MINUTES FOR Conservation Commission
August 27, 2003 – 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson, Alex Amarotico, called the meeting to order at 7:08 p.m. in the Ashland Council Chambers.
Attendees: Charles Bennett, Ross Finney, Jim Hartman, Joanne Krippaehne, Russ Chapman, Carol Carlson, and Paige Prewett. Bruce Moats was absent.
City Council Liaison: Alex Amarotico
Staff Liaison: Dick Wanderscheid
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The chairperson, Alex Amarotico asked for an approval of the July 23, minutes.
Amarotico clarified under New Business, he was referring to "no support from other Council members."
Paige Prewett made a motion to approve the minutes of July 23 with changed noted and Ross Finney seconded the motion.
Voice vote: all Ayes. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
The minutes of the Conservation Commission Meeting of July 23, 2003 were approved.
No speakers present.
ASHLAND SANITARY & RECYCLING UPDATE:
Russ Chapman announced an ad will come out in the Ashland Tidings and the Sneak Preview, September 1, stating Ashland Sanitary as of September 1 will be taking all plastics at the curb. Jim Hartman asked for clarification about the Ashland High School pick up and Chapman will verify information and get back to him.
Amarotico asked Chapman about the transfer station taking batteries and Chapman explained recyclable batteries are handled "in house." Retail stores for example, Radio Shack and Bi-Mart will process the recyclable batteries. Charles Bennett mentioned Medford Wal-Mart would take regular batteries and thought there was an 800 number for questions. Chapman expressed a desire to find out how Wal-Mart is disposing of the batteries.
Ross Finney asked about co-mingled carts and Chapman explained they need to adjust trucks and when that is done, they can look seriously at getting the 65-gallon carts on curbside. DEQ wants to add another program and add paperwork.
Krippaehne wondered if disposable diapers posed a big problem and how much of the waste was caused by disposable diapers? Amarotico mentioned that in California, he thought, there was a place to recycle disposable diapers. Chapman did not know the statistics for disposable diapers.
2. Green Business
Prewett reported so far there are 49 green tags sold and is trying to reach a goal of 100 by November 2003. She continues work on a press release and a letter for Solar Pioneers scheduled for release in September. Prewett displayed a draft notice about the Solar Tour that will take place on October 4th at the Wilderness Charter School and gave a brief description of what will be on the agenda. Included in the schedule will be introductions to Technology and City of Ashland programs. Larry Giardina will talk about local and State incentives along with rebate information. Dick Wanderscheid, and the director of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation will be in attendance. Prewett asked for volunteers to help with the tour, beginning at 9am.
Prewett updated the Ashland Web site with approved text from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and reported about her training with Ann Seltzer concerning the site. She demonstrated the different ways people could find out information about Conservation by utilizing the web site.
Finney asked for an explanation of the solar pioneer list and Prewett explained the solar pioneer list, found on the web, was a list of people who contributed to the Solar Pioneer program through donations from their electric bills.
Prewett relayed she has been working on a 'frequently asked' answer sheet concerning Ashland Renewable Pioneers and Green Tags. This will be distributed to the Commissioners and City staff to better inform them about these programs.
Finney and Prewett clarified the minimum green tags purchased is two, so the goal of 100 accounts would include 200 green tags sold. Prewett explained the goal was 100 renewable pioneers and thanked Finney for coming up with the name.
Krippaehne wondered how many people were expected for the tour and Carlson reported the results of the rainwater harvesting tour exceeded expectations mostly due to Prewett marketing efforts. Prewett explained some marketing strategies for the up coming tour.
Bennett inquired about the responsibilities for volunteers and Prewett explained they need one person per site, help with planting stakes to mark houses, and information relayed about green tags.
Cathy Cartmill wasn't able to attend the meeting and provide the street maps, but Prewett reported they met with Rich Hall in Engineering who will design an laminated Adopt a Street Map that will indicate all storm drains. Wanderscheid plans to bring the maps to the next meeting.
Next on the agenda was a discussion about the Commission meeting location changing from the Council Chambers to the new Community Development Building. It was determined to try the new location for the next meeting on September 24 at 7pm. Also noted, the Commission would like to meet on October 22 and November 19th but not schedule a meeting for December. Staff will get information and report at the next meeting about availability of the 19th for the different locations.
Amarotico asked for an official list of all subcommittees but it was determined there were no subcommittees formed and the Commission goals would designate the subcommittees needed.
Wanderscheid read the Commission goals for 2003, and mentioned the subcommittees that previously functioned were the display content, green business and marketing, although the display content is now completed. Discussion followed about the goals and how to organize the Commissioner's participation.
It was determined two subcommittees were needed to accomplish the goals, Green Business and Education/Events.
The green business committee would consist of Bennett, Finney, Carlson, Amarotico and Chapman.
Education/Events committee would consist of Prewett, Carlson, Krippaehne, Hartman and Lisa Black and could focus on Earth Day, Sustainable Living Series, and targeted events.
Chapman requested planning the meeting time for the sub-committee meetings before this meeting adjourned.
Carlson wondered if the transfer station had a place for people to drop off materials that could be utilized by other people and Finney remarked about Habitat for Humanity will have a recycled building center soon.
Prewett asked for help participating at the Growers Market and will get dates needed.
Krippaehne mentioned the solar tour is the same day as the National solar tour contributing to National Energy Awareness month. Wanderscheid explained how the tour was originated and organized.
Wanderscheid explained the beginning balance was lower due to the allocation of funds to the Ashland High School Environmental Club and during budget preparation, the annual amount was reduced by $150.00. He wasn't aware that this Commission needed representation at the Budget Committee meetings and suggested next year the Commission could request the $150.00 be reinstated to their budget.
Carlson requested funds to make copies of a disk about rainwater harvesting in order to have available for citizen viewing. Prewett made a motion to approve funds for the disk making in the amount up to $50.00. Krippaehne seconded the motion.
Voice vote: all Ayes. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
The Chairperson asked for any other business and Hartman asked to give a report about the school district.
Hartman spent time this summer compiling numbers for the different schools. Last year his environmental science students went to three or four different schools to promote conservation. Composters have been implemented in every school. As of March 31, Walker saved approx. $3,000, Lincoln saved approx. $4,000, Belview spent an extra $1,000 +, and Helman saved approx. $2,700 due to less water, electricity and natural gas. The Ashland Middle School saved approx. $10,000. Other savings included the sewer bill.
He reported about future projects including allocating money to a point person at the Middle school and each Elementary schools to facilitate setting up their own conservation clubs and talking to teachers about incorporating new programs. Prewett asked is ideas were needed for programs and Carlson mentioned there was also a video for sustainable schools.
Wanderscheid congratulated Hartman on an amazing job with all the accomplishments and money saved. He commented on the great idea of decentralizing. Hartman has plans to present the statistics to principals, custodial and teachers. All members of the Commission congratulated Hartman.
Finney mentioned the solar pioneer payback program was projected to 2012 for funds needed and wondered why the program ended and Wanderscheid explained the debt was repaid within a two-year period. He also mentioned the payback for Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University would be around a 7 to 8 years.
Prewett requested a new Commission contact list distributed with the next packet.
Wanderscheid reported the Earth Advantage kick-off meeting held good attendance. Cathy Cartmill, Larry Giardina and Robbin Pearce made presentations. A Study Session was re-scheduled with the City Council that will also include material presented by Chris Daimond.
He also announced Energy Trust was kicking off solar water heating program and solar electric program, which the Conservation Department will examine to keep our programs competitive.
Wanderscheid reported the latest compost class had only 9 participants and thought we should re-examine the amount of classes given after reviewing the next attendance.
The Commission ended the meeting with a short video reported by Adam Sexton from channel 12 about the rainwater harvesting tour.
Next meeting scheduled for September 24.
Meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm.
Mary McClary, Assistant
to Electric Department