October 17, 1995
WORK SESSION - BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Commissioners' Conference Room -- 1:30 p.m.
Chair Ellie Dumdi presided with Steve Cornacchia, Bobby Green, Sr., Jerry Rust and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.
9. HUMAN RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. ORAL REPORT BACK/Courthouse Security.
David Suchart, Interim Human Resources and Management Services Director, provided an overview of the Courthouse Security plan. He indicated that a set of drawings have been supplied by Bill Seider and there will be an RFP out so that once the security structure is in place, access points can be monitored electronically. Suchart observed that the system will change the way traffic flows within the courthouse. He remarked that they are working on signage. Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, added that this is a significant change for the courthouse entrance, noting that staff will work with the senior volunteers in order to provide public information to convey to the public. He noted that there will be some reaction to the change. Responding to Green, Suchart indicated that notification will be sent to the Bar Association membership and other police agencies.
10. PUBLIC WORKS
a. REPORT BACK AND ORDER 95-10-17-1/In the Matter of Approving the Leachate Management Plan for Short Mountain Landfill.
Mike Turner, Waste Management Manager, provided some brief comments and introduced the EMCON representatives, Wes Gavett and Garrett Rosenthal. Gavett noted that 12 alternatives had been identified and, after evaluating them, three preferred alternatives were identified. He referred to the final evaluation on page 3-1 of the agenda document (see material on file). He stated that a cover over the leachate lagoon at the landfill is recommended for all options.
Gavett reviewed Option 1, the Creswell option, referring to the summary on page 3-4. He noted that this option has the lowest capital cost and lowest annual operating cost, but that implementation would be obstructed by current permit and compliance order processes that Creswell is going through.
Option 2, the Glenwood option, was reviewed by Gavett (see summary on page 3-7). He stated that this seems to be the most feasible option as it could be implemented without major time delays.
Gavett reviewed Option 3, the EPUD option, summarized on page 3-9. He remarked that this option has several inherent problems and has the most expensive capital and operating costs of all the options.
Gavett referred to the conclusions and recommendations on pages 3-10/11, summarizing that the construction of a force main to the Glenwood sewer collector (Option 2) is the recommended option. He emphasized that this alternative provides a permanent solution to leachate treatment and disposal at the Short Mountain Landfill. Gavett noted, however, that comprehensive plan amendments could delay and possibly prevent the construction of the force main; therefore, he stated that EMCON recommends that another alternative be considered as a second choice, which would be the construction of an on-site leachate treatment facility at the Short Mountain Landfill. Responding to Weeldreyer, Gavett indicated that this is recommended instead of trucking it somewhere due to cost. Weeldreyer suggested that trucking could be done as part of the regular run - "double hauling." Gavett stated that the number of trips for transportation of 30,000 gallons per day would be difficult to accomplish in the normal daily operation of the receiving station and the landfill. Rust asked about the costs for treating on site and remarked that he did not want to see a lot of money put into the second choice option as the initial choice should work.
Gavett summarized that the final recommendation is to submit this plan to DEQ and push for speedy approval. He noted that Turner concurs with the recommendation. Responding to Van Vactor, Turner stated that the Creswell decisions are too far out to meet DEQ deadlines.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Rust MOVED, Green SECONDED. Cornacchia expressed his ongoing concern with the department's inability to accept advice, stating that he lacked confidence in their ability to perform. VOTE: 4-1, Cornacchia dissenting.
The following items were carried forward from the morning agenda.
7. PUBLIC WORKS
c. REPORT/County/City Road Partnership Program Agreements.
John Goodson, Public Works Director, reviewed his agenda memorandum (see material on file), recommending that payments scheduled for November 15, 1995 be made in accordance with existing agreements. He further recommended that the Board appoint a subcommittee to review issues related to the agreement renewals in conjunction with a detailed analysis of the County Road Fund. Goodson observed the need to prepare recommendations for Board action prior to January 1 in order to serve notice of intent to cancel or downgrade the payment allocations to the cities. Goodson reminded the Board that there has previously been some concern about transferring county roads to cities. Weeldreyer requested to have examples presented to her later with regard to unimproved, grated and gravel roads.
Cornacchia indicated that he had come into this process thinking that this would be a likely place for modification in the road fund. He stated, however that he had come to a different conclusion. With regard to Road Fund expenditures, Cornacchia reported that payments to cities/state, Economic Development and urban transition amount to about 20% of the Road Funds being spent on systems other than Lane County's. He observed that the gas tax has been historically about 25% of revenues. Cornacchia stated that the reason Lane County gets that much gas tax is based upon vehicle registration and that the reality of vehicle registration is that 60% of vehicle registration is from cities. He concluded, therefore, that the road partnership and program of sharing resources with cities should and must continue and may even need to be increased. Cornacchia remarked that he would like, however, to have a discussion regarding how these monies are utilized, i.e. whether they should be used as the cities wish or be connected to a program, such as a marriage of the roads Lane County retains responsibility for (maintenance, upgrade, improvement), the ones that have been transferred and some connection of collectors/arterials that are also the city end extension of those regional network roads. He stressed that he remains committed to the idea of coordination/consolidation and is more interested in how to better utilize funds shared with cities rather than doing away with them.
Rust emphasized that the Road Fund is never going to have enough money to accomplish everything everybody wants. He stated that steps need to be taken to manage the fund and that he is looking to the Finance and Audit Committee for recommendations. Rust indicated that he wants to see a systems analysis, but most importantly, fiscal management of the fund. He suggested holding off on giving notice until the committee produces conceptual results.
Dumdi observed the need for a comprehensive look at the entire program, focusing on containing some costs internally as well as externally. She stated that she doesn't want to discontinue the road partnership, but perhaps adjust it to a mid-range ($2 - $2.5 million). Rust remarked that Lane County should not talk about limiting contributions to cities until/unless Lane County contains its own costs. Rust suggested that a representative from Eugene, Springfield and a small city come to the committee table. Cornacchia noted that there are three components: 1) aid to cities, 2) county operations and 3) county capital.
Green stated his support for continuation of the agreements with cities, noting that he would like to see uniform reporting techniques.
With regard to Florence, Rust suggested that they show a plan and make a proposal on how they would repay a significant amount of those dollars to start a revolving loan fund. Cornacchia observed that there is $900,000 for economic development and over $3 million in requests, with all projects meeting the criteria.
Weeldreyer remarked that with over 60% of gas tax coming from the cities, there seems to be justification to allow local jurisdictions to decide where the money goes. She expressed agreement with regard to the potential for an EDAP revolving loan fund. Weeldreyer offered support for continuing aid to cities and working with Finance and Audit to report back in 60-90 days, with interim reports. Green agreed with the revolving loan concept. Responding to Cornacchia, Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, indicated that her office would provide some legal review of the County's ability to loan. With regard to an endowment fund, Rust stated that a charter amendment would help bind future Boards.
Goodson spoke about operations expenditures over the last 10 years, noting that there has been an increase in staff, but nowhere near the doubling that the expenditures would indicate. With regard to the analogy on gas tax, Goodson remarked that a large portion of the projects are done in the metropolitan area, but outside the cities.
There was consensus that the Finance and Audit Committee would review the policy questions contained in Snowden's memorandum. There was agreement that representatives from the Roads Advisory Committee, the Budget Committee, Eugene, Springfield and one small city would be invited to join in Finance and Audit's discussions. Cornacchia reminded Legal Counsel of his request regarding the legal issues related to loaning.
This meeting recessed at 3:02 p.m. to reconvene at 3:17 p.m..
d. DISCUSSION/Marginal Lands.
John Cole, Planning Director, reviewed his agenda memorandum (see material on file). Cornacchia recalled that what the Board is really focused on is the first criteria relative to management of the lands (primarily goal 4 and some goal 3) and the difference between active management as it relates to the argument made during the last application on appeal, i.e., if a forest stand has not had anybody physically on it doing something to it, then that means that it was not actively managed during that timeframe. Cornacchia stated that the Board had rejected that premise and asked for discussion. He added that he has his own concerns regarding staff "taking a conservative approach" and the role of the planning director. Rust noted that the code calls out a number of places where the planning director makes the decision. Cole expressed interest in the Board's direction regarding strictly following the code. Rust observed that he believes staff are trying to convey some sense of using a "cautious approach" to interpreting standards and that while they don't delegate policy, it does fall to the director occasionally to make a determination. Cornacchia expressed concern that a strict approach is contrary to the Board's intent, noting that the first consideration is to serve. He observed that the Board has said that it wants the director to help people find ways to do what they want to do while staying within the law. Green indicated that he believes he understands what Cole is saying, i.e. that if he is to err, he would prefer to err on the conservative side. Cornacchia commented that he had been concerned with the use of the "first person" plus the language "strict interpretation" of marginal lands. Weeldreyer emphasized that actions speak louder than words, with Cornacchia remarking that the printed word can be used forever. Rust suggested that staff use the term "reasonable" instead of "conservative."
With regard to the Erickson case and the two-part marginal lands test, Cole indicated that the first test is to prove that the proposed marginal land was not managed during three of the five calendar years preceding January 1, 1983, as part of a farm operation that produced $20,000 or more in annual gross income or a forest operation capable of producing an average over the growth cycle of $10,000 annually. He observed that it is more difficult on a forest operation to determine active management. Cornacchia stated that an interpretation needs to be created for the term "managed." Rust remarked that it should be possible to write a clarification that puts the Board on record as interpreting that management means trees are growing and growing as part of a long cycle. He added that there are two issues; i.e. what is the growth cycle (40 or 80 years) and what is the price of stumpage to use. He suggested the "average of stumpage prices over last ten years" be used for that figure. With regard to growth cycles, Rust recalled that both the state and the federal government have moved their growth cycles to 80 years. Cornacchia suggested that staff go out and make efforts to have discussions with the private sector (including owners, land use planners, land use lawyers, etc.) and find out the growth cycle for a commercial operation, asking them what should be the basis of stumpage prices. Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, noted that provisions of the statute are included in the packet, i.e. ORS 197.247(5) which states "A county may use statistical information compiled by the Oregon State University Extension Service or any other objective criteria to calculate income..." He added that historically, until the Erickson case, Lane County used minimum lot size in the forest zone to see if there was adequate acreage; and that after Erickson came in with additional argument to look beyond that test and the Board agreed with that, then there is now room for the Board to determine objective criteria. Vorhes summarized that the Board can pick a growth cycle and a window if it is tied to what the statute means. Cornacchia asked that staff and private sector representatives bring back a recommendation on management, actual growth cycles (for different species) and a window. Rust suggested that perhaps the Small Woodlot Owners Association, the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Extension Service be used as sources and staff was asked to report back in four to seven weeks.
e. ORDER 95-9-20-4/In the Matter of an Interpretation of the Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan, General Plan Policies, Goal 2, Policy 11a.
Jim Mann, Senior Planner, reviewed his agenda memorandum (see material on file) and distributed an additional letter from M.J. Higgins. He also distributed and reviewed a memorandum dealing with approximate figures for development potential in the rural area. Mann noted that out of all the existing dwellings and the vacant tax lots, quality of services is not a requirement to maintain a dwelling or to get a dwelling. He indicated that the reason that is important for the Board's interpretation is if quality of services is to be interpreted as a requirement to obtain approval of the density zone change, then there is no way to achieve that through Goal 2, Policy 11 because there is a big impact on quality of services through infilling in the existing dwellings that is not addressed in the plan. Cornacchia asked if "unless..." could be used, instead of "can't" do it with density rezonings. He asked if it could be done with density rezoning if the rules for those were changed. Mann replied affirmatively. Cornacchia questioned, however, that if those rules were changed, where does the issue of expectations for legal lot development come in. Mann emphasized that it is impossible to address it through rezoning because if there is a quality of service problem, a big portion of it is created here and it won't be solved through narrow rezoning policies. Rust recalled that "rural growth boundaries" were drawn around clusters of lots which became "developed and committed" with the presumption being that anything within those lines was developable with no requirement of quality of services. He indicated that there was a general presumption that the parcels would be able to develop using average density. Responding to Rust, Van Vactor stated that he was not sure regarding division to the average, remarking that criteria relating to zoning standards still needed to be met; but, the assumption was that they could come in and apply if it was developed and committed and rural residential.
Cornacchia observed that this is not a new interpretation, it's just that there was never discussion regarding quality of service. He stated that he was comfortable with the staff recommendation of the interpretation. Cornacchia indicated that he believes it is time to send this issue to the Planning Commission and ask them to review whether there is a way in which quality of services can be addressed.
Weeldreyer noted that Mann had outlined a plan for analysis contained on page two of the agenda memorandum. Cornacchia offered to pull his suggestion and allow staff to work this issue into the work program for the planning commission using resources as available. Mann indicated that he looks forward to developing a work program that takes this on as there is a need for better awareness of the problems/issues.
Responding to Van Vactor, Mann stated that staff will attempt to utilize the GIS system to look at potential build-out. He noted that a possible approach is that service boundaries be digitized. Ben Wilson, Land Management Manager, observed that GIS does not currently have information regarding legal lots. Rust suggested bringing up maps of the Developed and Committed areas as examples when/if there is a future presentation to the Board.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Cornacchia MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0. Cornacchia questioned why the Hearings Official who requested the interpretation was not here as he wanted him to be clear on the interpretation
10. PUBLIC WORKS
b. ORAL REPORT BACK/Status of Formation of Solid Waste Executive Management Planning Group/Planning Process.
Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, reviewed his October 11 memorandum (see material on file) dealing with composition of the Solid Waste Executive Management Planning Group. Cornacchia suggested that perhaps John Hire be used as a resource, as he is a provider and is also involved with a MIRF. Rust suggested that a few parties be identified that have potential self-interest, perhaps BRING, and that they be invited to the meetings, but not be at the table. Cornacchia clarified that everything remains on table for discussion (including fee takers). Rust observed that the group will make recommendations, with pros and cons. Cornacchia stated that the Board needs to let employees know that privatization is still a consideration. Green offered that an employee buy-out is even an option. There was consensus to follow Van Vactor's recommendations with the suggestions identified above. An oral report back was requested in 30 days.
8. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
Van Vactor stated that he had an item needing discussion related to the Fairgrounds Bonds and selecting an underwriter. He indicated that normally that is a classic administrative decision, but that in this case one of the finalists wants to limit the options the county can pursue in terms of financing. David Suchart, Interim Director of Human Resources and Management Services, reviewed the history of this issue, which was followed by a brief discussion. There was consensus to go with the Seattle option.
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.
Sharon Giles, Board Secretary