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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes - Noon

Thursday, March 31, 2016

12:00 p.m.
Medford Room
411 West Eighth Street
Medford, Oregon
  1. Federal Lobbyist – Joel Rubin


The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Carnegie Building 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
City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke; City Attorney Lori Cooper; Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard
Federal Lobbyist – Joel Rubin
Vice President, Federal Affairs at CFM Strategic Communications, Joel Rubin, provided an overview of the meeting’s topics.
2016 Federal Agenda
CFM was hired in October of 2015 and met with staff and Council to create the federal agenda. 
  • Mr. Rubin outlined the various grant programs the City already receives or is currently seeking
    • Requested more than $402,000 from FEMA for the firefighter grant program
    • Two separate grants to improve Bear Creek in the total amount of $110,000
    • Backing the Brownfields area, proposed by RVCOG
    • A grant in the amount of $1,250,000 for the expansion of Rogue Community College to help create a highly-trained workforce to fill local vacancies
    • The state allotted $3 million for the I-5 viaduct planning process and CFM will look at federal funding for that project as well
    • More topics are expected to be added, including transportation
  • Mr. Rubin noted the Policy Initiatives
    • Medford casino application was submitted
    • Increase in HIDTA funding
    • Police equipment funding
    • Volunteer firefighters tax rebate
    • EPA regulatory concerns
  • Our unemployment/poverty statistics are used by the federal government for most grants enabling us to qualify, although not all agencies review area income levels.
Washington DC Meetings and Follow-up
Mr. Rubin outlined the various agencies and the topics discussed when Councilmembers traveled to Washington DC in November, 2015.
  • Department of Transportation
    • I-5 viaduct
    • Freight FASTLANE
    • Freight Formula Funding
    • TIGER Grant; may apply next year for the I-5 overpass idea
    • Medford is designated as a rural area, enable us to apply for additional grant funds
    • The federal government has earmarked funding for the I-5 and I-95 freeways, because those freeways are used by trucks to move large amount of freight
  • Most of the programs do provide matching funds
  • The match can be land donations versus City-purchased land
  • It should help that Medford has put together a TIGER grant in the past
  • FEMA
    • Firefighter grant; CFM reviewed the grant submitted last year, improved the application and looked for ways to address every question in the grant criteria.Medford made it through the automated process.
    • FEMA staff recommended applying for vehicles and equipment every year.To qualify for funding, the vehicles need to be 10 years old.In addition, the City should always apply for our highest-need vehicles, even if the funding was already budgeted.
  • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Brownfield Assessment grants
    • Area Wide Assessment grant
    • The WIFIA program, which helps with large water infrastructure projects 
  • Department of Justice
    • COPS program, which hires police officers and pays $125,000 over three years
  • Commerce – Economic Development Administration
    • Employment Center feasibility study
      • Feasibility analysis for employment center or access project like an I-5 overpass
      • Typically, the largest grant is $3 million
      • Possible funding for seismic retrofitting, which can be an obstacle for businesses
      • Solar panels met the requirement
      • Rogue Community College is applying for funding to create their White City facility; supporting that growth is a high priority with the City.
  • Also met with Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley and Representative Walden 
Mr. Rubin noted various “hot button” topics continuing through 2016.
Councilmember Bearnson noted that President Obama was asking for funding for communities with heroin issues; Mr. Rubin responded that $400 million was designated, with most of the funding going to the state. He would determine whether our area could qualify for any funds.
Mayor Wheeler thanked the Councilmembers for attending the trip and Mr. Rubin for his work with them. 
The meeting adjourned at 12:59 p.m.
Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder


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