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October 1, 1997
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - following HACSA

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

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

None.

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Jeff Hedges, 2368 Wester, Eugene, discussed the use of Harris Hall for live broadcasts of community town hall meetings. He stated that he would like to see more of these live meetings because it is good for the community. Hedges remarked that the last meeting was a success and was done entirely with volunteers. He indicated that live television areas are limited. Hedges stated that the fees should be considered and should not keep these meetings from happening. Hedges said he is the technical director of Cascadia Live and has considerable experience with the equipment.

Cindy Noblitt, 3909 E. 17th, Eugene, stated that she discovered that the City of Eugene was in the final process of terminating services due to alleged problems with the equipment. She said, as of last week, she has never had any information of vandalism or broken equipment. Noblitt commented that the machines are used by custodians and that this is what is generating the complaints. She stressed that this final process of terminating service is news to her. Noblitt said the Sheldon facility is not appropriate for public meetings because there are no live capabilities.

Carol Berg, 2510 Augusta, Eugene, stated that she attended the Building Bridges Forum, noting that there were a wide variety of people in attendance. She said she hopes this opportunity is continued and that costs do not deter more town hall meetings. Berg remarked that she attends Cascadia Live and has not seen any damage.

Melody Chord, 2485 E Street, Springfield, stated that she was a live producer of the Eugene Celebration Parade televising. She noted that many people in nursing homes and hospitals were able to be a part of the celebration due to this show. Chord suggested tabling this issue until the MPC (Metropolitan Policy Commission) meeting.

3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Cornacchia discussed a letter he received from Cottage Grove residents regarding decommissioning roads. He noted that Douglas County put the government on notice that they have to be a player in those proceedings and requested that Lane County do the same. He stated that he wants to have Legal Counsel look at this to affirm Lane County’s ability to assert their participation in those decisions, noting that if Legal Counsel confirms this, he will bring it as an agenda item.

Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, said she could talk to Douglas County Legal Counsel and fit this into her work plan.

Green displayed a poster for the Youth Summit on Oct. 10.

Dumdi stated that she received a call from the manager of the Port of Suislaw stating that they received the grant to do boardwalk construction in Florence.

Sorenson reported on the Human Services Commission (HSC) meeting last week. He noted that the League of Women Voters program on wetlands was shown in Harris Hall to a large group of attendees.

Green noted that any efforts by the City of Eugene to establish car camps should go through HSC.

Weeldreyer stated that she was impressed with the town hall meeting in Dexter regarding organization of their community on such issues as youth crime, vandalism, speeding, dogs at large and nuisance complaints.

4. COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS

a.  UPDATE/Florence Events Center.

Joseph Kerr, General Manager of the Florence Events Center, introduced Bob Reed, noting that he was very instrumental over the past decade in helping make the center a reality. Kerr reported on the first year of the events center, noting that they have had more than 300 event days in the facility which far exceeded what he had originally projected. He said that in the past 13 days, they have had 19 events. Kerr noted that more than 65,000 people have attended events and that they have generated 750 additional room nights tied directly to event center events and projected that amount to double annually. He reported that bookings on the conference level are snowballing. Kerr stated that they have five people employed full time and numerous part-time workers. He noted that Florence volunteers have helped to keep this affordable and competitive with more than 8,000 hours of volunteer labor. Regarding the future, Kerr stated that they have eleven confirmed large multi-day conferences. He remarked that they are protecting Lane County’s investment by starting savings accounts including a capital depreciation fund that is funded from annual revenues and an endowment fund to provide a non-tax revenue source in years to come. Kerr stated that the impact of this center to the community has been phenomenal.

Reed stated that the community had a fund raising drive for more than a million dollars and said they are still collecting money. He said as far as operations, they have a very tight budget and are better on profit and loss than they thought they would be. Reed thanked Lane County for its support and help in this project and for staying with them when things were tough.

Dumdi acknowledged the success of the Florence Events Center.

b. ORDER 97-10-1-1/In the Matter of Appointing Two Members to the Public Safety Coordinating Council and Amending Lane Manual Chapter 3 to Increase Membership (LM3.522).

Myra Wall, Principal Planner, Public Safety Coordinating Council, gave a brief overview of this item (see material on file).

MOTION: Approval. Cornacchia MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

c. UPDATE/Facilities Capital Improvement Projects.

David Suchart, Director, Human Resources and Management Services, discussed the jail expansion, noting that the budget has been reconciled within the amount of money the state is providing and that the design is moving along on a fast track. He commented that they are beginning to combine the design developments and construction documents. Suchart said the Conditional Use Permit was approved and that the appeal period ends Friday with no expectation of any appeal.

Suchart discussed the Juvenile Justice Center, stating that the asbestos abatement is going on at the old Elks lodge. He said they will begin demolition of the front of the building this week and that by October 20, the asbestos abatement will be complete and the building will be demolished. Suchart noted that the Conditional Use Permit agreement has been signed. He stated that the ground breaking has been set for October 16 at 11:00 a.m.

Regarding the roof, Suchart stated that it is almost complete with the Annex to be finished this week. He said they have not had any leaks through the membrane and that any leaking is where the metal work has not been completed. Suchart noted that the last area to be completed will be the garden area, stating that 2G Construction is taking bids to complete that area.

Suchart stated that the security system started this morning, noting that the District Attorney felt comfortable going through it. He indicated that there were some upset people but that Olympic Security is doing a good job at customer service. Suchart recognized that there has been signage problems.

Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator, noted that questions or concerns should be directed to the Court Administrator, David Factor, or to the presiding judge.

5. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

To be held later today.

6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a.  Announcements

None.

b.  ORDER 97-10-1-2/In the Matter of Accepting a Hazard Mitigation Grant From FEMA for Elevating Residences Above the Floodplain in the Mapleton Area; Appropriating $375,000 in Fund 24, Department 17; $11,000 in Fund 24, Department 03; and Increasing the Program Services Coordinator Position in County Administration by .10 FTE.

Stephanie Schulz, Rural Development Coordinator, gave a brief overview of this item (see material on file).

Dumdi stated that the Forest Service lease expired and that this grant is for people who already live in the area and whose homes were damaged, noting that they are being elevated above the flood plain. She explained that it is not for new residences.

Responding to Sorenson, Schulz stated that there is no income threshold; first come, first served. She said there is 75% reimbursement on eligible expenses until the money runs out.

MOTION: Approval. Dumdi MOVED, Green SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

c.  ORDER 97-10-1-3/In the Matter of Authorizing the Use of Government Video Equipment for Town Hall Meetings.

Van Vactor gave a brief overview of this item and reviewed the options (see material on file). He stated that, because of the difficulties experienced by the City of Eugene with the use of its equipment, the lack of capability for staffing by the County to address an increase in service and potential risk of damage to the property, he is recommending option three.

Sorenson asked if a test could be created to determine that the people wanting to use the equipment are certified. He suggested having a fee to capture the cost of that test. Sorenson remarked that option three is limiting the classic use of courthouse for public access.

Van Vactor replied that a test could be developed, however, he stated that the employees that run the equipment are LCOG employees and not County employees, therefore, Lane County cannot direct them to do this. Sorenson suggested that Mr. Clark and Mr. Ellsworth be paid for design and administration of the test. Van Vactor responded that they are private citizens not public employees, noting that this is public equipment.

Responding to Green, Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, stated that a promissory note is as effective as the assets behind it. Green stated that a financial statement should be submitted demonstrating assets if damage to the equipment should occur.

Van Vactor clarified that there is no existing procedure for the use of electronic equipment for town hall meetings so this would be the provision of a new service. He noted that after the last town hall meeting held in Harris Hall, there were technical problems that needed repair.

Weeldreyer distributed copies of the Lane County Guiding Principles, stating that at least six applied to this particular policy. She stated that she would like to look at option two.

Green noted that Van Vactor was given direction to bring something back to the Board regarding options and that is what he did. He said he was concerned about the cost of protecting the equipment, noting that there are risks and that the majority of Board members supporting this should be willing to assume those risks.

Bob Swank, Associate Director, Lane Council of Governments, stated that although they are a service provider, they need to make sure that the service they are asked to provide is not a financial responsibility borne by just LCOG. He said there are thousands of dollars worth of equipment, stating that if LCOG is responsible for the equipment, but it is Lane County that lets the public use it, then the County should assume responsibility.

Sorenson stated that he would like to fold this issue into a broader discussion after MPC holds their next meeting regarding cable access television.

Responding to Sorenson, Swank stated that if the County wished to pursue having people certified to use the equipment and there was adequate protection of equipment, it can be done.

Cornacchia stated that the term town hall is being used to provide legitimate use, noting that some of these meetings are very narrowly focused. He said to say the entire community is benefitting from a particular meeting, not a traditional town hall meeting, is asking the County to provide live broadcast to every meeting that someone wants to have on television. Cornacchia questioned why town hall meetings need to be broadcast live and if the public has a responsibility to pay for it. He noted that he is supportive of town hall meetings that include all three jurisdictions. Cornacchia stated that there is a difference between town hall meetings and special interest meetings.

Dumdi concurred with Cornacchia and said she is moving more in the direction of options three and four.

Cornacchia stated that he wants to have this go to MPC for a decision by all three jurisdictions.

There was consensus that the results of the MPC meeting regarding the whole access issue will be discussed at the Board meeting on October 29 and that, in the interim, requests for town hall meetings will be brought before the Board on a case by case basis and that LCOG staff is present at any such meetings.

This meeting recessed at 11:10 a.m. and reconvened at 11:23 a.m.

7. CONSENT CALENDAR

A.  Approval of Minutes

None.

B.  County Administration

1) ORDER 97-10-1-4/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to sign an Amendment in the Amount of $173,000 to the Agreement Between Lane County and CRSS Constructors, Inc. for the Lane County Juvenile Justice Center for Project Management Services.

2) ORDER 97-10-1-5/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute an Intergovernmental Agreement With the City of Eugene and HACSA With Regard to the Planting and Maintenance of Road-Fund Eligible Street Trees for the Jacob’s Lane Housing Project.

C.  County Counsel

1) ORDER 97-10-1-6/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 61 of Lane Manual to Acknowledge Lane County’s Duty to Defend and Indemnify Pursuant to the Oregon Tort Claims Act (LM 61.040(5).

D.  Human Resources and Management Services

1) ORDER 97-10-1-7/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property to John M. and Betty Compton (A Vacated Portion of Playway Road on Map 18-04-19).

2) ORDER 97-10-1-8/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property to # Roger E. and Patricia A. Goodwin (Map 16-01-18-00-01100).

3) ORDER 97-10-1-9/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property Auctioned at a Sheriff’s Sale (McCurdy, Rasmussen, Weech, Ash, Recca, Grieve, Pulliam, Schroeder).

E. Public Safety

1) ORDER 97-10-1-10/In the Matter of Authorizing Renewal of an Intergovernmental Agreement With the Oregon Emergency Management Division.

F. Public Works

1) ORDER 97-10-1-11/In the Matter of Amending a Revenue Agreement with Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for Striping State Highways Within Lane County.

2) ORDER 97-10-1-12/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for County Road No. 269 (Old Beymer Road) (Preston) (18-03-28).

3) ORDER 97-10-1-13/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for County Road No. 269 (Old Beymer Road) (Perkins) (18-03-28).

4) ORDER 97-10-1-14/In the Matter of Awarding a Contract to Farwest Truck Center, in the Amount of $602,768, with Seven (7) Trade-Ins, for the Purchase of Seven (7), New 10-Yard Dump Trucks, Contract FY 97/98-FS-01.

MOTION: Approval of the Consent Calendar.

Dumdi MOVED, Cornacchia SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

8. PUBLIC SAFETY

a.  RESOLUTION AND ORDER 97-10-1-15/In the Matter of Accepting a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Grant for $500,000, Appropriating Funds in the Sheriff’s Office (05), Creating One Office Assistant 2 and Two Mental Health Specialist Positions, and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute Grant Documents and Interagency Agreements.

Lieutenant Paul Sachet, Sheriff’s Office, gave an overview of this item (see material on file).

Cornacchia voiced concern about incarceration of people with mental problems. He said this grant is an extension of diverting such people to a better place and hoped that this will continue and not go away in three years when the grant expires.

MOTION: Approval of the Order.

Dumdi MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

9. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

None reviewed today.

10. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

There being no further business, this meeting adjourned at 11:47 a.m.

Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary

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