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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, February 23, 2017

12 Noon
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

1.     Federal Lobbyist Joel Rubin

12 Noon
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th 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, Kay Brooks, Tim D’Alessandro, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Kevin Stine*, Kim Wallan, Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Brian Sjothun; City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Karen Spoonts
Joel Rubin and Kirby Garrett of CFM Strategic Communications
*Arrived as noted.
Federal Lobbyist Joel Rubin
Joel Rubin, the Vice President, Federal Affairs at CFM Strategic Communications (CFM), thanked City Manager Brian Sjothun and his team for their input. He introduced Kirby Garrett Manager, Federal Affairs at CFM, who previously worked for Greg Walden as a legislative assistant. He joined CFM four weeks ago.
This will be the last chance to add anything to the agenda before the Washington DC trip.
*Councilmember Kevin Stine arrived.
Mr. Rubin and Mr. Garrett spoke regarding the following topics:
  • Various changes pending in federal government
    • Obamacare, border wall, infrastructure package
    • Walden working to ensure that Oregon is included in the distribution of any Department of Transportation funding
    • President Trump is expected to release a “skinny” budget by March 15 which may include potential reductions in education, climate change, EPA, NSF, etc.
    • Congress
  • 30 million budget “cap” aka sequestration
  • Country will hit debt limit in March
  • < >Congress need to support or oppose various earmarks by July 4
  • If passes, would probably go into effect FY 19
  • Rubin outlined the grant projects for the 2017 Federal Agenda
  • Air/light utility vehicle
  • Prescott Park
  • Brownfield Assessment
  • Downtown Reinvestment
  • Bear Creek Restoration
  • Rogue CC Expansion
  • I-5 Viaduct and Corridor Improvements
    • Prescott Park is one of two parks selected in Oregon for a Parks Service grant
      • Staff to meet with Parks when they are in Washington DC
    • Downtown reinvestment:
      • Seismic retrofitting issues
      • 5% vacancy rate, downtown 19%
      • SOREDI is open to a revolving loan fund or pilot project grant fund
      • $500,000 grant available to capitalize a revolving loan fund or grants; could be added to existing SOREDI grant
      • Seattle Regional Office decides which applicants receive EDA grants
        • SOREDI has a revolving loan fund through EDA
        • SOREDI helps with the planning process and seen as an arm of EDA
    • I-5 viaduct and corridor improvements
      • Good TIGER grant project
      • Needs 20% local matching funds for TIGER grants
      • Typically real property is accepted as part of the 20% local match, but rules change every year
    Policy Initiatives
    • Investment Package
    • Medford Casino
      • Proposing 2.5 acres in trust for casino; President’s Trump administration may revise
    • Increase HIDTA Funding
    • Protect FY 2018 Funding
    • Restore COPS Technology Funding
    • EPA Regulatory Concerns and Unfunded Mandates
    • Social services cuts for local governments are expected
    • Funding needed to support employees for a transportation program for Veterans; Mr. Rubin will verify if grants are available
    • Programs for low-income housing are difficult to receive, but there is a movement to support low income housing tax credits
    The meeting adjourned at 12:54 p.m.
    Karen M. Spoonts, MMC
    City Recorder

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