Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Study Session

Minutes
Monday, October 16, 2006

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

STUDY SESSION
MINUTES

 

October 16, 2006

 

ATTENDANCE

Present:    Commissioners D. Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige

Absent:     City Council Liaison A. Amarotico

ADJOURNMENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION

            EXECUTIVE SESSION: Pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(b)

ADJOURNMENT OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION

ADJOURNMENT INTO STUDY SESSION

CALL TO ORDER

Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:20 p.m. at the Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

FEES AND CHARGES DISCUSSION

Teige reminded the commission of their previous discussion regarding fees and charges for facility and space rentals during the September study session and provided them with additional information, passing out reservation and policy information gathered from around the state, including the cities of Eugene, N. Clackamas, Lake Oswego, and Medford. She noted that each agency has a priority list from which they operate.

Additional packets of information were distributed containing historical information on free and reduced usage of the Ashland Community Center, Pioneer Hall, and Hunter Park. Dawn Lang, Facilities Manager, stated that most groups who are not charged or are minimally charged for facilities use them at non-peak rental times, with the exceptions of the pinochle group and the folk dancers.

Commissioners discussed the importance of charging appropriate rates to adequately cover staffing and maintenance costs associated with operating the facilities. They pointed to the figures provided by Teige—specifically, the operations costs of $170,682 compared with the revenues generated by user fees in the amount of $38,801, for a net loss of $131,881—and agreed about the need to determine fair prices, with fee increases phased in over a period of time. Teige reported that she notified some renters about possible fee increases in January 2007.

Robertson recommended a potential “tiered” approach to fees charged, with social service organizations conceivably paying 15% and instructors paying 100% of the hourly rates. Gardiner stated that it would be best to first determine whether the commission’s goal was to “break even” on the financials and, if not, to consider the overages as Recreation Division program expenses.

Teige recommended beginning the process by reviewing field usage followed by Lithia Park rentals and agreed to provide commissioners with information prior to the next study session to allow them to prepare their questions in advance. She suggested a target completion date of January 2007 to allow for inclusion of the new rates in the upcoming budget discussions. She agreed to send out letters of notification to sports field users inviting them to the November study session, giving them the opportunity to participate in the process prior to the commission’s full engagement in the budget cycle.

SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPOSAL (YAL DISTRIBUTION)

Robertson reminded the commission of the discussion at the October 5 joint study session between Parks, Schools, and City Council regarding a proposal prepared and presented by School District Superintendent Juli DiChiro suggesting a renegotiation of the agreement between Schools and Parks for the maintenance of school grounds in Ashland. The proposal stipulated that additional Youth Activities Levy funds could be retained by the Parks Department to pay for the maintenance of recreational areas and playing fields at the schools, allowing the school district to save the funds currently paid to Jackson County for grounds maintenance. Her proposal suggested that each body consider the matter at one of their regular meetings prior to December 1, with a potential resumption by Parks of landscaping and fields maintenance occurring in January.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners expressed concern about playing a “shell game” with the school district and agreed that a longer term agreement, if any, would make the most sense in terms of maintenance of school grounds. Several commissioners stated that Parks is set up to handle the maintenance at the schools, and Parks already maintains most of the publicly owned land within the City, so it would make sense for Parks to maintain school grounds. Most commissioners agreed in principle to the concept of having Parks maintain the school grounds, with the understanding that, once the levy ends in May 2008, and if it not renewed, Schools will continue to pay Parks for maintaining school grounds for the duration of the five-year contract.

Robertson agreed to work with the City Attorney to draft a five-year maintenance contract between the Parks Department and the Ashland School District.

ADJOURNMENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION

            EXECUTIVE SESSION: Real Property ORS 192.660 (1)(e)

ADJOURNMENT OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION

ADJOURNMENT - By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 9:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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