BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

September 24, 2003

following HACSA

Commissionersí Conference Room

 

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., and Anna Morrison present.Acting County Administrator Dave Garnick, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

†† 1.††††† ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

††††††††††† Letter to GSA for County support will be added as item 18.Sorenson noted the 1:30 p.m. time certain would take place on the status of the application for the Federal Health Clinic.

 

†† 2.††††† PUBLIC COMMENTS

††††††††††† Tom Lininger, 1221 University of Oregon, thanked the Board for careful consideration of all the applicants.He said a priority the Board had was to be consistent with past practice.He hoped the Board would be able to pick a candidate.He didnít want to wait until the election in May before a commissioner was chosen.He thought there might be a runoff in November and waiting until November was not good for his district.

 

3.††††† EMERGENCY BUSINESS

††††††††††† None.

 

†† 4.††††† COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

††††††††††† Dwyer stated he was shocked to hear the GSA had put the federal courthouse on hold.He thought their ego was getting in the way.

 

††††††††††† Sorenson noted there is an effort to get a referendum circulated in Oregon to repeal the bipartisan revenue package that supports public services, schools and public safety.He said if the signatures were gathered, it would suspend the revenue package and appropriations to the state agencies and the county and other districts that receive the funds.He said if that happens, they would have to make those reductions immediately until such time as the voters approved what the legislature did.He encouraged people to get into a decline to design effort.He encouraged people to not sign the referendum and not have those cuts go into effect.

 

†† 5.††††† COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Legislative Committee

 

a.†††††††† REPORT/End of Session Wrap-Up.

 

††††††††††† Tony Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, Distributed a notebook. (Copy in file.)He said it contained all of the bills the Legislative Committee reviewed during the legislation session and brought recommendations to the full board to adopt.He summarized the non-budgetary legislationHe noted the second item was the budgetary legislation the legislature got out of Salem at the end of August by passing a revenue package that includes some temporary increase on income taxes and other revenue adjustments.He said if that is referred to the voters, then it would be decided on February 3, 2004.

 

††††††††††† Bieda noted of the 33 bills adopted with Board of Commissioners positions, 11 experienced an outcome that was in conflict with the Boardís position and 22 either passed or failed in concert with the Boardís preference.

 

††††††††††† Dwyer asked what impact the referendum would have on Lane County.

 

††††††††††† Bieda responded that by November 25, the requisite signatures would have to be collected and certified by the Secretary of State.†† He said that would put the issue on the ballot for February 3.He said a yes vote would sustain the surtax and a no vote would overturn the revenue package that was adopted by the legislature. He added that simultaneously with the passage of the revenue package, there was also a bill that the legislature passed that disappropriates the money designated or added into the budget based on the assumption that that additional revenue would be available.He said the ability to operate the jail at the current level would be impacted.He said the District Attorneyís office would be affected and Children and Families could take a large hit.He noted the largest cut would be in the Department of Health Services.

 

††††††††††† Sorenson asked if the revenue would be suspended until such time as the voters vote to restore it.

 

††††††††††† Bieda believed the prudent approach by local government will be to not assume that that additional resource is available, and continue on a budgetary track that assumes that that additional money could be taken off the table.He said they could wait until May to start accommodating the reduction in resources.

 

††††††††††† Sorenson asked Bieda to e-mail the Board oncehe finds out.

 

††††††††††† With regard to the Legislative Committee, Bieda noted they received an appeal from the national organization dealing with telecommunication issues on federal legislation dealing with revenue for local government generated from franchise fees.He said the association has asked all local government to weigh in with their delegations about making sure that language appears in the senate version of the legislation that clarifies that the decreases that could occur to local governments and franchise fees is in fact clarified in the final version of the legislation.He drafted a letter for the Board that came from the telecommunications coalition.He said that the Legislative Committee recommended bringing this forward to the full Board to get it to Senators Smith and Wyden.

 

††††††††††† Dwyer said that it was critical to send the letter asking to put money to good use.He said Lane County wants to be compensated for the services that are provided.

 

MOTION:to send the letter to Senators Smith, Wyden and Representative De Fazio.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

††††††††††† Morrison stated she could hand carry this to their offices as she is going to be in Washington, D.C.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

††††††††††† Morrison announced that the County Forest Trust lands would be filing a lawsuit against the state regarding the taking of the dollars.

 

†† 6.††††† COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a.†††††††† Announcements

 

††††††††††† None.

 

††† 7.†††† PUBLIC WORKS

 

a.†††††††† REPORT BACK AND ORDER 03-9-24-1/In the Matter of Certification of Final Assessments for Improvements to Prairie Road (County Road Number 203) Between Mile Post 1.59 and Mile Post 2.03 and Setting Lien Value Against Adjacent Parcel 17-04-10-22, Tax Lot 2402 (NBA & PM 7/23/03 & 8/20/03).

 

††††††††††† Frank Simas, Public Works, recalled when they were in front of the Board on August 20, the Board instructed him to meet with the owners of the Margaret Holvey Ross property to look into the issue of whether the easement area that is held in favor of the Junction City Water Control District could be excluded from the assessments.He noted in the interim they received a copy of a legal opinion that told them current easement holders couldnít be assessed for the value of the assessed improvements on the property.He said it would have to go with the fee owner of the property rather than the easement holder.He said they did go out and meet with Margaret Ross.He explained from looking at the property and seeing how the property is utilized and the burden of the drainage channel on the property, it was evident that the property cannot be developed in its present state economically.He noted the cost to fill the culvert would be greater than what the land is currently valued at.

 

††††††††††† Simas said they recalculated the amount of the assessment to exclude the area that was encumbered by the easement that was 65 linear feet of curb, gutter and sidewalk.He said it resulted in a reduction of the assessment of $1,375.27, bringing the total assessment to $7,348.79.He said after having a meeting with Ross, she thought this was appropriate.

 

††††††††††† MOTION:to approve ORDER 03-9-24-1.

††††††††††† Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

††††††††††† VOTE: 4-0.

 

b.†††††††† DISCUSSION AND ORDER 03-9-24-2/In the Matter of Recommending Bridge Repair and Replacement Projects, Requesting Authorization to Submit Applications for Funding Generated by the 2003 Oregon Transportation Investment Act (III), Otherwise Known as OTIA III, and Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute the Agreements Awarding the Grants to Lane County.

 

††††††††††† Sonny Chickering, Public Works, reported there was an opportunity to take advantage of some funds that were made available by HB 2041. (Oregon Transportation and Investment ACT, OTIA, III)†† He said that bill provides $300 million for replacement or repair of local bridges.He said they would like to apply for some of the funds.He noted the order would authorize staff to make application for the funds.He added there was an attached list often bridges they are investigating as possible projects.He noted that not all might qualify as there are some requirements that the bridges be on certain routesHe asked the Board to approve the tentative list of bridge projects.

 

††††††††††† MOTION:to move to approve ORDER 03-9-24-2.

 

††††††††††† Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

††††††††††† Ollie Snowden, Public Works, said he heard that the state doesnít expect to fund bridges in counties that have large timber payments.He said they should submit what are worthy bridge projects.He said if they get further in the selection process and the OTC decides to take a different look at this, they could always withdraw the application.He recommended ignoring the comments and moving forward.

 

††††††††††† Green and Morrison supported moving forward.

 

††††††††††† VOTE: 4-0.

 

c.†††††††† ORDER AND RESOLUTION 03-9-24-3/In the Matter of Authorizing a Program Administration Request to the Department of Consumer and Business Services - Building Codes Division for the Purpose of Delegating the Electrical Program to Lane County and Delegating the Authority to Sign Documents to the County Administrator.

 

††††††††††† Jeff Towery, Land Management, passed out supplemental information. (Copy in file.)He said the supplemental information is what their application to their state would look like.He noted amended Attachment D is a survey of other entitiesí electrical fees.He said they added example fees from the cities of Eugene and Springfield.He said they corrected an error they discovered for the City of Florence.

 

††††††††††† Towery explained the electrical program is administered by Lane County through an intergovernmental agreement with the State of Oregon.He said they issue about 2,400 permits during the course of the year for the two electrical inspectors that are employed by the State of Oregon.He said Lane Countyís cost is about $46,000 per year and they receive $23,000 in revenue.He noted they are losing $23,000 per year in administering the program as it is currently set up.He commented based on the past three years, they receive about ten cents on the dollar of the permit revenues that the state receives for these permitsHe said by moving to assume this program is consistent with the Countyís Strategic Plan.He asked the Boardís authority to submit an application for review.He noted the deadline for submitting the application is October 1.He included a proposed ordinance and operating plan under supplemental information.

 

††††††††††† Towery did a study and based on a conservative revenue approach and they expect the revenues generated by this program would exceed expenses during its first three years by about $50,000.He added they would keep the existing rate structure for the next three years.He stated they would be adding a third inspector in the second year of the program.He noted the surcharges that Lane County charges are in excess of what the state charges.He thought that could generate another $60,000 into Land Management.He said that could provide adequate support for the administration and supervision and would give more stability for long range planning.

 

††††††††††† Towery noted the first operational benefit they would see is to relieve some of the inspection load from the existing building inspectors.He commented the permit inspection tracking would be easier for them.He added they would be offering credit cards for the electrical permits.

 

††††††††††† MOTION:to approve ORDER AND RESOLUTION 03-9-24-3.

††††††††††† Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

††††††††††† VOTE: 4-0.

 

d.†††††††† ORAL REPORT/Outdoor Mass Gatherings.

 

††††††††††† Sorenson recalled the Board had some concerns raised about the status and the information about outdoor mass gatherings.

 

††††††††††† Kent Howe, Land Management, stated there is a definition in the statutes about mass gatherings.He commented that it is not a land use decision within the perimeters on how the statute assigns it.He said they donít normally deal with them.He noted a problem area happens when it is close to being mass gatherings, but not quite.He said it could happen multiple times instead of the way the statute is limited to one in a three-month period.

 

††††††††††† Howe stated they defined in Lane Code what a winery is pursuant to the statutes.He noted they are in the exclusive farm use area as a permitted use and they donít deal with these types of gatherings in the definition of a winery.He said they had defined winery in Lane Code and there isnít guidance where this type of use goes except for how it is dealt with under the mass gathering statute.He commented if they wanted to have events on multiple weekends in a row and a neighbor complains, then it becomes an issue, and they would need to provide a way for them to have an application process they go through.He recommended making an application for commercial use in conjunction with farming. He noted it was a quasi-judicial land use application process that allows the public process to determine whether or not that proposal is compatible with the surrounding lands.He added as an alternative, if it is felt that these types of uses are accessory to wineries and are consistent with winery use of farmland, then other counties have introduced a definition of accessory winery use.He said if under a legislative process if Lane County wanted to entertain changing the definitions to allow accessory winery uses, then through a prescriptive definition it would be considered an accessory winery use.He noted that was an option the County could entertain.He added he met with the wineries of Lane County and told them if they wanted to pursue that, they could hire a consultant to propose it to Lane County to determine if it would be an appropriate definition change in Lane Code to allow this type of activity as an accessory use.

 

††††††††††† Dwyer suggested developing a scenario for commercial.He wanted to protect the wineriesí rights to have gatherings.He said if they are going to make a business out of concerts, then it isnít a winery, it is a concert venue.

 

††††††††††† Howe explained under the definition of outdoor mass gatherings, ORS 433.735 defines outdoor mass gatherings as an actual or reasonably anticipated assembly of more than 3,000 people that could reasonably be expected to continue for more than 24 consecutive hours, but less than 120 hours within any three month period that is held primarily in open spaces and not in any permanent structure.He added if it is more than 3,000 people, it requires a permit and if it is less than 3,000, it was not a land use decision and that it could occur on an intermittent basis.He added under the definition of a proposed accessory use for wineries, he thought less than 3,000 was not a limitation, but it should be less than that to make sure there is no impact to the surrounding area.He noted the proposal suggested 1,000 people as a starting point.

 

††††††††††† Dwyer requested that Howe come back with changes in the code.

 

††††††††††† Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, stated that Lane Code currently reflected state law.He said it defines outdoor mass gatherings in the same way that ORS 433 defines outdoor mass gatherings.He noted they are not covering the larger mass gatherings in their zoning code.He added if there are commercial activities similar to a concert (or like Lone Pine) he said they have an approval through the special use permit process from Lane Countyís Planning Department to do commercial activities in conjunction with farm use.He noted that is the way the wineries had been having these events.He said if the Board wanted to do more then that, the direction had to be clear on how this fits into the work program of Land Management.

 

††††††††††† Green agreed with the code and didnít think Howe needed to go further.

 

††††††††††† Dwyer commented what was lacking was frequency.He noted it only stated the amount of people, not a continuous event. He added they have to define what it is that they want that is permitted without intruding on the neighbors.

 

††††††††††† Sorenson suggested that Howe make the same presentation with the same materials to the Lane County Planning Commission to ask if they have an interest in working on this and if they do to make recommendations.He didnít think the Board should try drafting this.

 

††††††††††† Howe explained this was in their current work program.He said the proposal was not intended for them to take this on as a new project.He said it was just to give another approach for a special use permit for a commercial use in conjunction with farm use.He said they could change the code that clearly limits something that could be an accessory use.He said if this is something the Board wants for them to elevate in their priorities to take to the Planning Commission, they could do it.He thought the interest group that was behind this could do work on it and come back with a proposal that has some of the situations lined out as to what limitations would be workable for them.He said that could then go through a public process of determining whether to amend the code or not.

 

††††††††††† Dwyer didnít think the system needed to be fixed.

 

††††††††††† Green opted for the special interest group.He said once the interest groups submit something, then he would support going to the Planning Commission.

 

††††††††††† Dwyer thought the interest group needed to work with the Planning Commission and if they could develop changes that were beneficial, he could support that.

 

††††††††††† Morrison commented by going to the user groups they would get a better idea as to how many of the events take place.She added they could look at this to put in next yearís plan for the Planning Commission if they still think it is a big enough issue.

 

††††††††††† Howe stated he would contact the wineries of Lane County to let them know that if they want changes, they would have to come up with a draft and then see what happens from there.

 

†† 8.††††† CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A.††††††† Approval of Minutes:

December 9, 2002, Joint BCC/City of Creswell, 6:30 p.m.

 

B.†††††††† Health and Human Services

 

1)†††††††† ORDER 03-9-24-4/In the Matter of Accepting the 2003-2004 Oregon Health Plan Mental Health Organization Agreement in the Amount of $16,399,624; Increasing Appropriations and Expenditures in Fund 287 in the Department of Health & Human Services in the Amount of $7,315,624.

 

2)†††††††† ORDER 03-9-24-5/In the Matter of Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign Contracts and Contract Amendments with Catholic Community Services of Eugene for $219,000, Catholic Community Services of Springfield for $192,600, Community Sharing for $135,000, and Upper Willamette CDC for $50,000 to Provide Energy Assistance Eligibility Screening Services to Low Income Households in Lane County.

 

3)†††††††† ORDER 03-9-24-12/In the Matter of Rescinding Notice of Termination of Participation in SB 1145 Programs.

 

C.††††††† Public Works

 

1)†††††††† ORDER 03-9-24-6/In the Matter of Authorizing Lane County to Enter into a Special Use Permit with the U.S. Forest Service for Mercer Lake Boat Landing and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign the Permit.

 

D.††††††† Commissioners' Business

 

1)†††††††† ORDER 03-9-24-7/In the Matter of Designating the Internal Auditor as an Employee in the Unclassified Service and Delegating Authority to Execute an Employment Contract.

 

Morrison requested the minutes be pulled.

 

Green noted that Weeldreyerís name was misspelled.

 

Morrison noted that the work plan was put in twice and one needed to be deleted.

 

Sorenson noted his name was misspelled.

 

MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar with the corrected minutes.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 4-0.

 

†† 9.††††† MANAGEMENT SERVICES

 

a.†††††††† PUBLIC HEARING/In the Matter of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1983 (TEFRA)/ with Respect to the Issuance and Sale by Lane County of General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2003A.

 

††††††††††† Wilson explained the next two items are a refunding of debt that they had issues about.She noted one of the pieces of debt was the general obligation bond to fund the Juvenile Justice Center.She said in order to engage in a refinancing of those bonds and to lower the interest rate,they are obliged under federal law to hold a hearing to give citizens an opportunity to discuss the refunding or the actual use of the bond proceeds for the Juvenile Justice Center.She stated that notice was given in the newspaper two weeks ago.

 

††††††††††† Commissioner Sorenson opened up the Public Hearing.There being no one signed up to speak he closed the Public Hearing.

 

b.†††††††† ORDER 03-9-24-8/In the Matter of Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2003A.

 

††††††††††† David Suchart, Management Services, stated he, Becky Koble and Rebecca Marshall reviewed allthe possible refinancing of all of the County debt.He said the general obligation bonds in this series were ones that did qualify under state statutes.He said they could savebetween $121,000 to $173,000 over the life of the bonds in annual tax levies.He said if they are able to sell these bonds next week that there would be a savings to the taxpayers and it would be advisable to do.

 

††††††††††† MOTION:to approve ORDER 03-9-24-8.

 

††††††††††† Morrison MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

††††††††††† VOTE: 4-0.

 

c.†††††††† ORDER 03-9-24-9/In the Matter of Authorizing the Refunding of the Special Obligations, Series 1993a, and the Limited Tax Revenue Bonds, 1995 Series A, and Authorizing the Financing of a Facility for the County Elections Division and Plaza/Free Speech Area in a Principal Amount Not to Exceed $3,100,000.

 

††††††††††† Suchart explained they combined the refinancing and the financing because of the savings in combining them together.He noted the new financing was approved in the capital improvement program and that is where the proceeds will come from.He said they would sell all of them at the same time because combining both items saves money in one sale. He added they will save money in the refinancingand it will help the general fund.He said they would be able to reduce the general fund obligation in paying the debt.He thought it was a smart move in terms of the refinancing.He recommended approval.

 

††††††††††† MOTION:to approve ORDER 03-9-24-9.

 

††††††††††† Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

††††††††††† Wilson explained the order also authorizes the possibility of refinancing two additional debt issuances.She noted at this point in time it didnít look like those two met the qualifications under the state statutes for a refinancing.She said if by next week interest rates were such that they could accomplish that, the order does give authority to do that.

 

††††††††††† VOTE: 4-0.

 

10.†††† DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

 

a.†††††††† ORDER 03-9-24-10/In the Matter of Approving an Increase to the Amount of "On Call Pay" for the Classifications of Lead Investigator and Investigator in the Office of the District Attorney.

 

††††††††††† Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, stated this order states that the investigators get paid five dollars for being on-call for 24 hours and carrying a pager.He said the cost is small and they can absorb it in the budget.

 

††††††††††† MOTION:to approve ORDER 03-9-24-1.

 

††††††††††† Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

††††††††††† VOTE: 4-0.

 

11.†††† COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

††††††††††† None.

 

12.†††† CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

a.†††††††† Frank Skipton

 

††††††††††† Sorenson stated that Frank Skipton had exhausted his request with the County staff and this was appropriate to put on for correspondence.He said Skipton wants public access to Lane County books and records.He said Skipton was told that he could receive copies.Sorenson said Skipton wanted to actually see the records.Sorenson asked if the Board should be more involved in setting policy.

 

††††††††††† Suchart noted he had a conversation with Skipton.Suchart noted Skiptonís first letter was not clear so he invited him into the office and produced a report.Suchart stated Skipton wanted a yearís worth of County checks to review. Suchart gave Skipton a print out.Skipton wanted to physically look at the checks.Suchart said someone would have to be with him because of security around the checks.Suchart noted that both the State Treasurerís office and the bank have advised him that having someone sit with checks that have personal information of the people who get the checks is not a good idea.Suchart explained to Skipton that he could get all the information with regard to County business.Skipton did not want that.

 

††††††††††† Sorenson asked if copies of checks could be provided.

 

††††††††††† Green told Suchart to work with Skipton and give him his options.

 

††††††††††† Sorenson told Suchart to tell Skipton that he has all the rights to request any copies of records and if he wants to narrow his request that could be done.

 

13.†††† EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

††††††††††† To take place after the meeting.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting into Executive Session at 11:50 a.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary