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July 7, 1999

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING

WITH CONGRESSMAN PETER DEFAZIO

Commissioners' Conference Room - 2:00 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.

1. Youth Violence.

Congressman Peter DeFazio reported that a version of a youth violence bill was passed through the House, but had not been passed the Senate. He noted there was potential for a 24 to 72-hour hold for an evaluation of kids who pose threats at school. He said the bill would specifically authorize counties and states to apply for funds for programs. He added 17 new categories were created for prevention and intervention funding block grants that could become available.

Green reported that the Court School was included in the 1998 levy that failed and is included in the new tax measure. He said it is a component of the Safer Community Measure that will be in front of the voters in November.

Morrison asked about the dollars from the federal legislation.

DeFazio said the funds could be applied for from local jurisdictions directly without going through the state. He said he put a lot of effort into the juvenile accountability block grants and tried to make it broad. He noted that Oregon and the local jurisdictions do well in the federal competitive process. He added there was money to deal with drug gangs, juvenile witness programs and drug courts. He didn’t know how much money will be going to the block of programs. He said most of the bill is oriented to locking people up instead of intervention and prevention.

Morrison asked about holding recipients of federal dollars accountable for what they accomplish with the dollars. She asked if an adequate job was being done that is demonstrating that the dollars are having an impact.

DeFazio noted that most of the federal money prior to this bill had been oriented toward prosecution and incarceration instead of prevention. He said the programs will be harder to measure. He opined that more money should be put towards prevention.

2. Transportation Issues and Emergency Money for the London Road Slide.

Green stated the Board took action to take care of the London Road slide. He said they were working from the assumption that Lane County would be reimbursed. He said they were told that the Emergency Road funds had been exhausted and he wanted to know when reimbursement would be made, or if the County would have to tighten things up since road fund dollars are decreasing.

DeFazio said that the emergency funds category is appropriated as opposed to being part of the trust fund out of federal gas taxes. He said the County needs to look for opportunities and push for more substantial money into the subcategory of transportation funds. He said his job will be to work for additional federal appropriation. He added if there is another emergency bill, that could be looked at. He noted the state has a large amount of money that flows from the federal government in gas taxes. He said they have more capability of paying it.

Weeldreyer added that this particular slide qualified for the money because it occurred within the time frame set by the federal emergency highway dollars. She reported that the slide occurred on private property owned by Weyerhaeuser which slid onto a county road into the London Springs community. She noted the other alternative is to take a narrow winding road around Cottage Grove Lake Dam, but using it is a health and safety issue. She said they had a cooperative effort which was a model project with the private sector in a partnership with the County. She reported a specialist was hired for the long term fix. She said Weyerhauser did the repairs and trenching necessary to stop further sliding. She added the County’s investment had to do with ODOT, the road fund and monies going to be paid for by the federal highway program. She said this was going to be the summer to fix the road, but they found out only a month before the bid process that ODOT had run out of money for this project and funds won’t be available until the start of the new federal fiscal year. She observed that everyone had done their part but at the end it was a disappointment for people.

DeFazio responded it had always been a reimbursement program and it had been underfunded for two years.

Weeldreyer stated because the County did commit road fund dollars that were already programmed that it would be helpful to get the reimbursement.

DeFazio said ODOT has flexibility in moving funds between categories and they could fund it out of another source.

Morrison asked about the federal gas tax money and why it is not more of a consistent stream since it is gas tax dollars allocated to specific road projects across the country. She wanted to know why Lane County can’t get the funds.

DeFazio responded they did prevail in the legislation last year to begin converting to having money come in and out. He said in the past some of the money was going to deficit reduction, some was underspent and held. He added there had been a surplus that had been borrowed and replaced by I-owe-you’s in the Federal Service Transportation Trust Fund. He said now none of the money is being diverted but they are underspending for budget purposes. He said on an annual basis, $5 billion per year will be collected and held in a trust fund until the sixth year of the bill and then they will be spending down in the end of the six year cycle. He added the emergency money is still in a different category and would still be subject to appropriation.

Sorenson asked about the status of federal dollars for the bus rapid transit.

DeFazio reported he earmarked the money in the transportation bill for this subject. He added that all the jurisdictions have to agree on this. He is concerned that it could be a disaster depending upon how it is designed. He said he saw a response from LTD that was 40 pages long that did not seem to answer questions. He said he is concerned about the relations and until it is worked out with a substantial consensus from the community and the support of the three jurisdictions, he won’t allow them to get building funds. He didn’t think guided busways would work for this community and doesn’t think it is headed in the right direction.

Dwyer agreed with DeFazio’s last remark.

3. SCAAP Funds.

Jan Clements, Sheriff, stated that SCAAP is the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program and Lane County undercapitalizes its maintenance in replacement of its infrastructure based on its present financial condition. He noted they have incurred substantial costs in housing inmates for the federal government. He said with the SCAAP program, there is an ability to apply for some relief of a revenue stream for undocumented aliens. He added there are needs in the Sheriff’s Office as it relates to their infrastructure. He noted the Forest Work Camp needs re-roofing, and the south annex main facility needs the roof repairs. He reported a new HVAC system is needed and the cost is anticipated to be $750,000. He hoped the money doesn’t erode but there is an increasing number of applicants and it diminishes the fixed amount that is available for local jurisdictions.

DeFazio stated that California, Texas and Florida think strongly about the funds and the three of them represent almost half of Congress. He said he will vote for additional funds for that.

Dwyer asked about the money President Clinton identified to provide an opportunity to deal with wetlands mitigation and open space.

DeFazio replied that the open space issue goes with the land and conservation funds, and it has not been resolved. He said they are entering into a debate on the resources committee about the future of the program, changes in the formula and what the funds could be used for in the future. He said there could be land exchanges with federal resource agencies and he has an ongoing study on the Willamette, authorized for non-impoundment flood control in dealing with wetlands restoration mitigation.

Weeldreyer noted the Confederated Tribes have spoken with the commissioners and are the last tribe in Oregon to have lands restored to them. She noted DeFazio was looking for local government support for the land trade with the Siuslaw National Forest. She said they are looking for champions in Washington, D.C. for this trade.

DeFazio stated that when the tribes are looking at acquisition of lands that will impact the county and local communities, the Board has to go to those communities and show support. He said there are confusing proposals providing more revenue to the tribe. He said there is another proposal that goes to the casino issue. He suggested the Board arrive at a resolution supporting some of their issues and the more specific, the better.

Green noted that DeFazio had done a lot of town hall meetings on social security. He asked about the people who were born in 1919, and if he would be working on fixing the "notch babies."

DeFazio stated when he was first in Congress he was an advocate of the notch and then when it got serious, he became the lead sponsor. He said he had more than 270 people on the bill. He said people put their names on the bill and now there are less than 100 who are sponsors of the notch registration. He reported that it will never be rectified.

There being no further business, Commissioner Green recessed the meeting to Executive Session at 12:00 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary

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