March 29, 1995
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 1:30 p.m.
Vice Chair Cindy Weeldreyer presided with Steve Cornacchia, Bobby Green, Sr. (arrived at 1:38 p.m.) and Jerry Rust present. Ellie Dumdi excused. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.
5. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 2-95/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 5 of the Lane Code to Reinsert the Portions of the Infractions Procedural Provisions Inadvertently Omitted by Ordinance No. 1-93.
Weeldreyer read this ordinance into the record. Gary Darnielle, LCOG, briefly reviewed this item. Weeldreyer opened the Public Hearing. There being no one present who wished to testify, Weeldreyer closed the Public Hearing. MOTION: Approval of the Ordinance. Rust MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. The secretary polled the Board. VOTE: 3 Ayes (Green unavailable for vote).
b. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 3-95/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 4 of Lane Code to Delete $20/Day Car Rental Tax Exemption, Dedicate that Share of Revenue to County General Fund, Set an Effective Date of May 1, 1995, and a Sunset Date of July 1, 1996;
c. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 5-95/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 4 of Lane Code to Authorize Payment of Administrative Expense from Car Rental Tax; and
d. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 6-95/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 4 of Lane Code to Increase the Car Rental Tax, Dedicate that Share of Revenue to County General Fund and Set an Effective Date of May 1, 1995.
Green arrived at 1:38 p.m.
Weeldreyer read Ordinance Numbers 3-95, 5-95 and 6-95 into the record. Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, observed the history of these Ordinances being brought forward. She indicated that all of the car rental agencies who collect the tax have been notified of these alternatives and were asked to address whether it would be better to have the exemption deleted or the tax increased, and to discuss impacts on the customers and themselves. Bob Keefer, Parks Manager, spoke with regard to the exemption and gave some data on the dollar amounts exempted, indicating that for FY94-95 to date the gross rents are approximately $5.6 million and the amount exempted is $892,000 or 16% of the gross rents. He commented that the percentage has increased through the last few fiscal years. Responding to Cornacchia, Keefer stated that of the five or six firms that show exemptions, the biggest is a national company and others are local companies. Keefer reported that the 5% administrative collection fee is based on the gross tax.
Weeldreyer opened the Public Hearing.
Edward (Chuck) Pape, Premier Car Rental, 20 Coburg Road, stated that his agency is a local independent rental car company. He commented that the rental car business has gone to a mass merchandiser type of business, with large national companies doing insurance replacement and local replacement types of business. Pape stated that the local businesses are feeling the pinch from the national companies. He indicated the need to look at past dealings with the Board on this issue. Pape observed that the car rental tax was initiated in 1983, allegedly for one year at 5%. He noted that now, 12 years later, the tax rate is 10%, with a $20 exemption for local replacements. Pape expressed concern that the Board is coming back again for changes. He offered some ideas, observing that the $20 cap is unrealistic at this time. Pape stressed that the industry needs relief from that cap, indicating the need for an increase to $25 or an exemption of some sort that would exempt replacement vehicles from the tax altogether. He remarked that if that took place, then he would support going to 12%. Pape stated that another idea is a graduated/sliding scale on the 5% collection fee, perhaps 2% on those billing over $1 million and 4% on those billing under $1 million which would lower the number of people who are profiting substantially from this tax. Responding to Rust, Pape indicated that he would have no problem deleting the fee for collection altogether, if that was in lieu of other options. He stressed that he is just trying to serve the local people and still remain profitable. Responding to Cornacchia, Pape indicated that $40 would be a low estimate for a non-replacement vehicle market.
Darrell Green, 810 West 6th Ave, stated that he represents Enterprise Rent A Car, a local company. He indicated that Pape explained the situation well. Green stressed that if the Board continues to tax and keeps forcing the rate below $20 per day, that will run their competitors out of town. He stated that the exemption allows for a positive business environment; but if the exemption is deleted, it will force others out of business. Green summarized that he is in favor of going to 12% and exempting insurance replacement vehicles.
Kevin Paige Hart, 90633 Sunderman Rd., Springfield, remarked that she is speaking on behalf of customers of Enterprise Rent A Car. She indicated that she is in favor of exempting insurance replacement from any tax as the monies can be generated other ways. Hart asked why a burden should be placed on already-taxed constituents.
Ron Coffman, 1075 Lee Street, stated that he was speaking for Budget Rent-A-Car of Eugene, locally owned and operated. He indicated that Budget's position is that the whole ordinance should be repealed as in 1983 it had a one-year repeal date. Coffman stressed that the ordinance has had a negative impact on business in the form of complaints from customers and loss of business to other places without the tax. He remarked that the rental car business has paid for 11 years and suggested that the County get another source for awhile. Coffman questioned where all the money has gone and whether the cost of park maintenance has doubled. He observed that Lane County/Eugene are promoting tourism and industrial growth and that these kind of ordinances are driving people away from the community.
Cher Bourque, spoke representing TurnKey RV Rentals, 23 Main St., Springfield. She asked why RVs are classified as a car rental. She noted that the DMV classifies RVs differently and charges higher fees than cars. Bourque indicated that TurnKey only has five motor homes and that calls for activity are up, but people are not renting because of the tax. She remarked that because of the tax, they have to keep rental fees lower to compete with other counties. Bourque stressed that she would like to see RV rentals exempt, as people do not rent a motor home for the same purposes as cars. She noted that there are only three small companies that rent motor homes in Lane County. Responding to Rust, Wilson indicated that RV rentals are only a small percentage of the total rentals and those that fit the definition are only a small component of what RV rentals rent. Responding to Cornacchia, Bourque's sister indicated that they have four RVs that are designed to carry less than 10 persons. The sister indicated that only about $130 has been paid on the tax, as they are still trying to determine if they are supposed to be exempt.
Gibson Kingsbury, AWAY Rent A Car, indicated support of Pape's testimony. He remarked that his agency has been hit on weekly rentals and that that issue needs to be addressed.
Beverly Rule, 250 S. 43rd, Springfield, remarked that she owns the RV Works in Springfield and that the RVs are a supplement to their regular business. She remarked that they have seen a decline in rentals because of the tax. Rule observed that the tax is also put on mileage. Wilson stated that the tax is a tax on the daily rent rate, not on mileage. Cornacchia remarked that by definition, the "gross fee" could include mileage. Responding to Cornacchia, Rule indicated that 60 percent of their clientele is local and 40 percent is from out of the area.
Weeldreyer closed the Public Hearing.
Rust remarked that DeFazio initiated the tax originally. He stated that exempting insurance replacements makes a lot of sense in addition to exempting motor homes because of the tourist angle, as well as going to 12%. Rust questioned whether that would reach the target. Wilson indicated that she would like an opportunity to research how Multnomah County handles the exemption on replacement/insurance vehicles. Cornacchia remarked that he would like to maintain the acknowledgment of "not taxing tragedy," either by using a generic exclusion or a $25 exemption and would support an increase to 12%, exemption of RVs and could support elimination of the administrative fee, if all of that would come up with the numbers necessary.
Green, Rust and Weeldreyer offered support for Cornacchia's comments, ideas and recommendations. Rust expressed appreciation to the industry for helping tailor this for the community. Wilson indicated that she would research the issue in Multnomah County and there was concurrence to postpone this issue for a new first reading on April 19, perhaps providing a combination of Ordinances 3-95 and 6-95.
With regard to Ordinances 3-95 and 6-95: MOTION: Set First Reading for an Ordinance with new language on April 19, with subsequent public hearing two weeks from then. Rust MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
With regard to Ordinance 5-95: MOTION: Approval of the Ordinance. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. The secretary polled the Board. VOTE: 4 Ayes.
6. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
ORDER 95-3-29-24/In the Matter of Authorizing an Intergovernmental Law Enforcement/Marijuana Eradication Agreement with the Oregon Department of Justice.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Rust SECONDED.
7. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Weeldreyer mentioned that Land Management Fees would be heard as Item 12.a; Item 12.b. would be Order 95-3-29-4, and Item 12.c. would be the present Item 13.c.8.
8. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Roxie Cuellar, stated that she is Director of Government Affairs for the Lane County Homebuilders at 1255 Pearl. She indicated that they had received a copy yesterday of the proposed LMD fee increases. Cuellar asked the Board to postpone this issue for one more week, as the Homebuilders are trying to take a more thoughtful approach to local issues, rather than give a knee-jerk response. She remarked that some of the increases are probably reasonable; but the problem is that due to only having received the information yesterday, they haven't had time to formulate intelligent arguments. Cuellar stated that one concern involves the fact that fees would be expected to pay for the periodic review. She stressed that the periodic review is for public benefit and to have that 100% fee supported would be a change in policy. She summarized that the Homebuilders are part of the community and would like an additional week to review the material.
9. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
10. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.611
To be held later in the day.
11. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. ORDER 95-3-29-1/In the Matter of Approving a Grant of Video Lottery Funds and Business Development Loan Funds to Lane Council of Governments for Its Lane Rural Diversification Fund for Business Development Loans.
Peter Thurston, Community and Economic Development Coordinator, briefly reviewed this item. He summarized that the Economic Development Standing Committee recommends adoption of the Order as written. Cornacchia stated that regarding the loan loss issue, he is more comfortable with the monies being retained by Lane County for that purpose rather than transferring them to LCOG. He indicated that with the understanding that there is $15,000 available, he is supportive. MOTION: Approval of the Order. Green MOVED, Rust SECONDED. Cornacchia offered a friendly amendment that before the Order is effected, questions in the file note be addressed to Legal Counsel's satisfaction. Green and Rust concurred, with Green noting that he would like a copy of the memo responding to the file note. VOTE: 4-0.
c. ORDER 95-3-29-2/In the Matter of Receiving Unanticipated Grant Funds to Increase Appropriations in the Amount of $206,500 in Revenues and Expenses in Fund 35, Capital Improvement Fund and $5,900 in Fund 24, County Administration (0370).
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0
d. ORDER 95-3-29-3/In the Matter of Accepting a Timber Initiative Grant for $15,000 and Appropriating the Funds to the Department of County Administration, With the Match Coming From Video Lottery Funds, and Establishing an Extra Help Position to Accomplish the Work.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Rust SECONDED. Cornacchia explained that this is a direct grant to Lane County, but is being treated as an amendment to the original grant to LCOG. VOTE: 4-0.
12. PUBLIC WORKS
a. DISCUSSION AND ORDER 95-3-28-1/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 60 of Lane Manual to Revise Certain Department of Public Works, Land Management Division Charges and Planning Fees (LM 60.850 and 60.851) Effective April 30, 1995.
Ben Wilson, Land Management Manager, stated that an additional $660,000 in revenue is needed to balance Land Management's budget for FY 95-96. He reviewed the proposed increases (see material on file). Wilson noted that these fees are not higher than Eugene or Springfield even with increases. Cornacchia asked whether the $660,000 includes loss or continuation of $120,00 in video lottery. Wilson responded that it assumes Land Management loses its video lottery dollars. Green asked if any of the fees are negotiable; for example when someone wants a process quicker, could that fee be negotiated. Wilson responded that they are considering a permit acceleration charge which would be an hourly charge for acceleration, if a planner was willing to work overtime. Weeldreyer observed that she has received a petition from over 30 people in south Lane County who are concerned that the cost of planning fees will cause hardship to people who are forced into the system. She suggested that since the Homebuilders want an additional week and Dumdi was absent, that the action be deferred until next week.
Cornacchia remarked that he is most interested in equity/balance, noting that these fees do not exceed like or local jurisdictions. He remarked that it is still cheaper to build a house in the country. Cornacchia stated that he doesn't mind waiting an extra week for the Homebuilders to send in comments, but remarked that he does take issue with the Homebuilders' position on periodic review as they are a large proponent of periodic review because it gives them certainty of increases of land inventories. Rust stated that he is ready to go today as the budget process has shown him that spreading the pain for services as widely as possible is most equitable. He remarked that there seems to be a large sentiment among the public to use user fees wherever appropriate. Rust stressed that these fees are reasonable/comparable with other agencies and noted that there was a unanimous vote in support of the fee increases at the budget committee level. Weeldreyer indicated that she was not in a position to give a "yes" vote this week, due to the timing issue.
Responding to Green, Wilson indicated that he had received responses to his correspondence with the land developers in Lane County and that generally comments were in favor of the fee package. Green remarked that there has been ample notice and he is ready to go today, due to this commitment to the overall budget process and objectives. He commented that he doesn't expect the Homebuilders to support an increase in fees. Weeldreyer agreed with his arguments, but stated that she does want people to have further opportunity and also wants Dumdi to be present. Cornacchia remarked on the condition of budget committee support which was that they would support extra fees if work gets out in a timely manner. He indicated that he was willing to postpone for one week and there was consensus to postpone this item one week. Cornacchia asked if there was consensus that it was not the intent of the budget committee to eliminate the $120,000 of video lottery funding. Van Vactor reported that when Rick Schulz, Management Analyst, heard Del Phelps remarks on self-sufficiency, he felt it included taking away video lottery funding. Cornacchia noted that the money is still there. Schulz gave a brief history of the use of these video lottery dollars, commenting that during the budget development process, based on his understanding, he put the $105,000 back into the general fund for use with the deficit. There were comments that there had been no specific focused discussion on this particular issue, that comments had been made regarding self-sufficiency and that further discussion/clarification was needed on this issue.
b. ORDER 95-3-29-4/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 18 of Lane Manual to Revise Parks Provisions in LM 18.110(1)(d) to Change User Fees for Campsite Rental.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Rust SECONDED. VOTE: 3-1, Cornacchia dissenting.
c. ORDER 95-3-29-15/In the Matter of Attaching to the Clackamas County Bid and Executing a Purchase Order to Morton International, Inc. in the Amount of $198,937 for the Purchase of One (1), New, Highway Paint Striper Truck.
This matter was moved from Item 13.c.8.
Dale Wendt, Public Works Support Services Manager, reviewed this item briefly. He indicated that he had learned yesterday that state funds may not be available for this item until fall, but that he still recommends the equipment purchase. MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
13. CONSENT CALENDAR
Item B.3. was pulled from the Consent Calendar to be heard separately.
A. Approval of Minutes:
January 11, 1995, Regular Meeting, 1:30 p.m.
January 12, 1995, Joint Meeting BCC/ Veneta, 6:30 p.m.
January 25, 1995, Regular Meeting, following HACSA
January 25, 1995, Joint Meeting BCC/ Florence, 5:30 p.m.
January 25, 1995, Joint Meeting BCC/ Dunes City/Florence, 7:00 p.m.
February 1, 1995, Leadership Team Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
February 6, 1995, Leadership Team Meeting, 8:30 a.m.
B. Human Resources and Management Services
1) ORDER 95-3-29-5/In the Matter of Granting an Easement for a Storm Sewer on County-Owned Real Property to the City of Eugene and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute Said Easement.
2) ORDER 95-3-29-6/In the Matter of Selling Surplus County-Owned Real Property to the City of Springfield (Map #17-02-31-31-05101, Located on Main Street Near 34th, Springfield).
3) ORDER 95-3-29-7/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County-Owned Real Property to "Habitat for Humanity" - [(A) Map #17-03-27-31-00100, Adjacent to 1718 Rainbow Drive, Springfield, and (B) Map #18-02-02-23-03900, Adjacent to 870 S. 70th, Springfield). (Pulled and heard separately.)
C. Public Works
1) ORDER 95-3-29-8/In the Matter of Amending an Agreement with OBEC Consulting Engineers for Construction Engineering Services for Currin Covered Bridge and Stewart Covered Bridge.
2) ORDER 95-3-29-9/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to Nessco Supply, Inc. for the Purchase of Global Satellite System Survey Equipment in the Amount of $45,059.24.
3) ORDER 95-3-29-10/In the Matter of Releasing, Dedicating, and Accepting a Parcel Strip as Described on Reel 58-D, Recorder's Reception Number 55649, as Public and County Road Right of Way (17-04-10) (Bobolink Avenue, Webster Street and Maesner Street).
4) ORDER 95-3-29-11/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement and County Road for South Hideaway Hills Road (18-03-34).
5) ORDER 95-3-29-12/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement and County Road for Pickens Road (18-05-09).
6) ORDER 95-3-29-13/In the Matter of Vacating a Portion of County Road Number 582 (E.R. Schwering Road), Without a Public Hearing, and Adopting Findings of Fact (17-01-29, 17-01-30).
7) ORDER 95-3-29-14/In the Matter of Vacating a Portion of County Road Number 598 (Camp Creek Road, Without a Public Hearing, and Adopting Findings of Fact (17-02-20).
D. Regional Information System
1) ORDER 95-3-29-16/In the Matter of Approving an Intra-Departmental Transfer of $10,000 From Information Systems Operational Contingency Appropriations to Capital Outlay Appropriations in Order to Acquire a PC File Server.
MOTION: Approval of the balance of the Consent Calendar. Cornacchia MOVED, Rust SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
B. 3) ORDER 95-3-29-7/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County-Owned Real Property to "Habitat for Humanity" - [(A) Map #17-03-27-31-00100, Adjacent to 1718 Rainbow Drive, Springfield, and (B) Map #18-02-02-23-03900, Adjacent to 870 S. 70th, Springfield). (Pulled and heard separately.)
Cornacchia observed that another offer has come in on this property. He observed that Habitat's offer meets the purposes of the statute, but is substantially below market value and the new offer is closer to market value. Cornacchia recommended rejecting both offers and giving Habitat the opportunity to counteroffer providing at least for recovery to taxing districts. Rust stressed the public interest in getting more people into moderate housing. He reminded the Board that the taxing districts do not help the administrative collection burden. MOTION: Approval of the Order. Rust MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED (for discussion). Cornacchia remarked that generally low income housing offers are on properties without much other interest. Rust suggested deferring action and referring this matter to the Housing Policy Board for policy guidelines/ recommendations. Rust indicated that the Board has given some property away and that at least this is $7,000 plus. Jeff Turk, Property Manager, stated that this amount reimburses the taxes owed on the property. Cornacchia remarked that he would support the Motion, but will raise this issue again. Rust still suggested sending this general issue to the HPB as an example and asking them for feedback. VOTE: 4-0.
14. COUNTY COUNSEL
a. FIRST READING AND SETTING 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) (Second Reading and Public Hearing: April 19, 1995, 1:30 p.m., Harris Hall Main Floor).
Weeldreyer read this Ordinance into the record. MOTION: Approval of the First Reading and setting Second Reading and Public Hearing for April 19, 1995 at 1:30 p.m. in Harris Hall. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. Rust stated that there are some alternatives here and that he feels strongly that the Board should amend the changes in the Ordinance to describe that this is only for FY95-96. Cornacchia agreed. Wilson recommended that first reading be with the understanding that the language in 4.175, subsection 6.e. be changed so that on the third line it reads "revenues... in FY95-96". Cornacchia agreed to add that to his Motion. Wilson also commented that the memo was in error and should note that in order to come up with the $250,000, it takes the 10% for special projects and the 10% for rural tourism marketing. VOTE: 4-0.
15. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 95-3-29-17/In the Matter of Accepting Plan/Amendment Approval Forms #98 and #100 to the 1993-95 Intergovernmental Agreement 20-001; Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign the PAAFs; and Reducing Appropriations of $3,449 in Fund 24 Impacting Services to Individuals With Developmental Disabilities.
Weeldreyer read this title into the record. Weeldreyer opened the Public Hearing. There being no one present who wished to testify, Weeldreyer closed the Public Hearing MOTION: Approval of the Order. Rust MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
b. ORDER 95-3-29-18/In the Matter of Accepting Plan/Amendment Approval Form #103 to the 1993-95 Intergovernmental Agreement #20-001; Establishing a .75 FTE Rate for High School Transition Specialist; Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign the PAAF and Appropriating $45,788 in Fund 24 in Fiscal Year 1994-95 Which Will Support Services to Individuals With Developmental Disabilities.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Rust SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
15. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
c. ORDER 95-3-29-19/In the Matter of Appointing One Member to the Health Advisory Committee.
MOTION: Approval of the appointment of Karen Stein. Rust MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
16. HUMAN RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. ORDER 95-3-29-20/In the Matter of Approval of a Disputed Claim Settlement Regarding the Workers' Compensation Claims of Ellen Grote.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Rust SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
b. REPORT BACK AND ORDER 95-3-29-21/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute a Thirty Day Extension to the Options to Purchase/Sale Agreement With Ivan Thompson for the Westfir Mill Site.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. Green remarked that he had received a few phone calls regarding this matter. Weeldreyer indicated that Westfir had changes in their city council and mayor, and they want to look at the entire mill site property in their planning. She remarked that Mr. Thompson had agreed to work with the city and will look at public/private partnership. VOTE: 4-0.
17. YOUTH SERVICES
a. ORDER 95-3-29-22/In the Matter of Authorizing the Department of Youth Services to Apply to the Criminal Justice Services Division for $51,304 in Grant Funds to Continue the Coordinated Aftercare Program for Juvenile Sex Offenders.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.
b. ORDER 95-3-29-23/In the Matter of Establishing a Position in the Department of Youth Services.
This item was heard and approved yesterday.
18. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned into Executive Session at 3:57 p.m.
Sharon Giles, Board Secretary