Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Study Session

Minutes
Monday, November 13, 2006

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

STUDY SESSION
MINUTES

 

November 13, 2006

 

 

ATTENDANCE

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

Absent:     Commissioner Eggers; City Council Liaison A. Amarotico

CALL TO ORDER

Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. at the Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

PRESENTATION ON PRELIMINARY SITING STUDY OF CROWSON II AND ASHLAND LOOP ROAD RESERVOIRS

Pieter Smeenk, Associate Engineer in Public Works, reported that his department had been working on a proposal to increase the City’s water storage capacity and stated that the two proposed locations for the tanks fall within Open Space Plan properties, under the jurisdiction of Parks. He informed the commission of their location and construction as well as proposed timelines for the projects.

Smeenk showed diagrams and photos of the proposed tanks and sites for the reservoirs, stating that Public Works is limited in terms of land options for such projects, since the containers must be placed at a certain elevation. In terms of timelines, he reported that the smaller Crowson tank would be installed in the upcoming budget year while the larger Ashland Loop Road tank would be built and installed within five years.

FEES AND CHARGES DISCUSSION (SPORTS FIELDS)

Teige reviewed the information she prepared for the meeting and indicated her intention to focus on sports field fees during the evening’s discussion. She reported that an informational letter was sent to all field users asking for their input and that the commission received field usage policies, proposed field allocation procedures, and requirements and recommendations prior to the study session. She reviewed the information regarding field usage costs per tournament and per usage of lights.

Teige indicated that sports teams pay $25 per usage of lights and recommended retaining the current fees. In terms of fees for field use, she reported that teams are charged $15 per day during tournaments and recommended raising the fee to $20 per team per day.

          Public Input

John Auzenne, 1221 Dakota Avenue, speaking on behalf of RVSSA, stated that he and his teammates play senior slow pitch softball throughout the region and expressed a desire to use the North Mountain Park baseball fields during morning hours. He reported that their season runs from March through September and that they wished to host league tournaments for teams ranging from Klamath Falls to northern California. He expressed willingness to adjust game schedules to accommodate other groups.

Jeanne Chouard, 1178 Hillview Drive, speaking as President of the Ashland Soccer Club, stated that the club has approximately 340 players, 98% of whom are Ashland residents, and that the North Mountain Park fields are important to their organization. She expressed concern about the request by the department for a three-week lead on notification of game schedules, since it would be hard to determine so far in advance, and about the department’s request for additional coaches’ training, since her organization’s coaches are trained through OYSA. Additional comments included: the importance of allowing enough field space between baseball games and soccer games; a request for a field “reader board” that would indicate playing dates/times; additional fields for team use; and priority scheduling for Ashland teams over out-of-town groups.

Terry Doyle, 462 Allison, spoke in support of allowing senior slow pitch softball at the North Mountain Park fields, stating that the organization’s members hoped to start a morning league, with games played on the North Mountain Park fields.

Don Senestraro, 2017 Wine Street, speaking as the coach of the Ashland High School baseball team, stated that AHS hoped to start a fall baseball league. He expressed a desire to see better scheduling of the North Mountain Park fields, with maximum field usage occurring without overlap or conflict. In terms of fees for lights, he indicated that the fees were reasonable but that the team would often need the lights from just 9-9:30 PM, for which they would be charged $25, and he requested an extension of field lighting until 10:00 PM to allow players to safely collect their belongings and locate their families at the end of the games. In terms of scheduling, he stated that the three-week lead time was fine and asked for exclusive use of the baseball field at NMP during the baseball season.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked Teige and Lang about billing for lights and they reported that users are billed once per month. Gies stated that staff was in the process of researching a new computerized control system wherein users would enter a password to activate the lights, notifying staff of their use, which would allow for better monitoring of use and improved billing and scheduling.

Commissioners concurred with Teige’s fee recommendations. Rosenthal asked Senestraro to make a formal proposal to the commission regarding his request for additional fields and a lighting extension.

ICE RINK REQUEST

Stan Shulster, 165 Pilot View, requested permission to use the Darex Family Ice Rink for ninety minutes on December 20 for a festival on ice that would be open to the public but sponsored by a local organization. He further requested permission to place a block of ice, sculpted in the shape of a menorah, onto the ice. He stated that food and beverages would be served off the ice for participants within the organization and that event-specific music would be played through the sound system.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked Mr. Shulster to prepare a formal request and deliver it to the Parks office by Wednesday for inclusion in commission packets, and to attend the November regular meeting the following Monday to present his request.

SCHOOL DISTRICT DRAFT AGREEMENT

Robertson directed the commissioners’ attention to the draft agreement proposed by Parks to Schools for the maintenance of school grounds and playing fields within Ashland. He reminded the commission of the discussion at the October meeting regarding the draft and stated that the Ashland School District was also meeting to discuss the matter at their evening board meeting. He highlighted several points within the agreement, including its five-year term, the fact that the first eighteen months would be tied to the Youth Activities Levy [until its expiration in 2008], and the proposed use of School District buildings, which would be a benefit to the Parks Department. He indicated that, should be agreement be approved by both parties as well as City Council, Schools would need to give Jackson County Parks at least 30 days’ notice to terminate the existing maintenance contract.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked Robertson about the School District’s suggestion that Parks pay for the irrigation of Briscoe and Lincoln School grounds for six years, and he reported that the City Administrator was not interested in assuming those costs. Commissioners directed Robertson to continue working on the contract with Schools and to add the topic to the November 20 regular meeting agenda.

SCHOOL DISTRICT DRAFT AGREEMENT

Rosenthal reported that the cities of Grants Pass and Corvallis passed policies banning smoking from city parks. He indicated that the commission’s role is to provide a healthy environment for residents and that smoking and secondhand smoke have been proven to cause health problems. He asked the commission to consider implementing a policy banning smoking within Parks-managed lands.

Robertson reported discussing the policy with the Parks and Recreation Director in Corvallis, who told him that their policy wass not actively enforced but was enforced based on complaints received. She indicated that the policy is more symbolic than practical in nature.

The commission directed staff to place the topic on the agenda for the November 20 regular meeting.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 9:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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