November 5, 2003

1:30 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 11/25/03


Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Don Hampton 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.




a.  PUBLIC HEARING/CDBG ADA Grant Project Review.


David Suchart, Management Services, noted the Public Hearing was required by the grant they received from the state for $300,000.  He stated they had a Public Hearing three years ago to get input from the community about ADA items they wanted to see in the building.


Suchart explained in the basement they have added new automatic doors by the tunnel, they changed the ramp and put in a rail.  He said these were put in under the grant.  He added what they did that was not under the grant was to modify the elevator controls so they could be in compliance.  He said they also replaced door handles in the basement with new lever ones.  He indicated they modified the public restrooms on all three floors.  He added they replaced the locks and levers on all of the courtroom doors.


Suchart noted for future work, they would replace the wooden square handles and put the proper amount of rails along the stairways.  He also wanted to do non-slip concrete on the outside of the doors.


Suchart indicated the largest project they did with the grant was the Harris Hall restrooms.  He noted that previously there were no accessible bathrooms for Harris Hall.


With regard to the courthouse plaza, Suchart explained there would be modifications taking place this coming spring and summer.  He recalled they had a bond measure to modify the front of the courthouse.  He said they wanted to lower the plaza level so it was at ground level.  He also wanted to lower the level inside of the building so they wouldn’t have the modified stairway, but the measure failed.  He said his idea for the capital improvement plan is to lower the level of the plaza so in the future if a Board wants to modify the interior of the building, it could be done.


Commissioner Sorenson opened up the Public Hearing.


Marshall Peter, 2602 Agate, Eugene, thanked the Board and staff for the positive changes in the building.   He also thanked the Board for allowing the public to be involved in the process.


Dan Arkin, 655 Goodpasture Island Road, Eugene, thanked the Board for their concern about the ramp on the Federal Courthouse building.  He thought if there had been early involvement of people with proper expertise there would have been no problems with the courthouse.  He noted the ADA doesn’t meet all requirements in all cases.  He said there needs to be flexibility in dealing with ADA changes.  He encouraged the Board to incorporate input from people who have had life experiences.  He thanked the Board for repairing the building to meet ADA requirements.


Eugene Organ, 2850 Pearl St., concurred with what Peter and Arkin had discussed about the County’s foresight in developing access with the Public Services Building facility.  He also thanked the Board for their support on the federal courthouse issue and looked forward to working with the Board on future County modifications.


Sorenson asked what issues besides ADA the Board could get more formally involved with from the disabled community. 


Organ responded he had served on the state’s disability commission. He said they had two major responsibilities:  human rights advocacy and as an advisory body on building code issues.  He thought that was what the County could get involved with.


Peter explained there was a parallel interest at the City of Eugene with the Human Rights Commission.  He said they have an access committee that works specifically on those issues.  He thought the two groups should work together to maximize impacts.


Dwyer suggested that Alicia Hays get a copy of the report of the Eugene committee on access to provide to the Board.


Arkin said the focus for a universal design concept is to make it as seamless as possible so it is not noticed and everyone is included in the plans.  He said to the extent the County could, to look for all the design elements that blend together.


Suchart explained when they did the first Diversity Implementation Plan; people with disabilities were included in the group that helped put it together.  He said as the advisor to the Human Rights Advisory Committee, he deals with issues around access.  He added they have a liaison from his committee to the City’s commission so they get communication on those issues from the City of Eugene.  He said the plans are already in place and they will continue to use the Human Rights Committee as a place to go to if there are issues.


There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Sorenson closed the Public Hearing.














There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 2:10 p.m.



Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary