July 5, 1995
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - following HACSA
Chair Ellie Dumdi convened the meeting at 9:08 a.m. with Commissioners Steve Cornacchia, Bobby Green Sr., and Cindy Weeldreyer (9:33 a.m.) present. Excused: Jerry Rust. Leslie Barrett, Recording Secretary.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Emergency Items: 1) Westfir Water Supply Emergency; 2) Interfund Loan to Health & Human Services Fund; and 3) Letter of Intent - Integrated Children and Family Supplemental. Bill Van Vactor indicated that there would be an Executive Session.
2. PUBLIC COMMENT
3. COMMISSIONER'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
To be held later.
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To be held later.
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor indicated some Public Works staff were present to answer questions on herbicide spraying on certain roads, and indicated that it was scheduled as an Executive Session item. Van Vactor said his suggestion was to have the Executive Session prior to their comments in public session, but to reserve the right for public comments and discussion about direction to staff.
b. ORDER 95-7-5-1/In the Matter of Providing $2,000 of Video Lottery Funds to the Animal Damage Program for Increased Cougar Control.
Stephanie Schulz reported that at the last Rural Community Improvement Council (RCIC) meeting, a request was made by Animal Damage Control staff for an addition to their program to deal with increased cougar control problems in the County. The RCIC voted to recommend an additional $2,000 be added to the program for cougar control in the rural area. Dumdi announced that this item needed to be held until Weeldreyer's arrival for a Board quorum, as she (Dumdi) would have to abstain because of a possible conflict of interest.
6. PUBLIC WORKS
a. ORAL STATUS REPORT/Willamette Valley Transportation Strategy.
Tom Stinchfield stated that this item was recently discussed at the June 8 MPC meeting. Points of concern were raised about the May 5 draft of the Willamette Valley Transportation Strategy. Stinchfield indicated that the staff memo was Attachment I of the Agenda Cover Memorandum (ACM). He continued that Attachment II was a response from ODOT staff addressing many of those concerns. Stinchfield also said that Attachment II contained a series of modifications of language proposed by ODOT to address staff concerns. He also remarked that Attachment III was the full document.
Stinchfield said he had drafted a letter for Board consideration to see if the Board wanted to send the letter to Dave Bishop (ODOT staff project manager). One of the requests made in early June was to extend the comment period. Stinchfield said that has been done through July 24th. He indicated that action was required on the letter today to meet the July 24th comment deadline, as the next meeting is after the closing date.
Stinchfield said the letter addresses three points: 1) Expresses appreciation for the beneficial language changes in the text, clarifying that the report is a guideline document, not an adopted plan. Stinchfield said their primary concern was addressed -- that language has been softened to require coordination with local governments as recommendations. 2) The letter basically recommends that the strategy focus on the statewide issue, and that the state allow some local freedom of action around transportation issues required under planning rules. 3) Recommends that if a new coordinating group called Valley Livability Council is formed that there be good County representation on the group.
Cornacchia indicated he was supportive of the letter and Stinchfield's efforts. Green asked Stinchfield to spend a moment on the "demand management issue" as there had been an issue with the City of Eugene around traffic demand. Stinchfield responded and commented that there were a range of options being considered in the "Trans Plan" update, ranging from a low emphasis on demand management programs to the other extreme, which would be mandatory trip reduction programs that large employers might have to engage in by ordinance. Stinchfield responded to Green regarding urban transit systems and rail systems being developed as a statewide policy, utilizing alternative methods as a strategy.
Dumdi commented that she felt it was good that the emphasis was stressed repeatedly on alternative modes of transportation, acknowledging that this part of the valley is different from the northern part of the valley, but growth is anticipated and that must not be overlooked. Dumdi said she is a supporter of high speed rail as one of the components of this plan. Dumdi indicated she would give some minor grammatical corrections to Stinchfield, along with her notes.
MOTION: Approval of the letter and its submission to Dave Bishop of ODOT. Green MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 3-0.
b. FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance PA 1076/In the Matter of Amending the Rural Comprehensive Plan to Redesignate Land from "Forest" to "Rural," Rezoning that Land From "F-2/Impacted Forest Land" to "RR-10/Rural Residential 10," and Taking an Exception to Statewide Planning Goal 4; and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (file PA 0658-95 Morrissey)(Second Reading and Public Hearing: July 26, 1:30 p.m., Harris Hall Main Floor).
MOTION: Approval of First Reading and Setting Second Reading. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 3-0.
7. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes
B. Health and Human Services
1) ORDER 95-7-5-4/In the Matter of Amending the List of Public Improvement Projects for the Lane County FY 94-95 Budget to Increase the Marcola Road Project Allocation.
2) ORDER 95-7-5-5/In the Matter of Entering Into an Agreement With Burlington Northern Railroad for a Grade Crossing Improvement on Irving Road.
MOTION: Approval of the Consent Calendar. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 3-0.
8. HUMAN RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. ORDER 95-7-5-6/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Enter Into a Professional Services Contract With Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon for Health Benefit Utilization Review and Case Management as Recommended by the Joint Labor/Management Benefits Review Committee.
Ruth Larson, Employee Relations and Benefits Manager, requested authorization of a contract with Blue Cross to provide utilization review and large case management services for the Benefits program, which was separated from the other benefits contract that the Board reviewed during the Budget process, because this was in the bidding stage at that time. Larson asked for questions and stated that this was being recommended by the Joint Labor Management Benefits Review Committee.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 3-0.
9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
Dumdi announced that there were two emergency items and a third item coming, which could be reviewed after the Executive Session. After some discussion, it was the consensus that the Westfir item would be postponed until Commissioner Weeldreyer arrived, which was anticipated around 9:30 a.m.
a. Order 95-7-5-8/In the Matter of Authorizing the Director of Human Resources and Management Services to Effect an Interfund Loan to the Health & Human Services Fund in an Amount Not to Exceed $1,000,000.
Randy Green, Finance Manager, stated that this item was brought before the Board with the possibility that Health & Human Services might need additional funds to pay bills for the month of July, and outlined options of an interfund loan from the Fleet Services fund. R. Green indicated that it was not anticipated that they would actually use up to $1,000,000, but the figure was used to allow a "cushion." Dumdi inquired if this was to cover a gap between the time state monies would be received. R. Green responded affirmatively. Van Vactor clarified that this was basically cash flow by virtue of changing to a separate fund (Fund 86).
Cornacchia stated that the only reason the situation existed was because of the administrative decision to move some of the monies off the General Fund, resulting in additional costs to the system. Cornacchia inquired about the interest fees that would be charged for borrowing the money, and the impact this might have on H & H S programs. He inquired if these fees would come from the H & H S administrative budget or if the recipients of grants and services would be impacted through a reduction of services. Cornacchia indicated that if this would negatively impact the system, he would like to have a reassessment of this decision to move funds.
Van Vactor indicated that staff would be glad to do a review and report back. He also said that it was anticipated that the amount would be significantly less than requested. Van Vactor explained that H & H S used to make agency payments to the grantors in advance, with the County "floating" that expense until funds were recovered, but that beginning in July, that will no longer occur. He stated that the large swings into the General Fund which have occurred in the past are not likely to occur, commenting that the $1,000,000 is much more than will probably be needed.
Cornacchia indicated that what bothered him was that historically Health & Human Services had not been the most stable of funds. His concern is that shortage of funds could occur during any month of the year, not just in July, and that adding interest costs are a cost to the system. His question was, "Where is the balance?" about the costs of the system.
R. Green commented on Health & Human Services' historical use (based on Green's research of the past five years) of General Fund reserves to borrow to cover a gap. He stated that generally all their contracts come due in July and are rewritten, and payments have been made in advance, utilizing approximately $750,000. R. Green stated he believed that October was the second month where H & H S had traditionally borrowed due to an advance quarterly payment. Green said that there was a possibility that H & H S might not have to use anything from an interfund loan.
Cornacchia inquired of Rob Rockstroh that in the event the interfund loan is utilized, where in the system is the interest expense going to be assumed? Rockstroh responded that had not yet been decided, but it would be his preference to make that an administrative expense rather than charging recipients of services. After further discussion, B. Green questioned what the impact was to the Fleet Fund. Van Vactor responded that the loan will accrue interest and Fleet Fund will be repaid with interest at the same rate, as if it had been earned through savings, causing virtually no impact on the Fleet Fund. B. Green then asked for clarification of length of loan for fund repayment. Van Vactor indicated that the state statutes require repayment in the ensuing fiscal year. R. Green said the Board Order stated not later than June 30, 1996, which is the current fiscal year, and that funds will be repaid as they are collected. Discussion continued.
Commissioner Weeldreyer arrived at 9:33 a.m. during presentation and discussion of this agenda item.
MOTION: Approval of Order 95-7-5-8. Green MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
Dumdi announced that the Board would go back to the Westfir Water Supply Emergency. ORDER 95-7-5-7/Westfir Water Supply Emergency. Commissioner Weeldreyer apologized for her tardiness and presented the agenda item.
Last Thursday, Weeldreyer met with Westfir Mayor Phyllis Julian, who expressed the concern of Westfir city government regarding their water intake supply, which has been above the dam. During high water in March, after the dam had been taken out, the water table dropped significantly in the area of the intake system. Pipe was then added to extend the system farther into the water, but the water has now dropped even farther. It is not possible to extend the pipe into the water. Weeldreyer stated that she was looking for a partnership between the County and the City to pay for some initial design costs for solving the water problem before the water table drops to a level where there is no longer drinking water for the City of Westfir. Weeldreyer indicated that Craig Starr and Peter Thurston have been working with herself. The City of Westfir has a small emergency contingency fund of approximately $10,000 and would like to put up $5,000 and asked the County to add $5,000 towards initial design costs.
Cornacchia inquired if the Westfir water problem was a direct result of the dam removal. Craig Starr responded affirmatively. Cornacchia stated that when the discussions were held about the dam removal, discussions centered on the road fund and downstream structures. Starr stated that he didn't believe that the Road Fund had been used. Starr stated that during initial discussions (held in approximately 1986) concerns were for Hemlock Bridge which was downstream from the dam. Once the County gained ownership through tax foreclosure, another concern arose regarding liability if someone was injured by falling through the rotten superstructure of the dam or being trapped and drowned while water was going through the dam, rather than over it. Starr indicated that the County's share of approximately $30,000 spent on demolishing the dam came out of the Foreclosed Property fund.
Cornacchia said he did not remember that the foreclosed property fund would be utilized, but that he would check on his own. Dumdi stated she recalled the safety issues being discussed. Van Vactor questioned Starr about Westfir raising the question of impact on their water system. Van Vactor said he recollected the County hiring an engineer to verify that there would not be any adverse impact, and wondered if that did happen. Starr indicated that had occurred.
Cornacchia said he was more comfortable with making the argument that he was going to make because it was the Road Fund, but now that the discussion was about the General Fund and had different reasons for removing the dam, other than what he remembered, he wasn't quite so comfortable. Cornacchia said that it is his position that if the County did it, then it should pay for it. He was opposed to Westfir paying $5,000 to repair damage that the County created for its needs.
Starr said his rationale for supporting a shared approach was that it happened this summer because the County took the dam out, but that the City of Westfir would likely have been faced with this problem in the future. The dam would have been gone by natural causes if the County had not removed it, and the County probably helped to speed up the process.
Van Vactor again inquired about the engineer's report. Starr indicated that the professional conclusion of the report was that removal of the dam would have an impact on the stream bed and water levels that far upstream. Van Vactor indicated that his reason for asking was to have it stated on public record the recognition that the County had done everything it could to protect the water intake, and that appropriate caution was taken.
Green inquired of any legal obligation. Steve Vorhes indicated that the choice was a policy choice and there would be some discretionary immunity for what was done in terms of removal of the dam, but probably not a legal obligation to follow-up.
Cornacchia said that he appreciated Craig's (Starr) analysis, but was considering whether or not the County had a duty to "shore-up" the dam, citing the questions: when was the dam built; when was the water intake established as a direct result of the dam being there? Cornacchia said he was trying to work through this in a reverse sequence of events, and if the community had a reasonable basis to rely on the dam being there and its continued existence, then there would be certain responsibilities associated with the transfer to foreclosed property. Cornacchia stated he supported, at a minimum, the County's participation in a partnership, and wondered if the partnership is asking too much of Westfir, if it is the County's responsibility.
Weeldreyer added that when the dam was removed and the water came through rapidly, it scoured out most of the sediment down to bedrock. In order to be able to create a deeper pool, some blasting will be required to deepen the pool to allow the intake to have clear, fresh water. Those costs are uncertain. Weeldreyer indicated this is an emergency item, because Westfir is within inches of not having enough water. Additional information will be available from engineers at a later date. Discussion continued.
Van Vactor responded to Cornacchia that it has been proposed to use the tax foreclosed property funds in this partnership. Cornacchia said he would be researching the minutes from the previous discussion, as he recollected using road funds for demolition of the dam, which he could more easily support.
Weeldreyer indicated that Peter Thurston had contacted people about the possible use of emergency Community Development Block Grant funds for future resolution of the problem. Green inquired if there was consensus to act on authorization of up to $5,000 and then come back at a later time to resolve the issue.
Dumdi stated that she took exception to the Board Order, because it was her recollection that the Board talked about the danger to the downstream structures and the hazardous condition of the dam and that the fish habitat was a by-product of all of that, but not the initial reason for doing that. Starr indicated that he believed that was the major reason that State Fish & Wildlife paid for half of the demolition. Dumdi indicated that was their concern, but the County's initial concern was the downstream structure and the condition of the dam, and the liability. She said she would be more comfortable if the order was changed to reflect that.
MOTION: With that modification of language, approval of Order #95-7-5-7. Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED. Discussion centered on the reluctance concerning the last two items because of a lack of knowledge of what will happen in the future. VOTE: 4-0.
Bill Van Vactor indicated that there are two other items. An item had been pulled from last week's consent calendar, in order to allow Jim Gangle time to review it, (Gangle had been on vacation), and that had occurred. Order #95-6-28-15/In the Matter of Approving an Award of Bid 94/95-04 for Geographic Information System Database Server. MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
Dumdi announced that there was one other Emergency item, Health & Human Services Order #95-7-5-9. Rockstroh explained a request for Board permission to send a "Letter of Intent to Bid" on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration supplemental awards to the Federal government. This will be a collaborative child alcohol and drug program. Rockstroh indicated that all he had information on was a letter of intent, but that might be somewhat qualified. A policy issue also needs to be addressed about indirect monies.
MOTION: Approval to authorize Ellie Dumdi to sign a letter of intent on request from the Relief Nursery. Cornacchia MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
Dumdi mentioned that the Board would move back to the postponed item under 5-b. ORDER #95-7-5-1/In the Matter of Providing $2,000 of Video Lottery Funds to the Animal Damage Control Program for Increased Cougar Control. Stephanie Schulz presented the item. She stated that Stan Thomas, the regional trapper, attended a recent Rural Community Improvement Council (RCIC) meeting. He provided information to their group regarding increased problems with cougars in the rural communities, and requested $2,000 for cougar control under his program. The RCIC feels that is important to fund, and is requesting $2,000 to be authorized for that Animal Damage program, specifically for dealing with the cougar issue in rural communities.
Dumdi clarified that this money would come from the RCIC special projects fund. Schulz verified that. Cornacchia inquired what "control" entailed. Schulz responded that she thought it meant everything from live trapping an animal and moving it to destroying an animal. Schulz indicated it was her understanding that this money would pay for a part-time person who would specifically deal with cougar calls and provide a vehicle for that person, but was unsure what they actually did with the animals. Schulz stated it was also her understanding that would depend based on each individual case.
Cornacchia expressed his concern that the program today was pure eradication, and that he had difficulty with that, not with the species itself, but that increased rural homesites were being approved. He stated there was value in the discussion of moving the animals and said he would like a written report back from the trapper on what the program entails and where the money the County is spending will be spent. Schulz said she would make that request. Dumdi added that the local trapper, Jack Spencer, does everything possible to protect the animal, not to annihilate, citing several instances where an animal has been moved to another location, although there are other times that cannot occur. Further discussion followed about releasing on site or, (as a targeted species) if the animal would be killed.
MOTION: To provide $2,000 of Video Lottery funds to the Animal Damage program for increased cougar control from the RCIC special projects fund. Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED. Dumdi announced abstention because of a potential conflict of interest. VOTE: 3-0, with Dumdi abstaining.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Green announced that today between 2:00 and 2:45, Senator Mark Hatfield would be at Lane Community College getting an update on the Networking for Youth Program with Joe Berney, the program coordinator. Senator Hatfield has seriously endorsed this program, authoring the legislation (with Senator Kennedy). Green indicated he would be part of the panel providing the update on how the program has impacted the tourism market, as well as the overall impact on Lane County. Senator Hatfield will then be touring the SONY plant. Dumdi announced that she also would be attending the update.
Weeldreyer stated that she had an opportunity to observe the Sheriff's dispatch center on Monday's swing shift. She stated it was a night filled with illegal fireworks calls and additional staffing because of the holiday weekend. Weeldreyer stated that she felt the three dispatchers did a phenomenal job of routing calls and wanted to commend them for their good work.
Dumdi stated she was in Florence on Monday and attended the Laurelwood Housing area, operated by HACSA. A playground has been built by the residents and members of the Kiwanis Club. The resident manager was recently laid off by HACSA due to cost containment. Residents have expressed their concern, and inquired about the resident manager position being reinstated half-time. Van Vactor indicated that he had received a letter from residents and had been briefed by Chris Todis of the Housing Authority, who authorized the half-time reinstatement due to financial constrictions. Van Vactor indicated he had corresponded with the residents stating that he was not aware of any circumstances that would allow continuation of that position due to reduction in federal funding.
Dumdi stated that she would distribute copies to the Board of correspondence received. Van Vactor asked if this was to be a future agenda item for the Housing Authority after Mr. Todis returns from vacation. Discussion followed whether the Board was questioning a policy or an administrative decision. It was decided that the discussion could be held at a future HACSA meeting.
Dumdi recessed the meeting into Executive Session, per ORS 192.660, at 10:30 a.m., reserving the right to return to the regular meeting after the Executive Session.
The meeting resumed at 11:43 a.m., and with no need for further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:43 a.m.
Leslie F. Barrett, Recording Secretary