October 25, 2003

5:30 p.m.

Florence Events Center, Florence

APPROVED 4/14/04


Rob Ward, Mayor, Dunes City called his City Council to order. Present: Peter Howison, Susan Navetta and Judy Martin


Port of Siuslaw: Present:  Ken Miller, Joshua Green, John Scott, Tom Carter.  Also, Siuslaw Rural Fire Chief John Buchanan


Phil Brubaker, Council Vice President for Florence City Council called their City Council to order. Present:  Dave Braley, Nan Osborn.


Commissioner Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Don Hampton and Anna Morrison present.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.


1. DISCUSSION/Promotion of City/County Partnership/County Road Fund Meeting Scheduled for November 25, 2003.


Sorenson indicated the Board of Commissioners had invited the 12 cities of Lane County, their mayors, a city councilor of their choosing, their city administrator, and their public works director to come to a meeting on November 25, 2003 at Lane County Public Works Department.  He said the idea would be to discuss the current status of the Lane County Road Fund that received an infusion of money as a result of the County Forest Payments Legislation. He noted the passage of legislation by the 2003 Oregon Legislature, that gives to cities and counties increased revenue from fees, will also be discussed.  He added they would also discuss whether there is interest on the part of the Board and the cities to work cooperatively in sharing some of the new County money.


Morrison presented a check to Dunes City for $65,000 and to the City of Florence for $120,000.


2. DISCUSSION/Lane County Human Rights Advisory Committee Work. 


Sorenson explained the Lane County Human Rights Advisory Committee invites citizens to be members of the committee.  He noted they have been holding outreach meetings in the communities within Lane County.  He said there were criticisms that the work was mainly in the Eugene Springfield area and didn’t reach out beyond that area.  He wanted the councilors to be aware that the Human Rights Advisory Committee is always looking for people from all throughout the county.  He asked if the councilors were aware of people who were interested in serving on the committee, to let the committee know.


3. DISCUSSION/Casino/Community Impact Task Force Report.


Arnold Buckman, Task Force Member, noted there are concerns about the absence of any sort of development plan or design for the project.  He added there is a lack of a defined schedule by the governor’s office on public safety, transportation and matters of local concern.  He said the response from the presentation to the city council was a tremendous amount of work and consensus building.


Roger Bennett, City of Florence, explained their mission was identifying potential detrimental impacts.  He said the intent is to provide a statement of the community’s position on the impacts.  He said the first time the task force met was to set the agenda for the meetings and to scope out what the issues are.  He noted they identified impacts on community, government, social service and transportation.  He said the second meeting was a community input meeting where 472 written responses to potential community concerns were identified and tabulated.  He stated the single greatest concern was transportation and Highway 126.  He noted they discussed the probability of increased crime and other bad behaviors.  He added that every word in the report was inspected and agreed upon by the entire task force.  He noted it was not a majority report, but a consensus report.  He said the task force report was given to the governor’s office, sent to the Secretary of the Department of Interior and the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.


Tony Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, noted that parallel to what the City of Florence has done, Lane County’s Public Works and Sheriff’s Department (in conjunction with Health and Human Services) are developing their own assessment of the impact on those services provided countywide with the development of the casino.  He added they have also had direct communication with the governor’s office to come together with the City of Florence, Lane County representatives and the tribe to talk about needs the tribe could help offset with some of its resources.  He said the first step is to make sure that the jurisdictions have brought their assessment of the impact on the services they are responsible for.


4. DISCUSSION/Future of Undeveloped Park Properties in Florence Area.


Ollie Snowden, Public Works, passed out copies of an aerial photograph. (Copy in file).  He said they requested that this item be put on the agenda.  He said they have been having discussions over two parcels of Lane County owned land in the Florence area.  He noted one property is the Oceanwood property and the other is a 160-acre tract that is immediately behind Fred Meyer.  With regard to the Fred Meyer parcel, they have been working with Ken Lanfear for access permits for that property to do some exploratory drilling for some water wells.  He said there might be some opportunities for partnering in Lane County in developing that for a passive recreation area in the future.  He said the Oceanwood property is one they are considering for the Board to put up for sale.  He added they could take the proceeds from the sale to reinvest in parks throughout Lane County.


Sorenson suggested bringing this matter back the second week of January.


5. DISCUSSION/Dunes City/Steps that are Being Taken to Monitor Potential Risks to the Watershed.


Morrison stated there had been a study done by LCOG on drinking water sources assessment along with a study with DEQ.  She said they are now doing a study on the Siuslaw Watershed along with the Long Tom Watershed. 


Rob Ward said they wanted to know what they could do to not run into a water problem 20 years from now.  He wanted a coordinated planning effort so they could have a comprehensive look at both lakes.


Morrison said she would try to incorporate that with their new group.  She added this was different than what Bill Sage was doing with the comprehensive plan.


6. DISCUSSION/Dunes City/Enforcement of Land Use Laws.


Snowden indicated that within the past year the wrecking yard came into compliance with Lane County code.  With regard to the Pete Brown parcel, he stated that Jane Burgess, Land Management, was going to ask them to remove the heavy equipment that was not in operation.


7. DISCUSSION/Dunes City/Current Status of Law Enforcement Personnel/Level of Protection for Dunes City.


Jan Clements, Sheriff, reported on the current status of law enforcement personnel in Lane County.  He said in the current year they lost the resident deputy in Florence.  He said they tried to make up for that by doubling the traffic enforcement in western Lane County.  He added the Oregon State Police contingent has gone to near zero.  He said the coastal Siuslaw National Forest Deputy had been activated by the military.  He added they have a marine deputy and road deputy activated by the military.  He said they are trying to shore up their existing resources at the level of funding they presently have. 


Clements noted the short-term strategies are to maintain critical mass across Lane County.  He said they respond to calls for service as they have the resources to do so.  He said on an interim basis, the only thing he could see is to allow areas (that can afford it) to contract for law enforcement response above what Lane County can provide.  He noted they prioritize the calls for service, with the most aggravating calls taking precedence.   He didn’t think it was a way to provide for public safety, but they couldn’t go beyond their means and deficit spend.


Clements indicated that for the long term Lane County is facing more cuts countywide including those in the sheriff’s office.  He thought there was the possibility that Lane County would not be able to provide 24-hour patrol in the ensuing fiscal year starting July 1.  He thinks there is a structural problem not only for public safety but also in county government.


Clements reported that there is a lack of sheriff’s office presence because they would have to defund the position of resident deputy in Florence.  He noted there are serious injuries and fatal crashes on Lane County roads.  He thought they could issue more citations where they go into a justice court and fine people as they see fit.  He added the revenue could go into the general fund and becomes a source of revenue that could be used for traffic team deputies.  He thought it was a way of mitigating the shortfall of resources in the outlying areas.  He said the problem is the vacancy rate with the added military activations.  He added there is a prolonged basis for recruiting, hiring and training people.  He said they have not been able to fill the vacancies that were added by the Board last July 1.  He said the mechanism in place to do that is an interfund loan.  He said they are doing the best they can to backfill the position as fast as they can so they don’t have to lay off any more deputies than they have.


Dwyer commented the Board is looking over a $5 million hit in the next budget.  He noted they had no control over the costs of health care and pension costs.  He said they have to either define a resource or do more with less.  He said there needs to be a way for citizens to recognize law enforcement is necessary and to have separate responsibility from budgetary demands placed on the County.


Clements suggested something like a county service district with prosecution services, parole and probation, sheriff office services and public safety.  He added they would have to consider a countywide service district whereby the appropriate revenue could be obtained that provides services that are equitable across all of Lane County.


Morrison indicated that under the Secure Rural Schools legislation, Lane County is receiving approximately $26 million.  She said it doesn’t meet what they used to receive in the early 90’s from the federal agencies with regard to timber harvest.  She said if they were to go back the old way of receiving receipts, Lane County would have received approximately $3.5 million.  She added the monies received could only be spent on roads and schools.  She noted that Lane County is the highest recipient of dollars under that legislation. 


8. DISCUSSION/Dunes City/Update of Clear Lake Road Expansion.


Snowden noted if the Secure Rural School legislation were not renewed, they would not have the money to complete the last two years of their capital improvement program.  He indicated they are in the process of completing their right-of-way acquisition, getting permits for the project and they expect they will complete the project within the next few months.  He didn’t expect his department to build the bridge over Gibs Creek this year.


9. DISCUSSION/Dunes City/Background about the "Floating Porta-Potty."


Rich Fay, Parks, explained the floating restroom is located on Siltcoos Lake.  He noted it was launched on February 18, 2003 and was named “Sitting Duck.”  He said the facility was made possible by a grant that Lane County Parks received from the Oregon State Marine Board and the restoration program administered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He noted the grant was $82,750.  He added that Lane County contributed $4,250 with in-kind services, cash, materials and supplies for a total of $87,000 for the project.  He noted the project is a floating restroom 12’ x 24,’ that is an aluminum barge featuring two unisex stalls.  He added that the Oregon State Marine Board provides $4,600 annually to offset operation costs.


There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 7:30 p.m.



Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary