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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020                                     

6:00 P.M.                                                                               
Medford City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The City Council Study Session was called to order at 6:00 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 Kay Brooks, Tim DíAlessandro, Alex Poythress, Eric Stark, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski (arrived at 6:55 p.m.); City Manager Brian Sjothun, Deputy City Attorney Eric Mitton, Public Works Director Cory Crebbin, Transportation Manager Karl MacNair, Planning Director Matt Brinkley, Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard; Transportation Commissioner Al Densmore; Mike Montero
Councilmembers Clay Bearnson and Dick Gordon were absent.
Transportation Commission Funding Recommendation
City Manager Brian Sjothun spoke about the funding required to construct the mega corridor and provided examples of how other cities promoted their projects to gain community support. (See attached PowerPoint #1.)
Transportation Manager Karl MacNair explained that the mega corridor will cost approximately $106 million, with $72 million unfunded.  (See PowerPoint #2.) The corridor includes the sections of Foothill and North Phoenix Roads within the city limits and also the extension of South Stage Road across Bear Creek and I-5 into North Phoenix Road.  The Council assigned $18.5 million toward the project as part of the Transportation System Plan and the City has been awarded at $15.5 million BUILD Grant from the federal government. 
Transportation Commissioner Al Densmore provided three recommendations from the Transportation Commission: grants and regional partnerships, increasing SDC and/or utility fees and implementing a gas tax.  Mr. MacNair provided funding analyses based on percentage increases. 
Mr. Densmore explained that a gas tax would require a partnership with the community, but would providing funding from non-Medford residents.  He also recommended requesting state and federal funding.
Mr. Sjothun and Councilmember DíAlessandro suggested the creation of a workgroup with multiple agencies. 
Council voiced concerns with the potential impact to housing with increased SDC fees.
Mike Montero noted he represented the property owners in the employment campus and advised that leveraging the BUILD Grant funds for future funds is critical.  He stated that the state and federal governments invested more than $140 million between freeway Exits 24 and 27.  Development of the mega corridor extends the life of that freeway expense. 
Council discussed implementing a gas tax and/or meals tax, increasing the car rental tax and including U-Hauls as payors.
Mr. Sjothun clarified that Council would like to create a subcommittee and for staff to find funding options using gas tax, SDC and utility fees for polling.  There were no objections.
BUILD Grant Matching Funds
Public Works Director Cory Crebbin explained how the City would provide the required matching funds to receive the federal BUILD Grant.  Funding previously set aside for other projects and received $3 million from the County.  Another $900,000 was still needed, but Mr. Crebbin was confident that money would be available over the next five years. 
The BUILD Grant funding would be used to build 1000 feet of South Stage and Foothill Road from McAndrews to Delta Waters.
Zone Change Project
Planning Director Matt Brinkley spoke about the City-Initiated Zone Change Program.  When property was annexed into the City, the property GLUP was changed, but not the zoning.  This causes a conflict because development cannot occur on property with mismatched GLUP and zoning.  (See attached PowerPoint #3.)
Because of the large number of properties, staff would like to begin with properties that were less than one acre. 
Stine clarified that these changes were City initiated.  Staff had determined that the cost of rezoning was minimal and the benefits
Annual Parks Zoning
Mr. Brinkley listed the properties that need to have zoning revised to parks zoning. 
Rogue Disposal Rate Methodology
Rogue Disposal Manager Gary Penning explained that Rogue Disposalís five-year review recommended a 12% cost increase; 6% due to the increased cost of recycling. Rogue Disposal used Northwest Economic Research Center to further analyze. (See attached PowerPoint #4). 
Mr. Penning outlined the fees in surrounding areas.  The fee increase will be brought to Council for approval.
Council Officers Update
Councilmember Stine provided a brief update from the Council Officers meeting.  Sewage treatment nutrient removal will be discussed during a February meeting, potential direction for the Multicultural Commission to obtain diverse applicants for Boards and Commissions; a dinner will be held in Salem on February 12 to discuss Legislative matters.
The meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.
Winnie Shepard, CMC
Deputy City Recorder

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