BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
November 1, 2000
Harris Hall Main Floor
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.
12. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING Ordinance PA 1151 Adopting the Junction City Transportation System Plan, and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses. (NBA & PM 10/18/00)
Tom Stinchfield, Planning, reported that this was the final step in the adoption of the Junction City Transportation System Plan (TSP). He noted the Lane County Planning Commission and Lane County Roads Advisory Committee held a joint hearing with the Junction City Planning Commission in March. He stated that all those groups recommended approval of the plan. He added that on June 14, 2000, the City Council of Junction City and the Board of Commissioners held a joint hearing in Junction City. He noted there was no testimony at the hearing, with the city council and the board taking tentative steps to approve the plan. He said that Junction City completed their work by adopting Ordinance 1085 on July 13, 2000 and asked that the Board finish up the adoption by county ordinance. He noted that the plan was attached as Exhibit A and findings as Exhibit B.
Commissioner Sorenson opened up the Public Hearing. There being no one signed up to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.
MOTION: to adopt Ordinance PA 1151.
Morrison MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
ROLL CALL VOTE: 5-0.
b. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 00-11-1-6 Relinquishing Property Leases to Whitewater and Martin Rapids Parks Back to the Bureau of Land Management and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign the Necessary Agreements.
Jake Risely, Parks, reported that in 1982 Lane County Parks signed a 25 year lease agreement with the Bureau of Land Management to maintain and develop two sites on the south shore of the McKenzie River for recreational purposes. He said that the BLM looked at the properties and found that Lane County hadnt maintained the area.
Risely stated it had been requested by the BLM to relinquish those properties to them. He said the BLM plans on having paths and some of the tables renovated, for day use. He added the BLM will be putting road signs on Highway 126 directing people to the site. He said it was in the Lane County Parks 2005 Plan to return the properties to the BLM. He said Lane County maintains the sites on the north side of the river and to stretch the resources to the south side would be difficult.
Commissioner Sorenson opened up the Public Hearing. There being no one else signed up to speak he closed the Public Hearing.
Dwyer asked if the BLM had planned to have limited access on the property and charge fees.
Risely responded their intention was to keep it as a day use park.
Dwyer had questions for the BLM, but since there was no one present to respond, he stated he will vote no.
Morrison said the lands dont belong to Lane County because the lease wasnt complied with.
Sorenson asked about the affect it would have on the publics ability to use the area if the Board approved this.
Risely said there is one piece that Lane County owns and part of the decision the Board needs to make is whether to maintain the 3.35 acres at Martins Rapids. He added they could hold onto that and manage it with the other sites. He noted it was incorporated into the Parks 2005 Plan approved by the Board.
Weeldreyer commented that with financing limitations and staffing in the Parks Department, and because Lane County already manages a number of sites along the McKenzie, it would be best to relinquish the lease and allow the BLM to move ahead with its recreational plan.
Dwyer stated he had no control over what the BLM does, but he does have control over the Countys business. He was reluctant to approve this.
Sorenson asked if the Board didnt pass this matter, what authority the BLM would have to cut the lease short.
Risely noted if Lane County didnt respond within 45 days, this would be notice they would be taking the lease back.
Green stated Lane County hadnt held up the conditions of the lease as stated and had, in essence, violated the lease.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 00-11-1-6.
Morrison MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
Marc Kardell, Assistant County Counsel, reported there was no opposition to this matter and the BLM elected not to come to the meeting.
Dwyer stated he was not comfortable with this as didnt know if it was in the best interest of the people of Lane County.
VOTE: 3-2 (Dwyer, Sorenson dissenting).
13. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Weeldreyer expressed the Boards sympathy to the family and co-workers of Tom Beckner, (Public Works). She also expressed condolences for the family of Al Burns, who was the Assistant Director of the Eugene Springfield Metropolitan Partnership, who had passed away.
Morrison announced that Bob Matson had passed away. She said he had served on the Lane County Fair Board and was her opponent in the race for commissioner. She added that Bob Moulton had also passed away. She sent her condolences to both families.
Weeldreyer announced the annual volunteer luncheon. She noted the numbers of volunteers had dwindled and encouraged people to volunteer to work in the information booth.
Morrison stated concerns about an editorial that appeared in the The Register-Guard. She said it would create confusion. She noted that Sorenson had made a comment in the Sunday Register-Guard that Lane County may not have to issue the levy. She asked where he was getting information that is different from everyone elses. She added there were a lot of unmet needs and liabilities that the County is facing without the levy and the uncertainty of federal legislation.
David Garnick, Budget Analyst, reported that this money would not be coming this fiscal year, and the first year the funds would come through is 2001-2002. He added under the new revenue estimate, Lane County would receive about $47.6 million, (subtracting the $27.1 million previously received) leaving a balance of about $20.5 million. He noted there would be 15% ($7.1 million to be set aside for other purposes) or 20% ($9.5 million) for projects and that is the figure The Register-Guard used. He explained there needed to be an additional amount taken out for the school fund. He said if it was the 15% approach, the schools would get $2.1 million, if they took the 20%, they would get $1.7 million. He added at that point, Lane County would receive either $11.3 million or $9.3 million. He said the road fund dollars needed to be deducted (either $6.3 million or $5.2 million) so the actual gain to the general fund is between $4.1 and $5 million. He said as a result of the Countys financial forecast, there were no reductions in the current year budget, which would make next years deficit larger, $2.5 million in reductions. He said the actual remaining balance to the general fund would be between $1.3 and $2.2 million. He added there was also the PERS unfunded matter ($40 million), retiree medical benefits. He said the Fin Plan had only a 2 per cent COLA and the unions were asking for more.
Morrison said it was ludicrous to evaluate where the money would go when they dont know the outcome of the election and the ballot measures.
Dwyer stated there were no secrets, there are more questions than answers. He said the Board represents the taxpayers but there are so many uncertainties that it wouldnt be fair to ask the Board to make a judgment when they dont have the information. He said once all the information is in, they would be able to assess the impact. He said if the voters approve the levy and there is no need for it, he wouldnt levy it but if the voters vote down the measures, they may not have enough money to run the jail, forest work camp or pay the increase sought by the bargaining units.
Sorenson noted that the Board would hold a public hearing in the event that the federal legislation passed. He said it would take place on Tuesday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Green said the state hadnt guaranteed anything and there were so many uncertainties, he was sticking to the commitment that they would hold a public hearing.
14. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 2:50 p.m.