BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION
May 14, 2002
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Anna Morrison and Peter Sorenson present. Cindy Weeldreyer was present via telephone. Bobby Green, Sr., was excused. County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Dwyer announced that 6 b. would be pulled for tomorrow. He said they would be adding a break tomorrow of 15 minutes at 11:00 a.m. to honor law enforcement.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Darlene Goss, Beacon House, 90980 River Road, Eugene, stated that many of the property owners affected by the River Road/Beacon Street improvement project met with Sonny Chickering, Public Works. She said Chickering would consider their ideas and had made recommendations for revising the original plan. She hoped the Board would not vote to keep the original plan, but would take the recommendations into consideration. She noted that safety was their first concern and they want the traffic slowed down. She said the best way to accomplish that would be to put in a traffic light at the River Road and Beacon intersection and turn lanes onto both River Road and Beacon Street. She said they want to keep the integrity of River Road with the trees. She asked the Board to reconsider their vote and allow the property owners to work with the Public Works Department.
Chris Orsinger, Executive Director, Friends of Buford Park, P. O. Box 5266, Eugene, said their board (in considering any development proposals) looks at the adopted master plan, the purpose and goals for the park. He said they look to see if the purpose is to provide varied opportunities for primarily low intensity outdoor recreation and education activities while protecting, conserving, enhancing and maintaining the natural scenic historic rural and recreational qualities of the park. He said they support a majority of the proposals of the renovation of the Kinsell house as a public meeting space and caretakers residence. He said they support the native plan nursery and the enhancement of Thompson Slough. He added they support the proposed relocation and improvement to the outdoor horse arena, relocating it away from the river. He supported the request to authorize Lane County parks to partner with the Sheriff’s Posse to raise funds for the outdoor arena. He said an indoor horse arena was a worthy community goal but they didn’t think that Mt. Pisgah should be that location.
Dawn Leslie, 4495 River Road, Eugene, stated (pursuant to the first neighborhood meeting) she asked neighbors if they were in support of the changes. She stated they were overwhelmingly against the improvement project as proposed. She said the neighbors didn’t think they could make any difference. She said they want the signal and didn’t want sidewalks so they could avoid taking trees down. She hoped for a compromise.
3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
a. RESOLUTION AND ORDER 02-5-14-1/In the Matter of Recognizing the Siuslaw High School Symphonic and Jazz Bands for Being Selected as the Oregon Representative to the "Support America 2002 National Festival of the States" Music Festival.
Morrison read the resolution into the record.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 02-5-14-1.
Morrison MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
6. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. ORDER 02-5-14-2/In the Matter of Approving a Contract with PacificSource for a Health Maintenance Plan as Required in Lane County's Contracts with its Bargaining Units.
John Sales, Management Services, explained that the bargaining unit contract must provide both an HMO and a traditional plan for medical benefits. He said that Regence Blue Cross vacated the HMO business in the area and they are faced with providing either an HMO or HMO type of plan for the employees as soon as possible. He stated that Pacific Source had come forward with a plan that is less expensive than the Regence plan and provides the same type of benefits as an HMO. He recommended this plan as a viable alternative. He added that Pacific Source could possibly be a viable alternative in the future for some of Lane County’s other plans.
Morrison asked about the difference in the benefits.
Sales responded they are contractually providing an HMO. He said it is an HMO look alike. He said to the employee it functions like an HMO but it is not chartered under the HMO language of the law. He added it provides the same benefit for an employee accessing healthcare but it was more like a PPO.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 02-5-14-2.
Morrison MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
7. PUBLIC WORKS
a. WORK SESSION/ Discussing Development in the North Bottom Lands of Howard Buford Recreation Area.
Rich Fay, Parks, Parks, explained they were looking at the proposals in the North Bottom Lands. He noted on November 13 some of the proposals were presented at a Public Meeting in Harris Hall and they gathered public input.
Jake Risley, Parks, stated that Mt. Pisgah is 2,300 acres and the North Bottom Lands is approximately a 150-acre parcel at the northern most area of the park. He said the 1994 Parks Master Plan explained that the highest level of activity would occur in the North Bottom Lands, including an expanded equestrian center that would provide for ample parking for vehicles and horse trailers, a mounting ramp, water facilities for horses and restrooms and drinking fountains for riders. He added a multipurpose recreational interpretative center was also proposed for this portion of the park.
Risley noted that the Kinsell House is part of the original barn that was built on the property. He said they had boarded up the house as they had problems with transients. He said they are working with LCC and their building technology program in taking this on as one of their projects. He stated there was a source for construction and for grants monies. He said they envisioned this house like the Wayne Morris house, to be rented out.
Dwyer asked who the caretaker would be.
Risley said they need to establish the caretaker’s job requirements. He stated they have to have on-site security to protect the investments they have and to stop the deterioration of the existing buildings. He added they would not be employees of Lane County and they would be under contract, receiving housing for free.
Risley noted the existing outdoor arena is located adjacent to the Coast Fork. He said they want to look at the possibility of a covered indoor arena. He said they included that as one of the items in the North Bottom Lands area. He said the focus would be small scale, serving the Search and Rescue, Sheriff’s Posse, 4H and high school groups.
Risley said if the Board approved an indoor horse arena, it would be more appropriate to have it on the north side of the property instead of near the pond area. He said the development of the indoor arena would be approximately $1 million. They think they could get enough revenue to operate and maintain it.
With regard to the indoor arena, Fay explained that it would be for local horse and pony clubs and the Sheriff’s Posse instead of bringing in out of town business. He noted there could be 25 to 30 small events that could happen annually. He said they wanted to keep it affordable for the youth groups
Morrison was in favor of moving the arena. She said the caretaker piece was important and if the house could be salvaged, she would consider it. She wondered what the indoor arena would generate in fees on an annual basis from October to May, versus what it would be to maintain it.
Tim Quade, Sheriff’s Posse, responded it would cost $20,000 for the summer months and $80,000 for the winter months to be maintained.
Risley discussed the native plant nursery. He said they were working with the friend of Buford Park. He said the development of a plant nursery for regeneration and growth of plants is something Parks supported.
Weeldreyer concurred with Morrison about restoring the house and barn and to have an on-site caretaker. She thought it was worth pursuing an indoor arena.
b. ORDER 02-5-14-3/In the Matter of Authorizing the Parks Division to Partner with the Sheriff's Posse to Apply for a Grant for the Purpose of Construction of an Outdoor Horse Arena at the Howard Buford Recreation Area.
Morrison asked about the grant the Posse was seeking.
Fay responded it was a foundation that wanted to remain unnamed until they make the decision on whether the Parks gets the grant or not. He said Parks was asking for permission to apply for the grant.
Morrison was concerned that once the grant comes in and they do the improvements, the Board would be required to provide for all of the services.
Fay said they have an agreement with the Sheriff’s Posse for those services that they will maintain. He said if they increase the use of it, they would renegotiate an agreement.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 02-5-14-3.
Sorenson MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
c. DISCUSSION/FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance PA No. 1174/In the Matter of Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area Transportation Plan (TransPlan) to Include the Entire West Eugene Parkway Within the 20-Year Financially-Constrained Roadway Project list and to Make Related Amendments; Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan (Metro Plan) and Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan to Adopt Exceptions to Statewide Planning Goals 3, 4, 11 and 14; and Adopting a Severability Clause.
Tom Stinchfield, Public Works, reported that he, Sorenson and Van Vactor met with the staff group and the Mayors to discuss the hearing format. He said they discussed the schedules for action after the May 29, 2002 public hearing. He said they were looking at July 17 as a tentative Third Reading date with July 24 if needed.
Weeldreyer noted that the NACo conference would be the week of July 23. She requested the third reading be held on July 31.
Jan Childs, City of Eugene, explained this was a draft that was submitted for the record by ODOT. She said they were revising it and will submit (for the hearing on May 29) the changes that had been made since the supplemental draft. She stated ODOT would provide for the record that the northern alignment is the preferred alternative.
Sorenson asked which came first, the decision to include the West Eugene Parkway in the financially constrained roadway project list or the completion of the Federal Highway Administration and ODOT’s effort to say where the project should be located.
Childs responded they were told by the Federal Highway Administration and by BLM that the local land use actions needed to happen first. She said they received a letter from ODOT transmitting the statement from the two federal agencies in December 2000. She noted at that time the Eugene City Council declined to initiate the land use amendment process but following the affirmative vote in November 2001, they initiated the process. She said the Federal Highway Administration would not issue the final record of decision until the local land use actions have been completed.
Sorenson asked if there was a proposal on what happens.
Childs explained the TransPlan Amendments include three exhibits and Exhibit A is the TransPlan. She noted on the middle of the page of Exhibit B, was a map that showed the area subject to the goal exceptions as well as the list of affected tax lots. She said Exhibit C is the findings based on the evidence they have currently in the record. She noted the other ordinance is the West Eugene Wetlands amendment ordinance. She said the amendment was two maps and the findings were shorter. She noted that under the two ordinances is a memo she put together to all of the adopted officials, including the list of the five highway projects that are proposed to move from the 20 year financially constrained list to the future list, including Beltline stage 3 (Roosevelt to West 11), West 11th (Terry St. to Greenhill Road) Beltline (River Road to Delta Highway, Washington Jefferson Bridge southbound (extra lane) and a stretch of Jasper Road from S. 42nd to the Jasper Road extension.
Sorenson asked what prohibited the Board from putting all the projects in.
Childs stated if they wanted to retain all of the projects on the constrained list, they would vote against the amendment to TransPlan.
Sorenson asked if the Board wanted to add the West Eugene Parkway, what would prohibit them from also retaining the other projects on a list.
Stinchfield responded it was the federal transportation planning requirements for MPO areas that require that the MPO plan be constrained by revenues they reasonably expect to have. He noted when they started developing TransPlan, ODOT gave them an estimate to use for all the MPO plans in the state. That is the financial revenue constraint they are against.
Sorenson asked what the total amount of the projects were and if it included the West Eugene Parkway.
Childs responded the projects total $44.5 million. She said there was an additional gap made up by the money that was received from the first round of Oregon Transportation Initiative Act (OTIA) funding, $18 million and an additional $5 million that was secured by moving funding of ODOT planning and corridor line studies from one line item to another.
Sorenson asked what the savings would be if they deleted the various projects and added the West Eugene Parkway.
Stinchfield explained the total Parkway project is $88.5 million. He said that $17.3 million was already funded and with the previously mentioned factors ($18 million from OTIA and $5 million in planning studies, $3.7 million for a year was added for the financial horizon. He stated they balance that against the $71 million unfunded part of the Parkway.
Morrison asked if there were other revenues that could have an impact on the projects they were moving from the constrained to the futures list. She noted there would be additional OTIA money that would come out in the next session and federal dollars in the new T-21 fund. She thought Lane County would be able to get preliminary dollars between now and October from federal funding.
Childs stated they had built into their revenue projects some expectation of money that they would receive at the federal level. She said what has come as new money was the OTIA. She understood there was potential for more OTIA funds as early as next month.
Sorenson asked if there were any other TransPlan amendments besides the deletion of the $44.5 million previously planned for the 20-year period of TransPlan.
Childs noted that Exhibit A to the ordinance, pages 1 through 4, is a summary of all of the amendments proposed to TransPlan. She stated there were a number of conforming amendments required when projects are moved.
Sorenson asked if there was a requirement that there be monitoring of any federal, state or approved planning document of this type before a revision occurs.
Childs responded there wasn’t a requirement that they monitor before a revision, but they examined the set of amendments and redid the modeling that was done for TransPlan to determine the affect on the key performance measures.
Sorenson asked if there had been negotiations with DLCD.
Childs stated DLCD was provided with the information and the amendment packages. She said they are required under state law to notice them 45 days in advance of the advisory committee last February. She stated she had not received any comments from DLCD staff either in favor or against.
Sorenson asked why the Eugene Planning Commission voted not to approve this. He asked why, in light of the public vote, the Planning Commission took their view.
Childs responded that Attachment B provides the minutes of all of the advisory committee meetings. She said with regard to TransPlan, the primary concerns were compliance with Goal 5 (natural resource), Goal 8 (recreation) and Goal 12. She said they added supplemental information to the record that is in Attachment A, addressing Goals 5 and 8 and supplemental findings related to Goal 12. She noted there was a degree of angst about amending a plan so soon after it was adopted and thinking there had been a lot of time and energy put into the development of the TransPlan as it was adopted and concern about revisiting it so soon.
Sorenson asked if federal issues were a part of this.
Childs stated it was focused on the local approval criteria. She said the federal issues are with the West Eugene Wetlands Plan amendments and the concern that they were being asked to make a recommendation on those in the absence of a mitigation plan.
MOTION: to approve the First Reading and Setting a Second Reading and Public Hearing for Ordinance PA No. 1174 on May 29, 2002 at 6:00 p.m.
Morrison MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
Weeldreyer stated she had a prior commitment with AOC and would not be able to participate in that meeting.
VOTE: 3-1 (Sorenson dissenting).
d. DISCUSSION/FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance PA No. 1175/In the Matter of Amending the West Eugene Wetlands Plan to Redesignate Property Within the Modified Project Alignment of the West Eugene Parkway from Protect and Restore to Planned Transportation Corridor.
MOTION: to approve the First Reading and Setting Second Reading and Public Hearing for Ordinance PA No. 1175.
Morrison MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
Sorenson asked for an overview of the federal issues.
With regard to the threshold issue, Childs reported that BLM would not sign off on the final environmental impact statement until after the local land use actions had been taken. She said the land use action they were most concerned about was the amendment to the West Eugene Wetlands Plan. She said the BLM is a contributing agency to the environmental impact statement. She noted they had submitted to ODOT a letter indicating issues and concerns they have and ODOT staff is working with BLM to address those issues. She said an issue that was a key concern with the Eugene Planning Commission was that they do not currently have a mitigation plan that specifies how the wetlands would be filled for the parkway. She said the West Eugene Wetlands Plan itself does not require that a mitigation plan be submitted at the time property is redesignated to plan the transportation corridor. She noted the mitigation plan does need to be developed in conformance with the mitigation ratios that are in the West Eugene Wetlands Plan. She said the mitigation plan in conformance with the mitigation ratios are looked at by the Corps when a Section 404 permit is submitted. She said because of the amount of acreage affected, BLM is concerned. BLM and ODOT staff are working on an approach to the development of the mitigation plan. She said they might have a statement of approach for the May 29 hearing.
Childs noted the other federal issue from BLM’s standpoint is that some of the property within the parkway alignment had been purchased with land and water conservation funds by the BLM. She said in order to be able to use that property for the highway alignment, it would be necessary to get an exception at the federal BLM level from rules they have about how the property could be used. She said that the BLM is waiting to see if the land use amendments go forward before processing the exception. She said the threshold question is adopting amendments to the West Eugene Wetlands Plan.
Childs noted the Eugene City Council asked her if there were any surprises. She said there are requirements at the federal level that need to be addressed.
VOTE: 3-1 (Sorenson dissenting).
8. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS
9. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Morrison announced that the Rhododendron Parade in Florence is on Sunday.
10. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
11. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. Metro Television to Change Channel Locations in Some Areas.
Milo Mecham, LCOG, reported that AT& T, the local cable provider, would be making channel line up changes, taking effect June 1, 2002. He added that most of the service area of Lane County wouldn’t take place for a while. He said they are in between the completed changes in the upgrade of the system. He said the public channel with the Board Meetings would be moving to channel 21 from channel 11.
Dwyer asked if there had been any public hearings about the change. He said not only are they moving channels, they are blocking them in different tiers that would require people who get the channels to now rent devices for each television at a cost in addition to the service. He said the viewers are being gouged and they hadn’t had an opportunity to comment. He asked if Board approval was needed and if they could have a public hearing on the impact. He asked what the Board could do if the citizens didn’t like the changes.
Mecham responded that part of the proposed change is that they would institute a new service for the premium channels, not for the basic television or expanded basic. He said they would be instituting a procedure that requires a device for each television to watch different programs on the television at the same time. He stated there had not been any public hearings, but under Lane County’s franchise, other than the public opinion pressure, there is nothing the County could do. He said that under the franchise, federal law prohibits the rate regulation of any devices beyond the basic cable service that everyone has to get. He said other channels are not rate regulated at the local level. He said under federal law there is no authority by the County’s to do anything about channel line up changes and/or the charge for additional services. He said the Board could hold a public hearing to get comments, passing the comments onto the AT & T franchise. He said that had some impact, but public hearings are rare on these issues.
b. Fee Waiver for Forestvale Memorial Park, Oakridge.
Weeldreyer explained that the Land Use Consultant, Harry Taylor, had been retained by the Forestvale Memorial Park Board of Directors to help with an expansion of the cemetery in Oakridge. She stated that each plot is constituted as a separate tax lot. She had been working with staff to lower that cost for the cemetery Board of Directors. She said staff had taken it as far as they could, waiving the individual plot fees, but there is a large amount in fees. She and Taylor discussed with Lane County staff to repay County staff on an as-needed hourly basis, instead of paying a flat fee. She said it requires Board policy direction.
John Cole, Land Management, stated that the Forestvale Board of Directors are doing two things: pursuing a land use approval that would ascertain that what they were doing is compatible with the neighborhood and that is what Taylor addressed specifically in his facts. He added another component is to subdivide the property into cemetery plots and have them documented. He noted that each activity requires an application to the County review process and approval. He said he spoke with Bob Ezell, County Surveyor, and the fee to complete the subdivision is $300, half of the base final plat application fee and no per lot charge. He said the owners of the plots want them affixed on the land. He said regardless of the way that the cemetery was zoned, there would have been a land use review that would have looked at the compatibility of the cemetery and the surrounding residential neighborhood. His recommendation to the Board is to not refund the money they requested and communicate that they had charged the minimum amount of fees they thought could be charged. They recognized that a cemetery was a unique community based land use and set their fees accordingly.
Weeldreyer thought this was a policy issue for the board regarding cemeteries now and in the future, separating it from residential subdivisions.
Cole commented that was within the Board’s purview.
Morrison recommended sending this to Policy and Procedures for a review to come back to the Board to take final action. Regarding the costs, she suggested that Cole work on what the fees would have been under a normal circumstance if it were not a private but public entity.
Dwyer stated this would go to Policy and Procedures with Morison’s comments, and it would come back as a recommendation to the Board.
12. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 11:45 a.m.