BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
April 2, 2003
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Tom Lininger and Anna Morrison present. Bobby Green, Sr., was excused.† County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1.†ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
2. PUBLIC HEARINGS
3. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Jeffrey Morey, 4795 Brookwood, Eugene, stated he is a frequent user of Mt. Pisgah.† He said if he has to pay $3 per time he uses the park, he would be paying over $800 a year.† He thought the fees at Mt. Pisgah might reduce the usage of the park.† He said he likes Mt. Pisgah because it is muddy and in its natural state.† He was concerned they would use the fees from Mt. Pisgah to put toward the other County parks.† He said paying the fee would reduce his donation to the Friends of Buford Park.† He suggested that fees be raised at other parks that require more maintenance and not putting a fee in at Mt. Pisgah.† He added if they enact a user fee at Mt. Pisgah, he hoped there would be an annual user fee option.
Susan Waylund, 541 Willamette, Eugene, Heart Corp, International, Inc, said they are a non-profit organization that is a platform for other non-profit organizations working toward similar goals to support elders, teens and those who are affected by them.† She read her letter into the record.
Dr. Dene Eller, 2420 Emerald St., Eugene, stated she is a youth advocate in the community.† She said Heart Corp. International has joined forces with the Ribbon of Promise.† She said on May 17 they will be honoring and commemerating the fifth anniversary of the Thurston shooting.
Merle Bottge, 1777 W. 24th Avenue, Eugene, stated she was present on behalf of the Lane County Parks Advisory Committee.† She said the Parks Advisory Committee discussed the proposed alternatives and reiterated their support of the proposal as it came to the† Board.† She said their concern about further increasing the fees for camping and the picnic shelters was that the proposal as it originally came to the Board already raised the fees and if they raise them more they would be pricing themselves out of the market and people would not use them.† She noted the recommendation from the Board was to raise fees for non-compliance.† She said the Parks Advisory Committee continues to support the increases in fees as presented for camping and picnicking and to continue a day use fee at Buford Park during the summer season.
Susanne Dwight Alexander, 5455 Donald, Eugene, stated she uses Mt. Pisgah often and liked the idea of a seasonal pass.† She said that would help eliminate extra money to have someone at a gate.† She commented that people who pay to get into parks take better care of them.
Susan Detoit, stated she was a daily hiker.† She commented that most people who use Mt. Pisgah would grumble, but they would pay an annual fee.† She wasnít opposed to a fee if volunteers could earn a pass.† She didnít want bathrooms fixed up or paved roads.
4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
6.† EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
To take place in the afternoon.
7.† COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a.† ORAL REPORT BACK/Letter from McKenzie-Willamette Regarding Attorney General Decision. (NBA & PM 0219/03)
Morrison commented there wasnít much Rob Rockstroh, Health and Human Services could share with them because there had been nothing to report.
Dwyer noted the attorney general received the request and will schedule public hearings in the future.
Morrison wanted to make sure the Board was kept apprised as to when those meetings would be taking place.
Sorenson suggested that Rockstroh send a letter to the attorney generalís office asking that the Lane County Department of Health and Human Services be informed of the date, time and place of the hearing.† He also wanted Rockstroh to inform the Board via e-mail (as soon as he learns that information) where the hearing record would be located.† He wanted to keep a copy in the Lane County Law Library so the public could review the record before the public hearing.
8.† COMMITTEE REPORTS
a.† Legislative Committee.
This item was rolled.
9.† COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor presented an award to the Board from the United Way Campaign.
10.† PUBLIC WORKS
a.† REPORT BACK AND WORK SESSION/Amending Chapter 18 of the Lane Manual to Revise Park Schedules and Emergency Rules and to Increase Fees (LM 18.100-18.115)† (NBA & PM 2/26/03).
Rich Fay, Parks, recalled he came before the Board on February 26 and the Board directed him to come back with other options.† He said the Board wanted the projected revenues without fees being collected at Howard Buford Recreation Area.† He added the Board asked about the feasibility of collecting additional citation enforcement revenue and evaluate the feasibility of increasing resident camping and picnic reservation fees to offset a portion of the reduction of revenue by not collecting fees at HBRA.† He also stated the Board wanted them to evaluate the cost of providing 50% discounts on admission fees to those with golden age passports and to evaluate an earn a pass program, to enable volunteers that work for Lane County park projects to qualify for a pass.
Fay stated that the Howard Buford Recreation Area represents about 175,000 visitors annually according to projections they obtained from car counters.† He thought that could result in net revenue to the Parks Division of about $65,000.† He noted the park rangers were not geared for strong enforcement of fines in the park.† He thought if they charged more than $20 they would be pricing themselves out of camping fees.† With regard to the golden age pass, he spoke with the U.S. Forest Service and they estimated that 30% of the people that visit their parks have a golden age passport for a 50% discount or $26,000 revenue they would forego.† He added the earn a pass was well received by the Parks Advisory Committee.† He said it would enable people who didnít have the funds to volunteer to earn the pass.† He commented if they did increase fees from $3 to $4, they would lose $7,000 from the Oregon State Marine Board.
Dwyer didnít want the parkís golden age pass to be applied to camping rates, only to the day use areas.† He wanted to support the golden age passport so a senior could buy a seasonal pass that would be good for $15 instead of $30.† He thought the volunteer program was a good one but he wanted it to be more commensurate with the actual cost of labor.† He added he wanted the volunteer program to apply to every Lane County facility.† He wanted to keep other admissions at $3, to institute the volunteer program, institute the golden age passport for day use only and have an annual golden age pass available to people who qualify.
Sorenson requested that there be an Option F.† He was in favor of the earn a pass program.
With regard to Option B, Morrison asked what the plan was to make up the difference in the deficit.
Fay responded they couldnít make up the entire amount by that proposal.† He said it would allow them to rehire a portion of the 27% lost staff.† He didnít think fees could carry the whole amount.† He stated they are working with the staff and the Oregon Parks Association on legislation at the state level to see if there are additional funds that could be given to the Parks Division through a recreational vehicle fee reimbursement.
Lininger wanted to have one free park in Lane County.† He noted the 1994 plan for the Howard Buford Recreation Area had as one of its goals to develop and maintain the Howard Buford Recreation Area in a way that minimizes cost and the need for scarce tax revenue or user fees.† He stated the idea was to keep it rustic and free.†† He didnít mind raising the fees at the other parks from $3 to $4. He agreed with the picnic and camping rates.† He was concerned about a senior pass, granting a pass to every senior (including wealthy ones) if it would cost $26,000.† He favored Option A with a few modifications.† He wanted a revenue neutral option for volunteers. He noted it brought Option A up to $147,000 that is about $25,000 short of Option B.† He wanted to pursue different angles to make up the difference.† He thought they could possibly make up the difference with video lottery money.† He was against a fee for Mt. Pisgah.
Dwyer concurred there should be one free park but that Mt. Pisgah was not the park.† He added that volunteering should be close with the minimum wage.
Sorenson was against a fee at Mt. Pisgah.
Lininger suggested taking Option A for one year, recognizing there is a $25,000 shortfall and post a sign that states it costs $52,000 per year to maintain Mt. Pisgah and the Board of Commissioners urges anyone who could pay $3.
Dwyer said if they wanted to keep Mt. Pisgah free, then they need to think of adopting other programs that would allow access to some of the parks that are not free that are in close proximity to others.† He wanted to treat everyone equal.† He thought volunteering and the golden age concept were important.
Morrison requested an amended Option B that shows the golden age pass and the earn a pass, making it Option B-1.† She also wanted a more comprehensive list on the adopt a park issue and those types of endeavors that are taking place.† She suggested adding additional columns with explanations.† She asked if they were to take the car rental tax option what it would look like on the revenue side.
Fay said he could bring this item back for next week.† He reiterated the Board wanted an Option B-1 that included the golden age and earn a pass, an Option A-1 that includes the late fee possibilities with a footnote about the comprehensive list of volunteer groups, adopting a park positions and a car rental option of one per cent.
Sorenson wanted an Option F where they would increase the car rental tax to cover the changes.
Lininger noted his willingness to charge a fee at Mt. Pisgah depends on how easy it would be to have volunteer options.† He didnít support 10 or 15 hours for volunteering, he would consider 4 or 5 hours.
b.† ORDER 03-4-2-1/In the Matter of Amending the FY 03-FY 07 CIP By Withdrawing the Oregon Department of Transportationís Hwy 126 at Thurston Road Project Under the Payments to Other Agencies Category.
Mike Russell, Public Works, explained that ODOT was unable to meet its financial obligation for CAPP funding for this project.† He said they requested through a letter (copy in file) that the project be withdrawn and that the Board consider awarding the money to the Cottage Grove Comparison project.
Russell commented that granting this request would create an unencumbered balance of $200,000 in the capital improvement program and that the money be available for other projects.† He explained the alternatives are to withdraw the project as requested or take over the project and complete it under County project.† He noted the Roads Advisory Committee recommended Option 1.
Dwyer suggested taking the money, as something needed to be done at the intersection because it is dangerous.† He would rather complete this project than give money to other projects.
Lininger concurred with Dwyer on finishing the project.† He also supported the Cottage Grove project as it implicates public safety issues.† He wanted to build both projects.
Dwyer commented they could do both.
MOTION: to move that they fund the additional portion of the project to keep it on schedule.
Dwyer MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.
Sorenson asked that due to ODOTís decision to withdraw their portion of the money in the project, where Lane Countyís money would come from.
Snowden recalled that ODOT was going to put in $50,000.† He said when they do their forecast, they take the CIP estimate and that is what he projects.† He noted the CIP estimate for the Frank Parish Bridge was $1.7 million.† He added the low bid was $1.22 million and they have extra money left over from the Frank Parish Bridge that they could move to that project.
Lininger wanted the motion to also provide the funding need for the Fourth and Harrison improvement in Cottage Grove that would require an additional $200,000.
Russell noted the money available in the community development funds is $814,000.† He explained if the Board approved the three items they are to consider, for Cottage Grove and the 4J School District, the available balance would be $440,000.† He said if the Board wants to fund the project, they would need another $300,000 or more to build the project.
c.† ORDER 03-4-2-2/In the Matter of Granting a Request for Additional Funds For City of Cottage Grove Highway 99 At Harrison Avenue and 4th Street Project Awarded Under the Capital Project Partnership Program For a Total Award Not to Exceed $720,000; Accomplished By Transferring $200,000 From the Available Road Fund and Transferring Another $175,000 Out of the Remaining Unencumbered Balance of the Community Development Road Improvement Assistance Fund.
Russell explained the main reason the City of Cottage Grove asked for additional funds was related to the railroad crossing signal requirements.† He said they wanted the railroad crossing interconnected with the traffic signal as proposed at Fourth Street as well as crossings at Sixth and Main Streets.† He added the city is putting in more money. He said their initial participation in the project was $73,400.† He said they had intended to contribute $121,000 and they have a revised cost estimate of $276,000.† He added the City of Cottage Grove still needs $720,000 from the County.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-4-2-2.
Lininger MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
d.† ORDER 03-4-2-3/In the Matter of Granting a Request for Additional Funds For Eugene School District 4J West 14th Street Project Awarded Under the Community Development Road Improvement Assistance Fund.
Russell explained the 4J School District is proceeding on their development plans for 14th Street, for Southside Elementary.† He noted from the time the school district submitted an application constructing a 21-foot street, the city is requesting a 28-foot street and the Roads Advisory Committee agreed with that.† He said they were submitting an additional request for $196,000 to come from the available balance in the Community Development fund.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 03-4-2-3.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
11.† CONSENT CALENDAR
A.† Approval of Minutes:
March 11, 2003, Work Session, 9:00 a.m.
March 12, 2003, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
B.† Health and Human Services
1)† ORDER 03-4-2-4/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign an Intergovernmental Agreement with the State of Oregon Department of Human Services in the Amount of $72,000.
2)† ORDER 03-4-2-5/In the Matter of Participation in Funding Activities of the Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission.
C.† Public Works
1)† ORDER 03-4-2-6/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for County Road No. 540 (Irvington Drive) (17-04-03).
2)† ORDER 03-4-2-7/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for Greenwood Drive (County Road No. 2227) (17-15-01-3).
MOTION:† to approve the Consent Calendar.
Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
12.† COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Morrison announced that June 2, 2003 was the next District 5 meeting at 9:00 a.m. and Lane County is hosting the meeting.† She and John Arnold attended the National Forest Council of Schools Annual Meeting in Reno.† She noted that ďPeter PanĒ was taking place at the Florence Events Center this weekend.
Lininger announced that the Rotary Auction in Cottage Grove took place on April 12.† He noted this past Monday a decision was handed down by hearings officer Gary Darnelle concerning the request by the operators of the Cottage Grove Speedway to have certain uses permitted at the speedway.
Dwyer reported that on Friday between 6:00 and 7:30 p.m., Citizens Against Unfair Taxes and Fees is having a meeting at the Depot to organize for gathering signatures to repeal the transportation utility fee
Morrison noted that on Senate Bill 1145, two counties were opting out and will have something coming to the Board.
13.† CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
14.† EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting at 11:45 a.m.