February 15, 2000
REGULAR MEETING - BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Commissioners' Conference Room - 1:30 p.m.
Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison and Cindy Weeldreyer present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
9. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
Morrison distributed a draft letter to the Conservation Leaders Network regarding information that was posted on their web. She noted that the web site stated that the Lane County Board of Commissioners supported decoupling. She recalled that was not what the resolution stated and suggested a letter be sent asking for Lane Countys name to be removed.
Green said he was surprised that Lane Countys name was listed on the web site.
MOTION: to approve sending a letter to the Conservation Leaders Network, having Lane County removed as supporting decoupling from their web site.
Morrison MOVED Green SECONDED.
Dwyer stated it was his point of view that Lane County wanted the money and if it required decoupling to get it, he was in agreement with it. He noted the web page had no bearing on Lane County as it does not oppose decoupling. He said he doesnt want it construed that he opposes or does not oppose decoupling, he wants the money for the residents of Lane County and if it requires decoupling to get it, then he is in favor of it. He said he will not sign a letter and vote in the affirmative because it would indicate that he is in favor of decoupling and he is not. [See March 8, 2000 minutes].
Weeldreyer noted that on the Conservation Leaders Network web site listed a position that she didnt believe Lane County had taken. She said the letter seems like a way to ask the organization to remove Lane County from the list, as it doesnt reflect the spirit and intent of Lane County. She said she would support the motion to have the Chair send the letter on behalf of the Board to have Lane County removed from that list on the web site.
Dwyer stated he will not vote in the affirmative, but if the letter could be structured to show that the County wants the money and did not take a position specifically on decoupling, he would then sign it.
Morrison noted they need to work with Senator Wyden to get stabilization to take place and sending mixed messages is a mistake.
Sorenson said it was not a good idea, since decoupling is a reality and Lane County is in favor of decoupling. He added Lane County is in favor of receiving money separate from the policy of the timber cuts that projects the money and that is why he is in favor of the decoupling and the continued decoupling that Lane County has. He said he was against the motion.
Dwyer stated he is more interested in stability and revenue finance for the citizens of Lane County than he is for trying to take one side or the other. He suggested to leave "this is not the case." He wanted a sentence to state: "Lane County did not specifically address the issue of decoupling." He added the attached resolution crafted by the County was passed unanimously.
Morrison stated she would be willing to amend her motion and do that. She requested that since Sorenson sits on their board of directors, that he stresses the situation where Lane County is. She noted in reality they did not support this as a group.
Green concurred in the amendment.
VOTE: 4- 1 (Sorenson dissenting).
Morrison reported that last week she requested the Boards signatures on a letter to Senator Wyden. She stated that Van Vactor brought up that there was not a formal motion, but there were three in favor of sending the letter. She brought the letter back today for formal action to send a letter to Senator Wyden in support of his endeavors about Senate Bill 1608 and stabilizing payments to counties.
Green stated he was supportive for whatever Wyden does with the stabilization payments. He added it would be helpful to send another letter to De Fazio about Senate Bill 2389.
Sorenson stated he didnt think it was appropriate for the Board to take a position on the letter, being in favor of the senate bill. He said it was his understanding that there was a negotiation going on between the administration and the congress and by saying Lane County wants the senate bill passed and specifically citing the name and number of a senate bill, that there is a risk of not being supportive of the outcome of the negotiations.
Green noted that Senator Wyden wanted to know what counties supported his efforts. He added that Lane County owes it to him to support his efforts.
Dwyer suggested sending one generic letter to De Fazio and to Wyden that references both bills. He added he doesnt want to get involved with one side or the other and they could reference their efforts without having to take sides. He noted the letter will need to state that a majority of the Board agreed with it. He suggested to amend the motion to include Peter De Fazio and the reference of House Bill 2389.
Sorenson stated it is not in the Boards interest to get involved in the details of the legislation.
MOTION: to send letter to Ron Wyden and Peter De Fazio, referencing his house Bill 2389.
Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED
VOTE: 4-1 (Sorenson dissenting).
10. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. FOURTH READING AND CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING Ordinance 11-99 Amending Chapter 2 of Lane Code to Define Terms for Removal of Fair Board Members (LM 2.300).
Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, recommended moving to a Fifth Reading and Continued Public Hearing since it was originally scheduled for a hearing tomorrow and it would clean the notification process.
Mike Gleason, Manager, Fair Grounds, stated his Board is happy with the time extension.
Commissioner Sorenson opened up the Public Hearing. There being no one signed up to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.
MOTION: to approve a Fourth Reading and Setting a Fifth Reading and Continued Public Hearing for Ordinance 11-99 at 1:30 p.m. on March 8, 2000.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
VOTE: 4-0 (Morrison out of room).
11. OTHER BUSINESS
a. ORDER 99-12-15-1 Amending Chapter 3 of Lane Manual to Add Provisions to the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Board of Commissioners and the Fair Board for Removal of Fair Board Members and Indemnity, and to Make Housekeeping Changes. (LM 3.160).
MOTION: to move this Board Order to March 8, 2000, at 1:30 p.m.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
VOTE: 4-0 (Morrison out of room).
12. PUBLIC WORKS
a. DISCUSSION AND ORDER 00-2-15-1 Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign an Immediate Opportunity Fund (IOF) Application Related to the Expansion of Country Coach Manufacturing Facility in Junction City and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute Agreements Associated with the Application.
Ollie Snowden, Public Works, reported that the City of Junction City approved a growth expansion that would allow Country Coach to expand its operations. He noted the agreement of the City required that Country Coach improve the intersection of Highway 99 and First Avenue in Junction City. He added the City required that either these improvements be in place before the City would approve a site plan or gave Country Coach the option of signing an agreement that would permit funding improvements within a certain period of time. He noted that Country Coach has decided that it would like to use ODOT money available for infrastructure. He stated they are asking the Board to approve the County filing the IOF application and authorizing the County Administrator to execute a subsequent agreement with the IOF grant application. He noted the County would be a recipient of the money because ODOT wants a local governmental agency to administer the money rather than a private party. He added they are working on an agreement with ODOT, Country Coach and Lane County that would spell out that Country Coach is responsible for the full cost of the agreement, but would allow Lane County to proceed with the IOF application that could fund up to 50% of the improvements.
Dwyer asked if it was appropriate for a profitable corporation allowing the conversion of agricultural land to industrial adding more to the profit by having the state pick up the money. He said he disagrees.
Weeldreyer commented that Country Coach had an opportunity to leave Lane County and go elsewhere and part of the decision to stay had to do with a previous land use decision and incentives that are provided to other communities in other parts of Oregon. She said they stayed as long as that option remained open to them. She added the company provides hundreds of good paying jobs. She said as elected officials, they should be committed to try to diversify the local economy so it remains strong. She said she is in support of the proposal and that Lane County should be involved in the engineering design of the road intersection as a way of making the company feel welcome in Lane County.
Sorenson asked how much money was being proposed to give to Lane County for the ingress and egress from Country Coach.
Nick Arness, ODOT, responded there is $150,000 but there are details to be worked out for right-of-way and other costs around the intersection.
Snowden stated someone needs to do additional work to tie down the project costs. He said that ODOT had truncated the project short of the railroad crossing without any consideration as to whether they will need to improve the rail crossing. He said the work needs to be done and depending upon what is done today, either Lane County would do the work and as the order is written, to seek reimbursement from Country Coach or have the County do it as a CIP project on County time.
Sorenson asked if Country Coach needed public money to do the project.
Arness responded that without funding they would have difficulty in funding the infrastructure and they couldnt do the expansion without the money.
Green stated he supports the project as it is no cost to the County and they need to do the improvements required to make this happen.
Weeldreyer asked if the Board approves the order, what the assurance would be from ODOT that they would have the money when the County submits its bill.
Arness stated that they are entering into an intergovernmental agreement and their attempt is to honor it. He said it is his understanding that the money would be provided.
Snowden noted that in the agreement it could state that either ODOT or Country Coach would cover the costs.
Dwyer stated he wanted all the money up front. He said he is disappointed to see that money is being paid to the private sector. He said he would vote no.
Morrison asked if Option 1 meant no cost to Lane County, and the engineering costs would be taken by Country Coach.
Snowden responded in the agreement with the County, Country Coach would cover the cost of engineering to get it to the point of the IOF application and they have five years to do this.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 00-2-15-1, reflecting Option No. 1.
Morrison MOVED, Green SECONDED.
Green asked if Option 2 was adopted if it would come out of the operating budget.
Snowden responded the County would lose the money and it would come out of the operating budget.
Steve Cornacchia, Attorney representing Country Coach, asked if the order is adopted, who would do the engineering.
Snowden replied that he needed to change the order because the order says to do the grant application and enter into an agreement with the IOF. He said they would want to enter into an agreement prior to the IOF application that would address the engineering costs. He noted there are two options: the County could do it or Country Coach could hire a private engineering firm. He said they would want to review the plans and okay them before any construction.
Morrison asked what the engineering costs were.
Snowden responded it was 15% of the total project. He said the project is $150,000 and he said he was not willing to agree to it because there needs to be further engineering done to see if the street could be realigned at First Avenue and High Pass, among other things. He said there were three ways to do the engineering: Lane County could do it and pay for it out of the operating budget, Lane County could do it and be paid up front by Country Coach or Country Coach could hire its own consulting engineering firm and pay for it. He noted the simplest way is to have Lane County do the engineering but it would be a policy choice whether Lane County is to pick up the cost, or to be paid for the cost.
Green stated he did not want the total cost given to Lane County. He suggested to put it in the CIP work program.
Snowden stated that they want to look at the availability of the IOF funds and if it looks like there is some reason to try to move ahead, to capture the IOF funds soon, and they may want to do survey work this spring to get the scope and estimate tied down.
Morrison amended the motion to reflect that the project go through the regular CIP project cycle but have Lane County be reimbursed for the engineering costs from the IOF grant on Country Coach.
Green concurred in the amendment.
Snowden added the order would need to make sure that the County Administrator is authorized to execute an agreement with Country Coach prior to the IOF grant application.
Sorenson noted the order authorizes the County Administrator execution of all necessary agreements.
Sorenson stated he would be voting no.
VOTE: 3-2 (Sorenson, Dwyer dissenting).
Snowden will bring back a revised order to be signed.
13. COMMISSIONERS ANNOUNCEMENTS
Dwyer stated he wanted to bring a resolution to the Board next week about the accident in Australia, thanking the two nurses who helped out. He reported that they did not want any public ceremony.
Morrison announced that at the United Way board meeting, they announced a new project of volunteerism between February 16 and April 9. She said they challenged people to get involved with volunteering to generate hours. She urged the Board to participate and suggested to do it as a Board project.
Weeldreyer congratulated the Marcola Community Learning Center for their ceremony in Harris Hall with the arts program. She noted their work is on display in the Harris Hall lobby. She announced a work shop that LCOG is putting together on a telecommunication grant. She reported she will be having town hall meetings in Pleasant Hill and Lowell to discuss the strategic plan. She added that next Tuesday night there will be a public meeting for the Marcola Motocross. She asked for a Fiber Optic Update to be put on the agenda for the next week.
Green passed out an article from The Readers Digest on forfeiture laws.
Sorenson reported that there will be a variety of open office hours in regard to the Strategic Planning. He added next Tuesday he and Dwyer will be holding a Town Hall Meeting at the Eugene City Council Chambers. He noted he has open office hours on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday the February 24. He reported on the Public Market Task Force.
14. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor reported he attended a meeting in Corvallis with Dwyer, Sorenson and Weeldreyer (via telephone). He noted that other counties had more immediate issues about the franchise agreement. He said they had urgency to do planning for their garbage. His recommendation is to wait until Lane County receives an E-Mail from Benton County, as they are taking the lead. He added it might be beneficial to have an intergovernmental agreement with the other counties, that if anything happened to any of the facilities, there would be agreement that others could come to Lane Countys aid for a short-term basis.
Weeldreyer noted the main concern of most of the counties had to do with flow control and Coffin Butte.
Dwyer reported they agreed informally to move ahead and have Benton county check out the feasibility of Coffin Butte.
Van Vactor reported that the urban transition money of $2.5 million for disbursement to cities is available for one more year. He asked for Board direction.
Dwyer stated he was in favor of continuing the $2.5 million for one more year and then have negotiations after that. He said he would not want to extend it beyond one year.
Green concurred to have the money available for one more year.
Van Vactor stated he would bring it back as a board order.
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 3:15 p.m.
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