BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 2002
Commissioners’ Conference Room
Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison and Peter Sorenson present. Cindy Weeldreyer was present via telephone. Assistant County Counsel Marc Kardell and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
#14. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 02-5-1-16/In the Matter of Surrender of Portions of Row River Road, County Road Number 1320, Thornton Road South, County Road Number 728, and Thornton Lane, County Road Number 2009, to the City of Cottage Grove.
Bob Ezell, Land Management, explained that all three county roads are within the city limits of Cottage Grove, for a total length of about 6/10 mile. He noted the transfer of jurisdiction as allowed by law is a two-step process. He said the city requests the county to do the transfer by city resolution. They requested that the county transfer the jurisdiction of the roads. He noted the transfer of the roads requires a public hearing and notice of proceedings. He stated the proposed transfer of the three roads is part of an amended County/City Road Partnership Program Agreement of August 30, 2000 between the County and the City of Cottage Grove. He said the agreement allows for road fund expenditures for these roads as well as other roads in the County that are transferred to the City. He noted the proposed transfer of the roads would not increase the overall costs of the agreement. He stated that Public Works Director Ollie Snowden had recommended approval of the transfer of these roads.
Commissioner Dwyer opened up the Public Hearing. There being no one signed up to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 02-5-1-16.
Green MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Weeldreyer was in support of this as this area is near Wal-Mart and was best placed with the City of Cottage Grove instead of the County.
b. PUBLIC HEARING/Countywide Priority Listing for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) FY 2004-2007 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
Tom Stinchfield, Public Works, passed out supplemental material. (Copy in file). He stated the supplemental material was a draft to show how the projects on the priority list relate to the eligibility criteria for the STIP project, and the prioritizing factors that the OTC had directed Lane County to use. He recommended leaving the record open for one week until May 8, 2002 so the cities and public could comment back to staff. He noted they were scheduled to come back on May 15 with an order to take final action. He recommended allowing time for discussion on May 15. He said it was a priority setting process that started last fall. He said the Board took preliminary action on a set of priorities on October 31. He added the MPC took action on April 11, setting metro priorities. Those were included in the packet. He noted this was being done in preparation for the June 7, 2002 All Area Region 2 meeting, to set priorities that would go in the draft STIP that would be published for public review.
Dwyer suggested having a Public Hearing on May 15 for the new findings that were presented in the supplemental material.
Stinchfield stated if a Public Hearing was in order, he recommended May 15.
Dwyer recommended keeping the record open for a week and then taking action on May 15.
Bob Pirrie, ODOT, explained the amount of money for modernization for the 04/ 07 STIP is approximately $24 million. He noted the money is split among seven regions. He read comments from a letter (copy in file) that will be used for the June 7 All Area Meeting to examine prioritization and how to allocate the $24 million. He noted that within Lane County, there is not enough funding both the large and smaller projects on the lists endorsed by the Board in October 2001 and April 1, 2002. He stated that ODOT supported the projects but noted that until the West Eugene Parkway issue is settled, they don’t know if the projects would be on the constrained list for TransPlan. He added they have projects listed at Sixth and Seventh intersections, but there is not a clear understanding of what is proposed for improvements. He noted the smaller non-metro area projects--Badger Mountain passing lanes and Wildcat Bridges--had been noted in the project listing at $4.2 million for construction, bridge widening and alignment. He stated that ODOT supported the project as a high priority modernization project for Lane County. He explained, with the Florence pilot blocks projects, they did not believe the project was developed to where it could be considered ready for inclusion in the STIP at this time. He noted that ODOT was working with the city to refine the project. With regard to the Oakridge left turn project, he said there are right of way and environmental constraints with the project and it had not been scoped. He added the project did have merit and it bared further consideration.
Green asked about the environmental assessment with the I-5 Beltline project.
Pirrie responded that the I-5 Beltline project continues to be a high priority project that is number one in the metro area. He added there is additional funding that is required. He noted that Phase 1 of the project is $35 million and there is $18 million that had been allocated by the Oregon Transportation Commission as part of the Oregon Transportation Investment Act. He stated the money was dependent upon arriving at a finding of no significant impact on the project with the environmental process they are in. He stated ODOT supports the I-5 Beltline project dependent upon the environmental assessment outcome.
Pirrie explained that at the All Area Meeting on June 7, the elected officials would get together to determine the priority by need and merit. He stated in an effort to disburse the money fairly, they had chosen smaller projects throughout the areas and put those forward as a priority list that the OTC would approve.
Green asked if the West Eugene Parkway was included on the list.
Stinchfield responded there was a footnote that stated it was not included.
Commissioner Dwyer opened up the Public Hearing.
Dwyer reiterated that the public record would be held open for a week and a Public Hearing would take place on May 15, 2002.
Deonna Sinnegar, 824 S. 44th St., Springfield, read and submitted her letter into the record. (Copy in file.)
Steve Gallup, 918 S. 46th, Springfield, stated he has a child who attends Mt. Vernon Elementary School. He said it was dangerous crossing 42nd Street to get to the new elementary school. He noted the street is below urban standards and has a daily traffic count of 3,000 vehicles per day and is classified as a collector. He was pleased it was ranked number one, but encouraged the Board to move up the construction. He said he didn’t see any traffic calming or pedestrian island in the plan.
Doddie Hanson, 861 S. 44th, Springfield, concurred with the other speakers. She asked the Board if there were any funds that could be diverted to the project, to consider it. She asked the Board to think of safety issues first.
Jeannine Crane, 885 S. 42nd St., Springfield, stated that children should be the top priority. She stated there needed to be a crosswalk or sidewalk on 42nd Street as the road is dangerous.
Steve Cornacchia, 4464 Jessica St., noted there is significant concern and interest about this project. He said the road has gotten worse. He noted there was no sidewalk for the children to walk to Mt. Vernon School. He said there was no pedestrian opportunity on 42nd Street between the railroad tracks to Jasper. He noted in the last seven years there had been three major subdivisions built in the area. He recommended working on this as soon as possible.
Rob Zako, 1280 B E. 20th, Eugene, asked where the money would come from for the projects. He said that Beltline I-5 was an important project that needed to be worked on. He said that the West Eugene Parkway was a highway to nowhere.
Scott Diehl, 2281 9th Street, Springfield, encouraged the Board to give high priority to proposed projects that would address current and future problems at the Coburg/Beltline interchange. He noted the interchange currently has levels of services measured at level D or below. He said that eastbound Beltline traffic exiting at Coburg Road backs up onto Beltline during peak hours, creating a dangerous slow down on Beltline. He noted there was significant acreage north of Beltline currently undeveloped but inside the urban growth boundary. He said the upcoming capacity increases to the Beltline I-5 interchange and the increased demand on dedicated facility by BRT in the Coburg corridor and unacceptable level of service was easy to imagine. He noted that Coburg Road was the only traffic corridor available for traffic to move north from Beltline. He said that recent traffic studies suggest the volume to capacity ratio would exceed two, after the area is fully developed. He noted the only fatality accident in the Coburg Beltline area in 2001 occurred at the unsignalized Crescent and North Game Farm Road intersection. He urged the Board to support the projects in the STIP that would improve and enhance the capacity of the Coburg Beltline interchange. He supported Pirrie’s letter in examining low cost solutions.
Jan Spencer, 212 Benjamin, River Road, said the West Eugene Parkway was not a good choice for the limited amount of money available. He noted that it conflicted with every state-planning goal. He thought the Board should be focusing on what they have.
Lauri Siegel, 120 W. Broadway, Eugene, stated that ODOT would prefer that the Lane County ACT be more broadly represented. She said that broader representation would have a better list than what was before the Board. She said the expectation of the OTC who issues the ultimate approval for STIP allocations, will apply eligibility criteria and issue findings that address how each project complies with the criteria. She said in lieu of findings that explain how the recommendation projects meet the OTC eligibility criteria, there is nothing to indicate whether OTC would consider any of the projects for STIP funding. She said that ODOT has stated they had concerns about the smaller roadway project rated number one on the draft countywide priority list. She added the state also noted that the proposed large roadway projects are outside the parameters of STIP funding. She said there was no current information on which the ACT could base a meaningful decision. She stated that none of the projects on the draft priority list are about connectivity, alternative modes, demand management or any off system improvements. She said the list was about more capacity without findings to verify how the proposed projects comply.
Dwyer explained that the Board of Commissioners is not an ACT. He said the Board of Commissioners are elected positions but the ACT is not an elected body, it is an idea that came from a group of appointed people who wanted to have elected officials answer to them. He said it was a way for ODOT to control the regions. He noted that Lane County makes tremendous efforts to reach out to all of the rural cities.
Terry Connelly, Eugene Chamber of Commerce, 1401 Willamette, noted there would be five projects that would be removed if the amendments were approved to the West Eugene Parkway. He said it didn’t mean the smaller projects were gone forever. He said if the five projects were removed to the futures list, it is short term. He noted from the past legislative session that the state was able to produce additional revenue for transportation projects. He said these projects are important and if the West Eugene Parkway doesn’t go forward it would make securing funding for the projects impossible.
Chris Clemow, 975 Lincoln, Eugene, urged the County to consider the improvements necessary to the Beltline Coburg interchange for inclusion on the FY 04-07 STIP. He noted that ODOT supported the low cost improvements at that interchange. He said for the last six months, the property owners in working with the county, city and state put together a transportation study to serve the area in the next 20 years. He said the goal of the study was to find low cost solutions to the Beltline Coburg interchange. He said this was done with LCOG’s modeling effort. He was comfortable that the projections were accurate.
Roger Bennett, City Manager, Florence, was in support of staff’s priority recommendation on TransPlan. He supported Pirrie’s comments during the staff report. He said the pilot block project was important to the City of Florence and they supported Pirrie’s recommendation that that project be postponed for a later STIP program or an alternative way of financing. He said they are concerned about pedestrian on Highway 101 and they wanted to bring that project back through ODOT. He supported improvements to Highway 126. He said improvements to Badger Mountain and to the bridges on Highway 101 are important for safety and convenience. They would like to see the West Eugene Parkway developed.
Mark Rabinowitz, 28549 Sutherlin, Eugene, stated the West Eugene Parkway was not near Florence. He noted a project that was supposed to be on the futures list was the first $18 million for the Gateway I-5 construction. He said that would take money away from the TransPlan process. He noted the Creswell interchange reconstruction cost $7.8 million. He said dividing it by the 3,000 citizens that live in Creswell would come to $2,500 per person. He stated that two years ago the Lane County voters voted no by a margin of eight to one to increasing the gas tax to pay for more roads.
Green requested that staff (before the next public hearing) respond to some of the comments made in the public hearing that were erroneous and not accurate.
Becky Steckler, 2424 Harris St., Eugene, is a member of Friends of Eugene. She stated the Board needed to preserve the transportation that is in place. She was concerned about the West Eugene Parkway going forward. She wanted the Board to give a serious look at reducing the dependence on automobiles and the safety of children riding bikes.
Rob Handy, 455 ½ River Road, Eugene, stated he didn’t understand what was going on between the STIP and TransPlan. He said they are going to have a West Eugene Parkway that will not work. He said the smaller projects are being cancelled for larger ones that won’t work. He suggested putting in limited funds to existing neighborhoods and communities.
Nick Arnis, City of Springfield, supported the 42nd Street improvements. He noted that over the years, ODOT had put in asphalt sidewalks on one side of the street. He added that it is a state highway. He said the City of Springfield would participate with a Memo of Understanding with the state about the jurisdictional transfer. He noted the City of Springfield’s road projects are limited and they don’t have separate street funds to take over these types of roads. He added the other project the City of Springfield supports is the I-5 Beltline interchange. He encouraged the Board to support getting more OTM money for the interchange project.
John Davidson, stated he is the Secretary of the Board of Cascades Foothills Library in Dexter, 81868 Lost Valley Lane. He noted that there was no mention of a footbridge going from Dexter over Highway 58 to the State Park at Dexter Reservoir on the list. He said they had not formally submitted the project He stated they never received any instruction for the process. He wanted to make sure that the Board is aware of this. He noted that Highway 58 is extremely busy and has one of the highest fatality rates in the state. He said that the library and state park attract families and children and there is no way for people to get from one side to the other safely. He added that the State Park Department was in agreement. He explained the idea of the footbridge came from a 1996 plan developed by a rural initiative and the Cascade Foothills Community Response Team. He said the cost would be modest. He wanted to make sure they receive notice in the future of the different steps in the process. His address is P. O. Box 12, Dexter, OR 97431.
Mayor Jim Torrey, City of Eugene, stated he has participated for several years in the development of these projects that go to the Region 2 ACT and to the OTC. He supported asking for additional dollars for the I-5 Beltline interchange. He also supported the I-5 Interchange with the City of Coburg. He didn’t think they would be able to get any money for the Beltline/Coburg Road project but he believed it was important that they look at the small fix. He hoped they would be able to make that funding happen. He was also supportive of the S. 42nd Street project. He added it was unfortunate that a young boy had to lose his life to force them to look at these issues. He noted that Lane County was a leader in the state with ideas. He thought they best thing they could do was work together to send a big and small project list to the ACT meeting with Green.
Kevin Matthews, Co-Chair of Friends of Eugene, 120 E. Broadway, stated the project list has no findings to explain how the project list meets the criteria. He said the Board has to focus on not subsidizing real estate development and how to get the people of the community to move around safely and conveniently.
There being no one else registered to speak, Commissioner Dwyer closed the Public Hearing.
14. PUBLIC HEARINGS
c. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 02-5-1-17/In the Matter of Adopting the Public Works Five-Year Capital Improvement Program FY 02/03-FY 06/07.
Sonny Chickering, Public Works, said they have an established process of completing the Capital Improvement Program document and they followed that process. He noted there was an initial draft of the CIP delivered to the Roads Advisory Committee in January and it was released for public inspection and comment and on February 27 they held a public hearing. He said the Roads Advisory Committee adopted a program in April that they recommended to the Board.
Chickering explained that under general construction, there were no projects that were added through the TSP preparation (page 16). He noted the projects that were added not through the TSP preparation were Beaver Street, Hunsaker Lane in the Santa Clara area; Dillard Road from the beginning of County maintenance to Highway 99 in the southeast Eugene area; and Greenhill Road from the railroad crossing up to Clear Lake Road. He added there were projects added by public comment: a section of Hall Road of an improvement project they completed several years ago and the committee recommended that be added to the project list. He explained the County has three CAPP projects they elected to construct instead of passing the money to other sponsoring agencies.
Weeldreyer asked about adding the Dexter Footbridge into the list of projects to be developed in the CIP.
Chickering noted he spoke with Mayor Weathers on Monday and that was the first time he had heard of the footbridge. He added he had not been involved in any previous discussions. He said if the Board chose to, they could elect to include some money toward the project. He thought it would be a cooperative project with ODOT. He added they had to be careful of spending road fund monies off of public right of ways.
Morrison asked what the cost of the footbridge would be.
Chickering responded he didn’t know.
Commissioner Dwyer opened the Public Hearing.
Scott Diehl, 2281 9th Street, supported the inclusion of the improvements of Game Farm Road north of the city limits. He said it has turned into a very dangerous road. He noted there are no shoulders to the road or pavement that extends beyond the white lines. He urged the Board to include Game Farm Road in the CIP funding.
Roger Bennett, City Manager, Florence, explained that the inclusion of the downtown development plan process is a major traffic safety component connecting the local streets on the west side of Highway 101 to the local streets on the east side of Highway 101 in the downtown area. He said it involves the realignment of local streets in a direct approach to Highway 101 near city hall.
Sandy Hansen, Florence Chamber of Commerce, stated the downtown committee recommended that this project be completed. She noted there were opportunities for citizens to give input and they worked together with ODOT and the City of Florence. She said the Second Street Extension would go through the Chamber of Commerce office and a portion of that funding would become available to initiate fundraising to build another Chamber of Commerce building on land donated by the City. She stated the Chamber agreed that this is a safety issue which deals with the preservation of Highway 101 in a small rural community where the economic base is tourism. She noted that this phase of the plan would allow for alternate routes of off Highway 101.
Judy Metheney, incoming President, Florence Chamber of Commerce, said they wanted to present the new Chamber office as something that Florence could be proud of as their existing office is very small and not visible from Highway 101. She said it was important as they believe in partnerships. One of the areas they want to investigate is working a partnership with the state, county and local government agencies so the chamber office would not only be a visitor center, but a strategic location where representatives could be present to answer questions. She encouraged the Board to accept this project.
Morrison noted that this came up last week at the Roads Advisory Committee. She said that Don Erick of ODOT had indicated that there were still problems. She noted this project was set for 02/03. She added that Erick was not specific as to what the concerns were. She hoped that would get resolved.
Dwyer read Joanne Vinson’s letter into the record.
Mayor Jim Torrey, City of Eugene, stated he was in support of the County CIP. He was supportive of the County and City Road Partnership. He said they turned in two applications and the projects were worthy. He believed the only way they can succeed as a county is in a partnership.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 02-5-1-17.
Morrison MOVED, Green SECONDED.
15. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Weeldreyer stated she and Dwyer were meeting with John Lively for further consideration to the Intergovernmental Agreement for the Eugene Springfield Metro Partnership. She announced there would also be an Economic Development Standing Committee meeting.
16. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
17. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 4:05 p.m.