City & Government, Springfield

Springfield moves forward with emergency warming shelter

SPRINGFIELD – The emergency warming shelters may be back for its fourth year, giving unhoused people a designated space to sleep indoors this winter.

On Oct. 16, city council unanimously authorized assistant city manager Neil Laudati to enter into a short-term lease with the Springfield Economic Development Agency (SEDA) for the SEDA-owned property at 765 A St. – also known as the Memorial Building – and to enter into a sublease with St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County (SVdP) to facilitate its use as an emergency warming shelter.

According to City ordinance 8-8.012, government buildings may serve as indoor temporary shelters.

In a letter to Laudati on Oct. 9, SVdP emergency response coordinator Tim Black requested the use of the Memorial Building from late October through no later than April 30, 2024.

Egan Warming Centers is an SVdP program “whose mission is simple: ensure that unsheltered people in Lane County have a place to sleep indoors when temperatures are forecasted to drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.”

SEDA will discuss and potentially approve this short-term lease during its meeting on Oct. 23. Should SEDA approve this, the City will then sublease the Memorial Building to SVdP for an Egan Warming Center.

Chief Mike Caven of Eugene Springfield Fire (ESF) brought an issue to council on Oct. 16: the apparatus replacement plan. After minimal discussion, the council unanimously authorized city manager Nancy Newton to sign for ordering three replacement fire apparatus, which are due for replacement in the next three fiscal years.

The three apparatus are Tower 3, Engine 5, and Engine 16.

Tower 3 is a 100’ heavy duty aerial platform which costs $1.82 million during the fiscal year of 2024. Engine 5 is a 2010 pumper that will be replaced with a 107’ medium duty ladder which is a $209,000 lease payment during the fiscal years of 2025-2035. Engine 16 is a 2010 pumper that will be replaced with the current Metro specification in line with the most recently purchased pumper in service at Station 14; it’ll cost $1.1 million upon delivery, which will take place in the fiscal year of 2027.

“The current delivery window for fire apparatus is 3.4-4 years,” the agenda item summary wrote. “All three apparatus requested are scheduled for replacement within the delivery window. The selected vendor anticipates up to 2% quarterly price increases until the delivery backlog eases if the purchase is delayed.”

It was recommended that the City pursue a combination of prepayment, pay upon delivery, and leasing to maximize discount incentives.

“With this option, the 10-year forecast remains healthy until 2033 when it shows a negative balance,” the agenda summary wrote. “This negative balance is anticipated to be mitigated by selling the ladder that is being replaced and returning those dollars to the fund balance. This is not included in the forecast due to the variables with the resale market, but indications project the fund could recoup up to $500,000.”

Monday night was also the first reading of an ordinance for Springfield City Council and the third reading for the Lane County Board of Commissioners during the joint work session.

Senior planner Chelsea Hartman gave the elected officials a presentation regarding the Comprehensive Plan Map Clarification Project. Eugene and Springfield had previously shared a comprehensive plan, but with each city establishing separate urban growth boundaries, comprehensive planning has evolved to city-specific plans.

“This project will establish a more useful map with the comprehensive plan map and accompanying land use elements. Comprehensive plans are sometimes one of the first resources people use when trying to understand and realize if their visions for their property are possible,” Hartman said. “Currently, it’s difficult for some property owners to find out their plan designation, and sometimes extensive staff research has been required to provide this answer. Adopting this map will resolve these situations, save time, and provide confidence in future decisions because people will be able to use the property research tools that are easy to access.”

Both the Lane County Board of Commissioners and Springfield City Council were present because the Gateway and Glenwood refinement plans require Lane County co-adoption, as those areas do not completely fall within Springfield city limits.

“The map will also serve as a beginning step toward determining how much of Springfield’s residential land supply is still available and buildable, which will feed into a foundation of our upcoming housing capacity analysis,” Hartman said.

Council is scheduled to hold the second reading and potential adoption of the ordinance on Nov. 20. The board unanimously passed a motion to tentatively approve and set a third reading for Jan. 9, 2024 to deliberate this matter.



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