November 12, 1997
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 1:30 p.m.
Chair Cindy Weeldreyer presided with Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi, and Peter Sorenson present. Bobby Green,Sr. excused. Tarra Withers, Recording Secretary.
13. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Commissioner Dumdi said The Association of Oregon Counties would be meeting November 17-21, in Ashland. Dumdi said there would be an upcoming conference sponsored by Ed-net Teleconference Group Broadcast. And finally, Dumdi announced a Joint Interim Legislative Schedule was available.
Commissioner Sorenson announced he would speak at Lane Community College (LCC) on November 17, 1997. The topic would focus on acquiring a bus pass between LTD (Lane Transit District) and students at LCC. He announced that on November 22, 1997, the National Association of Colored People (NAACP) would hold its annual Freedom Dinner at the Eugene Hilton. And finally, Sorenson announced that the Willamette Valley Business Association would hold a conference in Eugene on December 5, 1997.
Commissioner Weeldreyer announced that property tax statements would be sent out. Weeldreyer said she had the opportunity to drive an electric Ford Ranger.
14. PUBLIC COMMENTS
15. COMMISSIONERS BUSINESS
a. ORAL REPORT/Status of Homeless Issue in Lane County.
Steve Manela, Human Services Manger, provided an overview of how the Human Services Commission (HSC) would address the continuum of care for homeless individuals and those who were at risk of becoming homeless (see material on file). Manila said that on the 17th of November, the City of Eugene would consider an ordinance which would authorize overnight sleeping in specified areas.
16. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 97-11-12-14/In the Matter of Establishing the Boundaries for the Proposed Annexation of Most of the Areas of the City of Cottage Grove to the Emerald Peoples Utility District and Calling for an Election.
Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, commented on a 1978 map supplied by EPUD (Emerald Peoples Utility District) which outlined the boundaries of Cottage Grove. She noted the map did not include annexations that had occurred to Cottage Grove of areas already served by EPUD. Wilson stated the purpose of the public hearing was to acquire additional testimony on the question of whether or not the boundaries are the correct boundaries that should be offered to the citizens to vote upon. Wilson said the statute regarding boundaries indicates individuals who vote cannot be included if they are currently served by a public utility district. Wilson stated the Board has a proposed board order to establish the boundaries, and a proposed ballot title.
Responding to Sorensons comments, Wilson stated the Boards role was to correct any deficiency in the boundary description offered by the petition signers and call an election.
Referring to a question by a constituent on responsibility for paying for an election, Dumdi said Wilson informed her that regardless of the outcome, the petitioning agency, EPUD, would be responsible for the election costs.
Wilson clarified Dumdis comments and explained that because the citizens of Cottage Grove were the initiators of the petition, and a district (EPUD) would be affected by an election, then EPUD would be responsible in paying for the election. Wilson stated the issue presented to the electors is an annexation issue, and not, as presented, a service provider issue. She said introducing a service provider onto the ballot title risks a challenge to the ballot title.
Weeldreyer opened the Public Hearing.
Kevin Stephens, 622 R Street, Cottage Grove, stated he was a general business manger for Pacific Power and Light (PP&L) and a City Councilor for Cottage Grove. Stephens said PP&L is the only service provider inside the city limits of Cottage Grove. Stephens referred to ORS 261.161 on boundaries, and explained that the Board has an opportunity to reject the annexation petition (see material on file). Stephens declared he did not favor the order.
Cornacchia asked if an official letter from the Mayor and the City Council was sent expressing their position on the Order.
Stephens said the council had not addressed this issue as a whole; however, the majority of the council opposed the Order.
Sorenson asked if the boundaries suggested for the elections were correct.
Stephens said he could not comment if the boundaries suggested for the elections were correct because he had just received the map.
Thomas Nelson, 1001 SW Th Avenue, Suite 1900, Portland, stated he has been practicing public utility law for nearly 25 years. Nelson responded to Cornacchias question on what statutory language supported the statement. He said his memo to Stephens reads: "The Board may refuse to determine PUD boundaries if it finds that the annexation or the annexation election would not implement a purpose of the PUD statute" (see material on file). Nelson said he interpreted that statement from ORS 261.171. Nelson also noted language that addressed the issue of "benefits" in ORS 261.007 (see material on file).
Cynthea Choat, 300 N. Douglas, Cottage Grove, stated she was a City Councilor for Ward 2 of Cottage Grove. Choat said she had not received comments concerning PP&L rates or performance, or any comments from her constituents about annexation. Choat said Lindsey Haskolt, another Cottage Grove Councilor, was unable to be present at the hearing, but expressed he too opposed any annexation.
Weeldreyer asked Choat if the the election to have an annexation was in the best interest of their constituents.
Choat said the council felt an annexation was not in the best interest of their constituents.
Gary Williams, 443 South 3rd Street, Cottage Grove, stated he was a City Councilor for Ward 3 of Cottage Grove. Williams said he concurred with Choats comments. Williams said he has lived in Cottage Grove for 46 years and has been satisfied with the services of PP&L. Williams presented a letter from City Councilor Doug Perkey who wasnt able to attend the meeting (see material on file). Williams said Perkey did not support the petition.
Pat Patterson, 1140 South 10th Street, Cottage Grove, stated he was in his fourth term with the City Council. Patterson said he had heard EPUD had acquired the Lane Co-Op parcels west of Cottage Grove, and ties into Sweet Lane. Patterson asked if those individuals who were traded by EPUD had an opportunity to voice their opinion and be notified of any changes with their services. Patterson said he opposed the annexation and a call for an election.
Weeldreyer asked Ann Morrow, governmental liaison for Emerald Peoples Utility District, if she had any comments.
To determine the boundaries for annexation, Morrow said EPUD had worked with a list obtained from the election office. She said there were seven serving utilities in Lane County, and at times there may be more than one service provider for the same lot; however, those addresses that had multiple service providers were not included as part of the boundary.
Referring to Sorensons comments on the Boards purpose to hear public comments about boundaries, Wilson said the purpose of the hearing was boundary establishment. Wilson stated the purpose of the Order was to establish boundaries, call the election, and adopt the ballot title.
The Board gave Wilson direction to add additional language to the agenda title and make it consistent with the Order.
There was Board consensus to continue the public hearing to Tuesday, November 25, 1997.
17. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, the Board adjourned at 3:30.
Tarra Withers, Recording Secretary
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