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Approved 6/7/00

May 9, 2000
WORK SESSION - LANE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
Commissioners' Conference Room - 9:00 a.m.

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison 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

None.

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Steve Schaefers, 47685 McKenzie Highway, Vida, stated he was in support of Bob Keefer’s recommendation that the County go ahead with the Goodpasture site.

Larry McMillian, 250 A Street, Springfield, Telecom Project Manager, Springfield Utility Board, supported the work with fiber optics. He said there is a demand for advanced telecom service. He noted that rural areas have not had the same opportunities as urban areas for fiber optics, but the work that has taken place in the last few years is a good opportunity for these cities to eventually get the services they need. He requested the Board keep the project going.

Jan Wellman, 88184 8th, Veneta, stated he was speaking on behalf of the rural areas regarding the fiber optic consortium. He stated that all rural cities in Lane County are committed to the project and have committed funds. He added--on behalf of the City of Veneta—that they have budgeted the funds for the project for the next budget year and want to see it through. He asked the Board not to overlook the economic development benefits. He noted that the return to the County and city will be astronomical in comparison with the investment. He asked the Board to authorize the request for funds and to commit the staff necessary to continue the effort for next fiscal year and beyond.

Roy Pruitt, P. O. Box 126, Vida, reported that he was issued a guide’s license from the State of Oregon in 1945. He said he is knowledgeable about the river and there needs to be another place for the boat ramp. He considers the safest place to be the Goodpasture site with its calm waters. He asked to have the speed limit lowered as the Goodpasture entrance is a disaster waiting to happen. He said he would not use the Charlie’s boat ramp.

Kat Galic, 1225 Inglewood, Eugene, thanked the Board for their past support of the Oak Street Child Development Center. She said she has been an employee of Lane County for 19 years and has had children in the program for the past 10. She said the stable staff have provided security. She hoped the Board would continue to support the center.

Karm Hagedorn, 2964 Tomahawk, Eugene, supported the Oak Street Center. She reported that her daughter is seven and attended from three-months old through the pre-kindergarten program. She stated staff have always been excellent. She asked the Board for support.

3. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

a.  ORDER 00-5-9-1 Approving the New Space Arrangements, Tenant Improvement Assistance from the County, and Agreeing to Pass Through GSA Monies to Oak Street Child Development Center.

Kathi Wiederhold, President, Oak Street Childhood Development, stated her husband is a County employee and she has two daughters. She said her daughters started at Oak Street at three-months old and were given reliable, worry-free nurturing care. She said Oak Street well-deserves the reputation it has. She noted that the center has been open for ten years and has taken in almost 250 children.

Mark Spence, parent, reported that in addition to the center serving 100 children of County employees, other related governmental agencies had workers that placed their children at the center. He noted they currently serve 17 County families providing high quality, safe childcare. He said that County employees receive a 10% tuition subsidy.

Spence noted that Oak Street has an opportunity to expand and make long overdue improvements. He said the improvements are challenging to the continued operation and are mandated by agreement and regulations. He said caregiver ratios have changed and they are required to move staff offices out of the mezzanine level. He said it is time to increase enrollment and alleviate the cramping of the toddler room area. He noted that the federal government, through GSA, pays a monthly fee of $2,000, as rent for a portion of the mortgage payment from the Federal-County agreement. He added the building has long been paid for and the money from GSA is for the children. He requested that the $2,000 from the GSA go to the Oak Street budget. He added they want to expand into the 680 square feet of recently vacated space without paying additional rent. He requested tenant improvement rates to upgrade the 680 square feet and make other needed improvements.

Van Vactor stated that he was supportive of the Oak Street facility, has been for many years and is proud of it. He said that when the center was created, there was a one-time investment to get the program up and running and after that, the center was to carry itself forward.

David Suchart, Management Services, reported that when the space became available, he spoke with them about the utilization of the vacant space. He noted that he derives some revenue that goes into the general fund and it would be $8,400 a year in lost revenue to the County. Regarding the remodeling costs, he has allocated the capital improvement funds for next year. He said if the Board was to support this, he would have to make adjustments in the current capital improvement plan for that money. Based on the fire marshal’s decisions and proper utilization of space, he recommended not moving the loft space. He added the second loft space is in the currently vacant area and the removal of that would have to be replaced, as that space is being rented out. He supports the day care center, but it is a fiscal obligation that needs direction from the Board.

Morrison requested a five-year history of who was using the facility. She said that Lane County employees should be able to use the facility first. She asked if the center was growing and expanding for the private sector--or for County and federal employees. She noted that next year the GSA may not be in the picture, providing more space if those children are not there. She asked where expense money was going.

Patty Perlow, parent, responded the bulk of it goes to pay salaries and for food. She noted the childcare field pays low wages, and they want to pay at the top to maintain their staff.

Dwyer was concerned about the money for this not being identified in the budget, and leasing additional space at no cost, and using current funding to maintain it. He said the center is worthy but balancing other needs and shortfalls is an unknown. He wanted a better plan. He also has concerns about the GSA.

Green hoped that they can focus on how to make it work.. He is supportive and wants it to work. He said that quality childcare is a challenge.

Green asked if funding the center could be appropriate use of economic development dollars. He shared Dwyer’s concern about the budget process.

Weeldreyer supported Green. She said that the childcare center is good and they should take a can-do approach. She noted Lane County has budget problems and it is difficult to put one position over another. She said it is important to have quality childcare for working parents, giving them a chance to be successful and steer clear of emotional scars. She supports staff direction to continue to work with the parent board and the center to meet growing space requirements.

Sorenson supported giving direction to work with the childcare center board and to come back to the Board of Commissioners to report on what they could do to make it work. He wants this facility to serve the public and county employees and to make sure that there is a high quality educational content. He said his goal is to make it work.

Green recommended using a funding mechanism. He said they need to have a continued dialogue and relationship with the childcare development center and to use block grant dollars from CCF Services to develop a partnership. He said his direction is to give staff latitude to other options and that video lottery dollars are at the top of his list.

Dwyer agreed with Green. He said that block grants are an appropriate source of money.

Morrison asked if there was any way to determine how many employees are using other forms of day care instead of this facility because of cost or no room. She was not opposed to the day care center; but only wants the center to be for Lane County employees. She said if the center is going to have a partnership, the GSA has to do their part, as well as obtaining funding from the parents and from the County.

Sorenson asked Suchart for an oral report back on what can make the childcare center work and for the commissioners to get their questions answered.

Weeldreyer praised the Oak Street Board for their plan and continued partnership.

b. ORDER 00-5-9-2 Authorizing Expenditure of $7,367 from Video Lottery Funds for Fiber South Consortium ($2,250) and Regional Fiber Consortium ($5,117) Expenses in Fiscal Year 99/00, and Commit Staff Support in Lane County’s FY 00/01 Budget for Consortia Facilitation Activities, and Additionally Recommend to the Budget Committee Expenditures Up to $21,232 of Video Lottery Funding for Consortia ($16,115 for Fiber South and $5,117 for Regional Fiber Consortium) Operating Expenses in FY 00/01.

Weeldreyer noted that the last time the item was brought before the Board, she was putting together an RFP to the private sector for lighting fiber for voice, video and data transmissions. She explained it is a regional partnership that Lane County spearheaded with a number of cities to develop regional infrastructure. She noted the intent of the model is to creatively push telecommunication infrastructure to rural areas, modeled after the regional cable commission that centralizes technical information and support. She said the plan is to have upfront investment costs creating a system lit by the private sector, while sharing revenue components. She reported there were RFP’s issued two weeks ago and the executive committee of the Fiber South will serve as a revenue committee. She noted they secured independent legal review and insurance services. She said they incurred costs in this fiscal year, based on the population for all jurisdictions to put together a budget for the next fiscal year. She said more time is needed to finish and funding is needed to negotiate what would have been committed to the Fiber South Group. She noted that Coos County volunteered to manage the interim budget until the next fiscal year, with dues going to Coos County for lawyers and insurance. She said that Lane County’s participation would ensure it is successful for placing infrastructure into rural communities.

Weeldreyer reported that, due to the reduction of Peter Thurston’s time and the loss of Stephanie Schulz, Fiber South is staffed by LCOG and Springfield is managing an in-kind budget for Lane Klamath.

Weeldreyer reported that to continue with the Lane Klamath and Fiber South, Lane County and Springfield are staffing in-kind duties that Fiber South performs. She said the two are separate 190 organizations, with similar joint RFP’s linking two infrastructures, with different membership and geography. She suggested that Lane County and Springfield keep continuity in development for both by sharing information.

Green wanted to be supportive, but didn’t want Lane County to have the Lion’s share of the funding. He recommended this go to the Budget Committee for discussion, and that the committee should make a recommendation to the Board.

Morrison agreed with Green. She stated that committing staff would be a duplication of people at meetings. She agreed it is important for rural areas to have access to telecommunication methods. She wants rural areas to access telecommunication without lighting fiber optics.

Thurston said there are two major areas: working with Lane County communities to make sure they are fully engaged in the process of using the system for higher education; and a system of medical providers as potential users, bringing services to communities.

With regard to duplication of efforts, Weeldreyer said that it has been invested in small cities with economic development committees. She said it is a huge undertaking that will be as important as the road system. She noted that overlapping ensures the processes are meshing and that AOC made telecommunications one of its priorities for the upcoming year.

Dwyer said he has concerns, but the County needs fiber to compete.

Weeldreyer said it is not Lane County’s intention to go into the phone business. She noted Lane County created an infrastructure to be maintained as open. She added other companies have expertise and could use Lane County’s infrastructure for more services.

Weeldreyer noted that this work could not have been possible without LCOG’s investment on the front end, and they bore the costs in the beginning. She added they played a key role that will allow competition. She said setting up a system where franchises are in place with the private sector would pay for administrative costs. She requested support to finish this model. She added that next year she will not ask for money, as the intent is a unique public/private type of venture. She noted there is not any other model and it takes time to get it in place.

Green wanted it to end at some time. He noted that Attachment C put in the proposed budget assumes what the costs will be. He noted next year the costs could be increased. He doesn’t want Lane County to pick up those costs.

Weeldreyer noted that there is value in dark fiber in the ground that is unlit. She said it allows another company to light it.

Green supported proceeding to the Budget Committee so this could compete for dollars.

Dwyer said he would go with this once more, as something positive needs to happen. He didn’t want it lost., and wants the partners to understand that Lane County will not carry the lion’s share. He is willing to move forward cautiously.

Assistant County Counsel Steve Vorhes noted that in the second paragraph of the order that the Board is additionally recommending $5,117 of video lottery dollars instead of committing them. He said the title recommends expenditures in the fiscal year 2001. He added the Board is recommending giving $5,117 of video lottery funds for the Regional Fiber Consortium for the 2001 operating expenses and $16,115 for the Fiber South Consortium operating expenses.

MOTION: to approve ORDER 00-5-9-2 as amended by Vorhes.

Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

Sorenson noted that a great deal of work went into this and without Weeldreyer’s energy and hard work, the Board would not be discussing this. He thanked Weeldreyer for her work.

VOTE: 4-1 (Morrison dissenting).

4. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. Announcements.

Van Vactor reported that Hector Rios is working on the Intergovernmental Relations position.

5. PUBLIC WORKS

a. DISCUSSION AND ACTION Authorizing Funding for Sports Way Road from the Community Development Fund.

Ollie Snowden, Public Works, reported that Springfield wants Lane County to fund the second phase of Sports Way Road. He said they are asking to waive the Community Development selection and present the money to Springfield. He added that legal counsel recommended not to do it, and instead of community development, indicate funding the project out of general road fund dollars. He said he will be back with a Board order and an intergovernmental agreement deducting $315,000 that otherwise would have gone to the Community Development Program.

John Tamulonis, Springfield, stated that a year ago he came to the Board for this project, wanting to reorganize funds for community development. He said they would qualify easily under the new program. He noted they are ready to start the project. He added delays are problematic for starting start construction this year. He noted this is the balance of funds that were allocated to Lane County, a long-term partnership to continue.

Green was not comfortable being out of the process. He said the change from economic to community development caused a timing issue. He hoped the Board would be as flexible with other projects. He said there needs to be a stipulation to the city and provider that they are using public dollars and no child in any program should be denied participating in the activities. He supported it, because he wants to see it happen for all of the right reasons.

Morrison stated she was supportive, but will not support giving dollars before the process. She noted that everyone in Lane County should have ample opportunity to provide funds. She noted there will be no more money after the $3.75 million until they secure the source for the road funds. She added it is a hard time for community projects.

MOTION: to move for Option 1, to allow taking action to ensure funding.

Dwyer MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.

Dwyer shared Green’s concerns. He wanted to make sure no child would be turned away. He will support it.

Sorenson believed that young people throughout Lane County will use the facility and it is in the public’s best interest.

VOTE: 4-1 (Morrison dissenting).

b.  ORAL REPORT Nuisance Trash Violations and Tipping Fees.

Ken Sandusky, Waste Management, said this was the first discussion about nuisance abatement helping to fund positions. He said that $43,000 involves direct assistance for clean-ups. He noted they funded a Deputy Sheriff position and were involved in cleanup of an illegal dumpsite. He said they think their charge is landfill, recycling and special waste. He stated they made contributions that hurt their department.

John Cole, Land Management, reported that they worked out a coupon program, proposing a pilot project. He said when Land Management contacts the property owner indicating they had too much trash, they will be handed a coupon (in addition to receiving a time frame to clean up the trash), good for up to five pick-up trucks of trash. He added the coupon would only be good for that property. He reported that the cost to the department is $3,200 per year. He added this would not alleviate all the problems.

Sandusky suggested trying it out for a year and not exceeding $3,500.

Green supported continuing with regular fines and liens.

Sorenson asked when this program would be taking place.

Cole responded that the program would be implemented June 1, 2000. He added that there are 50 properties that would qualify.

Sorenson suggested this item be brought back in four months for a report on the progress of the program.

6.    COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

None.

7. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 3:20 p.m.

Melissa Zimmer
Recording Secretary

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