Approved Approved 2/2/00
November 23, 1999
WORK SESSION - BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Harris Hall Main Floor -- 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. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
14. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 99-11-23-11 Approving an Easement Agreement with US West Communications, Inc. for Installation of 583 of Fiber Optic Line through Armitage Park, and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign the Agreement.
Weeldreyer reported one of the unanticipated good things that happened as a result of delaying this matter was that materials that were ordered for this project were available locally in Eugene at the time the accident happened that cut the US West line that served all of Southern Oregon last year. She said it turned out to be a 12 hour fix instead of a multiple day fix.
Weeldreyer noted she met with US West and they said there was a higher monetary value that this would be appropriate for rather than just the land value. She said Lane County was able to make a different offer to the company. She said she believes it is the best deal that they can get for this and US West has been cooperative. She noted that if some point in the future the Parks Department would have need to have a close fiber optic connection, US West is designing that opportunity.
Bob Keefer, Parks Department, reported the fiber optic line would run from Armitage Road along the park access road and up to Coburg connecting through feeder lines into Coburg. He noted the offer in front of the Board asked for $5.00 per foot for the fiber optic line as a one-time fee. He added it was over ten times the amount of the real estate utility value and there would be a splice connection, so at some point in the future if Lane County wanted to connect into the US West line, it could be done. He said in the negotiation with US West, they talked about the possibility of having another fiber optic line connecting up with the consortium line, but he was informed that there are tariff regulations that prohibit them from doing that. He said that citation is ORS 759.275 under Preferences and Prejudices. He said that meant Lane County would not be allowed to have a separate line within their system. He added it was US Wests interpretation, not Lane Countys. Keefer stated that this was a good offer for the County.
Lenny Di Ambrosia, Engineering Manager, US West, reported they are under the Oregon Public Utility Commission and what they do in other states may not be applicable in Oregon. He added in this state, there can be no discrimination as far as services they offer. He said they will allow the County at a future point in time to hook up to their facilities, but they are not at liberty for giving dark fiber.
Dwyer stated that Lane County was getting dark fiber in return for US Wests use of Lane Countys right-of-way.
Di Ambrosia stated US West is regulated by the PUC and FCC Guidelines with regard to providing services to customers. He noted the companies that are placing the dark fiber across state lines are not regulated and they can do anything they want.
Weeldreyer noted what had been done to date was trying to get a different form of compensation for the use of the public right-of-way other than just the monetary franchise fee. She added that was the direction the County was going in, knowing the fiber is the least expensive component of the construction project.
Milo Mecham, LCOG, reported that US West is regulated differently than other utilities they have been dealing with. He noted they are the incumbent local provider and there are different regulations. He said this is one of several provisions that are designed to keep the incumbent local exchange carrier from setting up special rates and giving other kinds of special deals related to monopolies. He noted this would be considered an "arms length" business transaction, wherein the County has property that it owns that is different from being in the right-of-way. He said it creates a situation that if Lane County negotiates with US West, then other counties would have to do the same.
Keefer stated if the tariff laws were to change and this was permitted, then Lane County could have dedicated lines. He said he was comfortable being able to access the US West line within the park at some point and get the $2,900.
Commissioner Green opened up the Public Hearing. There being no one present to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.
Weeldreyer recommended accepting terms that have been presented.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 99-11-23-11 with the addendum that will be crafted by legal counsel that should the law allow Lane County access, that they will take it.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Peter Thurston, Community and Economic Development Coordinator, noted the clause is directed that if the law allows, there will be fiber that would be turned over to the consortium as exchange through the County to the consortium, to use the dark fiber from Chad Drive toward Armitage Park and Coburg, that allows for looping. He said that is the direction that Lane County is given to negotiate toward.
15. OTHER BUSINESS
Van Vactor stated Lane County was unsuccessful in stopping the Administrative Rule on PERS. He said his concern with PERS is timing, as they are picking the time to apply this rule and impose the unfunded liability. He noted they are locking Lane County into a high rate and are planning to amortize the additional rate for the unfunded liability over 30 years. He said the other concern about pooling and putting everyone together is that there are structural flaws to the PERS system and filing en masse hides the defect.
There being no further business, Commissioner Green recessed to Executive Session at 2:15 p.m.
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