October 29, 2015
Medford Room 330
411 West Eighth Street, Medford, Oregon
1. Senate Bill 931
October 29, 2015
Medford City Hall, Medford Room
411 West Eighth Street, Medford, Oregon
The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of the Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran*, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski
* Left as noted.
City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke; City Attorney Lori Cooper; Public Works Director Cory Crebbin, Executive Office Administrator Lynette O’Neal and Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard
Special Guests: Senator Alan Bates, Pino Dutto, Doug Snider
Pino Dutto, Alba Visitor
Councilmember Eli Matthews and Doug Snider spoke regarding Alba visitor Pino Dutto. Mr. Dutto noted his experiences throughout the years. Mayor Wheeler issued a proclamation celebrating Mr. Dutto’s participation with the Medford Alba Sister Cities program.
Senate Bill 931
Mayor Wheeler noted the meeting was to discuss Senate Bill 931 and its impact on the City. The bill repeals a sunset on provisions that prohibit the annexation of specified land without written consent of the owner of the land. Mayor Wheeler introduced Senator Alan Bates, who joined the Council’s discussion.
Councilmember Bunn stated that councillors met with Harry & David, Boise Cascade and Timber Products regarding their annexation. The City would like to ensure compensation for services provided. Property owners within City limits pay property tax, sewer, water, storm water and utilities. Without annexation, the City will not receive the income from property taxes or utility fees. Our police, fire and transportation expenses are paid from property taxes and utility fees. If the Legislature passes this bill, businesses will be utilizing services, but not paying the expense. The City would like to reach a middle ground to ensure our expenses are covered.
Senator Bates recommended tabling the bill until February, because the City and businesses had not reached an agreement. Councilmember Gordon suggested researching the issue in the interim.
Convention Center Feasibility Study
Senator Bates noted that Senator Buckley and he had secured $100,000 in funding for the proposed convention center feasibility study. The Senators support the project and believed it could create more jobs in our area. Senator Bates recommended the appointment of a steering committee which should include other agencies in town, including the Chamber, representatives from restaurants, hotels and large companies such as Lithia. He stated that the members of this steering committee may help support the future project and emphasized the importance of the members selected.
Councilmember Bunn requested traffic counts from Public Works Director Cory Crebbin and recommendations for steering committee members from Councilmembers.
Mayor Wheeler suggested the Ad Hoc Committee have 5-8 members and include representatives from the business community. He recommended the company hired determine the location and not the Ad Hoc Committee. Councilmember Stine suggested working with the Chamber on the project and noted the Council should finalize the project by November of 2016 to request funding. Councilmember Jackle recommended working with neighboring cities and the county on the project. Councilmember Corcoran voiced concerns that outside communities would each prefer the center in their area. Councilmember Gordon stated that we need skilled people on the committee, including a good finance person and a representative from the county. He also noted that Commissioner Breidenthal had been involved previously.
Councilmembers discussed the steering committee and whether to appoint members before or after issuing the Request for Proposals (RFP).
In response to concerns about the timeline, City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke noted that most RFPs ran for approximately 60 to 90 days, but he was gathering information from other cities which could speed up our process.
Councilmember Bunn noted that the steering committee would report to Council, but would not contain Councilmembers.
Councilmember Bunn asked whether anyone objected to Mr. Hoke moving forward with drafting the contract. No one objected.
Councilmember Gordon requested information on the fire studies. He stated determining why the contracts were unsuccessful, may assist the Council with this RFP process.
Mayor Wheeler asked Councilmembers to provide recommendations for committee members to Executive Office Manager Lynette O’Neal.
Councilmember Gordon recommended the inclusion of a finance person, the involvement of the county and the City of Central Point. Councilmember Corcoran recommended postponement of the details until after we determined a committee.
Mayor Wheeler summarized the discussion stating that details will work out during the process, including the convention center’s location. At this point, we need to attract the right organization to help with this project. Mayor Wheeler also stated that he was proud the City was asked to manage the funding and devise a workable solution.
Councilmember Corcoran noted that he needed to leave, but he supported signing the Cow Creek letter.
* Councilmember Corcoran left the meeting at 1:07 p.m.
Councilmember Bunn clarified that Cow Creek intends to send a letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in support of a two-step process. They believe the person making the decision between one or two steps would be leaving the BIA sometime in the next six months. Councilmember Bunn explained the City would not be taking a position on gambling, only supporting a two-step process. Councilmember Gordon noted that we should determine whether Governor Kate Brown supported the two-step process before sending the letter.
The meeting adjourned at 1:10 p.m.
Deputy City Recorder