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Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, October 22, 2007

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

October 22, 2007

 

 

ATTENDANCE

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

Absent:     City Council Liaison Navickas

CALL TO ORDER         

Eggers called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – September 17, 2007

MOTION Noraas moved to approve the minutes as written. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no [Rosenthal abstained]

Regular Meeting – September 17, 2007

MOTION Gardiner moved to approve the minutes as written. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no [Rosenthal abstained]

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

None

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

GFOA AWARDS PRESENTATION

Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg presented the commission with the Government Finance Officers’ Association 2006 award for excellence in financial reporting, stating that this represented the 18th consecutive year the commission received the top award from the government accounting board.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

SOU STUDENTS’ DUCK POND REVIEW AND DISCUSSION

Gies welcomed three Southern Oregon University students who chose the upper duck pond for a school project and invited them to speak to the commission.

Nicholas Stevenson, Calvin, Cho, and Helena Verduyn said they selected the upper duck pond’s enhancement for their environmental studies capstone project. They indicated their intention to present and recommend alternatives for the upper duck pond in cooperation with the Ashland Parks Department, DEQ, Ashland City Council, and three environmental education professors at SOU. They provided historical and environmental information about the pond, including:

§         The pond was built around 1910 and received a continuous flow of fresh creek water until the late 1980s

§         The pond was then separated from Ashland Creek due to construction of the Granite Street dam and to preemptively safeguard the creek from hazardous bacteria

§         The bacterium includes cyanobacteria of microsystis and anabaena and attaches to duck feces and leaves on the pond’s bottom

§         Increased public duck feeding has resulted in increased sediment and subsequent increased bacteria

§         The bacteria poses a health threat to both the ducks and the public

Proposed solutions included:

§         Dredging and cleaning the pond

§         Educating the public about detrimental effects of feeding ducks as well as park information

§         Adding a biological substance to maintain the algae problem and using equipment to monitor results

§         Choosing one of the following long-term solutions:

o       Renovate the pond and install UV filtration system similar to that in the lower duck pond

o       Capture water imported from the TID into the pond, then use water for park purposes such as irrigating lawns

o       Divert water from Ashland Creek upstream of pond into the pond to create flow, allowing oxygen to re-enter the pond; downstream of pond, create artificial wetland to clean the pond of the biological material created by ducks; water exiting wetland to run through underground pipe containing UV filter, killing remaining bacteria; resulting warmer water cooled by running through underground channel steps as it re-enters creek

In terms of timeline, the students indicated that, with the help of professors and environmental consultants, they would work on the project until January 20, 2008, and present recommended alternatives and justifications to the Parks Commission on January 21. From March 2008 through 2008-2009, they said they hoped to receive from the Parks Commission and staff the approval of final costs and the construction and implementation of their proposed solution, which would be dependent on Parks Commission and staff decisions.

The students asked commissioners to complete their decision criteria surveys in the near future.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners praised the students for their excellent presentation and proposed solutions. They expressed the need to learn more about project costs and maintenance and energy expenses. When asked by staff to provide feedback to the students, they agreed about the need to dredge the pond and showed interest in long-term solution #2, which involved capturing TID water to use for irrigating portions of the park.

Commissioners thanked the students and agreed to return their decision criteria surveys within two days.

NEW BUSINESS

REQUEST TO FILM IN NORTH MOUNTAIN PARK

Robertson reported receiving a request for filming at North Mountain Park. He welcomed movie producers Anne Lundgren and Mike Matondi and invited them to speak to the commission.

Anne Lundgren and Mike Matondi of Broken Sky Films Production Company said their movie, Calvin Marshall, would be filmed in both Ashland and Medford. They reported scouting softball locations [for one of their scenes] and finding the North Mountain Park softball fields to be the most desirable in the area. They requested the use of a North Mountain Park field on Monday, November 19, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for their filming and said that 80 people, including cast, crew, and extras, would be involved in the shoot. They indicated that the filming would require additional lighting but no amplified sound and offered to notify neighbors in advance. They requested permission to shoot in the middle of the following week in the event of inclement weather and offered a $500 contribution to the Parks Department.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Staff reported receiving a “question and answer” list from the movie’s line producer, to respond to potential commissioner concerns. Commissioners and staff reviewed the list and asked several clarifying questions.

Motion    Gardiner moved to approve the request for dawn-to-dusk filming on a softball field at North Mountain Park on Monday, November 19, with an alternate date to take effect in the event of inclement weather. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was:  5 yes – 0 no

ALCOHOL FEE WAIVER REQUEST

Robertson reported receiving a request from Jim Duncan of the Native Plant Society for the waiver of their $100 non-refundable alcohol fee for an event on Thursday, December 13, at the Ashland Community Center. He welcomed Duncan and invited him to address the commission.

Jim Duncan, Treasurer of the Native Plant Society of Oregon, Siskiyou Chapter, said the organization’s holiday event on December 13 would include a potluck dinner and a guest speaker. He asked the commission to allow a waiver of the $100 fee, in light of the organization’s modest budget, and said their use of alcohol would not cause any problems.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers stated that the recently implemented fee covered only 30% of departmental costs associated with the operation of the facility, with the balance being paid through taxes. She said staff and the commission spent a great deal of time reviewing fees and charges and implementing the modest increases and asked that the commission resist waiving fees until the policy could be evaluated for its effectiveness. Rosenthal stated that neighboring communities sometimes waive fees in lieu of a service provided. Noraas expressed that the plant society is a service organization with educational connections to the community, tying in with a portion of the Parks Department’s mission. She indicated that the fee would be limiting for the plant society and suggested allowing a partial refund if the facility was sufficiently cleaned following the event.

Motion    Noraas moved to issue a 50% refund to the Native Plant Society following their December 13 holiday event, given that there were no problems with the cleanliness of the facility. Lewis seconded the motion.

                                   The vote was:      Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal – yes

                                                              Eggers – no

DISCUSSION OF ASHLAND CREEK PARK CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS

Robertson reported that Laurie Sager and Kerry KenCairn were contracted to develop the construction documents for Ashland Creek Park and were requesting commission input on several issues prior to the development of the documents. He indicated that their concerns included creek bank options, the barn, bathroom location(s), and storm water storage and use. He welcomed Sager and KenCairn and invited them to speak to the commission.

Laurie Sager and Kerry KenCairn, landscape architects, along with Tom Sager and Carlos Delgado, architects, presented their work on the construction documents for the Ashland Creek Park. They pointed out elements of the master plan that had been altered and provided rationales for the changes. Proposed changes included:

§         Access road added along north side of property with the addition of two parking spaces (eliminating drive-through off Hersey)

§         Slight reconfiguration of plaza area

§         Community garden – added ADA accessible spaces with raised beds

§         Stormwater cistern placed in center of community garden for irrigation and ornamentation

§         Playground seat walls added with shade provided

§         Secondary channel for Ashland Creek with boardwalks added in high-water areas

§         Minimal tree removals by community garden and additional trees planted to create buffer

§         Fencing around community garden for deer proofing

Architects Sager and Delgado showed designs for three structures at the site, including the entry kiosk, two handicapped restrooms with a janitorial closet, and a multi-use shelter / classroom. They presented possible elements associated with the structures, including roofs, walls, and materials.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners provided feedback, with Eggers indicating that the changes diverged from the master plan developed through a public process. Robertson stated that the contractors were honoring the master plan but proposing minor changes to provide creative solutions for several elements. Sager said that she and KenCairn were mainly asking for feedback about the river channel and the proposed restroom relocation. Lewis stated that removing trees along the north side could affect the garden plots. He questioned the cistern concept, expressing that it might not be a good value for the money required. Noraas talked about the usefulness of the barn in teaching schoolchildren, as it provided shelter from the elements. Gardiner voiced agreement with the suggested changes and asked for a more detailed description of the secondary creek channel. KenCairn reported that it would mimic the drop in the creek and said special permits would be required.

Commissioners agreed in principle to the following changes: location of restrooms and kiosk, bike parking, access road with two additional parking spots near the community garden [only accessible when gate lock was opened], and secondary channel in the creek. They agreed to discuss the proposed alterations in more detail at an upcoming study session.

SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Robertson reported that the Ashland City Council was scheduled to conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, November 6, at its regular meeting—7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers—to consider a request to exchange real property, consisting of 1.3 acres of the 10-acre City-owned parcel known as the Ashland Dog Park, with land owned by Greg and Valri Williams. He invited the commission to attend the public hearing.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Eggers reported attending the Oregon Recreation and Parks Association meeting in Eugene during the week of October 15. She said it was a valuable experience and thanked Ashland taxpayers for the opportunity to attend.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

§         Study session—date TBA

§         Regular meeting set for November 19—Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the regular meeting at 9:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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