BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

REGULAR MEETING

April 7, 2004

9:00 a.m.

Commissioners’ Conference Room

APPROVED APRIL 28, 2004

 

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

 

  1.      ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

          None.

 

  2.      PUBLIC COMMENTS

Angela Bennett, 89 W. 26th, Eugene, stated she is the retail manager for Sylvan Ridge­Hinman Vineyards and is the president of the Wineries of Lane County Association. She explained that they are working on ways to promote Lane County as a whole. She said they are doing an event called the Barrel Tour this year and they applied for the 2004 Lane County Tours and Special Projects grant to help them complete the project. She stated they were denied all funding. She urged the Board to re-evaluate the importance of their event for Lane County tourism. She said the project is designed to increase tourism and promote their industry throughout Lane County. She noted the Willamette Valley is gaining recognition for being an outstanding wine-growing region. She said that 2/3 of the wineries are located in the northern Willamette Valley and they are trying to bring attention to Lane County. She said the Barrel Tour is a way of showcasing Lane County and what makes them unique. She noted that all of the wineries are contributing time, effort and money. She said they will be feeding and providing wine for over 280 people on the tour. She stated the biggest way they reach out to people outside of the area to bring them into Lane County is advertising and that is a large part of their budget. They hoped to get money from the special projects grant for that. She wanted the Board to reconsider full or partial funding for their event.

David Turner, University of Oregon Art Museum, commented that cultural tourism is strong in Lane County in the performing arts. He said they were interested in building up the visual arts as part of the cultural attraction in the county. He noted they are about to open the art museum. He noted they have a 70-year-old museum building that has functioned as the city's art museum. He noted they have been closed for three years during a major renovation and expansion project to make the museum modern and to bring exhibitions to the city. He noted the museum would open in October. He wanted to let people know that there were new opportunities for visual arts.

 

Frank Long, Cottage Theatre, explained they have the only community theater in the area. He noted it is a new million-dollar facility. He added the only tax dollars they used commented that 42 per cent of the audience comes from outside of Cottage Grove. He thinks they are a major tourist attraction and deserve the Board's support.

Nikki Kenchee, Celebration Traditions, indicated that they have been recommended for a grant. She noted that there were people on the list who didn't get funding. She opened their festival up to anyone who did not receive funding that would like to do fundraising. She indicated this would be an annual event.

Jane Wagner, 1183 Van Buren, represented Stand for Children. She acknowledged that the Board of Commissioners started the program. She said they were able to train and compensate people who work in early childhood programs. She added because of the Board's belief and support, the program is also in Benton and Marion counties. She noted in Lane County they have been able to help over 70 providers go back to school and get a wage subsidy for the training that has taken place. She added that this is a prevention program, providing better environments for the youngest citizens. She said they have to make people who care for young children more professional and knowledgeable. She commented they were not asking for money this year, they would be going to the City of Eugene because the providers who are asking for money are from the City of Eugene. She encouraged the Board to adopt the resolution.

 

Joy Marshall, Stand for Children, stated that Salem started Stand for Children to help the youth in the community. She noted this was a citizen-originated effort to build a coalition to fight the problem of high crime and methamphetamine rates. She said the coalition is with the business community and the chamber of commerce. She said they wrote a ballot measure that was passed unanimously by their city council and it is on the ballot for May 18. She noted that it puts 24 more police on the streets focused on drugs and methamphetamines. She added that it has affordable quality after school program for every middle school child. She said the cost would be five dollars per month per household.

 

   3.     COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

          None.

 

   4.     PUBLIC WORKS

 

a.        DISCUSSION/Regional Finance and Revenue Sharing Concepts.

 

Ollie Snowden, Public Works, recalled that this item was rolled from last week. He explained this is the follow up from the joint meeting the Board had with the cities in November of 2003. He noted that one of the things the Board asked for at that time was responses from the cities on suggestions for new revenue sources or efficiencies. He indicated there were four responses: Eugene, Springfield, West Fir and Creswell.

 

Snowden met with Van Vactor, Hampton and Green to outline a proposal. He said they need direction on how they want to approach revenue sharing and whether they want to have a second meeting with the cities. He recommended going into revenue discussions. He said the County is not responsible for backfilling and funding all of the cities' maintenance and preservation backlog. He said they know what the backlog is in Eugene and Springfield, but not in the smaller cities

 

Snowden said the Board would provide increased short-term revenue sharing to the cities but any long term revenue sharing would be dependent upon an independent third party audit of road maintenance operations to look for efficiencies that could be gained either through partnering or consolidation and resolution of county payments legislation. He said if the money were not re-authorized it would create a new circumstance.

 

Snowden wanted to propose that the Board agree to continue the existing $2.5 million county city road partnership for either two or three years until they know the outcome of county payments, distributed on the current formula.

 

Snowden indicated that the County would pass through the new OTIA III operation and maintenance preservation money they get from the state to the cities for either a two or a three year period up to where the County payments are re-authorized. He said the larger cities have agreed to a combined formula that looks at road miles and population. He estimated they would receive $600,000 in additional revenue this fiscal year from ODOT and $1.4 million next fiscal year. He asked the Board if they wanted to pass the estimates through the city or to pass through the actual revenue. He said the legislation that went through last session stated that ODOT would track the additional revenue increment generated by the OTIA III fee increases.

 

Dwyer wanted to start with the estimates and have it based on the actuals. He said if they give more than the actuals, they will take it away in the subsequent times and if they don't give enough then they will give it in future times.

 

Green suggested having a conversation with the cities that would include a general fund impact. He wanted to have another meeting with the cities where they could raise those types of questions. He commented that the other cities are aware of Lane County's situation as it relates to the re-authorization. He wanted to state that Lane County is willing to be a partner and willing to address this problem.

 

Dwyer wanted to help to the extent that Lane County could. He noted the OTIA III monies are not any long-term commitment and will not continue forever.

 

Morrison asked what a third party audit would cost.

 

Snowden responded that it depended on the scope of work. He said that any commitment for short-term revenue increases was contingent upon a longer-term strategy, including the audit. He noted that a number of elected officials wanted to look at efficiencies in road maintenance operations. He said they should have an independent outside auditor come in to review it. He said some staff met with a consultant to discuss this and their estimate was for an executive level revenue, the cost being $30,000 to $50,000. He thought this would be a three-year process for this to work.

Morrison requested to see the list that Springfield provided where cooperation has already taken place.

Snowden indicated the audit would either say there are potentials or there are not a lot of savings. He didn't believe they would find any gross inefficiencies. He said there is skepticism that public agencies are operating as efficiently as they can. He said if there is a conclusion that there is a savings, the leadership had to come from the elected officials to make it happen.

Morrison was in favor of a third party audit. She said Lane County would have to absorb the cost of having the audit. She thought they should move forward with the audit. She suggested that Kay Blackburn be involved with this. With regard to the OTIA III new money, she would choose two years and supported Dwyer's concept that they would start out with the estimate first and then they could adjust accordingly after they reach the actuals. She asked if they did the audit, how long it would take before they would have something they could utilize for future budgets.

 

Snowden responded by January 2005 they would have an audit report that would give them the chance for mergers if they thought there was a potential savings.

 

Dwyer thought they should go ahead with the audit.

 

Snowden indicated there are labor, pay and cultural issues and that is why it would be a two or three year process

Dwyer suggested setting annual goals to review the savings. He added that attrition was a tool that was important.

Snowden recalled the Cities of Eugene and Coburg were asking for matching funds. He said the City of Eugene wants money for the courthouse and the City of Coburg wants matching money for the 1-5 Coburg interchange. He said if the Board wanted to fund the courthouse, there were ways of doing it by canceling other projects, but that wasn't the recommendation they got from the Roads Advisory Committee. He thought it was premature to go with a countywide gas tax until they do the audit and the resolution of the county payments legislation. He said they have to recognize the short-term money will not fill the gap that Eugene and Springfield have for their long-term OM & P shortfall. He noted they would likely have to proceed with additional revenue generating sources.

 

With regard to item one, Green commented that they could say the Board would agree to continue the existing $2.5 million. He said they still have to budget it on an annual basis. With regard to the OTIA money, Green said he would go for the three years. He thought it was imperative that they have an audit.

Dwyer wanted a commitment from the elected officials that shows there is a recommendation of ways they could do things. He said they have to come to an agreement that they are going to act upon the recommendations. He added if the recommendations are independent and objective, he said he would be willing to act on it.

 

Sorenson thought the three years of the OTIA money and the road partnership was reasonable. He didn't want a gas tax proposal as part of this, but they should use some money to study to get more options for what a fuel tax would look like. He said they should put the emphasis on maintenance.

 

Green wanted to know what the costs would be for Lane County to do a project versus what it would be to the other cities. He wanted to know where it makes sense within the urban growth area where the county and the cities could actually partner.

 

Dwyer said the audit needs to look at what it is that is in the inventories of all of those that are participating and the utilization of that equipment.

 

With regard to motor fuel, Snowden said they were going to defer action but look ahead and do research. He noted that capital projects would come back to the Board in the first part of May as the CIP discussion. He wanted to work with Kay Blackburn (County Auditor) and Eugene and Springfield, then come back to the Board with two different scopes of work, one an executive level scope to get done for $30,000 to $50,000 and one that is more detailed that might cost more. He suggested with the OTIA III money that they give the cities two checks: one in January and in July, based on the estimated money and they will reconcile on a six-month revolving basis. He said there was consensus to do this for three years.

 

Dwyer wanted the level of commitment to be there from the cities with the renewal of county payments.

   5.     RESOLUTIONS

 

a.        ORDER 04-4-7-1/In the Matter of Endorsement of the Lane County Stand for Children Early Childhood Professional Development Plan.

 

          Green indicated he received a request from Jane Wagner regarding Stand for Children. He thought the Board could endorse their plan that was initiated from Lane County's budgeting process.

          Green read the resolution into the record.

 

          MOTION: to approve ORDER 04-4-7-1.

 

   Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

          Morrison was concerned about the possibility of Stand for Children being in conflict with some of the things that Lane County could be applying for. She was also concerned about the increased hourly wage that some of the childcare providers were given. She questioned whether they would really reach their goals.

 

          Sorenson supported this. He suggested that the Board attend the city council meeting when Stand for Children gives a presentation so the Board of Commissioners could give their support.

 

          Hampton commented that prevention is cheaper than having to deal with the problem afterwards.

 

          Green was supportive of the resolution.

         

          VOTE: 5-0.

 

   6.     COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a.        ORDER 04-4-7-2/In the Matter of Ordering the Acceptance of the Fourth Amendment to the Intergovernmental Agreement for the Creation of the BL3 Regional Investment Board and the Fourth Amendment to the Intergovernmental Agreement for the Regional Investment Plan Fiscal Agent.

 

          Milo Mecham, LCOG, explained this deals with the amendments to the two agreements, one between the four counties and one with the four counties and Cascade West Cog. He said the purpose of the amendment is housekeeping and continues the agreement among the governments to have a Regional Investment Board. He noted in the past this had been done on a bi-annual basis but under the new legislative requirements, the distribution of money needs to be tracked for several years past the biennium, so the proposal is to make the amendment last until 2007 to allow tracking.

 

          MOTION: to approve ORDER 04-4-7-2. Morrison MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

 

b.        ORDER 04-4-7-3/In the Matter of Ordering the Acceptance of the Recommendations of the Benton, Lane, Lincoln, Linn Regional Investment Board Regarding Funding the First Set of Projects for the FY 2003-2005 Biennium and Completing Action for the FY 2001-2003 Biennium.

 

          MOTION: to approve ORDER 04-4-7-3.

 

          Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

          Morrison supported the motion. She stated there was a possibility that some of the projects might not move forward and $600,000 would come back to be redistributed to another proposal that could go forward.

         

          Mecham stated this was a chancy proposition as there was no certainty with the phone call center. He indicated what the Regional Investment Board had done is try to move the process forward quickly. He stated if the project doesn't go forward within six months, the money will be freed up to be re-allocated to a new project. He explained the Regional Investment Board had directed staff to try to include in the contracts the various entities' guarantees so that if the money is invested in the project and the project goes away the money would need to be repaid.

 

          With regard to minority assistance programs, Mecham explained that statistics are not kept on the percentage of minorities given money. He added that all of LCOG's loan programs and the micro loan programs do have some preferences for minority applicants. He said they are given first priority in terms of processing the loan applications for minority enterprises.

 

          Hampton explained the process for selecting projects was stringent requirements sent up by the legislature and the ones they chose were the best ones that met those requirements.

 

          VOTE: 5-0.

 

c.        ORDER 04-4-7-8/In the Matter of Ordering the Acceptance of Amendments to the 2003-05 Benton, Lane, Lincoln, Linn Regional Investment Strategy.

 

          MOTION: to approve ORDER 04-4-7-8.

 

          Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

          VOTE: 5-0.

 

   7.     COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a.        Announcements

 

          None.

 

b.        ORDER 04-4-7-4/In the Matter of Issuance of Industrial Development Revenue Bonds by the State of Oregon to Glory Bee Foods, Inc.

 

          MOTION: to approve ORDER 04-4-7-4.

 

          Dwyer MOVED, Hampton SECONDED.

 

          Morrison wanted to know the salaries for all phases of positions for Glory Bee Foods. She wanted the information e-mailed to her.

 

          Thurston introduced Erika Palmer, his intern, who worked on the project.

 

          VOTE: 5-0.

         

   8.     PUBLIC WORKS

 

a.        ORDER 04-4-7-5/In the Matter of Awarding Tourism Special Projects Grants for 2004, Releasing Funds from the Special Revenue and Services Fund, and Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign Contracts.

 

          Loralyn Osborne, Parks, thanked the committee of Greg Evans, Ken Miller, Elaine Weiss, Keith Young and Art Paas. She asked the Board to approve their recommendations.

 

          Green supported the grants.

 

          Sorenson indicated Elaine Weiss spoke with him about the recommendation of the $5,000 to the horse center and not to fund the winery tours. He asked why they chose the horse center over the winery tours.

 

          Osborne reported that she tallied the raw scores. She noted the winery tour came in tenth and the horse center came in twelfth. She added at a final meeting of the committee they decided the horse arena was a higher priority because it was agritoursim. She noted there was another horse project that they didn't fund.

 

          Sorenson wanted to accept all of the recommendations of the committee with the exception of the horse center. He wanted the winery tour instead of the horse center. He commented that the horse center is an individual for-profit business. He said they are trying to benefit something that brings people into overnight stays. He thought a criteria to consider was an industry group working together to promote the area.

 

          MOTION: to move to fund the Tourism Special Project Grant as recommended by the committee with the exception of the $5,000 to be put into the wineries tour and not into the horse center in ORDER 04-4-7-5.

 

          Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

          Dwyer explained that the Economic Development Committee (pursuant to Green's charge of finding the revenue that is necessary to fund the special committee) is coming to the Board next week. He said it came to the Economic Development Committee and they took $2,000 from each of the larger $10,000 projects and took five percent from the remaining smaller projects to come up with $10,000. He indicated that subsequent to that he was advised they could fund Green's project and not impact these awards.

 

          Tanya Heaton, Management Analyst, explained that in the past when the County has had a special project in the tourism area, they had separated the community tourism special projects from the County's special projects. She suggested doing that this year. She noted when they originally estimated how much was available for the community special projects they didn't count in money from the Fair Board repayment because they weren't confident that they would actually get it. She said that money has been repaid and they could use that for this County special project. She said they had done that in the past so that County projects wouldn't compete directly with community ones. She suggested doing that as a separate issue.

 

          Morrison noted the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Strategy for $10,000 that was not selected by the subgroup, could now be funded and still hold harmless the $94,600 already allocated.

 

Green supported the motion on that basis.

 

Winter noted that process would require a separate board order and he would bring it back to the Board.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Morrison noted that the committee requested that they be brought back together to re­examine the application process and the criteria. She hoped that would take place.

 

Green suggested a debriefing with the community to ask if they would recommend any changes.

 

          With regard to the horse center versus the wineries, Hampton stated that when it comes to an identity for Lane County, a factor should be what actually promotes the County's' identity. He thought the winery event would give Lane County more identity than the horse center. He added the wine tour would benefit 14 businesses. He thought that should also be a factor for leveraging.

 

b.        ORDER 04-4-7-6/In the Matter of Submitting an Application and Accepting a Boating Facilities Grant from the Oregon State Marine Board for Boating Improvements at Mercer Lake Landing, Appropriating $27,250 in Fund 216, and Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign the Cooperative Agreement.

 

          MOTION:  to approve ORDER 04-4-7-6.

 

          Morrison MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

          VOTE:  5-0

 

c.        FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. PA 1201/In the Matter of Amending the Rural Comprehensive Plan and the Creswell Comprehensive Plan to Enlarge the Creswell Urban Growth Boundary; Redesignate Affected Lands From a Rural Comprehensive Plan Designation of Airport Operations to a City Plan Designation of Public Facilities/Government; Rezone These Affected Lands From a Lane Code Chapter 16 District of AO Airport Operations to a Lane Code Chapter 10 District of Airport Operations District; and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (File PA 02-6010; City of Creswell) (Second Reading & Public Hearing: April 28, 2004, 1:30 pm).

 

          MOTION: to approve a First Reading and Setting a Second Reading and Public Hearing on April 28, 2004 at 1:30 p.m. on Ordinance No. PA 1201.

 

          Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

 

          Morrison requested that between now and the next hearing the Board receive the minutes of the Planning Commission meeting included in the packet.

 

   9.     CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A.       Approval of Minutes:  None.

 

B.       Public Works

 

1)       ORDER 04-4-7-7/In the Matter of Entering into a Contract with the State of Oregon Office of Emergency Management for Reimbursement of Qualifying Expenses Incurred During the 2003–04 Winter Storm Event, Disaster Declaration Number: FEMA-1510-DR.

 

MOTION:  To approve the Consent Calendar.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

VOTE:  5-0.  

 

  10.    COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

          Dwyer stated he missed the President's breakfast at the University of Oregon. He apologized.

 

          Morrison said there would be a ribbon cutting for the new Federal Courthouse at 2:00 p.m. She attended the Relief Nursery event that raised $400,000.

 

  11.    EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

          To take plane after the meeting.

 

  13.    EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

          None.

 

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

 

Melissa Zimmer