BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
June 7, 2000
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., and Anna Morrison present. Cindy Weeldreyer excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
9. PUBLIC WORKS
a. RESOLUTION AND ORDER 00-6-7-15 Approving a Project Design Concept and Acquiring Fee or Other Interests in Portions of Certain Real Properties for Improvement of Clear Lake Road, MP 0.00 to MP 1.67, Based on the Findings in Exhibit A; and Authorizing Staff to Prepare a Right-of-Way Plan Necessary to Construct the Road, Pursue All Necessary Planning Actions, Acquire Right-of-Way and Prepare Plans and Specifications for Improvement of Said Road.
Mike Russell, Public Works, reported this was Phase 2 from Highway 101 to Jenson Lane. He recalled that on November 3, the Roads Advisory Committee held a public hearing and considered the recommended design concept on December 8. He reported that Public Works did not receive any opposition letters from abutting property owners.
Russell continued that the proposal was to widen and overlay an existing roadway from 22 feet to 34 feet, adding six foot shoulders on the roadway. He reported they had support from the Dunes City Council and this would be in the CIP for summer of 2001.
MOTION: to approve Resolution and ORDER 00-6-7-15.
Morrison MOVED, Green SECONDED.
Sorenson asked if there was any opposition.
Russell responded there were some right-of-way questions from property owners. He said they have addressed the issues, saving as many trees as possible. He added there was concern about salmon habitat, but they were working on the process of obtaining permits.
b. ORDER 00-6-7-16 Entering into a Conservation Reserve Program Contract with the United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency for the Conversion of 8.1 Acres of Pasture Land at the Howard Buford Recreation Area to Riparian Woodland and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Execute the Contract.
Bob Keefer, Parks, reported that since 1992 Parks had discontinued grazing on the hillside and concentrated on the lower pasturelands. He said they have been working with the Friends of Buford Park on habitat restoration projects.
Keefer reported on a proposal from the Farm Services Agency on the conservation program. He noted it would pay Lane County for not allowing grazing, providing funds to mow and keep the blackberries down and maintain the property without cattle. He added they would contract for the next ten years that they would not graze 8.1 acres in return for financial incentives. He asked the Board if they wanted to accept this type of grant with the understanding they would not be grazing the acreage, or to not accept it and absorb the costs. He noted Parks would continue working for more woodland development for another 40 to 60 acres to be converted over time.
Dwyer stated this was a great opportunity.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 00-6-7-16.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
10. OTHER BUSINESS
a. WORK SESSION Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
Tom Stinchfield, Public Works, reported this meeting was for local processes for the update of the State Transportation Improvement Program for 2002-2005. He noted that ODOT requested a priority list from the metro area and Lane County by mid-September. He added a schedule had been developed and Public Works requested that the small cities in the county and rural constituents contact him or ODOT staff on project ideas that would be requested. He said by mid-July, they have to identify the requests, and by mid-August there needs to be a combined list of metro area and countywide requests for public review and comment for a meeting in September where the Board would formally adopt the priority list.
Debbie Corey, ODOT, Region 2 STIP Coordinator, reported the STIP is ODOTs short-term capital construction program as required by the federal government. She noted the project is four years long and updated every two years. She said all the projects in the STIP have to go with corridor and transportation plans and take guidance from the ACTS.
Corey noted the STIP was divided into work programs: pavement preservation, bridges, safety, modernization, operations, public transportation, fish passage, enhancement and transportation growth management. She said when the money coming into the state is determined, it is allocated to the different regions. She noted there were five regions, and Region 2 has nine counties, including Lane County and the money is divided based on a formula. She explained that except for modernization and enhancements, the projects are based on need. She added money is given towards sites that have the worst safety factors.
Bob Pirrie, ODOT, explained that the needs list is based on engineering parameters, not bridge and pavement operations. He said with modernization, it was another segment of the money that is in the STIP. He noted they were placing modernization in a rank order for top bridge preservation.
Dwyer asked if modernization was impacted more than preservation or maintenance.
Corey responded that with modernization, there is a state law that requires a minimum amount of money on modernization, and for the last few STIPs there had been $54 million per year, but because of a recalculation of weight-mile, it is $51 millioin per year. She passed out a timeline of the 2002-2005 schedule (copy in file.)
Sorenson asked what the Boards role would be between now and the Region 2 meeting to decide regionwide modernization priorities.
Stinchfield responded they would be working countywide to develop priorities. He added by mid-July they would have ideas from the small cities with rural highway projects. He said those would be discussed at MPC and sent out to the cities for comment. He noted the Board would be involved in early September by adopting a Board order that would have a list attached.
Gary Johnson, ODOT, explained that for the first time, the OTC was seeking a deeper level of input from the elected bodies with established area commissions. He said with Lane County and the cities, the Board will make the determination of the projects. He added when developing the STIP, their commission relied heavily on the adopted highway and transportation plan. He said the top priorities for their existing resources were safety and preservation of existing infrastructure. He added they still have a statutorily-mandated level of investment and the $54 million is a statewide annual figure. He noted that for this year, there is a 10% to 12% reduction for planned expenditures. He discussed ODOT adjustments to match revenues. (Copy in file.)
Sorenson asked how Lane County could get its fair share of ODOT funding.
Johnson noted there was a certain amount that comes to cities and counties through the distribution of gas tax. He said it was more subjective in the modernization category when they allocate the funds. He said they want it to be a more broadly shared decision making process. He said with capacity improvements and modernization, it helps to look at it in a systemwide basis and its total affect on the region. He noted in bringing other funds into the area, the metro area had been successful through the federal earmarking process and it was an avenue worth pursuing by elected officials.
Johnson passed out a listing of special program for transportation growth management (Copy in file.) He suggested reprioritizing some of the programs.
Johnson explained about funding for transportation system plans in cities and counties which allowed forward movement on some local system plans. He added it funds grants for research.
Sorenson asked what the impact on the process was from the Governors sustainability plan on transportation growth management.
Johnson responded they hadnt had time to assess it. He said it could mean investing differently in projects, giving them a longer sustainable life.
Johnson noted in the non-STIP listing was the local enhancement program, which is committed to local government and there is an established grant process for those projects. He said they are not for pavement or bridges.
Johnson believed they could reduce modernization and still meet the legislative mandate, but have a slightly smaller program as an option to bring money in.
Johnson noted the commission would be holding a special second meeting on June 21 to accommodate additional testimony if necessary. He said the commission was interested in hearing from outside of the department on setting program level goals for the investments. He said they were asking the area commissions and the Board of Commissioners to develop a ranking of most to least important.
Sorenson suggested that John Goodson, Public Works, send a letter to the cities asking them the same questions.
Johnson said the Transportation Commission was sensitive about being six months behind in the process.
Johnson asked the Board to rank the importance of the other highway programs and other ODOT programs compared to investments in the pavement and bridge condition. He noted he would like the answers within two weeks to convey feedback. He wanted to know if the cities agreed with the priorities.
Maureen Weathers, Mayor, Springfield, requested in lieu of an ACT that there be continued notification of issues so they could speak to their representatives to process things. She added there couldnt be a deeper level of input on such a short time frame. She noted that would have to be approved before the OTC sets the program goals. She said they lose when they dont come together with one voice.
Johnson stated he would convey to the OTC that they hadnt adopted the area commission format.
Green said the bottom line is getting the projects funded. He said there needs to be equity in the regions.
Sorenson noted that Goodson would get a letter out about the options for greater involvement.
Green asked about the status of the Harlow Road Soundwall.
Johnson responded that would be going to MPC tomorrow.
Tom Schwetz, LCOG, reported that the proposal is through an amendment to the TIF to remove the I-105 Delta onramp, in favor of the soundwall.
Van Vactor stated he was concerned as the swap in the list would take place, but ODOT would still not fund the right-of-way and the capacity improvement would become lost.
Schwetz suggested that the MPC (related to the STIP update) bring the project they were dropping from the STIP back into the process and align it into 2003, that would allow (should the right-of-way purchase not take place) a swap of the two projects with the money retained.
b. ORAL REPORT Possible Referral of Wetlands Matter back to the Planning Commission
Van Vactor noted at the joint elected official hearing they received new information on one parcel of land and in addition, the criteria have changed since the planning commissions considered it.
Dwyer said his concern was process. He noted a decision had been referred to the Board based on certain testimony.
Kent Howe, Land Management, stated he met with Jan Childs, Planning Director, City of Eugene, and conferred with the County to develop a diagram that provides options. He said the first option would be to stay the course. He explained the second had additions if the Board decided to refer it back to the planning commission to obtain another recommendation. He noted an option would be to go to the Lane County Planning Commission only, or for the city council to request it goes to their planning commission. He added there was an issue of wanting all the testimony to go back on all the issues, or on just the one issue regarding Hyundai.
Howe noted in making this decision there were assumptions from the deadline that DSL established of December 31, that the process not be derailed so it jeopardizes that deadline. He added they would revoke the approval of the West Eugene Wetlands Plan as an approved wetlands conservation plan after December 31, 2000. He said the DSL and the Corps of Engineers would not utilize this planning tool and it would return the property owners to square one regarding fill and removal permits. He noted it is important to complete it by the end of the year. He added in order to expedite it in a way that doesnt open up another process of notice, it is appropriate for the elected officials to remand back to the record that was received to the planning commission and let them operate on that without another public hearing.
Howe recommended using the same staff notes that were being prepared for the elected officials. He noted if the Hyundai site alone is referred back, the utility and planned transportation corridor and speedway sites could continue on schedule. He added because of the workload of the planning commission, he recommended doing joint hearings on July 18.
Howe said the concern is the criteria and membership of the planning commission had changed. He noted the testimony received by the elected officials would be remanded back. He added that timing was critical.
Van Vactor noted that Jan Childs was reluctant to do this because of the overall workload. Van Vactor favored this (as long as it could stay on schedule) because so much had changed since it went to the planning commission.
Dwyer leaned toward it and Option 4 to move forward.
Vorhes reported the planning commissions had not been involved either in the revisions to the criteria or the additional information and the assessment of all of the sites under the new criteria. He noted the staff report was moving forward and would address all of the new information that could be converted to a planning commission report on whatever is referred.
Van Vactor recommended that both the City of Eugene or Lane County refer, or neither refers.
Morrison said her concern was meeting the December 31 deadline.
Dwyer stated he would go to the Eugene City Council meeting to formally convey that the Board would be interested in doing this.
Howe noted on the assumptions and understandings, the Board wanted minimal impact on what staff was doing, keeping it on schedule, and the referral could be done within the context of the discussion that took place today.
Sorenson requested the staff report (as a result of the public hearing) be given to all four bodies.
11. COMMISSIONERS ANNOUNCEMENT
Green reported that he would not be here next week. He encouraged the Board to adopt the Budget. He said he would be back on June 15.
Sorenson announced that there would be a board meeting on June 13 and on June 14. He noted the Fair Board luncheon would take place at the Fair Grounds. He said the Jail Tour of Junction City and City Council Meeting will be on June 14.
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 4:00 p.m.