April 19, 1995
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 1:30 p.m.

 Chair Ellie Dumdi presided with Steve Cornacchia, Bobby Green, Sr., Jerry Rust and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.

15. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Rust commented that David Bennett, the criminal justice consultant, had indicated that there was an insufficient data base to be able to make headway on the project. He stated that Bennett has requested AIRS programming time. Van Vactor asked about the magnitude of time necessary. Van Vactor reiterated the sheriff's previous concerns regarding the high usage of the system and the potential for negative impact on the AIRS workplan, but stated that he would get an estimate of the time necessary.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Tom Musselwhite, Blair Blvd., spoke with regard to Project Recover which works with development of ecological restoration work and housing for the low-income, homeless population. He stated that Wolf Creek (the Alma Work Camp site) has excellent potential for use as a satellite to an urban hub where an extended component of the Ripcord Program could undertake watershed restoration. Cornacchia remarked that the ecosystem restoration programs that he is aware of emanate from the Northwest Economic Initiative and they are focused on the hiring of displaced timber workers. Musselwhite indicated that they are working with LCOG, the Forest Service and ODFW, and that he is asking for a letter of support for a Veterans' Affairs grant that they are developing. Cornacchia remarked that he could express support for the concept. He suggested that Musselwhite draft a letter of support for signature by Rust or Dumdi. Rust clarified that there are two issues involved, i.e., 1) the letter of support is for a homeless camp concept in Glenwood and 2) a potential usage for the mothballed Alma Work Camp site. The Board clarified that there is only a one-year window of opportunity at the Alma site as it is being mothballed for just one year.

16. PUBLIC HEARINGS

a. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No.7-95/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 4 of Lane Code to Permit the Board of County Commissioners to Use Transient Room Tax Funds for Higher Priority Needs During Periods of Budget Shortfall (LC 4.175).

Dumdi read this ordinance into the record. Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, reminded the Board of the change made after the first reading regarding the limitation that this is solely for FY 95-96.

Dumdi opened the public hearing.

Linda Weston, CVALCO, remarked that her organization recognizes the budget decisions made this year, but still thinks it is inappropriate to balance the budget on the back of a single industry. She indicated that this limits the industry's ability to thrive and jeopardizes potential capital development. Weston reminded the Board that this is just for one year.

John Erickson, Red Lion Springfield General Manager, stressed that he is glad to see that this has been documented as just being for one year. He emphasized that there is a lot of opportunity for tourism to grow within the community and that this fund helps that.

Jim Hale, 1995 Teresa Avenue, stated that he does not believe this is the best option for balancing the budget of Lane County. He indicated that a particular segment of the community should not be tapped to balance the general fund. Hale remarked that implementing this change by ordinance, even for one year, reflects poorly on the credibility of the Board.

Dumdi closed the public hearing.

Rust commented that he is pleased that there was agreement that this is for one year. He noted that the room tax program has been incredibly successful. Rust observed that other industries were affected by the budget process, too, including the homebuilders with increased fees and car rental, with increased taxes. He remarked that Lane County is the only general purpose government in the county that has not systematically used the room tax revenue for their general fund. Weeldreyer agreed with Rust. Dumdi emphasized that the marketing/operating budget for CVALCO has not been touched. Cornacchia asked how the $200,000 annual commitment of money to the Florence All Events Center is paid. Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, indicated that the City of Florence requested that they receive $100,000 every six months which is going into their construction fund. Dumdi read a fax from Springfield Mayor Morrissette into the record, asking that room tax receipts be used strictly for tourism purposes.

MOTION: Approval of the Ordinance, with the amendment. Rust MOVED, Green SECONDED. The Secretary polled the Board. VOTE: 5 Ayes.

b. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 95-4-19-21/In the Matter of Authorizing the Transfer of Surplus County-Owned Real Property to the City of Eugene to be Used for Park Purposes (Assessor's Map #17-04-26-12, Tax Lots 3300 & 3301, Adjacent to Trainsong Park on Edison Street, Eugene, OR).

Jeff Turk, Property Management Officer, briefly reviewed his agenda memorandum. He indicated that one property owner, Mary Christine Cedarwolf, sent a fax expressing concern regarding the potential change in use. Responding to Bill Van Vactor, Turk indicated he was not familiar with the city's plans on the issue of the blackberries.

Dumdi opened the Public Hearing.

John Etter, Parks Planner with Eugene Public Works, spoke in favor of the Order. He indicated that they may be able to incorporate the neighbor's concern for a buffer into their plans for the park.

Dumdi closed the Public Hearing. MOTION: Approval of the Order. Rust MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

This meeting recessed at 2:10 p.m. to reconvene at 2:25 p.m..

17. OTHER BUSINESS

Continued discussion regarding funding of Willamette Street.

John Goodson distributed a copy of the road fund cash flow spread sheet.

Ollie Snowden reviewed the forecast chart (see material on file). Rust noted that Capital Projects (Line 17) decrease over the long run and asked why, then, do labor costs (Line 10) continue to increase. He indicated that there may be the necessity to aim at bringing down some of the operational costs. Snowden stated that he is not prepared to make those responses today. He commented that the relationship between capital projects and labor costs is not necessarily a 1:1 ratio. Snowden agreed that, in the future, decisions are going to have to be made about expenditures. Cornacchia observed a comparison between Line 6 (Total New Revenue) and Line 23 (Total Road Fund Expenses), noting that the fund continues to spend more than it is taking in. He remarked that capital expenses (Lines 17-21) are things that are outside of basic road maintenance needs and that that is where modifications will need to come from. Snowden commented that Line 17 (capital projects) probably contains some items that will not happen, but are on the proposed CIP. Responding to Green, Snowden indicated that the delay of projects on the CIP is fairly frequent. He indicated that those dollars, then, go into unappropriated reserves and earn interest, with the annual interest being approximately $2 million.

Green indicated that he had spoken with the city engineer of Eugene and received a letter of commitment from the majority of the city councilors for the Willamette Street project (see material on file).

MOTION: Commissioners commit $900,000 towards opening of Willamette Street and the removal of the fountain. Green MOVED, Rust SECONDED. Green noted that he expected some ratcheting down, but would like to arrive at a number today. Rust observed that this is a "ready to go" project and that the road fund has unencumbered reserves, at this time, of $34 million. Weeldreyer stated that she is not in support of the $900,000, but favors a 50-50 split. Dumdi expressed concern with the $900,000 figure, too, agreeing that this should be a partnership. Cornacchia remarked that he had had an opportunity to look at the numbers involving the city's urban renewal fund, stating that most of the money is already encumbered. He indicated that their CIP is maxed out and that they don't have a reserve. Cornacchia noted that he had asked Councilor Torrey for the bare minimum needs from Lane County. He indicated that Torrey had commented that if the County could put in $750,000, then he would commit to find the rest. Cornacchia stated that he was comfortable with the $750,000 figure. Dumdi concurred, remarking that she would like to know about the future of the Ferry Street Bridge project. Cornacchia noted that the Ferry Street Bridge project is a much more important project to his constituents than Willamette Street, but that he didn't feel the County should dip into that pot this year. Green indicated that there will likely be another vote in November regarding the Ferry Street Bridge. He remarked that $750,000 is a reasonable compromise and sends an important message to the city. Weeldreyer stated that she has concerns regarding the design and the bidding, noting that the rush is increasing the cost. She indicated that she will dissent on this Motion. Dumdi remarked that this is a project that is beneficial to most of Lane County. Green AMENDED HIS MOTION to the $750,000 figure, and received the approval of the Second. Van Vactor indicated that he would have Goodson prepare an Order to authorize execution of the IGA. VOTE: 4-1, Weeldreyer dissenting.

There being no further business, this meeting adjourned into Executive Session at 3:00 p.m.

 

 Sharon Giles, Board Secretary