City-County Coordinated Downtown Development
We last updated you in July, after receiving the bids for City Hall. That was also just following a joint meeting between the Eugene City Council and the Lane County Board of Commissioners to discuss downtown priority projects including Eugene City Hall, the Lane County Courthouse and the Lane County Farmer’s Market. As a result of that meeting, both elected bodies decided to form a joint task force to explore opportunities to collaborate on a vision for these prominent and well-visited public facilities and spaces in Eugene.
The task force is now underway and is looking at possibilities for coordinating these efforts to provide access to essential government and public safety services in ways that make efficient use of public resources and provide high-quality service to the community.
The task force is working with an independent, highly knowledgeable and skilled facilitator – Cameron McCarthy Landscape Architecture & Planning – in order to provide an objective analysis to City Council and the Board of Commissioners.
With the help of the consultant, the task force is exploring several options including:
- Phase 1 of a new City Hall as currently planned and a wrap-around Courthouse on the City Hall lot;
- a new Phase 1 City Hall on the Butterfly Lot and a Courthouse on the full City Hall block;
- Courthouse on Butterfly Lot as previously planned; and
- other options that may arise.
Public Involvement Opportunities
There are several opportunities for interested community members to weigh in on the options being considered. Two public open houses are planned:
- Tues., October 18 4:30-6:30 p.m. Atrium Bldg., 99 W. 10th Ave., Sloat Room
- Wed., November 2 5-7 p.m. Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave.
- Also, the Joint City-County Elected Officials group will take public testimony at each of its two remaining meetings:
- Wed., October 19 noon-1:30 p.m. Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave.
- Mon., November 14 5:30-7 p.m. Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave.
The task force will provide information to the City Council and Board of County Commissioners regarding potential collaborative concepts. This collaboration among the City, County and Courts is an important opportunity to evaluate how each partner can support continued vitality, growth and investment downtown. This will have lasting benefit both in regard to current projects and other efforts in the future.
Continued Work on City Hall
Meanwhile, the City continues to work on City Hall, finding ways to simplify and streamline the design, and reduce costs, so that we can be ready if Council decides in November to proceed with rebidding the project on the City Hall site. The City Council will hold a work session on October 12 at noon to provide further direction to staff regarding what potential changes the council is interested in having the project team explore further.
The City Council is committed to an open, flexible and collaborative process with Lane County to explore if there are possibilities that could serve the greater good of the community. At the same time, the majority of councilors continue to express their desire to proceed in developing a home for City government that also provides an enhanced civic heart for the community.
We will continue to keep you posted as the process proceeds.