MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
January 22, 1999
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Shaw called the meeting to order at 12:45 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hauck, Hanson, and Fine were present. Staff present included Police Chief Scott Fleuter, Director of Community Development John McLaughlin, Public Works Director Paula Brown, Director of Finance Jill Turner, Communications and Marketing Manager Ann Seltzer, and Director of Electrical Utilities Pete Lovrovich.
PRESENTATION OF BOARDS AND COMMISSION SURVEY DATA
Freeman gave a brief recap of the survey results, noting that they are a source of information in Strategic Planning and help staff liaisons to know what is expected of the Board or Commission.
Mayor Shaw explained to the Council how members of Boards and Commissions are appointed and what their roles are in comparison to that of the Council.
Freeman noted that citizen and Council, as well as department head, input on Strategic Planning was also included in the packets.
Councilor Laws stated that he would appreciate getting information ahead of time.
OVERVIEW OF UPCOMING COUNCIL/STAFF WORKSHOP
With regard to what could be expected next week, Freeman explained that the facilitator would be running the meetings and leading the process. Stressed the need to be action and result oriented.
Friday the 29th will be a discussion of community values, working into identifying specific community values. This will transition into a discussion of what is on the minds of Council with regard to Strategic Planning.
Saturday the 30th will begin with a brief visioning exercise, with the intention being to stay focused on big issues and then jump into goals, strategies and priorities. This then will be pasted into the values. By the end of the day Saturday, there should be a pretty good idea of the Councilís vision, goals and strategies.
1999-2000 PROPOSED BUDGET PROCESS
Noted that Council and staff should have a better idea of how to approach the budget after the weekend dealing with the Strategic Planning process. Handed out a copy of the budget calendar.
Proposed defining an approach for the budget committee in that they meet in five meetings rather than one. This would bring everyone along at the same speed.
Noted that some committees are held as sub-committees because there are outside interest groups than may prefer it this way.
Turner brought attention to the Open Forum for Social Services. This would be an opportunity to go over the history and the process of funding.
LETTER OF UNDERSTANDING TO PARKS COMMISSION ON CALLE
Discussion of intent that the design consider active flood measures, and that it accommodate as much water as possible without bringing walls to the back of the current shops. Also noted that in the long-term, the bridge design could be changed to accommodate 100-year flows, and this should be kept in mind.
Brown provided an update, noting that in speaking with the State of Oregon regarding the Main Street bridge, which is under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Department of Transportation, it was indicated that there is funding available to upgrade bridges. But these funds come directly from the federal government under their bridge protection program. Stated that it will be 5-10 years before they even look at the Main Street bridge. Noted that there may be funds available sooner for the Water Street bridge. Explained that Water Street bridge and the Lithia Way culverts carry less water than Main Street, but in considering a 100-year flood event will need to look at the implications to the Main Street bridge as well.
Reid feels that the letter to the Parks Commission should ask that they include flexibility in the design that could be altered if and when things change with the Main Street bridge.
Laws stated that the Council must be clearer in the direction given to the Parks Commission, as the Calle design will need to be drastically different based on the intended final design of the Main Street bridge.
Reid suggested that conveying a 100-year flood flow should be a goal, not a direction to the Parks Commission, and explained that she thought there was a desire to convey as much water as possible while maintaining the appearance and present uses of the Calle.
Fine noted that he would like a revised timeline provided to the Council every 60 days. Also expressed concern that the Council is discussing major issues affecting the City and its appearance without allowing any public input. Mayor Shaw clarified that all Council was attempting to do was clarify for the Parks Commission the previous directions by the Council. Once the Parks Commission begins the design process, the public process will start. The memo of understanding being discussed is to clarify parameters so that the public process can begin and lead to the preparation of an RFP or RFQ.
Wheeldon explained that the Council has been basing their direction on the OTAK reportís recommendations, and in her mind the Council has already formally agreed to do these repairs. Council discussion of what the collective understanding of this issue is.
Wheeldon noted that she was uncertain that the decision had been made to convey a 100-year flood through the North Main bridge, and suggested that she would like to look at a range of options. Laws suggested that both the Council and the Parks Commission look at a wide range of conceptual designs to look at all options available with active flood fighting measures, with the bridge as is or revised. Would like to see these concepts before moving ahead with final designs.
Wheeldon asked how much water the North Main bridge can handle as it is, and Brown responded that it is probably in the 2700 cfs range. Discussion of how to proceed during the interim period until the Main Street bridge can be repaired, noting the need for active flood measures. Shaw noted that it was her understanding that the option presented by Brian McCarthy contained a number of options that would effectively retain the uses of the Calle while conveying a 100-year flood event.
Shaw explained that this discussion was helpful in that it would help the Parks Commission understand the parameters necessary for preparing a clear RFP/RFQ. Asked for a point by point look at her letter to be sure that the items discussed at the study session and the regular meeting were adequately addressed so the public process could begin.
Hauck noted that the letter needed to state that the final design would take into consideration the eventual re-design of the North Main Street Bridge, and whatever active measures are necessary to handle flows in the interim.
Reid requested that language be changed so that references to a flood event indicate that the Calle be designed to accommodate "up to" a 100-year storm event.
Fine asked that it be noted that the intent is to remain aesthetically pleasing and accommodating the current functions. Fine asked that a revised timeline also be provided when project activity updates are provided every 60 days.
Mayor asked the Council to make a commitment to have port-a-potties with hand washing facilities available. Requests that the Parks Department begin with this immediately. Discussion of whose responsibility this is.
Fine indicated that he did not want it to be considered that there was a consensus on this, as he felt the public involvement process leading up to this letter of understanding was not sufficient. It was suggested that the items presented here were based on the OTAK report which was previously adopted by Council. City Recorder Barbara Christensen indicated that she could provide Council with minutes from previous meetings where this issue was discussed to clarify some of the confusion on previous decisions.
Mayor Shaw expressed concern that this might be viewed as circumventing the public process in any way, as she recognized the value of public process in reaching the best decision possible. Emphasized that this was a clarification of decisions made to date, and public process would proceed from this point for the design and flood control portions of the project. Agreed that it was a good idea to provide all Councilors with background from previous decisions.
Discussion, with the decision to add the following in place of the last sentence of item #1: "It is the understanding of the City Council that the design may include active flood management measures."
Freeman noted that the State Economic Development Commission reported that the loan which was applied for to finance the project was denied as there was no legislative authority to fund a Telecommunications Project, and this would need to go to the legislature to be changed.
Shaw indicated that the problem is if it were taken to the legislature, it may trigger their setting restrictions on this type of program by a City. With that in mind, this project would be better financed through the Cityís normal bond process for funding.
Freeman stated that a complete plan will be presented to the public on February 24th. Reid suggested getting positive information out to the public without being specific or misleading, until more details are available. Emphasized the need to be pro-active with this. Lovrovich explained that this is being worked on.
Freeman explained that it was best, at the advice of the experts, that some things be in place, such as a price structure and vendors.
Stated that it was the objective of the Council to meet the May ballot deadline, which is March 18. This would mean Council would need to address this item at their meeting on March 16. Emphasized that this was designed for a very active public process. Noted that the Mayor would serve as liaison on this matter.
The Committee will make a decision regarding plans, designs, etc. that will be put forward to the public for a vote.
Council agreed that this was an acceptable way to proceed, but asked that Council be kept "in the loop" so they are aware of what occurs in the process.
RE-DISCUSS TIME FOR STUDY SESSIONS
Indicated that this item would be discussed at Goal Setting. Also noted a need to clear food before the Council meetings begin.
Councilor Wheeldon stated that she would be unable to attend 6:00 study sessions through March.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.
Submitted by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer