MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
March 4, 2003 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Amarotico, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn were present. Councilors Hartzell and Laws were absent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of February 18, 2003 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS (None)
Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of David Chapman to the Traffic Safety Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2003.
Approval of Amendment No. 1, Agreement No. 19686 - Cooperative Improvement Agreement Helman - 2nd Street & Valley View to 4th.
Councilors Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Spoke regarding the Forest Lands Commission's proposed logging plan to log City forest lands and stated his opposition to helicopter logging. He felt that the Winburn parcel is a critical area with old growth characteristics and sensitive wildlife species. He presented a slide show of the parcel and gave a brief history of the area. He asked that the Council take a stand against helicopter logging in the Winburn parcel.
Russ Silbiger/562 Ray/Spoke regarding cultural and economic grants, noting that there are 19 groups trying for $50,000 of available grant money. He suggested that the Chamber of Commerce and the Shakespeare Festival be held to the amount they received last year, which would make an additional $26,000 available for the 19 groups. He requested that this issue be put on the agenda.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Request for Co-Sponsorship and Banner Approval for Relay for Life.
Christina Dunlap/108 N 2nd/Spoke on behalf of the American Cancer Society and asked that the Council allow a banner to be hung on the Boulevard. She thanked the Council for past sponsorship.
It was noted that last year there were 250-300 participants and that this year an increase in that number is expected.
Councilors Morrison/Hearn m/s to approve Co-Sponsorship and Banner for Relay for Life. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Motion to Designate Finance Director as Budget Officer.
Councilors Hearn/Morrison m/s to designate the current Finance Director as Budget Officer. Discussion: It was clarified that the statute requires this and that the auditors ask every year whether the Finance Director has been formally designated as the Budget Officer. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
3. Preliminary Engineering for Talent Ashland Phoenix (TAP) Intertie Pipeline for Future Construction of the line from Talent to Ashland.
Public Works Director Paula Brown updated the Council on the TAP project explaining that the plan is to do the preliminary engineering. She noted that this is not a rush project and the primary concern is alignment. She highlighted the following issues.
Lost Creek Water Rights: Evaluate the strategy for the purchase of these water rights; timing, quantity, etc.
Review the process of changing the City's Talent Irrigation District (TID) water rights from the City's "Imperatrice Property" for beneficial use within the City;
Begin discussions with the City of Talent regarding their TID municipal water rights and future use of those rights; and
Continue with conservation programs in an effort to meet the goals for 20% peak day summer time reductions.
Council discussed the project and the following were noted:
Timeline: The water need is the year 2016 but there is the possibility that by 2008 everything could be ready to go.
Continued and consistent water conservation is imperative. Lawn watering is the biggest culprit in water waste.
Brown will keep bringing updates to the Council.
Removing water rights from the Imperatrice property would devalue the property.
An alternative, emergency source of treated water is a need.
Councilors Morrison/Jackson m/s to accept staff recommendation to do the preliminary engineering study. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
4. Approval of Recommended Changes to Bylaws for the Rogue Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (RVMPO) Boundary Expansion.
Public Works Director Paula Brown reported that at the November 6, 2002 study session, Council received a presentation on the RVMPO from the Rogue Valley Council of Governments as the designated support arm for the RVMPO. Since then, there have been several RVMPO meetings and a combined MPO "Summit" to discuss and resolve issues involving current and potential new members of this required merger. The primary concerns stemmed around voting rights, voting structure and funding decisions, and the MPO Summit produced recommended changes to the current bylaws. Once approved by the existing and new MPO jurisdictions, the MPO Policy Committee intends to discuss and hopefully approve these changes to the bylaws at their March 25, 2003 meeting.
She explained that Ashland needs to look at the bigger picture in transportation issues and noted that joining the MPO for that reason alone will be of benefit. She noted that there is consensus to hold harmless Ashland's existing discretionary Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds. They will hold these funds harmless for the next three years and her goal is to have those funds held harmless during the period already spoken for, for all of the STP dollars.
She recommended that Council approve the proposed amended bylaws, which will be voted on at the March 25th meeting.
Councilors Hearn/Amarotico m/s to approve the Staff recommendation and to join the MPO. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
5. Approval of Jurisdictional Transfer Agreement No. 699, Amendment No. 1, Rogue Valley Highway No. 63 (Route 99) 4th Street - Walker Avenue between the City of Ashland and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
Public Works Director Paula Brown reported that this agreement amendment provides an additional $274,000 for the Siskiyou Boulevard 4th - Walker Project. She noted that ODOT is allowing us to take the dollars that were originally for the Tolman/Siskiyou intersection and move them to the 4th/Walker project with the stipulation that we do the safety improvements at the intersection. Brown felt that was reasonable trade for those dollars.
She noted that the project is a modernization that upgrades the streets to new standards. In addition to bike lanes, there will be new signals, updated signals, significant safety improvements, and a general facelift.
It was noted that the State Gas tax, which pays for some of this, may only be used for roads purposes.
Councilors Morrison/Amarotico m/s to approve Jurisdictional Transfer Agreement No. 699, Amendment No. 1, as recommended by Staff. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution calling a Special Election on May 20, 2003, in the City of Ashland for the Purposes of Submitting to the Voters of the City a Measure for a five-year tax-rate Levy to Provide Funds for the Operation of Youth Activity Programs."
Chuck Keil/359 Kearny/School Board Member/Thanked the Council and noted that Leslie Kendall and Greg Clevenger will co-chair the citizen's committee that will be operating the campaign. He explained that this measure differs from the previous three measures in that it asks for a 5-year levy rather than a 3-year levy. This would allow the issue to come back before the voters in a presidential primary election year, which would help ensure the 50% turnout required to pass the tax.
Leslie Kendall/115 Oak Meadows/Passed a sheet of lyrics out to the Council and sang a song in support of the proposed levy. Some Council and audience members joined in the chorus.
It was noted that elected officials do not have to be neutral on this issue.
Councilors Hearn/Morrison m/s to adopt Resolution #2003-08. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Amarotico, Jackson, Morrison: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Second Reading by title only of "An Ordinance Modifying Chapter 18.40 of the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Allowing Theaters and Similar Entertainment Uses as a Conditional Use in the E-1 Zone."
Councilors Hearn/Jackson m/s to approve second reading and adopt the ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Amarotico, Jackson, Morrison: all AYES. Motion passed.
3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution dedicating Property for Open Space Park Purposes pursuant to Article XIXA, Section 2, of the City Charter (Keener Property at Nevada Street and Ashland Creek)."
City Attorney Paul Nolte reported that the division was completed in December of 2002 and the property is ready to be dedicated for Open Space use.
Councilors Hearn/Jackson m/s to adopt Resolution #2003-06. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Hearn, Amarotico, Jackson: all AYES. Motion passed.
4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Changing the Composition of the Municipal Audit Committee by making the City Recorder a Voting Member, allowing the Mayor as an Alternative for a Council Member and Repealing Resolution No. 98-06."
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg reported that the Audit Committee acts as the Council's representative and that the Committee has changed, both in composition and in the work that it does, as the City has changed. He explained that the proposed changes would strengthen the Committee and increase voting membership. The proposed changes adhere with current needs for a well functioning committee and the Committee members voted unanimously in favor of the recommendation.
He recommended that the Council approve the recommendations of the Audit Committee.
It was noted that the Audit Committee does not oversee the budget process but rather it oversees the reporting process, and that the Council appoints members to the Committee.
Councilors Hearn/Amarotico m/s to adopt Resolution #2003-07. Roll Call Vote: Amarotico, Jackson, Hearn, Morrison: all AYES. Motion passed.
5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing City to Participate in PERS Appeal."
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained that this resolution authorizes an appeal of the PERS Board (PERB) order imposing new rates on municipal employers. The cost to participate is a flat-fee of $150.
Councilors Jackson/Morrison m/s to adopt Resolution #2003-09 authorizing the City to participate in the PERS appeal. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Jackson, Morrison, Amarotico: all AYES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
DeBoer noted the AFN rates that are soon due to increase - approximately $3 in cable TV rates and an increase in wholesale internet rates.
Jackson noted an affordable housing study from Lee County, Florida that assessed the public costs of not providing affordable housing. The author of the study is being funded by the Rogue Collaborative to put together case studies on the "Bear Creek Valley," which are the communities along Bear Creek. She noted that the City won't have to pay for this report, and that it will give us more economic cost information.
Morrison noted that the topic for the March 5th Study Session was the draft forest management plan. He read aloud from the "guiding principles" of the plan and urged everyone to find out what is going on. It was noted that beetle infestation was a major issue.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 p.m.