Medford City Council Study Session
May 9, 2013
Meeting called to order at noon in the Medford Room, City Hall, 411 W. 8th Street, Medford with the following members present.
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn, John Michaels, Karen Blair, Dick Gordon and Eli Matthews.
Mike Cavallaro, Executive Director of the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) addressed the Council and presented an overview of the activities and programs for 2012. He spoke to the benefit of this region with the number of partners who are members in RVCOG. He spoke to the benefits to the local jurisdictions in sharing the resources which provides for work to be accomplished. Mr. Cavallaro spoke to the performance survey completed last summer regarding RVCOG services and that the results were mostly positive. He stated that some issues were identified in the survey and they are working to improve those areas.
Councilmember Gordon spoke to the RVCOG meeting and Jackson County Commission Briedenthal’s announcement that the County is proposing to no longer be a member of the RVCOG. He questioned what impact that would have on the organization and Mr. Cavallaro noted that it would be financially difficult for them. He noted that most of the services provided by RVCOG are reimbursement of cost only and the member dues are the only discretionary funds that they have to address other types of projects. He noted that he believes that this proposal is related to the County’s proposal for a “surcharge”.
Mayor Wheeler questioned what services RVCOG offers regarding emergency management and Mr. Cavallaro noted that this is primarily for social services for elderly and at risk individuals. He noted they have a database of these individuals that is maintained by the organization.
2. Bill Hoke, Economic Development Plan: Mr. Hoke addressed the Council and provided an overview of the City's Economic Development Plan. The plan provides guidelines for the City that compliment other economic development related agencies and organizations. Overarching goals in the plan are to continue with a strong business retention and expansion program, assisting in maintaining a viable, available and trained workforce to support growth in the City, and continuing with attracting new businesses, industries and development to the area. He spoke to the regional partnerships that are vital to the work that is accomplished. He noted that the work that has been occurring in the urban renewal district with The Commons, Lithia Headquarters, One West Main Street and how these projects encourage additional redevelopment and business expansion.
He reported on specific projects: One West Main should begin construction in July; The Commons park block 2 construction is anticipated to be completed by December 2013; parking solutions for downtown continue to be addressed; Whetstone sale completed which provides PacifiCorp the ability to increase capacity in White City for industrial development; Texas Roadhouse restaurant being constructed in the Delta Center and will open mid-June; Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant coming; Northgate Phase 1 completed and Phase 2 is being discussed; North and South Walmart store construction/renovations; and additional projects are being discussed for The Commons area in downtown.
The meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.