City Council & County Commission
M I N U T E S
Friday, June 16, 2000 - 10:00 a.m.
County-City Building - Room 113
County Commissioners Present: Bob Workman, Common Chair; Kathy Campbell,
Bernie Heier, Larry Hudkins and Linda Steinman
City Council Members Present: Jonathan Cook, Annette McRoy, Coleen Seng,
Others Present: Mayor Don Wesely, Jennifer Brinkman, Ann Harrell, Mayor's
Office; Steve Hubka, Mark Leikam, City Budget Office; Kerry Eagan, County
Chief Administrative Officer; Dave Kroeker, County Budget Director; David
Johnson, Deputy County Attorney; Kit Boesch, City-County Human Services
Administrator; Allan Abbott, Jim Visger, Public Works & Utilities; Dennis
Scheer, Kurt Kraisinger, Clerk Enersen Partners; Lynn Johnson, Parks &
Recreation; Nicole Fleck-Tooze, Kent Morgan, Kathleen Sellman, Mike DeKalb,
City-County Planning Department; Rick Peo, Deputy City Attorney; Scott
Austin, Wells Engineering, Inc.; Darrell Podany, Jon Camp's Office; and
Cori Beattie, County Board Secretary
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Steinman moved approval of the Common minutes of May 19, 2000; seconded by
Hudkins. Roll call vote. Ayes: Campbell, Camp, Heier, Hudkins, McRoy,
Seng, Steinman and Workman. Nays: None. Motion passed 8-0. (Cook
JBC BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS/APPEALS & HUMAN SERVICES BUDGET
Boesch distributed the following handouts (copies of each are on file):
1. Recommendation for juvenile accountability money (Exhibit A);
2. Joint Budget Committee (JBC) recommendations for 2000-01 (Exhibit B);
3. Human Services (HS) & Justice Council 2000-01 budget (Exhibit C); and
4. Adjustments to HS budget for grants manager position (Exhibit D).
Juvenile Accountability Grant
Boesch noted that juvenile accountability money is collectively received
by the City and County based on the number of juveniles per capita in the
detention facilities. This year's grant amount is $299,416. Recommended
expenditures are outlined in the handout (see Exhibit A) and basically,
support programs which provide alternatives to placing kids in the
detention facility. The funding request summary shows program costs
equaling $396,025 and grant money equaling $299,416. The County will pick
up the shortage of $96,609 which goes toward the Evening Reporting Center.
Boesch noted that the County contributed $56,000 last year which will be
carried over so the County will actually be looking at expending a little
over $40,000 this year.
Hudkins inquired about the decrease in mediation services. Boesch said
both parties must be willing to mediate - some just want it to be over and
aren't willing to mediate. Hudkins asked if demand increases, can funding
be increased for the mediation center? Boesch said that would be up to the
City and County. McRoy asked about the juvenile drug court. Boesch said
many jurisdictions are using juvenile accountability money for juvenile
drug courts. Lincoln/Lancaster County could apply for federal money in the
future if a year was spent planning. She commented that in using the
$100,000 to get the program started, the federal grant becomes much
Boesch requested the Common to forward her recommendation so she may begin
writing the grant. Hudkins moved that Boesch's request to pursue the
Juvenile Accountability Grant be forwarded to the City Council and County
Board for formal approval; seconded by Steinman. Roll call vote. Ayes:
Camp, Cook, Heier, Hudkins, McRoy, Seng, Steinman, Workman, Campbell.
Nays: None. Motion passed 9-0.
Boesch stated that the JBC process changed a little this year as program
(not agency) requests were received. A total of 48 requests were reviewed
for a total of $2.3 million. This amount was nearly $600,000 more than
last year's requests or a 34% increase. The JBC set a 4% increase
Boesch noted that the JBC considered the Comprehensive Needs Assessment in
making its decision. The group decided not to fund the areas of health and
transportation because the City and County already allocate significant
dollars to these areas. High priority areas were defined as family
violence, basic needs and housing. The JBC also decided to make a
commitment to agencies that provide major services for which the community
would be hard-pressed to be without. These agencies will receive 90% of
last year's contract. The last issue the JBC presented to agencies
requesting funding was the question, "How does your program augment City-
County human services?"
JBC recommendations are outlined in the handout (Exhibit B) and account for
$1,739,697 for fiscal year 2000-01. The City's contribution is $403,900;
the County's is $1,338,297 (this includes a $77,395 match requirement with
the region). The total increase in under 4% for both the City and County.
Boesch added that seven agencies did not receive funding because some
included a duplication of services and others were decided to be the
responsibility of the State or another entity. No appeals on denial of
funding were received.
In reference to the Willard Community Center's adult recreation program,
Boesch said this has always been a challenge to fund since it's not human
services oriented. This year it was recommended that City Parks &
Recreation receive $7,500 from the JBC budget for the program. Funding for
this program will then transfer entirely to the Parks & Recreation budget
Camp questioned the anticipated property tax valuation revenue level.
Hubka said the figure should be around 4.5% (property taxes only). In
reference to sales tax, Hubka said revenues will likely be in the 7-8%
range. He added many other revenues won't increase at all, thus, causing
the overall rate of growth and revenues to be less than that
range. Kroeker added that the Assessor is estimating 3.8% County-wide on
Workman questioned the monetary split, whereas the County's proposed share
is $1.3 million and the City's is $400,000. Campbell briefly explained the
JBC's history and the consolidated efforts process. JBC contracts used to
be split evenly by the City and County. To simplify things, the legal
staffs recommended only one entity per contract. When the Common was first
formed, Bob Clark, Human Services Administrator at that time, worked on a
system to divide human services between the City and County. (The County
has a stronger emphasis on human services as mandated by State Statute.)
JBC funds were from revenue sharing. The City and County decided that
instead of placing these dollars into the individual budgets, they placed
the money into human services. Clark came up with the 90/10 split on Aging
(City = 90%; County 10:) and approximately a 2/3 to 1/3 split on Health
(City = 2/3; County = 1/3). Since the City took the larger share of
Health, the County got the 2/3 split of the JBC. Campbell added that these
formulas were reviewed during the Bill Harris administration and a
subcommittee decided that since the divisions seemed to be working, they
didn't need to be changed. As revenue sharing discontinued, the City and
County infused property tax dollars to maintain the public and private
Campbell reminded those in attendance that the City of Lincoln and
Lancaster County, Nebraska, lead the nation in cooperation with over 20
interlocal agreements and she believes everyone is still working hard to
continue this tradition of cooperation and commitment.
Boesch requested the Common forward the JBC recommendations for formal
approval. Moved by Steinman to forward JBC recommendation to the City
Council and County Board for formal approval; seconded by Seng. Roll call
vote. Ayes: Hudkins, McRoy, Seng, Steinman, Workman, Campbell, Camp, Cook,
Heier. Nays: None. Motion passed 9-0.
Human Services & Justice Council Budget
Boesch noted that the HS proposed budget for 2000-01 is $147,300, up from
$120,171 in 1999-00 (see Exhibit C). This budget is split evenly by the
City and County. The major difference in this year's budget is the
addition of a grants manager position. The grants manager position would
financially manage grants coming into the HS office and help with Justice
Boesch referred to Exhibit D, page two, which outlines a ten-year history
of the HS department. She noted the addition in agencies/programs funded
by the JBC and the addition of various funding oversight projects and
grants (see Exhibit D, page 4) as contributing to her office's increased
workload. Since 1998, the HS budget has included $6,000 for an off-site,
contracted, part-time grants manager. The grant business is how the City
and County are funding alternatives and major HS projects. Therefore, it
is important that this money continue to flow in.
Exhibit D, page 3 lists concerns Boesch has about her department's
increased workload. She stated she is not a finance person trained in
fiscal grants management, but rather a visionary, developer and
implementor. Her job responsibilities have changed whereas she is doing
more fiscal management and less HS related work. She also stated she is
unable to attend many meetings due to conflicting schedules. In previously
speaking with the County Board, Boesch asked for one of two things - (1)
redefine and narrow the functions of the HS office to meet realistic staff
time and abilities currently available; or (2) add staff to do fiscal
management of grants funded via Lancaster County and provide assistance
with other areas requiring a physical presence of HS/Justice Council.
Kroeker noted that the County Board suggested getting more help in the HS
office. The classification of an Administrative Aide II position was used
in calculating the potential annual salary and benefits of the new grants
manager ($28,900 to $37,000). This range is strictly for budget purposes
as a complete job description has not been written. The County Board
included 75% of the salary in the HS budget and 25% in the Board's budget,
allowing the opportunity for the grants manager to work on other County
grants. The position will probably not be filled until October. Workman
stated he is supportive of the increase in staff as Boesch has a lot on her
plate and her services could be better used in other areas.
Boesch briefly discussed the Pilot Project listed on the bottom of page 2,
Exhibit C. Project C.H.I.R.P. is a telephone access line offering help
in five different languages. Currently, there are 42 user agencies with
175 calls being received in the last month. She said AT&T charges between
$15-$60 per minute to access. Agencies (hospitals, doctors, etc.) using
C.H.I.R.P. are charged $7.50 for 15 minutes. She added that the Safe Home
Project is also a very successful effort stemming from the Homeless Teens
Task Force. This program is training people to volunteer their homes to
kids on the street. There are now 12 volunteer homes in the program. The
last project is the City's Low Income Transportation project. Funding for
this will remain at $55,000.
Campbell moved to forward the HS and Justice Council proposed budget for
fiscal year 2000-01 to the City Council and County Board for formal
approval; seconded by Seng. Roll call vote. Ayes: Steinman, Workman,
Campbell, Camp, Cook, Heier, Hudkins, McRoy, Seng. Nays: None. Motion
SCHEDULE FOR JULY 6, 2000 COMMON BUDGET MEETINGS
It was decided to leave the meeting as scheduled - Thursday, July 6,
2000 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the County-City Building, Room 113.
Workman noted that he will be out of town that day, therefore, Jon Camp
will chair the meeting.
PUBLIC WAY CORRIDORS
The following materials were distributed (copies on file):
1. Lincoln Fringe Area Primary Public Way Corridors Overview (Exh. E)
2. Public Way Corridor Website Information (Exhibit F)
3. Public Way Corridor Cross-Section Study (Exhibit G)
Fleck-Tooze noted that the public way corridor project is a joint effort
between Public Works and Utilities, Parks & Recreation and the Planning
Department. Clark Enersen Partners was hired as the consultant and is also
working with Wells Engineering.
Fleck-Tooze said the purpose of the project is to develop concepts for
primary public way corridors in Lincoln's fringe growth areas. Eventually,
it is anticipated to extend into the three-mile area. In 1998, 7500 acres
were added in some north and south parts of the City. No changes were made
to the Comprehensive Plan to reflect street improvements needed to support
the planned urbanization of these areas. She added that the public way
corridor effort is broad reaching, i.e., it is looking at things such as
street lanes and widening, utilities, urban design, pedestrian/bicycle
corridors, maintenance, etc. In 1999, a proposed amendment to the
Comprehensive Plan was forwarded asking for changes to the transportation
chapter to include specific planning guidelines. This effort is related
to the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), although, what is being
proposed now is to bring forward the Comprehensive Plan amendment in
advance of the LRTP. Hopefully, something will be before the Planning
Commission in late July or early August. This may include cross-sectional
design alternatives for roadways. Techs may also be added to the
Comprehensive Plan to recognize different issues and goals for the
corridors. A number of meetings have been held with various groups to
discuss the project. A public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 20,
2000 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Irving Recreation Center.
Heier asked if 84th Street is going to be widened from Van Dorn to
Pine Lake. It was noted that widening will be done this year from South
Street to « mile south of Van Dorn. The remainder has been approved and
will be done in the future.
(Mayor Wesely arrived at 11:00 a.m.)
Scheer presented pictures of existing conditions of some of Lincoln's
corridors. Input is being sought from the community as to
desirable/undesirable conditions. These pictures are being used as a
comparative analysis, not as good or bad examples. He pointed out pictures
of Old Cheney (west of 34th Street) which indicated four lanes of
traffic and a center median which used to be planted but is now paved.
Both trail and sidewalk are located on either side adjacent to the street.
The corridor clearly edges with the fence. The street trees are behind the
fence on the right side of the roadway. Some refer to this as a grey
corridor due to color and perception. In comparison, Scheer pointed out
South 40th Street at Stonecliffe. The area is very similar in that
there are four lanes of traffic with a median, although, this median is
planted in a very ornamental (high maintenance) character.
In regard to trails, Scheer noted the corridor study is reviewing how far
away trails should be from the edge of traffic for comfort pedestrians.
He indicated the picture of S. 40th Street & Briarhurst shows two
lanes of traffic with a fair distance planted away from the street where
a sidewalk (not a trail) offers a different perception and comfort level
Scheer referred to the cross section handout (Exhibit G) showing lanes of
traffic, medians, lighting, landscape, etc. He stated that we need to
decide what size right-of-way is appropriate and what is needed to make
corridors function properly while still having urban character. A board
was passed around which showed a number of different widths of corridors.
One include a 100' r-o-w with two lanes of traffic and an auxiliary lane
with trails on each side. The second section showed an 80' r-o-w with an
offset to give more green space on one side. The third had 120' basic
section and the fourth had a width of 140' which included wider medians or
more lanes of traffic or wider clear zones.
Another huge design issue is major corridors having multiple lanes of
traffic meeting each other (examples - 27th & Superior;
27th & Highway 2). There may be a chance this happens in the new
areas. This really affects trails design and how pedestrians move through
the area, as well as the traffic movement, length of lights, etc.
Scheer said they've been asking groups a number of critical questions, such
1. What width of corridor is desirable and tolerable in our City?
2. What level of development of amenities including landscape, trails,
green space, etc., should occur in the public corridor?
3. Should r-o-w's be developed from the inside/out or outside/in?
4. Should priorities be made for a different level of development of
amenities or different level or maintenance or certain portions of the
5. Are there areas which should be given a higher priority since they may
serve as entry points to the City?
6. What are appropriate levels of landscape, i.e., natural vs. ornamental?
7. Who should share in corridor maintenance?
8. Is it more appropriate to do planting on outside or inside of medians?
In developing corridors, Visger said it is very important to look ahead 30-
50 years as the City's growth is sure to continue at a good pace. The
County and City both have a lot of offer and it's time to start protecting
future corridors. He added that corridors can be different widths.
Camp questioned whether a six-lane pedestrian intersection is practical.
Scheer said in looking ahead, 27th & Yankee Hill Road may be such
an intersection. Camp asked if it may be better to move the pedestrian
crossing/bicycle underpass « to 1 block north of the intersection to keep
away from traffic. Visger said there are opportunities to do so, though,
the base cost would change.
Camp said he's heard comments from the development community that larger
corridors will take more land away and make things more expensive. He
asked if bulges would be advantageous at major arterials where the
intersection could be 140' but then reduced to 120' as to not penalize the
adjacent landowner. Visger said this is a possibility but if it's done,
consideration must be given to where left turn accesses will be allowed.
Fleck-Tooze pointed out that there are many r-o-w alternatives available.
While Seng thanked staff for thinking creatively, she wished these ideas
could be incorporated into current projects - particularly on the edges of
the City. She also likes the idea of allowing for various alternatives as
different parts of the community may require different things. She
encouraged staff to use natural landscaping, i.e., low maintenance
materials. Fleck-Tooze said there's been discussion on different
treatments for different corridors. It will be important to establish
priorities early in the process. Seng added that a process may want to be
designed which allows adjoining property owners to hook in to the easement,
i.e., volunteering to do maintenance or contributing dollars.
Cook said he has always been very passionate regarding this issue. He
feels a major opportunity was missed with the south and southeast Lincoln
fringe roads in doing a nicer job. He would like to see a minimum planting
area of 10', though, 12' or more would be preferable. This is the space
which is really important, especially between the pedestrian facility and
the roadway. Scheer noted that things look to be in the 12' range now.
Cook added that he would like to see trees added along the sides of streets
- not behind the sidewalk. This would offer a buffer to pedestrians. From
a maintenance point of view, it should be easier because as the trees get
larger, they don't require a great deal of maintenance. In regard to
mowing by homeowners, Cook said perhaps some type of agreement could be
worked out with homeowners associations or another group, rather than
having the individual homeowner be responsible.
Hudkins said he is pleased to see the initiative shown regarding this
issue, especially in the northwest area. He encouraged Planning
to decide on the standards early in the process so home and business owners
know this information up front. Also, Hudkins agreed that practical,
natural plantings would be the best option. In regard to S. 14th
Street, he asked that a good, hard look be given to widening this street
to Saltillo or Rokeby Road because the area is sure to explode in the
Scheer noted that many today have mentioned the right-of-way width and how
it impacts developers. He noted that a half-mile section at 40th
& Pine Lake is being used in an exercise where the right-of-way is widen
to 140'. The right-of-way space will be taken from existing lots in the
half-mile development hoping to determine block by block how much space is
being removed. It may amount to a total of 25' to 30'.
Heier applauded the efforts discussed today but added that there should be
an emphasis on moving traffic within the corridors. He also has a large
concern regarding medians and the lack of good they do. Cook added that
a concentration should be placed on the edge and then deal with medians and
maintenance issues. In regard to developers losing land, in the long term
this approach will be beneficial to the business community by reducing
traffic congestion and promoting easier access to area businesses. Camp
asked that a whole new thought process be given to business districts
whereas we encourage green spaces and large monument signs. This may help
accommodate the entryway design. Campbell said the rural neighborhood
associations need help understanding what will be happening to their areas
in the next 25-50 years as many do not perceive themselves the way the City
does. She offered to provide Visger with contact information. She also
referenced the lack of green space at the assisted living development on
40th Street and Pine Lake.
JUDICIAL PRACTICE OF SITTING OUT FINES IN JAIL
Camp said he asked this item to be readdressed at the request of the
Lincoln School Board. He felt that discussion could be postponed pending
a meeting with County Commissioners and judges. A joint meeting of the
City Council and Lincoln School Board will be held in September at which
time a better definition of the issue may be known. A question was raised
regarding where authority lies.
Mayor Wesely distributed copies of a draft letter to the County Board (copy
on file) regarding the practice of sitting out fines and the escalating
costs associated with this practice (see Exhibit H).
There being no further business, the meeting ended at 11:30 a.m.
Cori R. Beattie
County Board Secretary