December 15, 1999
JOINT BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS/FAIR BOARD LUNCH MEETING
Commissioners' Conference Room - 12:00 Noon
Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr., presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Peter Sorenson and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Anna Morrison was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
Fair Board: Jon Jaqua, Francisa Johnson, Charles Warren, Cleve Dumdi and Dean Hanson presiding. Mike Gleason and Jean Duncan were also present.
a. DISCUSSION Changes to Board of County Commissioners/Fair Board Memorandum of Understanding.
Hanson requested postponement of this order as they did not have time to review it with the changes made.
b. FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING Ordinance No. 11-99 Amending Chapter 2 of Lane Code to Define Terms for Removal of Fair Board Members (LM 2.300). (Second Reading and Public Hearing: January 5, 2000, 1:30 p.m., Harris Hall)
MOTION: to approve First Reading and Setting Second Reading and Public Hearing Ordinance No. 11-99.
Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
VOTE: 3-0 (Weeldreyer left early).
c. ORDER 99-12-15-1 Amending Chapter 3 of Lane Manual to Add Provisions to the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Board of Commissioners and the Fair Board for Removal of Fair Board Members and Indemnity, and to Make Housekeeping Changes (LM 3.160).
Hanson requested postponement of this order.
d. Business Plan.
Jon Jaqua stated they have been concentrating on getting the financial documents simplified so they can be read easier. He added a master plan had been approved and all the documents will tie into that. He reported that they have developed a business plan for the next three years that will evaluate how things have been going based on individual business units. He said the next step will be to develop work plans that are associated with the business plan that will be a basis for an agreement between the Fair Board and Mike Gleason regarding performance.
Van Vactor voiced his concern regarding operating the facilities in a business-like manner without public subsidy and partnership, and the day-to-day cash flow issues.
Jaqua stated the core value is to operate without public subsidy for their operations.
Van Vactor noted the Fairgrounds received a large chunk of money one time a year and he was concerned about their carrying the operations throughout the rest of the year.
Mike Gleason, Fair Board President, noted the Board contributed capital out of their cash flow in addition to room tax. He added at this point, the cash flow is the other way around; they are supporting the cash flow from the capital account. He noted in any given month if they run short on cash, they go to their line of credit. He said this year they hadnt gone to their line of credit.
Jaqua stated the Board will be more comfortable with the financial statements, going into next years approval of capital projects.
Sorenson asked what the public process was leading up to the draft business plan.
Jaqua responded there had been a major effort with neighborhood groups interacting with Gleason. He added it is in the business plan to make sure that discussions are held on an ongoing basis. He said the more outreach, the better. He added the business plan is a document they are using to implement strategies that the Board had directed and approved. He noted that it all flows from the master plan and the capital improvement project that the Board approved and the business plan that deals with the work plan that tie to the financial statements.
Green said the Fair Board is going in the right direction.
Gleason stated one thing that the Fair Board put in as an administrative goal is to get agreement among the neighborhood about what the plan is. He added they gave constructive and useful suggestions about what could be done.
e. Youth Offerings.
Hanson discussed the pictures that were posted on the walls and the events that were taking place at the fairgrounds.
Charles Warren, reported he is the newest Fair Board member. He said the greatest win-win for the taxpayers is the sports project at the fairgrounds. He said it is the greatest single leverage of tax dollars. He explained they took $93,000 and leveraged it to $6 million. He said it started by combining the well-constructed exhibit halls that are only used one or two weeks a year. He said the staff combined that with the fact that of all the shortages in athletic facilities for youth in this community, gymnasiums are the single greatest. He noted not only was Eugene last among Oregon cities in baseball and soccer fields, but they were further behind in gymnasiums. He said 16 gymnasiums were needed to come up to an average of other Oregon cities. He said the staff came to the Fair Board and they approved $93,000 to purchase three portable basketball floors that came from other facilities. He said they created three gymnasiums, a $6 million value for $93,000. He said the second win allows them to meet their primary mission as a Fair Board, to further family values and youth activities. He added they opened an after-school program from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., free to any fifth through eighth grader. He noted if the kids can be occupied, it is a positive situation. He reported they have 25 to 30 kids a day participating. He said they also have tournaments that brings people in fulfilling their mission as a convention and visitors' bureau. He said with all the tournaments generating next year, they anticipate 10,000 to 15,000 hotel night room visits. He hopes the Board shares their enthusiasm and pride in the project.
Weeldreyer asked how many rural community kids were using the facilities.
Warren responded not many yet. He reported they are limited by the location of the Fairgrounds and most kids coming in live in the greater area. He suggested having a bus service in the future picking up students and bringing them into the Fairgrounds.
Gleason stated the Board had been focused to make sure that it is a countywide facility. He noted the effort to support Mohawk High School was an important decision based on that.
Dwyer said he is happy with what is going on at the Fairgrounds. He said he would like to see some outreach in the rural communities to let them know what is available. He hopes as far as the community is concerned, that the fair doesnt become so commercialized that the people who live in the community cant afford to participate.
Green said he was happy to see the Fairgrounds pick up on what a great sports community Eugene has. He said he was pleased that there are activities with youth and with the leveraging of the dollars. He suggested the Fair Board and LTD discuss broadening transportation so schools can become involved with issuing passes to the kids who take the bus to the facility. He stated the 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. hour is important because the kids who graduated high school still have a desire to be involved and this lets them do that. He said that is a marketing area that should be looked at.
f. Capital Projects.
Gleason discussed the new building plans. He reported the bids will go out in February and they will be under construction by March, anticipating taking 15 months to complete. He noted they are adding 20% more square footage that requires more HVAC. He added EWEB is working with them to possibly get some money in match for energy efficiency. He said EWEB had granted money to work with the ice arena and they are hoping to be connected electronically so they can share load compressors. He noted they are working to get one meter electrically so they can save money on the electrical load. He reported in terms of the capital project, he had met with all the neighborhood groups and they seem to be agreeable to what is going on.
Gleason reported another project (going across the Amazon) working with LCOG and the United Front in constructing a recreational facility that is between $1 million and $3 million. He noted as it is viewed right now, it is an Amazon beautification wetlands restoration with two softball and four soccer fields. He stated another project is an existing pedestrian bridge that is narrow and doesnt meet the standards for emergency vehicle traffic to cross the Amazon. He said the Corps of Engineers will be working on the project and no permit is needed. He added they have jurisdiction over this and FEMA has the licensing responsibility on the insurance side. He said there is an agreement between the City and County that any inspections of the property occur through the County system. He added the City has maintenance responsibilities in the channel. He said he will go to the City to make sure that it gets straightened out.
Sorenson noted that Councilor Rayor had contacted him and Green about the permit situation. He suggested sending a letter to the City clarifying the permit situation.
Gleason responded he would do that as well as a letter to the editor.
Green discussed the vacancies on the Fair Board. He suggested getting upcoming vacancies at least 30 days in advance.
Van Vactor stated it needed to be 60 or 90 days in advance.
Gleason stated the postings are out and the deadline is January 5, 2000.
Gleason discussed taking over the responsibility of the Museum. He said if they leave, the Fair Board would like to take it over. He reported the building would give them an opportunity to have a ballroom.
Van Vactor noted whatever the Fairgrounds works out, an intergovernmental agreement is needed with the extension service over the long term, on what the nature of the commitment is.
g. Fair Report.
Green asked the average time to get a reconciliation of the numbers.
Gleason stated they reported back to the Board about the Fair in the month of October and the final reconciliation occurs after the audit in December.
Green requested a reconciliation at the same time the Fair Board receives it.
Gleason noted it was a successful fair financially and with attendance. He said one of the important numbers for the fair is the 10% growth in net proceeds. He added they are careful not to overly commercialize the fair. He reported that 98% of the food booths are local food booths and they change them from time to time. He noted that the Board suggested a thorough examination each year, with a survey and examination about what needs to change. He said with pricing at the gate, it had been well received as well as free parking. He said the $12.50 annual fee was well received by families, the selling of passes from 300 annual passes to over 10,000. He reported they are looking at redoing the program with the carnival because the prices are very high and they are in agreement they need to come down.
Sorenson appreciated the Fair Board and suggested for the future, to put more attention to environment and the importance of providing it as an open place for expression and fun.
Dwyer echoed what Sorenson said. He said he is happy and thinks they are doing a great job and appreciates all the hard work.
Van Vactor encouraged Gleason not to assume that the road funds are available. He said the fund is declining significantly. He encouraged the Fair Board to have some method of recognition for Lane County.
There being no further business, Commissioner Green adjourned the meeting at 1:45 p.m.
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