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Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, January 11, 2007

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

STUDY SESSION
MINUTES

 

January 11, 2007

 

 

ATTENDANCE

Present:   Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendents Gies and Teige; Facilities Manager Lang

Absent:     None

CALL TO ORDER

Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street, and welcomed newly elected commissioner Melody Noraas.

FACILITIES FEES AND CHARGES REVIEW

Teige presented a background on facilities fees and charges, reporting that rates for facilities and associated policies had not been reviewed or adjusted in eight to ten years and the department currently was recovering expenses at a rate of 17.5%. She reminded the commission that this was the third consecutive study session relating to the topic of facilities fees and policies and that staff would make final recommendations at the January 22 regular commission meeting.

Teige listed the ten free-of-charge users, stating that the City of Ashland owns the buildings, which are managed and maintained by Parks, and the buildings were donated to the city by some of the groups currently receiving free usage. She listed the discounted long-term facilities users, indicating their rentals ranged from $4.50 to $9 per hour, with regular facility rates ranging from $9 per hour to $220 per day and state-wide rates ranging from $15 per hour to $1,400 per day.

Issues to be resolved included: 1) Historical use and whether to continue allowing free-of-charge facilities usage; 2) discounted usage; 3) cost of service versus revenue / hourly rates; and 4) access to buildings. She indicated that some of the issues could be resolved within the next fiscal year while others might take longer.

Teige recommended annual phased fee adjustments, simplifying the fee schedule, determining a percentage rate of cost recovery, and creating a wedding package for Lithia Park and the Community Center to generate additional revenues. She provided examples of wedding packages from around the state and suggested discontinuing the resident / non-resident wedding rates for Lithia Park wedding patrons.

Proposed fee adjustments included:

o    Pioneer Hall and Community Center: Weekday hourly: $13/hour; weekend hourly: $21/hour

o    Non-refundable alcohol deposit: $100

o    The Grove, full facility: Weekday hourly: $26; weekend hourly: $32

o    Senior Center: Non-profit: $12/hour; profit: $14/hour

o    All-day rentals: Eliminate for all facilities

o    Security access codes: Eliminate present system and replace with more secure system

o    Long-term users hourly rate: Raise from $9/hour to $10/hour and request flexibility in moving groups to another facility as needed

Public Input

Pete Barnes, 2300 Whittle Avenue, President of the Pinochle Club, reported that his organization had received free use of the Community Center for 50 years. He asked that his letter to the commission be placed into the record for his successor and stated that his group could be moved to another city-owned facility if necessary.

Art Clemons, 175 California Street, representing the Ashland Folk Dancers, stated that his group had rented the Community Center every week for over 30 years and was a valuable community resource. He reported that: 1) most dancers are drop-ins; 2) approximately 20 dancers attend per week; and 3) the folk dancing organization consistently pays Parks for use of the building on Friday evenings.

Other groups in attendance were the American Legion, the Eckankar group, AARP, and Boy Scouts of America Troop 112.

        Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed Teige’s recommendations and talked about evaluating and raising fees each year to bring them into line with maintenance and operations expenses. Commissioners agreed about the sensitive nature of the topic and the need to simplify the fee schedule and raise rates to recover more than 17.5% of expenses, and also discussed the possibility of charging service groups less for use of the buildings. The commission thanked Teige for her work and expressed appreciation to the community organizations for participating in the process.

ASHLAND ICE” UPDATE

Robertson reminded the commission of the proposal by “Ashland Ice” to place a full-sized hockey rink in the space currently occupied by the Darex Family Ice Rink in Lithia Park. He invited Mark Moeglein, the group’s representative, to speak to the commission.

Moeglein updated the commission on the work of “Ashland Ice.” His presentation included a market and schedule analysis, annual budget, project scope and goals, capital cost estimates, fund-raising efforts, and next steps for the project.

        Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners expressed appreciation for Moeglein’s efforts, with some stating that the project was out of scale for the area in which it was proposed for placement [the Winburn Way parking lot]. Commissioners voiced concerns about the proposed six-month skating season as well as other aspects of his presentation and agreed that they could not support the project.

ADJOURNMENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION

o          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 9:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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