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January 27, 1999
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' - REGULAR MEETING
Commissioners' Conference Room - 1:30 p.m.

Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr., presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Anna Morrison, Peter Sorenson and Cindy Weeldreyer present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

13. PUBLIC WORKS

a. ORDER 99-1-27-14 Amending Chapter 18 of Lane Manual to Revise Seasonal Moorage Fees at Baker Bay, Orchard Point and Richardson County Parks (LM 18.110).

Green noted that he and Weeldreyer had reviewed the item in the Finance and Audit Committee and it was their recommendation that it be forwarded on to the Board for approval.

Dwyer MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.

Morrison stated she fully supported the order.

VOTE: 5-0.

b.  DISCUSSION AND REVIEW Parks 2005 Plan.

Bob Keefer, Director of Parks, gave a presentation and review of the Parks 2005 Plan. (Copy in file.) He also showed a video about the benefits of parks. He said they have done a better job of marketing the park facilities, and he handed out a brochure (copy in file) that is the second edition, showing all the new sites that the County took over as part of the parks consolidation plan. He added the marketing has helped increase user fee revenues from camping and group picnic facilities, moorage and general day use. He said they took the lead with County effort to do a guide on County campgrounds and recreation facilities. He added the reservation systems have been successful at Harbor Vista and Richardson Park. He said they have planned to work more with volunteers and in the fiscal year 1997, they had over 15,000 hours of volunteer time from park hosts to Eagle Scouts performing projects from trail building to painting to doing landscaping. He added it provided them with the stability that they needed to operate the system. He also mentioned that there was an excellent park staff as well as a supportive Parks Advisory Committee. He added he is proud of what the staff has accomplished with the 2000 Plan and is ready to go forward with the 2005 Plan.

Weeldreyer asked about soliciting the help of some of the student workshops at the University of Oregon around developing business plans for public and private developments, like a retreat center.

Keefer stated it had been done on a smaller scale. He said right now a landscape architect from the University of Oregon is doing work on the Armitage House and a Lane Community College student is in the office working for free trying to bring up Armitage House’s master plan into an auto cad format to be used.

Dwyer suggested to have a mechanism for people who couldn’t afford paying fees to allow them to use the parks.

Sorenson said he was interested in the plan where the parks will continue to be outside of the general fund, not supported by property taxes.

Keefer agreed with the concept about free day use permits. He added there is an economic reality of trying to maintain sites when a fee is charged, people respect the property more and don’t take quite as much advantage of it. He said he will look at the low income issue.

Sorenson asked about having systems development charges fund Lane County Parks.

Keefer stated there had not been a recommendation to do that. He said with regard to enhancements, they can occur without asking for general fund dollars. He asked that the current resources remain. He said they needed to enhance their park and law enforcement security services. He said there needs to be a better control along the McKenzie River because there are a lot of car break-ins. He said they are thinking about hiring a state police cadet or a retired sheriff's officer. He also said that Willamalane is willing to help support the officer. He added they will take some funds from their fee increase from the marinas to put on a night patrol at Orchard Point and Richardson Park. He said they want to transfer their citation authority from being a civil infraction to actually siting them in a justice court, that would take a code change. He added they want to add a full-time park maintenance position at Orchard Point/ Richardson/Fern Ridge area and a seasonal office person for reservations. He added long term master planning is not occurring because of shortage of staff. He said almost all of their funds will be going into operation and the opportunity to have money for capital projects will be dependent upon the rest of the timber they take off of Blue Mountain Park, grants and anywhere else where they can generate revenue.

Keefer stated to raise revenue sources for changes include raising camping by $1.00, effective July 1; add a user fee between Memorial Day and Labor Day at the Howard Buford Recreation area of a $2.00 parking fee and work revenue sharing with the arboretum. He added they want to take a look at Camp Lane from a business standpoint and adjust fees to fill the camp and maximize the dollars that they receive. He said the ultimate goal would be to find a way to winterize the camp to make it another retreat center facility that could be used year round.

Green stated he supported the concept and requested that they stay whole and keep working on enhancements. He added he supports all of the projects that are listed, including the four revenue concepts. He added it is a good starting point and he would be interested in the system development charges as well as making the parks affordable with possible corporate sponsorships. He added the transfer room tax is a good connection.

Dwyer said the fairest way to pay for the parks is by system development charges because the capital is used to acquire more parks and are dedicated to park acquisitions.

Sorenson said he is not big on the real estate transfer tax. He said with regard to SDC’s the Advisory Committee should take a look at that issue.

Weeldreyer said she was interested in more analysis on local options for parks development and the obligation bond.

Wilson said the fairgrounds' bonds have been done as a limited tax revenue bond, not a straight general obligation bond. She said a straight general obligation bond would involve going to the voters for approval.

Dwyer suggested developing fair system development charges and a revenue stream instead of a general obligation bond.

Sorenson noted there is money being acquired by the County, but not being used by parks and would be something to go after. He added that Clackamas County had used the system for property foreclosures. He said what they have done is designate property that is being foreclosed as County park property and then they sell it and all the money goes to the County.

Morrison stated she was in support of the car rental tax and mentioned the surcharge of the surveyor’s office. She added she didn’t want to have another surcharge on real estate transfer tax and would support private/public partnerships.

Green requested Keefer to design a package, keeping options open and to be innovative. He added Keefer’s department has been more entrepreneurial for leadership and appreciated his leadership and support. He said to bring the plan back to the Board in two weeks for approval.

14. OTHER BUSINESS

None.

There being no further business, Commissioner Green adjourned the meeting at 2:50 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary

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