When available, the full agenda packet may be viewed as a PDF file by clicking the "Attachments" button and selecting the file you want to view.
Agendas are posted until the meeting date takes place. Minutes are posted once they have been approved.
Councilmember Michaels requested clarification of the parking facilities at Harry & David field as this was discussed at the last meeting as part of this agenda item. Mr. Sjothun addressed the Council and provided the history of the development of Harry & David field. He noted that the Medford Rogues assumed the previous lease from Medford Youth Baseball Society and that per the lease they are responsible for developing the facilities, including the parking lot. Councilmember Corcoran questioned if the new fields would make more parking issues and Mr. Sjothun noted that along with the new fields would be 200 additional parking spaces. He also noted that for large events, the City has an agreement with Harry & David to utilize their parking lots across the street from the park.
Councilmember Gordon questioned what would be left to finish the park and Mr. Sjothun noted that the proposed pedestrian bridge to link both sides of the park was not included in this phase as staff is reviewing other options to reduce the cost of the bridge. Additional the activity pavilion area is being reviewed and may be relocated to Fictner-Mainwaring Park. This would alleviate an issue with the splash area at Fictner-Mainwaring as the volleyball courts sand is tracked into the splash pad area causing maintenance issues. It is being reviewed to move the volleyball courts to U.S. Cellular Community Park and establish the activity pavilion at Fictner-Mainwaring.
Public hearing closed.
Motion: Continue Agenda Item 120.1 and 120.2 until after Agenda Item 120.3 is addressed this evening.
Moved by: Chris Corcoran Seconded by: Dick Gordon
Councilmember Corcoran spoke to his motion and that public safety is the highest priority and should be addressed first.
Roll Call: Councilmembers Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Karen Blair, Daniel Bunn, Tim Jackle, John Michaels and Bob Strosser voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.
120.2 CONTINUED FROM SEPTEMBER 19, 2013
COUNCIL BILL 2013-138 An ordinance amending Section 4.1011 of the Medford Code pertaining to the park utility fee. (Legislative)
120.3 COUNCIL BILL 2013-144 An ordinance amending Section 4.1111 of the Medford Code pertaining to the public safety fee. (Legislative)
Police Chief Tim George addressed the Council and provided a staff report. He noted that this action would amend the Medford Code for the purpose of increasing the Public Safety Fee. The increased fee would fund the payments on a $32.0 million bond, which would be used to build a Police Headquarters, relocate Fire Station #2, rebuild Fire Stations #3 and #5 and pay for the cost of issuance. All these projects had been discussed in previous study sessions and the need for each was discussed in depth at the September 12th Council study session.
Chief George noted that the Police headquarters has been in City Hall since 1967. Medford has grown and so had the Police force. He reported that lack of adequate space has led to issues of co-mingled public areas. City Hall is a multi-use facility and this creates a substantial risk to the safety of all current City Hall users, including the public. P8ublic and secure space is mixed with civilian employees, creating exposure to safety risks in the current location. Secured police space is inadequate causing as ever lack of operational space for report writing, interview rooms, locker rooms, storage and secured police parking. Additionally, the City Hall building does not meet essential service standards and would not be functional in a significant seismic event. He noted that Jeff Humphries from Group McKenzie is in attendance and available to answer questions.
Interim Fire Chief Gordon Sletmoe addressed the Council regarding the needs for the Fire Stations. He noted that Fire Stations #2, #3 and #4 were built over 45 years ago. The facilities have served the citizens of Medford well but they are in need of complete rebuilding. Modern fire trucks do not fit in the garages, the buildings do not meet seismic requirements of first responders and we are unable to segregate contaminants from emergency responders as required by health and safety requirements. Additionally, the buildings do not meet current fire and building codes; they do not meet essential service standards and would not be functional in a significant seismic event.
Alison Chan, Finance Director addressed the Council and reviewed the method for the fee increase. She reviewed the preferred financing option based on the full faith and credit of the City. She noted that this would be lower cost to the community as a police utility fee versus as a property tax and tax-exempt entities have to pay utility fees.
Councilmembers discussed the financing options.
Councilmember Gordon noted that he had reviewed the study session audio and was up to speed on the issue. He requested clarification of how the fee would be calculated. Ms. Chan explained how the “per unit” calculation was achieved.
Councilmember Blair questioned the issue being brought forward as a referendum. Senior City Attorney McConnell noted that it could be addressed through the referendum process as outlined in the Secretary of States referendum guide.
Councilmember Gordon questioned how the anticipated increases in the street, storm and sewer utility fees would affect the overall utility bill. Ms. Chan noted that historically these items were implemented in March but that this is currently being reviewed by staff to determine if these fees need to be increased this year. There may be additional revenues available that would allow for these to be delayed.
Councilmember Corcoran questioned why the Police Facility project could not be scaled down and Jeffrey Humphries from Group McKenzie responded. Mr. Humphries noted that public safety facilities require a higher level of structure than standard commercial/office buildings. These facilities must be built to remain operational during seismic events and that requires additional construction and cost. He noted that if the facility was built to meet minimal requirements now, the cost to expand the structure later would be more expensive.
Councilmember Gordon questioned the next steps if this item is approved and Mr. Swanson noted that if the Council approves then it is anticipated to sell bonds in December. Design work would begin and it will take approximately 2-3 years to get the facility constructed.
Councilmember Jackle noted he had reviewed the study session minutes and been briefed by the staff on this issue. He stated he was comfortable with voting on the item.
Mayor called a 10 minute recess
Meeting reconvened with same persons present.
Alison Chan spoke to bond payment structure would be no issue as backed with full faith and credit.
Public hearing opened.
1. Maureen Swift, Co-Chair of the Policy Advisory Committee addressed the Council and spoke to the need for our public safety to be prepared for a major disaster. She spoke in support of the recommendation to fund these projects as the main role of government is to provide Police and Fire services. She spoke to the need for the Council to represent all segments of the community and their need for these services. She spoke to the high level of ethics of the Police employees and that they would not bring forward any request that was not thoroughly vetted.
2. Bill Mansfield, 3306 Edgewater, Medford addressed the Council in support of the proposal and the development of a new police facility. He spoke to his trust of the Council in making this decision.
3. Gary Duvall, 1196 Kelly, Medford addressed the Council in support of the funding for the development of a new police facility. He spoke to the difficulty in providing adequate education to the public to garner support given the detail and study this issue has undergone.
4. Ron Norris, 1975 Bianca Court, Medford addressed the Council in support of the funding for the development of a new police facility. He spoke to the need to finally address this issue as the department was suffering crowded conditions when he was first employed in 1978.
5. Jim Whittington, 649 Spring Valley Dr., Medford spoke to the Council regarding his interactions with local public safety and that he has not found any city of our size that does not have a police facility. He spoke to the potential need for our public safety providers in the event of a major disaster. He encouraged the Council to support this proposal.
6. Randy Schoen, 4700 Glen Echo, Central Point addressed the Council and encouraged their support of the recommendation to develop a police facility. He spoke to the need to ensure continuity of government during a critical event.
7. Roberta Thorton, 649 Spring Valley Dr., spoke in support of the funding proposal. She spoke to the level of research and analysis that has been undertaken to bring this proposal forward. She spoke to the current lending environment and that rates are not likely to cost less in the future. She noted she would be opposed to putting this to the voters as this is too risky and that the Council has been elected with the public trust to make decisions.
8. Beverly Layer, 2341 Gene Cameron Way, Medford addressed the Council regarding the proposal. She noted she understands the needs of the departments. She requested that the Council make a policy to address these kinds of decisions regarding public safety needs not be made at a crisis moment.
9. Rick Parsagian, 513 Keene Drive, Medford addressed the Council and spoke to the departments that keep us safe and put their lives on the line each day deserves a facility that is appropriate to assist them in providing the services.Public hearing closed.
Motion: Approve the ordinance amending Chapter 4 of the Medford Code for the purpose of increasing the Public Safety Fee.
Moved by: John Michaels Seconded by: Bob Strosser
Councilmembers spoke in support of the motion and the need for the elected body to make decisions that are in the best interest of the community.
Roll Call: Councilmembers John Michaels, Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn, Tim Jackle, Dick Gordon, Chris Corcoran and Karen Blair voting yes.
Ordinance 2013-144 was duly approved.
Councilmember Gordon spoke to the importance of completing U.S. Cellular Community Park, but has a timing issue given the unknown needs to address street, storm and sewer infrastructure and he felt that infrastructure maintenance funding needs should be addressed. He spoke to the actions of the Budget Committee in removing funds from the Public Works budget based on the proposal to adjust the utility fees.
Councilmember Michaels noted he would support increase in the car rental tax at the airport only or city wide with no Parks Utility Fee increase. Councilmember Strosser questioned the impact on the development of the fields if there is no Parks Utility Fee. Mr. Sjothun noted that the development would occur when funds available but without the Parks Utility Fee it would be at a much slower rate.
Councilmembers discussed the options presented.
Motion: Move forward with Phase 4 with no increase in the Parks Utility Fee.
Moved by: Dick Gordon Seconded by: Chris Corcoran
Councilmember Gordon spoke to his motion as a method to determine Council desire regarding implementation of the car rental tax. Councilmember Gordon noted he did not want to see an increase in the Parks Utility Fee.
Senior Assistant City Attorney McConnell addressed the motion and noticed agenda item.
Amend motion: Amend the motion to increase the car rental tax to 12.5% at the airport only.
Moved by: John Michaels Seconded by: Bob Strosser
Amendment Roll Call: Councilmembers John Michaels, Bob Strosser, Karen Blair, Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Tim Jackle and Dick Gordon voting yes.
Motion carried and so ordered.
Roll Call: Councilmembers Dick Gordon, Chris Corcoran, Tim Jackle, Karen Blair, Daniel Bunn, Bob Strosser and John Michaels voting yes.
Ordinance 2013-137 was duly adopted.
Motion: Extend the meeting till 10:20 p.m.
Moved by: Bob Strosser Seconded by: Daniel Bunn
Roll Call: Councilmembers Bob Strosser, Daniel Bunn, Karen Blair, Tim Jackle, John Michaels and Dick Gordon voting yes. Councilmember Chris Corcoran voting no.
Motion carried and so ordered.
Pursuant to the action taken on 120.1 this agenda item was withdrawn by staff.
130. Ordinances and resolutions
130.1 COUNCIL BILL 2013-145 A resolution of the City of Medford, Oregon, declaring the intent to reimburse expenditures from the proceeds of revenue bonds or other debt; and related matters.
Motion: Approve the resolution declaring the intent to reimburse expenditures from the proceeds of revenue bonds or other debt; and related matters.
Moved by: Chris Corcoran Seconded by: John Michaels
Roll Call: Councilmembers Chris Corcoran, John Michaels, Bob Strosser, Karen Blair, Dick Gordon, Daniel Bunn and Tim Jackle.
Resolution 2013-145 was duly approved.
140. Council Business
140.1 Council President Gordon addressed the Council and requested discussion regarding the process utilized for the Boards and Commission applicant interviews. He suggested a revised hybrid process whereby the Council would interview all applicants during the annual application process and the Board/Commission Chair and Council liaisons would interview for interim vacancies. Councilmembers discussed the topic and Council President Gordon stated he would work with staff to address the issue.
150. Further reports from the City Manager and staff
150.1 Mr. Swanson noted that the meeting schedule has been updated and that Medford Urban Renewal Agency Board meetings will be regularly scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday each month. He also reminded Council that there will be no study session on October 10th.
160. Propositions and remarks from the Mayor and Councilmembers
160.1 Further Council committee reports.
160.2 Further remarks from Mayor and Councilmembers.
a. Councilmember Michaels noted he would like to see the artwork from the Santo Community Center youth project hung in Council Chambers. Councilmember Blair noted she would like to see them displayed as well.
b. Mayor Wheeler noted that he had attended the Multicultural Fair and it was a good event, well organized with a good attendance.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:18 p.m.
The proceedings of the City Council meeting were recorded and are filed in the City Recorder's office. The complete agenda of this meeting is filed in the City Recorder's office.