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Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Minutes
Monday, April 16, 2007

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

STUDY SESSION
MINUTES

 

April 16, 2007

 

 

ATTENDANCE

Present:        Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Noraas; Director Robertson; Superintendent Teige

Absent:         Commissioners Lewis and Rosenthal; City Council Liaison Navickas; Superintendent Gies

CALL TO ORDER

   Eggers called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

CALLE SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Robertson reminded the commission of their decision to form a subcommittee to review matters relating to the use of the Calle Guanajuato walkway. He indicated that the subcommittee consisted of one Plaza restaurateur, one Calle artisan, one Plaza merchant, and two members of the Parks Commission, with two Parks staff liaisons assisting. He updated the commission on the work of the subcommittee, including:

Step 1:   Issue Identification through brainstorming

Step 2:   Grouping the issues

§         Facilities – including mapping and surface data, paving the bridge to the recycle center, the closure of Southern Oregon Tallow, and condition/surface of the Calle

§         Policy – including contracts, policies of operations, rental costs, long-term growth, rules for refuse, and definitions of spaces

§         Administration – including enforcement of rules and operation of the space

Robertson reviewed the recommendations proposed by the subcommittee within Step 2:

§         Facilities:

o    Determine property lines either agreed upon with owners or surveyed at a cost shared with owners

o    Set up a capital improvement fund for resurfacing the Calle

o    Provide hard surface from bridge to recycling center

§         Policy:

o    Convert Lithia Artisan’s Market percentage rate and the Calle restaurants’ per chair rate to a $3.00 per square foot annual rate

o    Site booth and restaurant locations

o    Enforce by random written checks by the police and CSO officers and follow up with Parks staff

§         Administration

o    Parks staff will administer contracts and collect fees quarterly or annually as determined by the Parks Commission

o    Parks staff will follow up on the random written checks and deal with concerns as they arise.

Robertson reviewed the “per square foot” formula for Calle maintenance expenses, estimated at $17,000 per year, which included costs associated with restroom custodial, recycle area, trash, general repair, irrigation, and landscaping. Robertson stated that he and Teige met with each Plaza restaurateur to review the subcommittee’s proposals prior to the evening’s discussion and no serious concerns were expressed; however, a request was made for the installation of a commingled recycling bin and the issue of grease recycling was discussed [in light of Southern Oregon Tallow’s impending closure].

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners reviewed the recommendations provided by staff. Gardiner, a subcommittee member, offered his perspective on the project, stating that the group established guidelines with a goal of developing a fair fee to charge toward funding the Calle’s resurfacing, among other expenses. He reported that the subcommittee agreed to raise fees gradually, with a review conducted each year.

Other subcommittee members—Marcus Scott of the Artisan’s Guild, Susan Powell from Pilaf Restaurant, and Dona Zimmerman from Webster’s—agreed that the subcommittee’s process was fair, reasonable, and equitable.

Public Input

Marcy Davy, 33 N. Main Street, expressed three concerns with the recommendations, including: 1) whether the space rental concept might be discriminatory against Plaza merchants wishing to rent space on the Calle; 2) potentially inappropriately low rental rates for vendors ($5 per day or $10 per weekend); and 3) whether it was appropriate for the city to allow “for-profit” businesses [artisans] to legally operate under a “non-profit” umbrella such as the Lithia Artisan’s Guild. She thanked subcommittee members and staff for their efforts.

Robertson reported that the City Attorney reviewed the Lithia Artisan’s Guild contract and did not express any concerns. He indicated that Portland Parks and Recreation established a rate in a similar situation.

Staff agreed to add the topic to the April 23 regular meeting agenda.

ADJOURNMENT OUT OF STUDY SESSION

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, Eggers adjourned the meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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