October 3, 1995
WORK SESSION - BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Commissioners' Conference Room -- 9:00 a.m.
Chair Ellie Dumdi presided with Bobby Green, Sr., Jerry Rust and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Steve Cornacchia excused. Sharon Giles, Recording Secretary.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Lou Sinniger, 1174 Gateway Loop, AFSCME, discussed the proposal/analysis regarding the Lane County Solid Waste Plan. He observed that there are 30 employees who would be impacted by any discussion of contracting out Solid Waste. Sinniger expressed concern that he had not received a copy of this document from anyone. He agreed that there are a number of problems in Solid Waste, but stated that contracting out is not a solution. Sinniger commented that if Lane County can't manage the problems with employees, then how could they expect to manage contracting out. Dumdi and Rust noted that AFSCME should have received this report out of courtesy.
Mary Dutton, AFSCME representative, distributed a copy of her statement (see material on file). She noted that AFSCME leadership has taken an active role in developing a cooperative approach to work-related issues throughout the County and in particular with County leadership. Dutton expressed agreement with Sinniger's comments. She appealed to the Board to provide an adequate process of notification to AFSCME.
Ken Miller, P.O. Box 480, Mapleton. Mr. Miller's testimony was interrupted by Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, as he was speaking to Item 5.d. She informed him that he could only speak in general terms of the law and not on a specific case. Miller indicated his interest in increasing jobs in the area.
Judy Dodson, 15602 Stagecoach Road, Walton, requested to speak on the same issue as Miller (above). Rust indicated that he would like to hear why the parties think an interpretation should allow the use. Wilson reiterated that parties should not discuss a particular situation and the way it affects a person or community. She added that personal testimony would impair the Board's ability to deal with an appeal. Dodson spoke briefly, attempting to keep her testimony at the legislative level.
Ken Miller was allowed to speak again and discussed the countywide impact, noting that there are lots of little rural commercial buildings in Lane County - all zoned rural/commercial. He stated that this will allow another use for those buildings without big impacts and with controls.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Held during the afternoon session.
4. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. ORAL REPORT/State Owned Forest Land in Lane County and Issues Surrounding the Land.
Darrel Spiesschaert, District Forester, Department of Forestry, Western Lane County, provided the presentation, using overhead projection. He introduced Craig Royce, Southern Oregon Director, and Art McCoy, Unit Forester for state-owned lands in Lane County. Spiesschaert noted that there are several issues that are of interest to the Board. He distributed a reference notebook to each commissioner which included a summary of comments made today (see material on file). Spiesschaert stated that the Department of Forestry manages 789,000 acres of forest land in Oregon, with 657,000 acres being Board of Forestry lands, which distributes 63.75% of the gross revenues to counties with the balance to the Department of Forestry for its administration of the land. He noted that State Land Board lands include 130,000 acres whose revenues are distributed to the Common School Fund. Spiesschaert discussed the goals for the two components of state lands and highlighted facts and figures relating to state-owned land in Lane County.
Responding to Rust, Spiesschart remarked that the Department of Forestry does not have a Habitat Conservation Plan, but will probably include one in their new long-range plan.
This meeting recessed at 10:00 a.m. to reconvene at 10:15 a.m.
Spiesschaert finalized his discussion by explaining highlights of the strategic plan and external issues facing the state-owned lands program. He asked that some type of ongoing dialogue continue between the Board and his office. Rust suggested that Spiesschart keep the Board informed of the public planning process involved in the planning process.
5. PUBLIC WORKS
a. REPORT BACK/Waste Management Plan.
Mike Turner, Waste Management Manager, introduced Steve Donovan of Thomas Wright Engineering, noting that they would be addressing two specific issues: 1) the impact of Material Recovery Facilities locating in Lane County and 2) the possibility and impact of contracting out/privatization of portions of the Waste Management operations. He following the outline included in the packet material (see material on file).
Responding to Weeldreyer's question regarding whether tarping to help control leachate could become part of a company's set of performance standards, Donovan indicated that synthetic covers are an absolute must and Lane County could only tell them to meet regulations, but not how to accomplish that.
Kathy Thomas explained operating agreements with private sector firms to provide service. Donovan reviewed the other information related to public-private partnerships. Rust indicated that he would like to see comparison between our total cost of doing business, including disposal, hauling, administration, landfill, etc.
Donovan outlined a summary of cost control alternatives that could be implemented if the system was not contracted out, including elimination of the curbside recycling credit, a reduction in DEQ fees due to flow diversions to MRF's and keeping the CRS open to commercial haulers, all of which he indicated were very easy to implement. System versus ratepayer savings were discussed. Several other options were reviewed which were classified as minor and major challenges (see material on file). Donovan indicated that there are two things that landfill companies and the big corporations look at when they look at operations - synthetic covers at landfills and replacing FTE's with temporary labor. He remarked that replacing FTE's with temporary positions can save 30 to 40%. Thomas distributed a handout providing a comparison of staffing at selected western Oregon landfills, summarizing that Lane County should be able to run its landfill with two less FTE's. Donovan stressed the importance of staying competitive.
Donovan concluded with a discussion of the pros and cons of MRF's relative to the Waste Management Division's business plan (see page 8 of packet material). Responding to Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, Thomas indicated that Lane County would not be able to gain flow control, as it has no pre-existing ordinance.
Donovan recommended that Lane County diversify/change its revenue structure. Responding to Heaton, Donovan indicated that he is already seeing a loss of revenue due to MRF's (material recovery facilities). Weeldreyer asked how new landfills can be charging so little. Turner reminded the Board that Lane County provides numerous other services and Donovan replied that several facilities are state-of-the-art and have cost advantages over some existing landfills due to amortization. Rust observed the need to attempt to bring Lane County's tonnage cost down and also diversify the revenue base. Van Vactor asked whether this "new reality" had been presented to the Resource Recovery Advisory Committee. Turner indicated that it had not.
Donovan summarized by stating the Lane County needs to diversify its revenue base, be competitive on disposal and provide some regulatory oversite on MRF's. He asked the Board for guidance to help focus on a plan. Rust observed the need for a solid waste executive management planning group to provide business-level recommendations. Van Vactor agreed, suggesting that two Commissioners should be present on that committee and that the group should be asked to return in a few weeks with recommendations. Rust added that all existing groups could be part of the general discussion, but stressed the need for a smaller executive group to develop a business plan. Weeldreyer stressed the need for employee representation, along with representation from other committees currently involved in waste management. Phil Hibler and Mary Dutton, union representatives, emphasized the need for labor to be included in this process. Green noted that he has concerns regarding the perception of shifting the cost to the public. Rust and Weeldreyer volunteered to be members of the executive group. An oral report was requested in two weeks regarding the status of the group's formation/planning process.
The following item was taken out of Order, with the balance of the morning's agenda being carried over to the afternoon session.
d. ORDER 95-10-3-1/In the Matter of Interpreting Lane Code Chapter 16 to Allow Small Scale Food Processing and Wholesale Facilities Within the Rural Commercial Zoning District.
John Cole, Planning Director, briefly reviewed his agenda memorandum (see material on file). Rust commented this was exactly what was envisioned when this was implemented, noting, however, that he would like to see a change in the language regarding "specialized alterations" to allow some flexibility in making some needed improvements or alterations. Weeldreyer concurred.
MOTION: Approval of the Order. Green MOVED, Rust SECONDED. Green expressed agreement with some flexibility, but added that he wants to prevent "wholesale chains." Cole requested flexibility to make judgments on a case-by-case basis. VOTE: 4-0. Wilson received clarification that the Motion was adopted as presented without change in the language with regard to "no specialized alterations." Cole indicated that, as a result of today's conversation, he will feel more comfortable regarding making interpretations in similar/ comparable cases, which may involve some improvements/alterations as necessary as long as there is not a negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood.
There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 12:28 p.m.
Sharon Giles, Board Secretary