CC Minutes - 03/15/06 Work Session
City of Eugene
CC Minutes - 03/15/06 Work Session
6/9/2010 10:27:27 AM
4/20/2006 1:58:49 PM
City Council Minutes
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Regarding whether the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) signed off on the access and egress, <br />th <br />Ms. Laurence said ODOT approved a signal at the corner of 8 Avenue and Mill Street, which was where <br />access was proposed to occur. <br /> <br />Regarding the potential for building on the Lane County-owned butterfly parking lot, Ms. Laurence said it <br />appeared the structure could be built upon, but pointed out that the block in question was not within the <br />Urban Renewal District. <br /> <br />Regarding the competitive bidding for subcontractors and whether savings would be passed on to the City, <br />Ms. Laurence said the developer indicated willingness to consider that and it could be further negotiated. <br /> <br />Regarding whether there was a need to increase debt capacity in the district, Ms. Laurence said there was <br />not. The garage project was the first significant expenditure to count against the district’s indebtedness. <br /> <br />Regarding the debt to be paid back to the district, Ms. Laurence said that staff anticipated the district’s <br />growth would produce revenues, allowing it to pay back funds to the degree there were excess future funds <br />available. If the district was unable to pay those costs, the City’s Facilities Reserve would pay the costs of <br />the garage project or the council would determine another way to pay the debt. <br /> <br />Ms. Bettman said Whole Foods was a business that was welcome to locate anywhere in Eugene. However, <br />she found the two most egregious elements of the proposal to be the exemption from the competitive bidding <br />process and what she termed a “subsidy” to Whole Foods, which she believed placed other businesses that <br />did not have the City building them a parking garage at a disadvantage. <br /> <br />With regard to the motion on the floor, Ms. Bettman found the findings to be clichéd and the reasons cited <br />for the exemption to be inadequate and unsubstantiated. She said the findings lacked a cost analysis and <br />relied on the developer’s word that the City would save money and realize a benefit. <br /> <br />Ms. Bettman said that “sweetheart deals” such as the one being considered used to be illegal, but now the <br />City could “cram them through” on the slimmest of pretexts. Even if the council supported the project, Ms. <br />Bettman did not think the council should abrogate its responsibility to the public by approving the <br />exemption. She pointed out the developers intended to do competitive bidding for subcontractors to save <br />money, and she questioned why the City would not do the same. Ms. Bettman said as long as the council <br />was willing to spend $11.5 million on the project without adequate substantiation of the public benefit, staff <br />did not have to count the costs; it merely had to count the council votes. <br /> <br />Ms. Bettman referred to the requirement that the findings be published statewide to give other construction <br />companies the option of testifying about the issue of public costs savings. She asked about the nature of the <br />publication, and how anyone could challenge the project on basis of costs when the findings did not include <br />information about cost. Mr. Klein said the notice was published in the Daily Journal of Commerce two <br />weeks before the public hearing, which was a common practice. It was also published in The Register- <br />Guard. Anyone interested in the findings could contact the City. <br /> <br />Mr. Pryor expressed appreciation to all those who offered testimony to the council on March 13 and for the <br />civility they demonstrated. He said it was what democracy was about. <br /> <br />Mr. Pryor agreed with Ms. Bettman that there were two issues that needed to be addressed, one of which <br />was the bidding exemption. He said that such an exemption was allowed in State law, and he questioned <br /> <br /> <br />MINUTES—Eugene City Council March 15, 2006 Page 2 <br /> Work Session <br /> <br />
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