whatever figure), Florence has no intent to ask for more in the future. Responding to Martin, Cornacchia indicated that he saw no problem, if cash flow allowed, with how the funds were distributed as long as it was within the cap of $200,000. Drivas observed that the County has not yet issued its own debt on the fairgrounds, noting that a fixed debt with Florence will be best for Lane County. She noted that the costs for the fairgrounds will be higher based on this commitment. Dumdi remarked that the Florence community has been responsive and the All Events Center will probably get significant assistance from it. Dumdi and Rust concurred with the $200,000 fixed amount, along with the non-appropriation clause.
Responding to Rob Ward, former mayor of Florence, Rust stated that there would be no final order today and if Wilson were to come back with a recommendation to delete the non-appropriation clause, after further research on the issue, it would be considered. Rust stated it was the consensus to direct staff to prepare an Order that allows for a $200,000/per year, 20-year commitment with a non-appropriation clause, subject to the final approval of the Order and approval of the Intergovernmental Agreement. Wilson indicated that along with that Order on July 13 or July 20, she may be able to provide an Order approving the Intergovernmental Agreement, if it is finalized. McCorkle invited the Board to the groundbreaking on July 4.
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.
Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary
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