November 2, 1999
WORK SESSION - BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Commissioners' Conference Room
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
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Eric Gunderson, 86840 Dukeboro Rd., Eugene, stated he is an architect and he is reaffirming the interest in having the Federal Courthouse in Eugene, but he said that the 5th Street location is not the best site for it. He said he would support the City's efforts toward relocating City Hall and hopes that site might be considered as an alternative.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Weeldreyer announced that SCAR Jasper Mountain Center will have an open house on Sunday, November 21, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and wanted a good turn out from the Board.
4. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. ORAL REPORT Federal Building (No Material).
Jay Pearson, Regional Administrator, General Services Administration in Auburn, Washington, introduced, Rob Graff, Deputy and Head of Public Building Services in the Northwest Arctic Region and John Bland, Project Coordinator, for the Eugene project.
Pearson reported that they have chosen the 5th Street site and at the present time that location stands. He said they are willing to listen to what the Board has to say. He said they are giving the City of Eugene 60 days to come up with a proposal to change their decision and go to the city hall site.
Sorenson asked when the 60 day period expired for the City of Eugene to provide additional information.
Pearson responded they hoped to receive the City's proposal the first week of December and make a decision by December 15.
Sorenson asked about the 5th Street site as opposed to the city hall location.
Pearson stated they pay the fair market value for the highest and best use of the property they purchase. He noted the appraisers look at the property and they figure out what the highest and best use would be, and then give the property a value. He added traditionally, they have then taken the land, demolished the improvements that are on the site and deduct the cost of demolishing that from the price they pay for the site. He said there is legal precedent for it.
Sorenson asked what the expected outcome would be with the courts and the City of Eugene, with regard to the 5th Street site.
Pearson responded that they are still open to moving to the City Hall building if there is evidence to do so. He added with regard to the money, it is up to the City and their representatives in Congress. He said it is his assumption that there is not a lot of money, but there are other ways to leverage the process and the City is looking at that.
Morrison asked about the demolition costs and the environmental issues being deducted from monies paid for the property.
Pearson noted they pay for the mitigation of environmental problems, and they didn't find many for the 5th Street location. He said that $3.5 million is appropriated for site acquisition and $3.6 million is for design.
Morrison noted some sites had historical buildings and asked who would determine that issue.
Pearson replied their people work with the state to determine any historic properties and that had been done through the environmental process.
Green asked why Eugene needed a new courthouse.
Pearson responded the courthouse now is compromised in several ways from a security standpoint. He said the judges, staff, criminals and public gather in the same lobby and after recent incidents around the country, the Justice Department and the courts decided there needs to be a remedy. He added this courthouse was high on the list due to lack of security.
Mike Hogan, Judge of the Federal Court, reported when he first came to Eugene, there were no criminal cases at the court and six civil cases. He said now there are 25% civil and criminal in Oregon, in the Southern Division. He noted the criminal cases have been overall heavier cases than the cases in the Northern Division. He said there is a major drug problem and violence that goes with that on occasion. He noted there had been incidents but no one had been hurt. He said the Federal Marshals Service looks at security and described Eugene as one of the true trouble spots in the system. He added another recent study said that Eugene was the second most dangerous courthouse west of the Mississippi, with the most dangerous not in use. He said the idea is to have a secure building that is inviting to people and honors and respects the community. He noted as the building now stands, it cannot be secured and they are out of space.
Green asked about the future use of the Federal Courthouse Building.
Pearson responded there are many federal agencies in need of space and agencies that were leasing space in other buildings would come back to the building.
John Bland, Project Coordinator, added that the federal agencies have indicated the need for growth and are anticipating needing the space.
Pearson noted they are looking for courtrooms for hearings and appeals for the OSHA organization and the child care sponsor that is currently leasing space.
Morrison asked how many cases were civil and how many were criminal cases.
Hogan responded as of last month, there were 500 civil cases and 212 felony cases.
Morrison asked about the increase in judges.
Hogan responded that their case load had grown 7.1 percent. He noted Congress is federalizing things and there are more, not fewer federal prosecutors every year and more investigative agents. He said it is their idea to plan ahead for the space.
Sorenson asked Judge Hogan what could be done to make certain that the design of the building is a functional, beautiful, efficient building that blends into the community. He said he is concerned that the public is brought along and that their views are respected and that there is a process in the eventual design of the building.
Pearson stated that the block size here is 331 by 331 and it will not look like the Hatfield Building in Portland. He noted the building in Eugene will be less than half the size of the Hatfield Courthouse.
Bland noted they chose a designer for the building from Santa Monica, California, Mr. Maine of Metamorphis. Bland noted the challenge is to make sure that they understand the needs of the community and they respect those designs. He said the process is still being worked out as to how the team works and interaction with the community.
Rob Graff, Deputy, reported he met with the designer and discussed what participatory design meant. He noted that Maine understood what was being discussed and spoke about his years in urban planning. He added he was on the adjunct faculty on the University of Oregon for some time and had been to Eugene.
He said that they will hold him to his word about involving the community in the process.
Pearson commented they want to build a building in Eugene that will do for Eugene what the Pioneer Courthouse has done for downtown Portland. He said they want to take the same kind of pride in the Eugene building.
Sorenson asked about the timeline for public involvement.
Bland responded there will be six weeks of preliminary programming discussions where they clarify the court's programs and solicit community involvement ideas. He said there will then be eight weeks of a concept stage where the designer will come up with a series of solutions to the design and will work through those with the community and the courts and the GSA. He noted that will culminate in a final concept in mid- to late-next summer and they will start the final preparation and design. He said they hope to start with fiscal 2001 money, that will be appropriated.
Pearson pledged to the Board that there will be public involvement in the process and they will be able to look at the concepts as they go along and have input. He said he will have the final decision on the design along with the Commissioner of Public Building Service in Washington, D.C. and the architect for the GSA.
Morrison noted that the new buildings that have been built in Eugene have been able to blend with what is currently there. She said she hopes it blends in with the community.
Bland said with Maine and the quality of the firm they hired, they will explore all options and have an open dialogue to come to a conclusion that will be something that the community, GSA and the designer will be proud of.
Bland asked the Board as they work with the City over the next four or five weeks, if they want to close the gap that exists between the value of the 5th Street site and the City Hall site. He added there may be some unique ways to overcome the differences, involving the County discussions such as land swaps.
Green said that Lane County is sensitive about land swapping. He said to contact Bill Van Vactor, County Administrator and David Suchart, Facilities Supervisor. He asked Pearson to keep the County involved. He said the County is ready to talk and they said that 5th Street was not necessarily the site. He added he has concerns about what could possibly happen with the City of Eugene where the public could be taxed to make up the gap.
Pearson said his commitment to the County is that they will go down the process with the City and they will keep the County informed of where they are at. He apologized for not doing that in the beginning.
Green added not to lose site of the bus barn for day care.
Pearson stated he would work on that this afternoon and they won't do anything without involving the County.
Van Vactor asked about the preliminary design of the building.
Bland responded they had a design competition to select a design firm. He said there have been no final decisions.
b. ORDER 99-11-2-1 Approving the Lane County Juvenile Crime Prevention Partnership Plan Update, Designating the PSCC to Implement the Plan, and Designation LCOG as the Administrative Agent.
Green presented the revised High Risk Youth Plan to the Public Safety Coordinating Council. (PSCC) He added they had to take another look at the plan because the $30 million that the governor had planned for this last session was reduced to $20 million. He noted when they did their budget as a group, they had to replan $2.5 million for Lane County. He said Lane County's share will now be $1.6 million, a reduction of 65.7%. He said the services will begin late the first year and at a lower start up funding level, with the second year of the plan funded at a higher level, as if the full amount were allocated. He added that LCOG will be administering it for the PSCC and the services to the youth and families will begin January 1, 2000 through June 30, 2001.
Van Vactor wanted the Board to be aware of the risk, as the state didn't fund at the amount that was anticipated.
Susan Sowards, PSCC, stated they had a discussion in the subcommittee about the state's reduction in funding. She said they tried to get the state to let them forward the funds past the end of the fiscal year so they could fund at the lesser amount and bridge the gap when the session lets out and the contract starts. She said the state wouldn't let them do it. She noted that the Legislative Fiscal Department had agreed that they could start the next legislature with the base budget amount at the higher amount. She added since they will be in year two, it will be funded at the full amount.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 99-11-2-1.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
c. PRESENTATION L-COG Small Business Loan Program.
Steve Dignam, Lane Council of Governments gave a presentation of a loan program that assists small businesses located throughout Lane County.
Weeldreyer asked how many loans were made to cities in Lane County.
Dignam responded that there had been 75 loans made in Lane County over the past three years.
Green asked about the dollar amount that is being circulated within the community.
Dignam stated of the loan programs they keep track of, there is $9 million outstanding.
Green asked for a breakdown of loans made to women-owned businesses.
Dignam said he didn't have the information offhand, but would provide it to the commissioners.
Dignam said by the end of the year, the projects with outstanding loans will be $12.5 million. He said they will be adding more loan programs, developing improved partnerships with the state and some of the smaller cities and increasing their presence in the rural community. He noted they are having a very specific and measurable impact in Lane County. He added 250 jobs have been created as a result of assistance for small businesses.
Weeldreyer asked if the loan program would be a tool for rural communities or a driver in the process.
Dignam stated he sees the loan program as an ongoing tool to assist new and existing small businesses in terms of saving jobs.
5. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To be held after the meeting.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor discussed House Bill 2389, the response to the federal forest funding stabilization. He said he would have a draft letter to Lane County's congressional delegation and to Congressman DeFazio. He said time is of the essence as it will go to the house floor tomorrow.
Van Vactor noted the results of the election will be posted on the Internet. He discussed the diagram by Cynthia Rose on the client server two-tier environment. (The current operating environment with regard to computers.) He asked if the Board would be interested in the discussion of Lane County's current environment.
All commissioners responded they would be interested in having a discussion.
b. ORDER 99-11-2-2 Joining Benton, Lincoln, and Linn Counties in a Four County Regional Investment Board with Cascades West Economic Development District as the Fiscal and Administrative Agent for the Region.
Weeldreyer reported the legislation that passed in the last session prohibits single county regions and prohibits Lane County from having its own regional investment board. She noted Lane County's option at this point to begin receiving state economic development dollars, would be to form a regional investment board with another contiguous county. She reported she and Morrison had conversations with commissioners in Douglas, Linn, Lincoln and Benton Counties. She added that Linn, Lincoln and Benton Counties are ready to move to create a regional investment board. She said they have chosen Cascades West Economic Development District as the fiscal agent and issued an invitation to Lane County to join that regional investment board. She noted it is the best offer Lane County has had to access state funds. She suggested to go ahead with this as it is a first good step.
Morrison added that in reality, Lane County didn't have a choice in this, that it was predetermined when the new legislation went through. She said that Lane County also had no choice in choosing the fiscal agent.
Weeldreyer noted that each county will get its own money and there was a discussion about using the existing Cascades West Economic Development District Board as the governing body in determining what the priorities are. She recommended to leave each county with its own state allocation.
Green stated the Board has doubts about the performance of Cascades West acting as the fiscal agent. He suggested to craft language in a letter stating if Cascades West is to be the fiscal agent, certain things should happen as a measure of accountability.
Wilson noted that it was not clear under the statutes whether Lane County has the authority. She said the board order is written in a way that responds directly to the invitation. She said the invitation is clear that the package is accepted or it is not accepted.
Green suggested to direct accountability questions in terms of tracking Cascades West's performance and crafting it as part of the adoption of the order. He added to send concerns that Lane County had regarding Cascades West's performance.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 99-11-2-2 with the caveat to decide where the parameters need to be.
Dwyer MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Weeldreyer noted that the way that Lane County and the three counties from the north set up the economic development district is that the funds come to Cascades West as the initial receiver and Cascades West subcontracts with LCOG to staff the Lane County projects. She said Lane County should be specific about having a flat rate for administration, having deliverables specific about what Lane County will be getting in terms of reporting and percentage of projects completed, timeliness, and who the report would go to.
Green suggested Stephanie Schulz work with Weeldreyer and Morrison to get the letter crafted regarding the accountability and then have legal counsel review it.
c. DISCUSSION Changes in the Submission Process for Community and Economic Development Projects to be Included in the Statewide Needs and Issues Overview. Projects from Unincorporated Communities Must be Included in the Local Priority List of the Jurisdiction in Which the Proposed Project is Located.
Stephanie Schulz, Rural Development, reported that the title had been changed. She said that the Statewide Needs and Issue Assessment is the list of projects that is brought forward from each of the local jurisdictions, formerly known as the State Economic and Community Revitalization and Team Process. She added the change this year is that projects and places (like Mapleton and Blue River) will not be brought forward as their own stand alone projects. She said those types of projects will have to be included in a Lane County prioritization process. She added the time line is short and they have until January 14 to get a full list completed. She said December 10 is the deadline for projects for funding from federal agencies. She said that a board order will come before the board in a few weeks. She noted they will be contacting people who had submitted projects in the past, revising, updating and putting down any new projects. She added this year the Board of Commissioners will need to prioritize the projects as the local governing body for unincorporated areas.
Weeldreyer suggested having the Lane Economic Committee function the same way as the planning commission does when there are differing issues. She added the Lane Economic Committee has representatives from a number of communities. She said the communities should be prioritizing the projects.
Schulz stated the countywide process of prioritization (that includes projects within the incorporated cities) remains a Lane Economic Committee function and is an optional part of the process this year. She said the change is that unincorporated communities are not able to submit their projects into the countywide prioritization without having the Board of Commissioners as the body that represents them as their local government. She added there will be one final list put together that will be a subpriortization of the projects that are brought forward by county government or unincorporated communities to be subpriortized as a group. She stated that the Board is now responsible to look at projects like economic development expansion at the County Fairgrounds, compared to a project in Mapleton to benefit the Mapleton community.
Morrison noted the Lane Economic Committee has a criteria for prioritizing. She said the criteria was fairly objective. She added the probability of many new projects coming forward that weren't already on the list will be slim. She said some of the projects will already have been known.
Schulz said she will get the criteria the Lane Economic Committee uses and include that in the Board packet to give some sort of parameters.
Green said he wanted a good, clean objective process.
Weeldreyer requested that she and Morrison do the screening process because their communities are involved.
Sorenson suggested to be clear about the delegation and what the Board is asking this group to do with the list of criteria.
MOTION: to appoint Commissioners Weeldreyer and Morrison to come back to the Board with the criteria for the allocation of money.
Sorenson MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
7. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS
For Weeldreyer and Morrison will come back to the Board with the criteria for allocation of money and Weeldreyer and Morrison will work with staff to craft an addendum to the Cascades West piece.
8. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Green recessed to Executive Session at 3:45 p.m.
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