MEDFORD CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION
JANUARY 29, 2015
The meeting was called to order at noon in the Medford Room, City hall, 411 W. 8th Street with the following members present.
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Michael Zarosinski, Chris Corcoran (*left as noted), Daniel Bunn, Eli Matthews, Kevin Stine and Clay Bearnson.
1. Public Infrastructure System Development Charges (SDC): Cory Crebbin, Public Works Director addressed the Council and provided an overview of how SDC's are collected and can be utilized. He noted that development is dependent on capacity and SDC’s are collected to continue to provide capacity. Utility fees are collected to maintain the existing systems. No SDC funds collected are utilized cover operations and maintenance expenses. He noted that collection is done when a building permit is issued. The system master plan establishes the levels of capacity and many assumptions are built into the determinations. He noted that the Regional Rate Committee establishes the sewage treatment SDC rate and that rate is the same for all entities that utilize the treatment system. He noted that the Council does not have to raise the Medford SDC rate for the sewage treatment but would still need to cover the difference with other funds.
Mr. Crebbin noted that SDC's are collected for four separate funds; street, storm drain, sewage treatment and sewer. He provided further clarification of each of the SDC types allowed by Medford Code. He noted that for the sewer collection system we do not have a list of top priority projects and there will be a recommendation in the upcoming budget for a sewer collection master plan to be developed.
Mr. Crebbin provided an overview of the methodology utilized in determining the SDC amounts per development. He reviewed the current SDC charges per equivalent resident unit (ERU). The street charge was updated in 2011, the storm drain and sewer charges in 2010 and the sewage treatment was in 2001. The sewage treatment charge is the one set by the Regional Rate Committee and the consultant is recommending the SDC be set at $1,423 to provide sufficient funding the complete the treatment plant improvement plan.
Councilmember Gordon questioned the loan repayment for Foothills Road and requested that a clear explanation of this be forwarded.
Mr. Crebbin noted that staff is recommending that the SDC’s be indexed annual to the ensure funding is collected to meet the improvement needs and avoid larger jumps in the fees every 4-5 years. He also questioned if the Council would like staff to review the methodology to match the methodology that the utility fees are calculated. The goal is to remain revenue neutral but to ensure that the fees are fairly distributed. He also noted that the Council should consider providing guidance to the Regional Rate Committee liaison as the Committee will be considering the rate increase in their upcoming meetings.
Council discussed the information presented and concurred that the staff should investigate the methodology change and bring back to Council for further discussion. Mr. Swanson noted that staff could also look at alternatives to assist development with the SDC costs such as spreading them out over time or splitting so part of the cost could be paid at the time the development is completed. This would assist with economic development efforts in the community.
2. Redflex Speed Radar Update: Police Chief Tim George addressed the Council and provided an update on the program. He noted that the current contract will be expiring and the Council will be asked to consider a new contract at their next meeting.
Deputy Chief Randy Sparacino addressed the Council and provided an overview of the changes in the contract and the results of the previous contract. He noted that the City has been utilizing photo radar and speed radar for several years and now have the statistics to show the systems do reduce the number of accidents and change driving behavior.
Jack Weaver, Redflex was in attendance to answer questions.
The meeting adjourned at 1:28 p.m.