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APPROVED 8/9/00

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS’

WORK SESSION

May 2, 2000

following HACSA

Commissioners’ Conference Room

 

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr. and Anna Morrison present.  Cindy Weeldreyer was excused.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Charles Spencer, 4355 Pinecrest Drive, Eugene, urged the Board to place on the agenda a resolution about the local Jobs of Justice group for Workplace Justice.  He noted it was a simple resolution validating and reaffirming the rights of workers and employees in companies in Lane County to form a union without retaliation.  He stated that businesses needed to be expanded with livability terms.  He passed out a summary of data showing gaps between the jobs people need and the jobs being created. (Copy in file.)

Sorenson asked what the Commissioners could do to help address this problem.

 

Spencer responded that Oregon had been a leader nationally in setting benchmarks for quality jobs for family health and stability.  He added when workers are trying to be resourceful they are getting put down, and that there needs to be a fair discussion.

 

3. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

To be held tomorrow.

 

4. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

None.

 

5. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING Ordinance No. 2-00 Amending Chapters 2 and 15 of Lane Code to Remove Provisions Pertaining to the Economic Development Assistance Program Revolving Loan Fund and Dissolving that Fund (LC 2.500 and 15.642) (Second Reading & Public Hearing:  May 16, 2000, 1:30 p.m., Harris Hall Main Floor).

 

John Goodson, Public Works, reported this item is the First Reading and Setting Second Reading and Public Hearing.  He stated following the Board’s action on this on May 16, there will be another item to establish the community development program.

 

MOTION: to approve a First Reading and Setting a Second Reading and Public Hearing on Ordinance No 2-00 on May 16, 2000 at 1:30 p.m.

Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

b. CONTINUED DISCUSSION, TENTH READING AND DELIBERATION Ordinance PA 1132 Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan to Adopt a Revised ATransportation Element@ and Related Changes to the Plan Text; Adopting Revisions to the Eugene-Springfield Transportation System Plan (TransPlan); and Adopting a Severability Clause.

 

Tom Stinchfield, Land Management, recommended rolling this matter to the June 13 date for the next work session.   He noted there are three issue areas that the Board would receive new memos on: finance, alternative performance measures and bike/ pedestrian issues.

 

Green stated he would not be able to attend the meeting that date.

 

Stinchfield responded the next best date would be June 27.

 

Stinchfield reported there are meetings scheduled with Eugene, Springfield and LTD next week to discuss these issues.  He added that July 12 would be a selected date for a joint work session to get all four agencies back together on changes to the plan and work towards a consensus on what might be adopted by all of the agencies.

 

Stinchfield noted there were three options to the Division Avenue Bridge: no change to the project, deleting the project, or modifying the project description.  He noted the attorneys for Delta Sand and Gravel had made suggestions.  He said the reason the County is proposing the Division Avenue Bridge project and the Beaver Street project is to improve circulation across the river and in the Santa Clara neighborhood.  He said because the Beltline project is not in the fiscally constrained plan, there aren’t any other improvements in the constrained plan that will improve operations along the Beltline corridor between Delta and River Road.  He stated the memo noted that Weeldreyer and Morrison are supportive of Option 3 and ODOT and County staff had concerns about the wording of Option 3.  He noted the primary concern is the change regarding preserving the Division Avenue ramp.

 

Nick Arniss, ODOT, stated in a long-range plan, they don’t start modifying access points because it is a legal relationship between the property owner and the jurisdiction.  He added if it is something the Board wanted to do, they would have to decide as a department to keep it in the plan.  He questioned whether it was within the Board’s authority to make decisions about access on state highways.

 

Stinchfield said the language in there now talks about reconstruction.  He added it was compromised language for any resolution of the ramp issue and closure.  He added at Delta they were also concerned about potential closure of the ramp.

 

Steve Cornacchia stated the language the company and the department have agreed upon is to be inserted in the Beltline widening description.  He discussed his letter of March 20.  He noted the language was simplified:  “To construct six lanes to improve mobility operations and conduct an EIS to determine ramp access to aggregate use parcels.”  He stated it creates an established process for the discussion of the impacts, value and need.   He said they want to maintain that, with the ramps on both sides of Beltline, there is sufficient, effective merging of the big trucks with traffic.  He added in the afternoon one of the lanes backs up and it is difficult on the westbound lane.  He stated it was important to consider all of this in context with the three projects, not just one individually. 

 

Green asked what ODOT’s role with the plan was.

 

Arniss said when they go through an environment impact statement, they look at the description in the plan and they have to conduct findings.  He said they would either have to amend TransPlan or modify the ramps.

 

Dwyer stated he didn’t want to have it in TransPlan.

 

Stinchfield stated Beltline is listed in the plan as an ODOT project.

 

Arniss said ODOT is in charge of Beltline as it is a state highway.

 

Morrison said she didn’t mind the change in language for the EIS, but for a state highway, ODOT has its own plan and they don’t involve local participation on how the plan will work.

 

Arniss noted they are participating in TransPlan with financial expenditures so they have a process.  He said on a design-specific detail like this, the access points on an interstate or Beltline, are regulatory authorities that they have.  He said he understands there are frustrations with a project this large.  He said the access points contain a lot of safety and operations.

 

Morrison said she doesn’t see ODOT designs solving anything; she sees them creating more problems.

 

Sorenson asked if the cost figure of $4 million was accurate and in the constrained list.

 

Stinchfield noted they have the cost at $8 million in the CIP. 

 

Ollie Snowden, Public Works, reported without Senate Bill 1608 passing, they won’t have money in the CIP to do the last two years of the CIP.  He noted it is listed as 2003/2004, but they won’t have the money to build it without action on the part of Congress.

 

Sorenson asked what would drop off the plan if the local jurisdictions decided to put the Division Bridge in as a County project.

 

Snowden stated without SB 1608, the County will not be building any CIP projects.

 

Tom Schwetz, LCOG, explained the long-range plan looks at 20 years to make estimates of cost and revenues that they expect to see available.  He said in the short run if they build something, money needs to be available.  He said the Division Avenue Bridge is an example of where it won’t happen if certain legislation doesn’t come through.

 

Stinchfield noted the summary table for capital costs for the County shows $48 million in the plan.  He said the $4 million change is in the context.  He said they don’t know exactly what is happening with the gas tax so they made reasonable assumptions and put together the project list.  He said it is difficult to know what the County cannot afford twenty years from now, but it is a prerequisite that the projects be planned if they want to move them forward in the planning period.

 

Sorenson asked how VMT’s would be lowered with the Division Bridge.

 

Schwetz noted that LCOG was at the table when LCDC changed its rules.  He said there were other MPO’s that couldn’t meet the requirements.  He noted that ten percent was unreasonable.  He said that VMT is only one criteria in the plan and should not be the primary reason for individual investments in the plan.  He added safety, efficiency of the systems and other things need to be considered.  He said the Division Avenue project has the intent of reducing some of the problems on Beltline.

 

Stinchfield stated the model shows that without Valley River or any other improvements, there are 4100 trips crossing the river westbound in the afternoon peak, and the Division Avenue Bridge would remove 500 of those trips.  He noted it would marginally improve operations during peak hours, but wouldn’t solve all the problems on Beltline.  He said with the overall Beltline situation, ramps are stopping during the peak hours and improvements need to take place over the next 20 years.

 

Sorenson asked how close the Division Bridge was to the metro boundary.

 

Stinchfield responded that both Division and Beaver streets are within the metro plan boundary and both have sections outside of the urban growth boundaries.  He said that the Division Bridge is outside of the boundary.  He noted that Beaver Street was more complicated as it has sections that are inside the urban growth boundary and within residential zones.  He said the floodplain cuts across it in an agricultural area.

 

Green asked what was needed from the Board.

 

Stinchfield replied he needed to know whether the Board wanted to modify any project descriptions in the plan.

 

Cornacchia noted that on Division and Beaver streets projects, Delta Sand and Gravel wanted the first two projects to be deleted.  He said the Board had already placed them in the CIP. He offered alternative language.  He also said that Delta suggested for $12 million that that money could be reprogrammed onto Beltline or to Beltline/Delta intersection for improvements that could relieve some of the problems and at the Green Acres intersection.

 

Sorenson stated on page 9 of the materials, he would opt for Option 2.

 

Dwyer echoed that.

 

Snowden noted another option would be to delay a year or two in the CIP and put it in the refinement study.  He agreed with Cornacchia, the Beltline/Delta interchange was outside the scope of their study, but they weren’t sure the bridge would help the operation of the intersection.   He said he thinks there needs to be more studying on this issue and would be premature to kick it out.

 

Morrison commented that she would go for Option 2.

 

Snowden reported there was $8 million in the CIP in fiscal 2003/2004 and that is the year that capital money may run out.  He said assuming the projects in front of it move forward, they won’t have the money to build the bridge or Beaver Street without 1608 passing.  He suggested moving Beaver Street, because Division and Beaver Street belong together.

 

Sorenson reiterated with Division Street, the Board wanted Option 2 and they are suggesting moving it to the future list.

 

Snowden said they could do a study independent from 1608 and have that in place.

 

Cornacchia asked for Board direction to keep it in TransPlan with a description of the project.  He wanted the Board to take a position on the suggested recommendation language between ODOT and Lane County on the widening of Beltline.

 

Green said the Board could plan this and craft the language so it is there for guidance for future planning and development, but nothing happens until there are dollars identified and associated with it.

 

Stnchfield noted there would have to be a plan amendment to move it to the constrained list and that might be a problem in that one of the first questions ODOT asks is if the project is in a plan.  He said ODOT would be looking at the projects on the constrained list before they would be looking to Beltline for that reason.

 

Stinchfield said from Delta, they would want to construct six lanes to improve mobility and operations, and conduct an EIS to determine ramp access to aggregate use parcels.  He said that would replace what they would see in the Beltline description.

 

Stinchfield explained that modeling showed that six lanes were meeting a level of service D standard and that was the target. 

 

Lisa Gardner, LTD, reported there are four transit policies (Attachment 4) related to transit, two of which received testimony and have responses.  She noted the other two received little testimony.

 

Gardner noted with Policy 1, transit improvements, public testimony on this issue centered on two issues: an increased level of neighborhood shuttle service and free or reduced fares.  She noted the adopting officials also commented on them.  She said for neighborhood service or shuttle service, the response indicated it was consistent with the planned BRT and already addressed within their existing plan.  She commented the LTD Board looked at free or reduced fares and the results were a recommendation to reduce the fares for the youth program between ages 11 to 18.  She said the result of their analysis was there was no way of offsetting the loss and revenue and didn’t see there would be a clear increase in transit ridership based on that.  She said the recommendation to the Board is to reduce the youth fare and the recommendation for policy number one is no change.

 

The Commissioners were all in favor of Transit Policy 1.

 

Gardner stated Policy 2 establishes a bus rapid transit system of frequent service along major corridors.  She reported there was public comment around the proposed BRT system and there was support for the system, but conceptual concern on how the system would be implemented and impacts on roads.  She added there was express concern about funding of BRT and how it was proposed and the impact with ridership gain.  She noted the adopting officials’ comments mirrored the public with questions about impact and linking with the regular system.  She added there was a specific comment by the Springfield City Council about the language in the policy of increasing transit market share.  She said a condition in the BRT policy language is that for implementation to occur, financing for the service must be feasible.  

 

Gardner reported staff’s recommendation is to replace the term “transit market share” with “transit mode split” as suggested by the Springfield City Council which had agreed to the language change.

 

Dwyer stated his concern was about congestion.  He added if ridership is not there, there will be added traffic jams.  He said another concern of his was that the bus line doesn’t run late enough and people can’t get back to where they want to go.

 

Sorenson stated he was in favor of Transit Policy 2, as amended.

 

Morrison and Green echoed the vote.

 

Gardner said Transit Policy 3 had little public comment regarding the policy and staff recommendation was no change to the policy.

 

Stinchfield noted it is in the plan to allow the review of details of each proposal by the road agencies and agree that it is workable.

 

Morrison said she had no problem with the recommendation of no change.

 

Gardner said with regard to Policy 4, there was little public comment and Friends of Eugene expressed concern that large park-and-ride lots would impact neighborhoods and social patterns.  She added there were no adopting officials’ comments.  She noted that staff recommendation was no change to the policy.

 

Morrison stated she had no problem with staff recommendation.

 

Dwyer stated he had no problem with Policy 4.

 

The Board of Commissioners supported Policy 4.

 

Gardner mentioned the new list of planning of program action that the Board would like to see included under the Planning and Program Action.

 

Dwyer stated he would like to see the plan be all-electric.

 

Stinchfield announced the next meeting would be June 27 for an 11th Reading and Setting Deliberation , 9:00 a.m.

 

MOVED:  Approve a Tenth Reading and Deliberation and Setting an 11th Reading and Deliberation, not at a time certain.

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Dwyer said his embracing something does not mean he embraces the financing concept that may go along with it.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

6. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

7. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

None.

 

8. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 12:05 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary

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