July 7, 1999
REGULAR MEETING - BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Harris Hall Main Floor - 9:00 a.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.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Green stated there will be an emergency item.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Bill Sullivan, 1958 Onyx, Eugene, stated he is a representative for the Lane Library League, a new citizen activist group with the mission statement of working toward providing accessible library services for everyone in Lane County. He said 93,000 people in Lane County do not have access to free public libraries. He said a survey will be part of a study to find out if people want library service, the type they want and what they are willing to pay for it. He said they want to help craft an answer and their target date is November 2000.
Nina Lovinger, 40093 Little Fall Creek Road, Fall Creek, said she is concerned that Lane County is perched on the brink of considerable development and sprawl. She stated last February she met with Jim Mann to discuss rural planning matters. She said Mann envisioned reducing larger residential parcels to two acre lots within rural communities and to five acres outside the rural community boundaries. She said it is a recipe for sprawl and would be taxing on public services and taxpayers.
Chris Berner, 29953 Fox Hollow Rd., Eugene, said as a Lane County rural landowner, he is concerned about the trend in rural land use. He said the Lane County Planning Department is considering relaxing the zoning ordinances in the McKenzie and Mohawk watersheds and said the Board must not let that happen. He said as the majority of landowners and others concerned citizens have stated in response to the survey, the costs of development have been documented. He said subsidized rural development must be stopped.
Jim Hale, 1715 Linea, Eugene, stated the County was headed in the right direction in proposing a County income tax supporting the recommendations of the PSCC. He asked the Board to not consider state income tax but federal income tax, as it is more progressive.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Weeldreyer reminded the Board she wouldnt be at next weeks meeting as she will be participating in the NACo Annual Conference in St. Louis. She acknowledged the retirement of Roy Burns. She passed on her condolences to the family and co-workers of Jacqueline Robinson who passed away from lung cancer.
Morrison reported there was an AOC subcommittee meeting on the salmon issue. She noted there are multiple groups working on this. She said Lane County would not be taking a formal position on this with regard to public lands.
Sorenson reported the Lane Arts Council had put together two brochures. He said he met with the Coos and Lower Umpqua tribe members about their proposal for restoration of their tribal lands. He stated he and Steve Carmichael, Youth Services, met with Bill Lay of the Pioneer Youth Corp. of Oregon. He noted the House Agricultural Committee will have a meeting on July 15 and the democratic staff invited him to attend.
Morrison noted that Lane County would be hosting the September district meeting for the counties and one topic that will be discussed will be the salmon issue. She noted there will be a Field Hearing in John Day on Saturday on forest health and she will be attending.
Green reported he will be going to Washington D.C. with Van Vactor to discuss the O & C timber situation with Lane Countys congressional delegates. He noted he accompanied Weeldreyer to the City of Eugene Ad Hoc Committee on street assessments, yesterday. He said Gary Pape and David Kelly will be making a recommendation to the City Council in a work session that they are headed in the right direction on the issue of assessment.
4. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. UPDATE Facilities Capital Improvement Projects (No Material).
David Suchart, Management Services, reported the Juvenile Justice Center is progressing well. He also said the shelter care units are also progressing well and the furniture will be delivered in mid-August and they will open in early September. He added the main facility will be opened in November. He said with regard to the Public Service Building roof, they did a punch test and there were still no leaks in the roof. He noted after four years and one month, the HVAC to the Courthouse had been completed. He said the architects are looking at the courthouse roof to solve some of the problems from work done on the HVAC system and the electrical system of the Public Service Building. He added that there are new curtains in Harris Hall and the screen had been replaced. He said they made improvements in South Harris Hall with the assistance of the District Attorneys office and they will be using it in the short term, and then using it as another meeting room for the public in the future. He reported they will be testing the bomb alarms and it will be done at an appropriate time.
b. DISCUSSION Public Safety Coordinating Council Recommendation for Revenue.
Green stated the Board would be taking action on a recommendation from the Public Safety Coordinating Council (PSCC) Finance Committee.
Maureen Maine, Chair, PSCC, Mayor of Springfield, reported they have spent over two years developing a plan to provide for a safer community. She noted the recommendation is designed to provide safer communities through two main efforts: analyzing the current system and determining the fixes for the gaps in the current system. She reported that part of the problem has been limited resources in certain areas that effectively eliminate efficiency in the current system. She added expanding certain programs, (where they could deal with problems in the earlier stages) is the goal for the plan. She said they are recommending the components that were before the voters in November of 1998. She stated it would be an income tax surcharge, a percentage applied to state tax paid. She added a fixed portion would be provided to fund countywide programs and services, and provide an additional amount to share among the cities in the unincorporated areas to use to provide safer communities all across the County. She said the measure would fund the cost of collection and the general fund deficit related directly to public safety. She added the charter language will be further developed to ensure flexibility with regard to unanticipated grants in the future and defining the PSCC review process for accountability. She said there is a split opinion on whether there should be an eight year sunset clause. She urged the Boards support of the recommendation going forward for the November, 1999 ballot.
Weeldreyer noted that because the Sheriffs Office had been understaffed, the department had not been able to respond in a timely or satisfactory manner to property crimes in rural Lane County. She added that part of the message she hears consistently from rural residents is that they have not seen a sheriff in their neighborhood and there is no provision for increasing rural patrols. She stated that is why they didnt vote for it in the past. She asked if there was a way to add increased rural patrols to the initiative.
Maine responded that there is a revenue sharing component, with funds being allocated based on population, as the fairest way to disburse the funds. She said there will be allocations for the unincorporated areas and small cities.
Dwyer said having safe communities and good roads doesnt come free, and taxpayers expect government to be efficient and effective. He said he envisioned this as an opportunity to lower property taxes. He said it is progressive and based on the ability to pay. He added it doesnt put the burden on older citizens or people on fixed or limited incomes that are being squeezed for government services. He noted the committee adopted principles that were low rate, broad based, deductible from the federal return and based on the ability to pay. He added the rate is locked into the charter to give voters trust. He said doing nothing is not an option and there is a demonstrated need to go ahead with this.
Terry Wilson, County Counsel, stated if the Board wishes to do a statement for the voters pamphlet, the date that the measure has to be filed by for the November election is September 2. She added the Board had not budgeted for that and funds would be needed to do that. She said in order to allow for the appointment of a committee to write the explanatory statement, the measure would need to be adopted by August 4. She noted she would have to write the agenda material around July 21. She said it involves writing the charter amendment itself, the ballot title language and the ordinance that adopts the tax. She added if there is to be no voters pamphlet but a public information campaign, the Board would need to make a decision by September 2.
Sorenson asked what should be done about revenue sharing.
Tollenaar responded the committee made no specific recommendation on the amount of revenue sharing.
Sorenson asked with regard to the current numbers, what the allocation would be on the $22 million by the corporate income tax payer and by the individual.
Tollenaar said it depends on the policy decision. He said an option that received the most support has been equal percentages applied to personal and corporate taxes.
Maine said the recommendation is to apply the rate fairly, equally across the board. She said they discussed 8% for the surcharge on the income tax paid.
Warren Wong, City of Eugene, reported the reason the finance committee recommended using the state income tax return is that previously dealings had always relied on the Department of Revenue to do the administration and collecting and that is why those chose the state tax return. He said they should still rely on the state to administer the tax. He said another bureaucracy would have to be created on a federal level to collect taxes.
Green asked if one city didnt want the use of the money, another could get it.
Tollenaar responded that in 1972, when Eugene was involved in an income tax proposal, it had a revenue sharing feature and there was a provision in the proposal that if a city decided not to take the money, it was to be given to the school district serving the city. He suggested the Board quickly survey the cities in the County to find out how they would use their revenue sharing dollars if they were available.
Weeldreyer noted that the Mayor of Cottage Grove Darrell Williams' comments at the joint elected officials meeting last Wednesday evening, accurately reflected the direction his council gave him. She said the council did not have enough information about how the revenue sharing could benefit the entire community of Cottage Grove.
Maine stated it was their intention as representatives of the PSCC to meet individually with all of the councilors, city managers and mayors. She noted the more information people receive about it, the more likely they will support it. She asked what the Board wanted that would allow them to go forward with this.
Morrison stated she would vote to have this go forward to the voters. She noted that the educational piece will be paramount on whether this passes or not and they have to be careful in what they are presenting.
Sorenson stated he would like greater clarification of the rate and amounts collected so the public could obtain more information about what percentage of the tax is paid by business vs. wage earners. He said he would like this tied to a federal income tax as it is more progressive. He said he would like to see the revenue sharing part increased. He added he would support a charter limit on the length of time the tax is imposed to a ten year period.
Weeldreyer noted the sunset provision is something she would approve of in building trust with the voters. She said the PSCC is on the right track for the eight year time frame.
Green noted the finance committee recommended no sunset clause but if the Board wanted to change that, they could give direction to the PSCC for an eight year sunset clause. Green stated that education is a big part of this. He added he was for revenue sharing. He said he was in favor of sending to this the voters with a strong endorsement that this is the right thing to do, and for the Board to be active on this matter.
Van Vactor noted he was looking for direction to staff to prepare the documents, and for the Board to indicate they are in agreement with the broad concept as outlined by Mayor Maine. He added if the Board wants to do a voters pamphlet, it will need to be done by the August 4 meeting.
Terry Wilson, County Counsel, noted that August 4 would be the day to adopt the ballot title, the language and appoint the explanatory statement committee.
MOTION: to support the concepts of the Public Safety Coordinating Council in their overall objectives of establishing a broad base, low rate, fair way to deal with public safety on a countywide basis.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Dwyer suggested to have the state administer the program utilizing the federal tax.
Maine noted that it had been added to the committees work agenda.
c. Oral Report and Update by Property Owned by Crocker.
Ken Sandusky, Waste Management, reported that since Mr. Crocker spoke with the Board last week, he had been trying to gather as much information as possible. He noted Crocker owns 264 ½ acres adjacent to Short Mountain Landfill, south, between the landfill and I-5. He added the property had been for sale for the past ten years and it had never sold. He said Crocker approached the County in 1992 to buy the property for $924,000 or $3,500 per acre, and the County was not interested. He added there are many issues that could be preventing the sale of the property. He said the County doesnt think there are contamination issues with the land as Crocker didnt offer any evidence that there was. He said that Crocker had been growing grass seed on the property for a number of years. He noted there might be issues that the County would want to explore regarding the acquisition of the property, primarily as a buffer to the landfill and for wetlands mitigation issues. He said he wanted to speak with Crocker and find out if he would be interested in an appraisal of the property, and if he would sell the property for the fair market value. He added he wanted to speak with the Countys real estate department to get background on the property.
Green supported Sanduskys recommendation. He wanted to know the reasons for the refusal of offers on the property and would like to see a paper trail. He added it may make good business sense to purchase the property later in the future but he wants to be convinced that it would be not only in Lane Countys best interest but that the publics interest would be served as well.
Weeldreyer noted that Crocker had an interested person that may want to purchase the property and said it was reasonable for the County to give Crocker a time frame for the information to be completed.
Van Vactor stated that the Waste Management division is working full-time implementing the system benefit charge. He cautioned in terms of acquisition that if they use Waste Management money as opposed to other sources, the Board make sure the system charge is up and running before they make a substantial investment in property, as it would have a substantial effect to the overall financial plan of the Waste Management division.
Dwyer stated the property may have beneficial value in terms of other entities of government for utilizing the land for wetland mitigation and open space. He said the greatest benefit would be minimizing potential legal challenges or trouble in the future. He said in the long term, it would be valuable but a judicious look at the property is appropriate. He agreed with Van Vactor that the County is limited in money and was not looking for this property.
Sorenson stated the Board should ask Van Vactor to get Jeff Turk to examine this and not as a waste management function, initially. He said Turk should handle getting the appraisal done and get back to the Board with the information. He added the property acquisition issue is separate from the system benefit charge.
Green said he agreed that Turk should be brought in.
Morrison agreed with Sorenson that it is not a land management function. She suggested the appraisal should be a joint endeavor between the County and Crocker as it would be to his benefit. She added she would like to see the paper trail since under disclosure laws, the offers needed to be kept for six years. She said her concern is the comments about contamination, as the cleanup costs on the property under the Environmental Protection Agency will outweigh the property value.
Sandusky reiterated that the Board wants him to work with Jeff Turk in terms of negotiations and evaluations of the property for its acquisition. He added there needs to be a determination of a paper trail and for the real estate department to come back to the Board.
Weeldreyer noted there had been intrusions of blown debris from the landfill onto Crockers property. She said she wanted to know how much the County had assisted in removing material that had been blown onto the Crocker property from the landfill.
Sandusky responded if there was debris blown, the County would clean up the property.
Keith A. Crocker, 27147 Stovepit Road, Monroe, stated he didnt want to threaten the County, but the property had been offered to another waste management company from Chicago. He said they were interested because they would put down test wells and pump them to see if water is located underneath the land. He added they would put in air monitors for dust and if they find contaminants on the land, that they would take over the Lane County landfill at ten cents on the dollar.
Green responded that there are things the Board has no control over and this is one of them.
5. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To be held at the end of the meeting.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
7. PUBLIC WORKS
a. WORK SESSION, FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING Ordinance PA 1133 Amending the West Eugene Wetlands Plan by Adopting New and Revised Plan Policies Related to the Criteria for Wetland Designations, and Adopting a Severability Clause (Second Reading & Public Hearing, August 4, 1999)
Sorenson reported that in February 1998, the Eugene City Council and the Board of Commissioners met in a joint session and heard testimony on a variety of West Eugene Wetlands plan amendments. He noted during 1998, the Board and City Council approved various amendments and by November, 1998, the City of Eugene proposed some West Eugene Wetlands plan amendments and the Board of Commissioners formed a committee to amend the West Eugene Wetlands plan. He added the committee was called the Council/Board Committee on Wetlands Policy Amendments. He noted the Board had forwarded two sets of possible changes in the criteria and the City Council suggested forming the committee, and the Board was invited to designate a member. The committee members were David Kelly, Nancy Nathanson and Pete Sorenson. He said they met on April 5 and April 28 to review the alternatives in depth and to reach an agreement on a single version of text amendments to be taken back to the governing bodies for a joint public hearing on August 4. He added the meetings were announced to the public and the public was invited to participate. He noted that at the request of the committee, the proposed changes were placed on the City of Eugene web site and postcards sent to interested persons. He said the committee thought it was a good model for the future and the proceedings of the committee, the minutes and reports are attached to the Boards packet.
Mike Copely, Land Management, recommended the Board proceed and set the second reading and public hearing.
MOTION: to approve FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance PA 1133.
Sorenson MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Steve Gordon, Program Manager, Natural Resource Section for LCOG, reported that in 1987 when wetlands became identified in the West Eugene area, it became an issue that affected business growth. He added the wetlands were more valuable than they had initially thought, containing rare plants and animals. He said the City of Eugene developed a Wetlands Plan that began in 1989, involving 125 property owners and other citizens. He said inventory that was conducted in 1989 resulted in 1,300 acres of wetlands in West Eugene. He added during the plan adoption, the major point of contention was with the rural landowners outside of the urban growth boundary, but it ended up not affecting them. He said the City Council adopted the plan in August 1992 by an 8-0 vote and the Board of County Commissioners adopted the plan by a 3-2 vote. He said the plan then went into an implementation phase, the City of Eugene entered into a partnership with the Nature Conservancy that was leasing land at the Willowcreek natural area and the BLM got involved. He added over the years they had been able to secure $8.3 million for the BLM to buy wetlands in West Eugene. He noted in 1993 and 1995 the City of Eugene formed a wetland mitigation bank and began restoring and enhancing wetlands and selling credits to the people who wanted to obtain wetland permits to implement the West Eugene Wetland plan. He reported to date they had done about 50 acres of restoration and enhancement and sold over $1 million in credit. He noted when the Board of Commissioners adopted the plan in 1992, one of the things they told staff and asked the City of Eugene to do was go back and look at certain sites for accurate information. He added that work was done in 1993 with a supplemental inventory of the plan. He said there were an additional 240 acres of wetlands identified during that process. He noted there were amendments to the texts and process that led to the February hearing that Sorenson had previously mentioned. He said the most contentious site has been the Hyundai wetlands in West Eugene. He noted the amendments before the Board represent a greater consensus of the people.
Neil Bjorklund, Senior Planner, City of Eugene, reported the proposal focused on the criteria in the West Eugene plan that is used by the elected officials to designate wetlands for either protection, development or restoration. He noted the criteria reflects the original intent, and they are more clear to the public and provide a better guide for the elected officials.
8. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
May 4, 1999, Work Session, 9:00 a.m.
June 22, 1999, Work Session, 9:00 a.m.
B. Management Services
1) ORDER 99-7-7-1 RFP LCP 98/99-09 for the Temporary Help Administration.
C. Public Works
1) ORDER 99-7-7-2 Awarding a Contract to Johnson Rock Products in the Amount of $556,904.35 for Grading, Basing and Paving - Canary Road (M.P. 0.67 to M.P. 1.37), Contract No. 98/99-13; Amending the FY 99-03 Capital Improvement Program (CIP); and, Amending the FY 99/00 List of Public Improvements.
2) ORDER 99-7-7-3 Releasing, Dedicating, and Accepting Parcel "A" First Addition to Montmoor, Book 51, Page 1, a Parcel of County Owned Real Estate, as a Public Road (17-04-11) (Lobelia Avenue).
3) ORDER 99-7-7-4 Amending the Solid Waste Fund Public Improvement Project List for FY 99/00 and Authorizing a Transfer of $650,000 from Solid Waste Fund Operational Contingency and Increase Appropriations in Solid Waste Capital Projects by $650,000.
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
9. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. PRESENTATION Lane County Diversity Poster.
Laura Yergan, Diversity Coordinator, made a presentation of the Diversity Vision Poster to the Board. She said it was from the Human Rights Advisory Committee, honoring and expressing their appreciation for the Boards support and commitment to diversity and human rights. She added that Lynn Burditt, a committee member, was not able to be present, but Linda Wagner read her letter into the record. (Copy in file.)
10. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
ORDER 99-7-7-5 Amending an Intergovernmental Agreement with Marion County for $44,823 for the Jail Co-Occurring Diversion Project and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute the Amendment.
Green noted it is to make an amendment to the existing contract with Marion County.
Van Vactor stated even though the $44,000 is within his authority, the amount of the amendment is larger than 20% so it requires Board action.
MOTION: to approve Order 99-7-7-5.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
There being no further business, Commissioner Green recessed the meeting to Executive Session at 12:00 p.m.
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