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December 10, 1997
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 9:00 a.m.

Chair Cindy Weeldreyer presided with Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi, Bobby Green, Sr., and Peter Sorenson present. Tarra Withers, Recording Secretary.

Commissioner Green was present for Items 1., 2., 4. a., and 5. a. Green was excused at 11:30 a.m..

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

Commissioner Green reminded the Board he would leave at 11:30 a.m. to accompany a delegation to Albany and view the new Oregon Youth Authority regional facility.

Commissioner Sorenson said he was interested in attending a diversity pledge signing at 1:30 p.m. which would be sponsored by the City of Eugene.

Green said he had received a request from Eugene Councilor Bobby Lee for the Commissioner’s support of the pledge. Green said because of a time constraint for the afternoon Board meeting, Vice-Chair Commissioner Cornacchia had agreed to attend the event and would represent the County.

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Jim Baker, 51013 McKenzie Highway, Finn Rock, stated he was a member of the Republicans for Environmental Protection and the Blue River Community Development Corporation; but he was not representing the two organizations. Baker said he had a difficult time with the proposal to oppose economic development in Lane County by opposing the American Heritage Rivers program (see material on file).

Tom Cleveland, 1430 Willamette #321, Eugene, stated he was secretary for the Coalition to Rebuild Community Television. Cleveland informed the Board of an open house on Thursday, December 11, at the Community Television Center (see material on file). Cleveland said the coalition supported the MPC’s (Metropolitan Policy Committee) approved recommendations as reflected in Bob Swank’s December 4, 1997 memo. Cleveland said although MPC had not yet approved the recommendations, the coalition supported the $15,000 one time start-up funding.

Commissioner Sorenson thanked Cleveland and the other volunteers who helped in a production of a program entitled "About Lane County." Sorenson said the program, which had him as a guest speaker, would be shown on the public access channel in the near future.

Lafona Jensen, 25362 High Pass Road, Junction City, stated she supported the American Heritage Rivers Initiative resolution. Jensen said she is president of the Lane County Farm Bureau Federation which represents 526 multiple memberships, representing over 1000 property owners and producers in Lane County. Jensen said the organization had voted not to be included in the American Heritage Rivers Initiative. Jensen said local control would be held if there was continued movement towards the Oregon Plan.

Bud Hinman, 236 Greenvale Drive, Springfield, stated he supported the Commissioners drafted resolution about the American Heritage Rivers Initiative. He said a lot of people had worked on the Clean Water Initiative and it was a good plan. Hinman said the Governor’s plan should be given a chance before the federal government gets involved with Lane County and State of Oregon water problems.

Joni Mogstad, 4797 Old Dillard Road, Eugene, stated she opposed the American Heritage Rivers Initiative and encouraged the Board to support the resolution to exclude Lane County from the initiative. Mogstad said the initiative does not have any safeguards to protect property owners who might be impacted by the initiative. Mogstad stated the designation of a river would essentially be permanent, there would be no way to back-out; however, there would be future opportunities to opt for in subsequent years. Mogstad said she would like more understanding of the term "river community." Mogstad encouraged the Board not to opt into the initiative at this time, but take more time to consider the issue.

Johnny Sundstrom, 93246 Bassonett Road, Deadwood, Eugene, was identified by Commissioner Weeldreyer as a member of the Rural Improvement Council from the West Lane area. Sundstrom stated he is Chair of the Siuslaw Soil and Water Conservation District. Sundstrom encouraged the Board to sign the resolution. Sundstrom provided reasons why the Board should it resolution (see material on file).

Glen Love, 393 Ful Vue Drive, Eugene, said he is a member of a governing board of a large local organization concerned with the health of the rivers, especially the McKenzie River. Love said the organization had heard about the proposed action to reject any Lane County rivers for possible inclusion in the American Heritage Rivers incentive. Love said he would like to hear the matter more thoroughly discussed. Love said he concurred with the comments of Sundstrom.

Robert Clark, 2485 E Street, Springfield, stated he supported community television. Clark said he concurred with the comments of Cleveland. Clark said he would offer his assistance in writing a draft which would transfer operations of public access from LCOG (Lane Council of Government) to a non-profit group. Clark said after December 30, 1997, TCI would designate channel 98 as the public access channel and channel 96 would become government programming.

3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Weeldreyer read the Pledge Respecting Diversity and Honoring Human Rights (see material on file). Each of the Commissioners signed the pledge.

MOTION: Approval of pledge respecting diversity and honoring human rights.

Dumdi: MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

Weeldreyer said she represented the Board on December 9 at a conference in Springfield about emergency management training. Weeldreyer commented Oregon was only one of two states that did not have an identified disaster fund. Weeldreyer announced evaluations were due for Teresa Wilson, County Counsel. And finally, Weeldreyer commented tickets were available for the senior dinner which would be held on December 25 at the Eugene Hilton. She said this annual event is sponsored by the Human Rights Commission and the Board of Commissioners.

Sorenson announced that when the Association of Oregon Counties met in Springfield on December 5, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who was a guest speaker, spoke about the lands in Western Oregon. Sorenson announced that on December 11 the Convention of Visitors Association (CVALCO) would hold their annual holiday event at the meeting place at Gateway Mall. Sorenson announced that on December 12 an ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) representative would speak at the Hilton for the City Club. Sorenson commented that the morning joint meeting with the legislative delegation was productive.

Dumdi announced she had attended a Harrisburg bridge meeting, and the bridge which was built in 1929, is in need of repair. Dumdi said more information on this issue would be presented in the near future. Dumdi noted this historical landmark linked Lane and Linn County.

4. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

a. ORDER 97-12-10-1/In the Matter of Adopting a Public Benefit Scoring System Applicable to the West Eugene Enterprise Zone.

Dumdi provided an overview of the order. Dumdi said the committee included: Commissioner Green, and herself; Eugene City Councilors Scott Meisner, and Ken Tollenaar; Vice-Chair of the Eugene 4J School Board, Greg Smith; and President and CEO of Shelton-Turnbull Printers, Jerry Tunnell.

Denny Braud, Eugene Development Analyst, provided an overview of how the committee created a criteria point system for a business located in an enterprise zone. Braud said the policy established a public benefit criteria that would be used to determine whether a public benefit contribution would be paid. Braud explained the public benefit contributions would be distributed to the following: 20% to education, 40% to Lane County, and 40% to City of Eugene. He said the seven criteria used to determine how much a business was to contribute included: wage, hiring of local people, hiring people with barriers to employment, benefits and training opportunities to employees, whether or not a business was a small business, whether or not a company utilized a previously developed site, and the extent of the assessed value of the new investment.

Referring to Weeldreyer’s concern of why the council choose to eliminate part of the public benefit contribution designated specifically for employment opportunities, Tollinger said by adjusting the language regarding the 20% public benefit contribution towards education, it would prevent a restriction on mandating a job training activity. Tollinger stated by encouraging individuals to receive a high school diploma or an associate degree, it would contribute in helping someone find gainful employment.

Weeldreyer emphasized the public benefit contribution by businesses were not really a contribution; but a required payment. Weeldreyer said for the required payment it would make sense to have that money go back into programs from which companies could receive direct benefits . Weeldreyer cited Lane Community College as being the major short term training location for many businesses located in the West Eugene Enterprise Zone.

Cornacchia said what he found objectionable was why there were no restrictions on the money designated to Lane County and the City of Eugene. Cornacchia stated the government was taking 80% of the money from the public benefit contribution and not applying it to any particular program which could benefit these businesses. Rather than additional funding given to elementary and secondary schooling, Cornacchia said he saw higher education receiving the majority of these funds because the majority of the discussion was about job training.

Dumdi said by striking the clause it would send a message that education at all levels would be important.

Green concurred with Cornacchia’s remarks and added if education was a serious issue, then certain restrictions should not be placed on where the money should be spent. Green said when $10,000 is available for distribution then the committee would reconvene.

Sorenson asked for an overview of how much money could be collected from the public benefit contribution.

Buer said because there were 39 businesses that would potentially be affected by the public benefit contribution, it would be difficult to determine the exact amount of the public benefit contribution. Buer commented the committee did not discuss specific projects and how this system would affect a particular business. Buer said the goal was to have every business have the opportunity to demonstrate some public benefit.

Weeldreyer stated one of the reasons she supported this plan was because businesses would see a direct benefit from the payments made, in terms of productivity and efficiency. Weeldreyer said by striking the language it would not be consistent with what she had originally voted for.

MOTION: Approval of Order.

Dumdi MOVED, Green SECONDED: VOTE: 3-2 Cornacchia and Sorenson dissenting.

Dumdi thanked the committee for the work put into the Order.

Sorenson thanked the city councilors for their work. Sorenson commented that when the process began he suggested a joint committee as a way to come up with ideas to implement the West Eugene enterprise zone after its expiration.

5. RESOLUTIONS

a. RESOLUTION/American Heritage Rivers Initiative.

Weeldreyer read the resolution in its entirety (see material on file).

Weeldreyer informed the Board that earlier this year the McKenzie Watershed Council had discussion of whether or not to endorse the listing of the McKenzie River as an American Heritage River and become part of the Presidential initiative. Weeldreyer said because there was a lack of information, the council did not reach a consensus. Weeldreyer commented that from the discussions with the department of Environmental Quality in Washington, D.C., this was a new initiative, and they wanted communities to assist in the designation of the first ten rivers, it would be difficult to answer any specific questions at this time.

Weeldreyer said the Lane County Rural Community Improvement Council (RCIC) expressed a need for additional information before they could support the President’s initiative (see material on file). Weeldreyer emphasized that the resolution meant there was no support at this time to nominate any rivers to the American Heritage Rivers Initiative in Lane County.

Weeldreyer said she wanted to go on record that the Governor of Oregon had sent a letter to President Clinton asking the Willamette River to be designated as one of the first ten American Heritage Rivers. Weeldreyer explained if the resolution was passed, it would not be a disagreement with the Governor, since the Willamette River runs through the upper part of the County. Weeldreyer said she had received several E-MAIL comments from the Farm Bureau and the Oregon Lands Coalition opposing the American Rivers Initiative..

Cornacchia said the Board had received several requests to oppose the initiative; however, the message the Board would be sending was to have someone in the federal government provide more information. Cornacchia said he had not seen any publication from the federal government about the program. Cornacchia stated, "We do not need another federal bureaucracy, river navigator or any other federal employee, to free up and make that money move freely. All we need is the commitment of the federal government. And they have shown that in the Northwest Initiative."

Green stated he would support the resolution. Green said the Board’s support of the resolution was to not support the American Heritage Rivers Initiative (AHRI) until such time as proposed implementation of the AHRI had been fully explained.

Dumdi concurred with the remarks of her colleagues, and stated she would support the resolution.

Sorenson stated that the process of designation was underway, and the deadline for applications for rivers throughout the United States was in fact December 10, at 7:00 p.m., eastern time. Sorenson remarked the American Heritage Rivers Initiative was a visionary approach to river conservation. Sorenson said AHRI recognized communities that invested in reviving their rivers. Sorenson stated that the AHRI would be an opportunity to support something the public wanted and demanded, which was to protect the rivers, the ocean, and the air. Sorenson remarked he would want the Board to say they were in favor of the American Heritage Rivers program in concept and would like more information. Sorenson urged his colleagues to reconsider their vote, and encouraged them to be out front, to support creativity, and ingenuity, to support the fact that rivers are the lifeblood of our country.

Sorenson asked Weeldreyer why there was a need for a resolution at this time. Sorenson said he would be comfortable with having no resolution.

Weeldreyer said the resolution was important because Governor Kitzhaber had nominated the Willamette River; and there was not enough information to support any nomination of any river systems in Lane County. Weeldreyer said the key interest of the agreement was that the water needed protection; and there needs to be a partnership with the federal, state, local officials, and the communities that are represented by the officials.

MOTION: Approval of Order upon subject of revisions.

Weeldreyer MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED.

Sorenson said another reason he would oppose the resolution was because it had been subject to much public disclosure. Sorenson said he could not support the resolution the way it was currently presented.

VOTE: 4-1 Sorenson dissenting

The Board recessed into executive session to reconvene at 11:30 a.m.

6. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

Scheduled for executive session from 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. in the Board of Commissioners room.

7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. Announcements

b. ORDER 97-12-10-2/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute an Intergovernmental Agreement with Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) for $9,000 to Fulfill Requirements of the Timber Initiative; Appropriating $9,000 in Fund 24 Dpt 03; and Increasing the Program Services Coordinator Position in County Administration by .25 FTE.

MOTION: Approval of Order.

Dumdi MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

c. DISCUSSION/Concerning Oregon Economic Development Department’s "New Directions" and Definition of Distressed Communities.

Stephanie Schulz, Program Service Coordinator, provided an overview of "New Directions" (see materials on file). Schulz said under the new methodology of "New Directions," Lane County was not considered distressed. Specifically, Schulz noted the communities of West Fir, Lowell, Creswell, Oakridge, Cottage Grove, and Junction City meet the threshold; unlike Florence, Springfield, Dunes City, Eugene and Coburg which did not meet the definition of distressed communities.

Schultz said part of the confusion with identifying a distressed community was the definition of rural. Schulz referred to the December 5 memo by the New Directions and Economic Community Development, which provided a general definition of rural. Schulz explained because some of the definitions and descriptions were so general it becomes difficult to assist communities in providing limited resources.

Cornacchia said he was concerned how Coburg was becoming associated with Eugene. He asked that a request be made to separate Coburg from Eugene because of Coburg’s unique nature.

Dumdi said she had some concerns because the Regional Strategy Board program which was originally set for six years was now revamping the make-up of the board during its fourth year. Dumdi commented that the majority of the Board’s members were from the private sector and a minority were from public agencies and public officials; and now there was a reverse membership taking place. Dumdi stated there may be interest to change the Board; but not to that extreme. She voiced concern about a letter sent by a Benton County Commissioner who requested that Lane County be excluded from their region. Dumdi commented that the County had worked successfully in the past four years with the Counties of Lincoln, Linn and Benton.

Sorenson stated although Oregon appears to have a healthy economy at a national level, Oregon should not be overlooked. Sorenson added that there were areas in Portland, Eugene, Springfield, and Salem that were within five miles of the Willamette Valley corridor which are considered distressed areas; and they continue to show up on national statistics.

Weeldreyer said her greatest concern was how Coburg was being connected to Eugene. She said the Board needs to express a strong reservation about that association. Weeldreyer mentioned that because the Regional Strategy Board had one geographic area with overlaid districts, Judge Mike McArthur, of the AOC (Association of Counties) Economic Development Committee, has led an effort to develop some symmetry with those districts. Weeldreyer commented that with internet commerce exploding nationwide, it may be a good opportunity for distressed communities, especially in the non-metro area, to take advantage of an internet businesses.

The Board directed Schulz to provide a letter at the next Oregon Economic Development Department work session meeting which would address the Board’s concern with the definitions of distressed communities and similar issues.

d. DISCUSSION/Report on the 1997 "Challenge of Change" Economic Development Conference.

Schulz provided the Board with background information on this issue (see material on file.)

The Board requested to hear a 15 minute oral update at the January 7, 1998, Board of Commissioners meeting.

8. PUBLIC WORKS

a. ORDER 97-12-10-3/In the Matter of Awarding Recycling Recognition Awards to The Eugene Mission and Mixed Role Productions.

Ken Sandusky, Waste Management Director, provided an overview of the order. He stated the two organizations nominated for the award include: The Eugene Mission and Mixed Role Productions. Sandusky said The Eugene Mission collected and processed nearly one third of the 32.5 million pounds of newspaper collected annually in Lane County. Sandusky noted that the sale of recycled newspapers helps to provide approximately 180,000 meals per year, and 70,000 overnight sleeping accommodations. Sandusky said Mixed Role Productions is a wholesale dealer of calendars. The company distributes and recycles 70,000 calendars a year from accounts in all fifty states and from locations as far away as Iceland, Guam, and the Northern Marianas.

MOTION: Approval of Order.

Cornacchia MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED: VOTE 4-0.

Weeldreyer presented each of the organizations with a plaque for their recycling contributions.

9. CONSENT CALENDAR

A. Approval of Minutes: None.

B. Human Resources and Management Services

1) ORDER 97-12-10-4/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to Accept Funds, on Behalf of the County, from Eugene Water and Electric Board in a Cumulative Amount up to $187,936 for Savings as Part of a Commercial Energy Management Program.

Referring to a file note by David Garnick, Senior Management Analyst, Weeldreyer said it should be noted that the proceeds from this grant are a reimbursement to Fund 35, the Capitol Improvement fund, for past and future projects that result in energy savings.

C. Public Works

1) ORDER 97-12-10-5/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for County Road No. 18 (River Loop #1) (17-04-11).

2) ORDER 97-12-10-6/In the Matter of Canceling the 1976 Multi-Project Cost Share Contract for Recreation Development with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Authorize the County Administrator to Sign a Cancellation Agreement.

3) ORDER 97-12-10-7/In the Matter of Approving Public Works Change Order, Price Agreement No. 1 for the Bagley Downs Alley Project, Contract No. 97/98-04 with Bush Excavating, Inc. for General Construction Services for an Amount Not to Exceed $17,000, and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute the Change Order.

MOTION: Approval of Consent Calendar.

Dumdi MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

10. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

a. RESOLUTION AND ORDER 97-12-10-8/In the Matter of Adding an Additional 0.1 FTE of an Office Assistant in the Public Health Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program; and Appropriating an Additional $25,898 in Revenues and Expenses in Fund 86 in the Department of Health and Human Services (OHD #4).

MOTION: Approval of Order.

Cornacchia MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

b. ORDER 97-12-10-9/In the Matter of Adding an Additional 0.15 FTE of a Mental Health Specialist Position in the Alcohol, Drug, Offender Treatment Program in the Department of Health and Human Services.

MOTION: Approval of Order.

Dumdi MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

c. ORDER 97-12-3-11/In the Matter of Appointing Medical Staff of the Lane County Psychiatric Hospital and Granting Them Physician Privileges as Listed in Exhibit A.

MOTION: Approval of Order.

Dumdi MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 4-0.

Weeldreyer thanked Dr. Helms for his work as the lead physician, and the psychiatric staff for their commitment in providing quality care for its patients.

11. HUMAN RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES

a. ORDER 97-12-10-10/In the Matter of Ratifying the Tentative Agreement Between Lane County and the Lane County Prosecuting Attorneys’ Association.

This item would he heard on Friday, December 12, 1997.

12. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

The Board directed Schulz to provide a letter at the next Oregon Economic Development Department work session meeting which would address the Board’s concern with the definitions of distressed communities and similar issues.

The Board requested to hear a 15 minute oral update at the January 7, 1998, Board of Commissioners meeting.

13. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

There being no further business, the meeting recessed at 12:00 p.m.

 

Tarra Withers, Recording Secretary

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