HOUSE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

 

 

February 28, 2003   Hearing Room 357

9:00 AM Tapes  33 - 36

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Alan Brown, Chair

Rep. Elizabeth Beyer, Vice-Chair

Rep. John Mabrey Vice-Chair

Rep. Jackie Dingfelder

Rep. George Gilman

Rep. Mitch Greenlick

Rep. Cliff Zauner

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Janet Adkins, Administrator

Ryan Sherlock, Assistant

 

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            LC 1812, 1813, 2481, 2826, 2930 – WORK SESSION

                        I -5 TRANSPORTATION AND TRADE PARTNERSHIP  – INFORMATIOAL MEETING

                                                HB 2455 – PUBLIC HEARING

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

Tape 33, A

003

Chair Brown

Calls the meeting to order at 9:12 a.m., and opens a work session introducing possible committee measures: LC 1812 (EXHIBIT A), LC 1813 (EXHIBIT B), LC 2481 (EXHIBIT C), LC 2826 (EXHIBIT D) , and LC 2930 (EXHIBIT E).

LC DRAFTS - WORK SESSION

005

Rep. Beyer

MOTION:  Moves LC's:  1812, 1813, 2481, 2826, 2930 BE INTRODUCED as committee bills.

010

 

VOTE:  7-0

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

015

Chair Brown

Closes the LC Draft work session and opens an informational meeting regarding the I-5 Partnership Task Force.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

020

Henry Hewitt

Co-Chair of the I-5 Partnership Task Force. Offers written informational testimony (EXHIBIT F) outlining the I-5 Corridor Strategic Plan:

  • Introduction
  • Project Overview/Purpose
  • Status of Project
  • Why Plan for this Corridor?
  • Population Growth
  • Growth in Trade
  • Overview of the Process
  • Involvement of the Community
  • I-5 Partnership Public Outreach Activities
  • Vision & Values
  • Evaluation Factors
  • Option Packages Evaluated
  • Recommendations
  • Next Steps
  • Task Force Members

250

Chair Brown

Thanks Mr. Hewitt for his leadership and efforts in regards to the I-5 Partnership Task Force.

265

Rep. Greenlick

Refers to the importance of I-5 Corridor issues on his district. Asks if the task force specifically dealt with moving freight out of the corridor into the northwest industrial neighborhood.

285

Hewitt

Indicates that the issue was brought up in the task force, and discusses.

300

Rep. Greenlick

Discusses the importance of high and medium speed rail, ask if there are efforts to increase the speed of rail travel in the corridor.

305

Hewitt

Discusses the issue of rail speed increases and the problems regarding increasing speeds.

320

Kate Deane

Oregon Department of Transportation, Project Manager. Discusses the issues regarding increased rail speed.

340

Hewitt

Explains that the task force recognizes the importance of rail in the I-5 corridor, but mentions the lack of federal or state funding earmarked for rail improvement in the corridor.

365

Rep. Greenlick

Asks if their was any thought given to water transport from Vancouver to downtown Portland.

370

Deane

Explains that the issue was discussed, but that form of transport had issues with the number of people it could support, and was best left to be addressed by the private sector.

385

Hewitt

Explains that there was a lot of discussion on expanding I-5 to four lanes, but that number of lanes would be unfeasible, so the Task Force recommended three lanes.

TAPE 34, A

005

Chair Brown

Asks if the I-5 bridge would be replaced.

010

Hewitt

Explains that the bridge issue requires further study.

015

Chair Brown

Asks if the 205 bridge would accommodate light rail.

017

Hewitt

Defers to Ms. Deane.

020

Deane

Explains that the 205 is not equipped to support light rail.

025

Chair Brown

Asks if there was any discussion on how to fund the project.

028

Hewitt

Explains that while the numbers are big it is feasible. The project should receive federal funding as well as local funding, and might require tolls along the bridge at least for a short while..

045

Rep. Dingfelder

Asks about the light rail connection with Washington, and how realistic it is for Clark County to look at closing the loop, and mentions her concerns regarding the Interstate Max and people from Vancouver driving over the bridge and parking.

060

Hewitt

Observes that the perceptions in Clark County have improved towards public transportation.

085

Deane

Mentions endorsements of the proposed plan by different counties.

095

Hewitt

Points out that the highway improvements and light-rail improvements are inseparable, which is why the Task Force’s plan receives so much support.

105

Rep. Dingfelder

Comments on issues of traffic in her district, and the congestion created by traffic diverting off of the I-84 and the 205 onto Sandy Blvd.

115

Hewitt

Comments on the mentioned traffic problem.

135

Deane

Explains that improvements in I-5 would help to alleviate many of the traffic issues caused by avoidance.

145

Rep. Mabrey

Asks about the possibility of improving the I-5 bridges to avoid the water traffic without hindrance.

160

Deane

Discusses the possibility of improving the I-5 bridge across the Columbia River to accommodate water traffic, but discusses the problems presented by this issue.

180

Hewitt

Thanks the committee for their time.

190

Chair Brown

Closes the informational meeting, and opens a public hearing on HB 2455.

HB 2455 – PUBLIC HEARING

195

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator. Offers a description of HB 2455, introducing the -1 amendment (EXHIBIT G), the -2 amendment (EXHIBIT H), and a Oregon Department of Justice Attorney General decision on the issue (EXHIBIT I).

225

Kelly Taylor

Oregon Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Offers testimony regarding HB 2455 and a description of the -1 and -2 amendments.

320

Rep. Greenlick

Ask if there was any discussion regarding the magnitude of the exemption.

330

Taylor

Explains that the Attorney General did not look at volume, however discusses the issues regarding volume.

355

Rep. Beyer

Asks what happens when repair shops are given automobiles.

360

Taylor

Asks for clarification of the situation.

380

Rep. Beyer

Recalls a constituents experience regarding this issue.

400

Taylor

Observes that this experience is unusual, and discusses those situations where a business could sell vehicles but not be required to be licensed as a dealer.

410

Rep. Beyer

Asks how many people the DMV would need to enforce the proposal.

415

Taylor

Explains that the work load would not necessarily be larger, but the DMV  would be more effective in enforcement because of the increased information received.

425

Rep. Beyer

Clarifies that it would be required that someone report the offender, and questions the effectiveness of advertising the required auctions.

440

Taylor

Explains that the tow companies and repair companies would be required to document their failure to sell the vehicle at auction.

TAPE 33, B

030

Rep. Zauner

Asks whether the cars which are sold at auction are then lacking proper insurance.

035

Taylor

Explains that these cars which are sold at auction are no different from those sold through other means, and further discusses the means in which insurance is verified.

045

Al Elkins

Oregon Tow Truck Association. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT J) in support of HB 2455.

090

Rep. Greenlick

Clarifies Mr. Elkins’ testimony that seventy percent of towed cars are abandoned.

095

A. Elkins

Explains that he did an informal poll of his members which is where the numbers come from. Continues with testimony.

265

Gary Coe

Speed’s Towing, Portland, Oregon. Offers testimony in support of HB 2455.

300

Mike Wagner

Santiam Canyon, Oregon. Offers testimony in support of HB 2455.

315

Rep. Zauner

Asks if the problem is with the cost of the license or from the difficulties in obtaining a license.

320

A. Elkins

Explains that the problem is the combination of both.

325

Rep. Zauner

Asks what information is given to the tower when the police call about an abandoned vehicle.

330

A. Elkins

Observes that the police give little to no information.

335

Rep. Zauner

Asks if being provided such information would help.

340

A. Elkins

Explains that the information is currently supposed to be provided, but is not.

345

Rep. Greenlick

Clarifies that one of the towers mentioned sells over ten thousand cars each year.

350

A. Elkins

Explains that most likely a majority of those cars go to the junk yard but he is not sure.

360

Rep. Greenlick

Observes that not being licensed seems reasonable if it were only a few cars per year, but it does not seem reasonable to not be licensed when the number of cars sold is high.

370

Coe

Comments on the tower being discussed, and the condition of the cars being discussed. Explains that to obtain a license from the city is difficult.

TAPE 34, B

002

Rep. Greenlick

Ask how many cars Mr. Coe sell per year.

005

Coe

Observes about 4,000 cars.

007

Rep. Beyer

Clarifies that “4000” figure refers to cars which are unable to be sold at auction.

010

Coe

Indicates that all 4000 are sold at auction.

012

Rep. Beyer

Ask if there is a percentage of those cars which are not sold through auction so therefore to the public.

020

Coe

Explains that those not sold are sent to the wrecking yard.

025

A. Elkins

Addresses Rep. Greenlick’s earlier question, explaining that under the contract with the city of Portland the tower pays the city five dollars for every abandoned car towed.

035

Wagner

Addresses Rep. Beyer’s question, explaining the issues facing rural towers.

060

Chair Brown

Asks if the towers ever have to pick up automobiles which have been used as methamphetamine labs, and if so, how these vehicles are disposed of.

065

A. Elkins

Comments on the problem faced by these situations, and the commonality of finding drug paraphernalia in abandoned vehicles.

070

Rep. Mabrey

Asks what the average tow fee is.

075

A. Elkins

Explains that the rates are set by city, but he does not have that information.

080

Rep. Mabrey

Asks about the storage fee.

082

A. Elkins

Explains the storage fee is about fifty dollars a day.

095

Deb Elkins

Northwest Automotive Trades Association, Director. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT K) in support of HB 2455.

205

Bob Anderson

AJ’s Auto Repair, Salem Oregon. Offers testimony in support of HB 2455.

275

Frank Warrens

Portland, Oregon. Offers testimony in support of HB 2455.

345

Rep. Greenlick

Comments on the difference between tow companies, auto repair shops, and auto dealers.

350

Warrens

Comments on the aforementioned difference.

395

Rep. Zauner

Refers to charitable organizations which advertise that they will take unwanted vehicles. Asks why these organizations are not used to collect abandoned vehicles.

400

Warrens

Explains that the vehicles these organizations collect have clean titles and do not go through the lien process.

420

Rep. Zauner

Asks what is done about controlling illegal drug activity and the use of abandoned vehicles.

430

D. Elkins

Addresses indicating the mentioned problem would not be alleviated by requiring the tow companies and auto repair companies become dealers.

TAPE 35, A

020

Zauner

Clarifies that it is not the cost of, but paperwork involved in being a dealer, and comments that to curb the illegal use of these abandoned vehicles some form of paperwork is required.

025

D. Elkins

Explains that the cost of some of this paperwork is substantial.

040

Monty King

Independent Auto Dealers Association. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT L) in opposition to HB 2455, with reference to (EXHIBIT M) and (EXHIBIT N).

185

Eric Page

Independent Auto Dealers Association. Offers testimony in opposition of HB 2455.

270       

Gary Sargent

Independent Auto Dealers Association. Offers testimony in opposition to HB 2455.

TAPE 36, A

030

Rep. Zauner

Asks about a $45 after hour’s gate fee.

035

Page

Explains that the mentioned fee is just one of many the tow companies are able to assess.

040

Rep. Zauner

Asks what classifies as advertisement for public auctions.

045

King

Discusses the requirements for advertising public auctions.

055

Rep. Beyer

Expresses her concern and dismay for the testimony received which vilified entire industries.

065

Page

Apologizes for the generalizations, and explains that HB 2455 would reward the worst individuals in the tow industry.

080

Rep. Beyer

Thanks Mr. Page for the apology.

090

Al Hutchinson

Corvallis, Oregon. Offers testimony in opposition to HB 2455.

160

Bill Egan

Auto Dealer. Offers testimony in opposition to HB 2455.

185

Marlin Mitchell

Albany Auto Sales, Albany Oregon. Offers testimony in opposition to HB 2455.

235

Chair Brown

Clarifies that there are no requirements to have insurance.

240

Mitchell

Concurs that there are no requirements at the dealer level.

250

King

Comments that every auto dealer is a DMV agent, and must follow DMV guidelines.

280

Rep. Mabrey

Questions the number of vehicles which are sold through these lots, and comments that there should be a distinction between those that sell one junk vehicle vs. those that sell numerous vehicles.

305

King

Explains that his group does not feel there should be any distinction when vehicles are sold to the public.

330

Rep. Zauner

Asks whether the involved parties ever sit down and try to discuss their concerns.

335

King

Explains that there have been several work groups, and that they have not worked.

345

Rep. Zauner

Asks if a work group would work now.

350

King

Explains that the issue is at the point where the legislature needs to step in.

380

Egan

Recalls a personal experience where he lost business when a mechanic rebuilt and sold a car to one of his customers.

425

Hutchinson

Comments on the ability to charge an administrative fee as an agent on the DMV.

445

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2455, and adjourns the meeting at 11: 55 a.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – LC 1812, committee measure, Staff, 9 pp.

B – LC 1813, committee measure, Staff, 2 pp.

C – LC 2481, committee measure, Staff, 5 pp.

D – LC 2826, committee measure, Staff, 3 pp.

E – LC 2930, committee measure, Staff, 1 p.

F – Informational meeting, I-5 Corridor Strategic Plan, Henry Hewitt, 13 pp.

G – HB 2455, -1 amendment, Staff, 2 pp.

H – HB 2455, -2 amendment, Staff, 1 p.

I – HB 2455, Department of Justice decision, 5 pp.

J – HB 2455, written testimony, Al Elkins, 1 p.

K – HB 2455, written testimony, Deb Elkins, 3 pp.

L – HB 2455, written testimony, Monty King, 2 pp.

M – HB 2455, photo exhibits, Monty King, 6 pp.

N – HB 2455, photo exhibits, Monty King, 1 p.