M I N U T E S

 

JOINT MEETING OF THE

LANE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

EUGENE CITY COUNCIL

SPRINGFIELD CITY COUNCIL

APPROVED 8/25/04

 

WORK SESSION

 

June 22, 2004

6:00 p.m.

Library Meeting Room, Springfield City Hall

 

Commissioner Bobby Green presided, with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Anna Morrison, and Don Hampton present.  Commissioner Peter Sorenson excused.

 

Eugene Mayor James D. Torrey presided, with Councilors Bonny Bettman, David Kelly, Scott Meisner, Nancy Nathanson, George Poling, and Betty Taylor present.

 

Springfield Mayor Sid Leiken presided, with Councilors Anne Ballew, Tammy Fitch, Christine Lundberg, and John Woodrow present.

 

Staff Present:  City Manager Dennis Taylor, Jim Carlson, Lynda Rose, City of Eugene; Greg Mott, Cynthia Pappas, Meg Kiernan, Bill Grile, City of Springfield; Susan Smith; Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission.

 

Mayor Leiken called the meeting of the Springfield City Council to order.

 

Mayor Torrey called the meeting of the Eugene City Council to order.

 

Commissioner Green called the meeting of the Lane Board of County Commissioners to order. 

 

 

1.            WORK SESSION:  Amendments to the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan (Metro Plan), Chapter III, Section G. Public Facilities and Services, Chapter V Glossary; and Amendments to the Public Facilities and Services Plan, a Functional Plan of the Metro Plan.

 

Springfield Planning Manager Greg Mott explained that there were two amendments to be considered because any amendment to the Public Facilities and Services section of the Metro Plan required a similar amendment to the Public Facilities and Services Plan (PFSP).  He referred to his memorandum of June 4, 2004, and attachments, which provided a detailed explanation of the proposed amendments.  He briefly reviewed the information provided and indicated that the request for the amendments was initiated by the Springfield City Council on behalf of the Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission (MWMC) because of the current lack of information in the public facilities element of the Metro Plan regarding requirements for sanitary sewer public treatment and collection facilities.  He said not all facilities were in the Metro Plan and PFSP and the proposal was to include those facilities on the respective maps.

 

Mr. Mott pointed out in the attachments to his memorandum a letter from the Homebuilders Association and responses from Springfield City Attorney Meg Kiernan and CH2M Hill.  He distributed another letter from the Homebuilders Association to the planning commissions addressing the same issues.  He stated that the Lane County, Springfield, and Eugene planning commissions were unanimous in forwarding recommendations to adopt the ordinances to amend the Metro Plan and the PFSP.  He commented that while the ordinances were packaged separately, it was acceptable to amend both plans with a single ordinance.

 

Ms. Ballew asked if the fact that two of the three jurisdictions had not adopted the PFSP would impact the ordinances.  Mr. Mott replied that it would not present a problem as the rule did not obligate communities to adopt the PFSP in order to have a project for a facilities treatment plant improvement identified in it.  Springfield Planner Susan Smith added that the information being incorporated was very basic and on a large scale; as MWMC refined its Capital Improvement Program (CIP) each year changes would occur in the CIP that would not require amendments to the Metro Plan or PFSP.

 

Commissioner Green asked what the intended outcome of the work session and public hearing was.  Mr. Mott said the purpose was to identify all of the issues and questions related to the amendments in order to take action at a later date.

 

Commissioner Green asked what would happen if, after the public hearing, jurisdictions agreed to the amendments to the plans but had issues with the funding mechanism.  Ms. Smith replied that the amendments did not address the financing mechanism or fees; it only provided rough cost estimates for the project sites.  She said the issue of how projects were funded would be addressed through the normal procedures that jurisdictions used for user rates and budget adoption.

 

Mr. Kelly asked when the Eugene City Council was scheduled to take action on the amendments.  Assistant City Manager Jim Carlson replied that action was tentatively scheduled for July 26, 2004.

 

Mayor Leiken asked how much more staff time would be required to address changes to federal rules.  Ms. Smith said the PFSP was part of ongoing planning work and would minimize the need for additional staff time and maintenance costs by determining how existing facilities could be retrofitted and improved, instead of building new facilities that would add staff, operation, and maintenance costs.  She said there would be some increase in staff over time, but those would be offset by the efficiencies gained in plant operations.

 

Mayor Torrey asked if the PSFP would need to be amended if the jurisdictions agreed to extend sanitary sewer services to Coburg.  Mr. Mott replied that the PSFP and Metro Plan would requirement amendments.  Ms. Smith said that currently service extensions outside of the urban growth boundary (UGB) were limited to the airport and areas that had been declared a public health hazard and that Metro Plan policy would have to be amended to include an additional community.

 

Commissioner Morrison asked what the timeline would be for amendments to include Coburg.  Mr. Mott said the process would be same as for the current amendments and that process was initiated in February 2004.  Ms. Smith said that there would likely be additional steps required evaluate issues such as cost and benefit, engineering, environmental factors, and governance that could take somewhat longer than the typical amendment process.  She said that Mayor Leiken had recently directed staff to begin framing what an evaluation of the issue of including Coburg would entail.  Mr. Mott added that another component was the fact that the Metro Plan did not include the City of Coburg and how that would affect the fundamental principles of the plan.

 

Commissioner Dwyer observed that the various plans were intended to provide a framework for urban and rural development.  He commented that a regional wastewater facility necessary to address new regulatory standards was intended to serve new and existing industrial and commercial uses.  He said that 2,000 people worked in Coburg and lived throughout Lane County and he encouraged the jurisdictions to find a way to extend service to Coburg if it was determined to be feasible and logical to do so.  He said that State funding was available to study the issue, but in order to access it there had to be some indication from jurisdictions that they were willing to proceed if the results of an evaluation were positive.  He encouraged inclusion of a statement of intent in the PSFP.  Ms. Smith replied that feedback from all three jurisdictions indicated an interest in studying the issue more closely to determine what was feasible.

 

Commissioner Dwyer said that Coburg was at a crucial point and the Department of Environmental Quality had just declared the area north of Coburg through Linn County a groundwater sensitive area because of nitrates and other factors.  He said it was important to let Coburg know if the jurisdictions were willing to be partners.

 

Ms. Bettman asked if the findings included with the ordinances distributed to the Eugene City Council were identical to the findings provided to the other two bodies.  Mr. Mott replied that they were the same.

 

Ms. Bettman said her understanding was that Coburg wished to conduct an initial study of the issues and was interested in support from the other jurisdictions that they were willing to evaluate the feasibility; Coburg was not requesting a plan amendment.  She expressed her concern about the financial implications because Coburg did not have SDCs (system development charges), which was what encouraged businesses to locate there.  She said that unless there were federal or state funds available to assist Coburg to replace the capacity that it was in deficit of, she could not understand how service could be extended without the other jurisdictions subsidizing that infrastructure.

 

Ms. Ballew echoed Ms. Bettman’s remarks and emphasized that the impacts to Eugene and Springfield need to be clearly understood before a commitment to extend service to Coburg was made.

 

Mayor Torrey suggested that it would be helpful if the City of Coburg would put in writing those issues to which they wanted responses from the jurisdictions.

 

Ms. Fitch commented that Springfield directed its executive to begin framing the evaluation process and asked if Lane County and Eugene were providing the same direction to their staff.

 

Commissioner Dwyer and Mayor Torrey indicated that the Lane County and Eugene executives had been asked to develop information on the issues to be addressed and resources required.

 

The meeting adjourned at 6:50 p.m.

 

(Recorded by Lynn Taylor)

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