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Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Minutes
Monday, March 17, 2008

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

STUDY SESSION
MINUTES

 

March 17, 2008

 

 

ATTENDANCE

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

Absent:          City Council Liaison Navickas

CALL TO ORDER

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.

DISCUSS FUTURE OF ICE RINK

Robertson gave a brief overview and history of the rink, stating that the original intention was to provide an enjoyable and healthy activity for families and tourists. He said that, despite the lack of overhead cover, 12,000 visitors enjoyed the rink in the 2007-2008 season, bringing in approximate revenues of $45,000.

Robertson outlined five options for the future of the rink:

1.       Replace mats and coils

a.       No cover

b.      No grants available to offset project costs

c.       System would last 10-12 years

2.       Set coils into concrete in parking lot

a.       No cover

b.      Small building with restrooms

c.       Skate rental building

d.      Spectator area

e.      System would last 50 years or more

3.       Set coils into concrete in parking lot – larger-sized rink

a.       Grading required

b.      Small building with restrooms

c.       Skate rental building

d.      Spectator area

e.      System would last 50 years or more

4.       Move ice rink onto SOU property (area behind ScienceWorks)

a.       Master planning process underway

5.       No ice rink

Robertson said staff planned to bring a grant resolution before the commission at their next regular meeting for review and possible approval. He said approval of the grant resolution was required for staff to continue pursuing the grant for ice rink improvements.

Based on commissioner questions, staff reported that the current rink measures 65’ x 120’ and the improved rink would require less energy consumption and utilities usage.

Public Input

Mark Moeglein, 144 Sunnyview Street, read the following letters into the record:

§        Katie Gomez, 1249 Old Willow Lane, wrote in support of keeping the ice rink in Ashland, with a cover, restrooms, and lockers for valuables.

§        Donna Mills, SOU Department Chair and Professor of Health, Physical Education, and Leadership, wrote in support of keeping the ice rink in the community for college credit skating classes and as a recreational and fitness option.

§        Mary Douglas, recently deceased, expressed support several years ago for an expanded/ improved rink.

Additional Public Input

Peter Kirkpatrick, 10950 Corp Ranch Road, said he favored a full-sized rink and thanked the commission for their assistance in establishing a hockey tradition in Ashland.

Chris Toogood, 2272 McCall Drive, said that offering skating opportunities in the park helped the local economy, especially in the slow winter months. He spoke in support of a full-sized rink but expressed appreciation for the opportunity to skate on the smaller rink in Lithia Park.

Molly MacGowan and Marylill Elbe, P.O. Box 28, Etna, CA, said skating is a lifetime sport and the commission should disregard option #5, as the rink was important to the community.

Michael McLaughlin, 737 N. Main, speaking as the hockey director for the Rogue Valley Youth Hockey Association, said a larger rink would benefit the hockey community. He said ice time at the RRRink in Medford is limited and he voiced support for keeping a local rink in operation.

Ron Bass, 78 6th street, speaking for three generations of recreational skaters, said it was important to start small and support the priority list.

Gregg Marchese, 533 Fairview Street, representing the Siskiyou Summits, said the rink in Medford does not have a schedule that works for adults and there is local interest in providing more ice for hockey play.

Tom Harrison, 595 Elizabeth Avenue, a youth hockey parent, said the hockey community is passionate and engaged in the process. He voiced support for a full-sized rink but said keeping a local rink alive was the highest priority.

Robert Bruce, 603 Sutton Place, a hockey player and hockey parent, said hockey provides many healthful benefits and a full-sized rink would be beneficial to the hockey community.

Bow Seltzer, 593 N. Mountain Avenue, commended Moeglein for his work in generating support for a larger rink and voted for option #3. He said the original project called for the creation of a rink in the park and he spoke of the importance of retaining that location. He offered support for fundraising efforts.

John Rotar, 1390 Hammel Road, asked the commission to consider option #3 and delete option #5. He said the rink needed to stay in Lithia Park as the community would support a rink in that location.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Robertson said the 2008-2009 budget included $94,000 for ice rink improvements, which would be rolled into the next fiscal year if necessary. He said state grant funds were available but required matching funds for eligibility. He read into the record SOU’s position on the ice rink, written by Craig Morris, SOU’s Interim Vice President for Finanace and Administration.

Commissioners directed staff to continue working on the grant and to orient the wording toward option #2.

BUDGET DISCUSSION

Robertson said the draft goals were divided into categories labeled “Projects” and “Practices.” Robertson made a commitment to schedule a study session for each item on the goals list. Gardiner asked about the duck pond cleanup and Robertson said staff and Paul Kay would do a trial run on Tuesday, March 18, and that a possible disposal site had been found in Sam’s Valley. Further discussion included:

§         North Main/Scenic Park Bid Process—Process reviewed in detail

§         Golf Course Improvements—Improvements contingent on budget commitment

§         Ashland Creek Park—Several years out

§         Non-Native Species Removal—Commission report half-completed

§         Darex Family Ice Rink—Commission support for options #2 and #3

§         Recreation Master Plan—Helpful tool for projects like ice rink

§         Recreation Program Guide—Important for sharing Parks perspective and information with the public

§         Strengthen Relationships with Chamber and City—Determine needs / expectations and develop an implementation plan to include economic impact and funding resources

Robertson outlined proposed service reductions. He distributed Capital Improvement Plan information and the commission discussed each item and asked clarifying questions. Rosenthal asked for the addition of an Oak Knoll Golf Course walking path.

Next Steps

Robertson said the draft goals and budget would require review and approval at the upcoming regular meeting.

GREENWAY COMMITTEE APPPOINTMENT DISCUSSION

Robertson said the Greenway Committee needed an Ashland representative and it could be a staff member, commissioner, or community member. He indicated that the committee oversees the major maintenance fund for the Greenway. Commissioners said it was important to designate a representative who was knowledgeable about the Greenway, forward-thinking, and familiar with the workings of the Parks Commission.

The commission designated Robertson as the Greenway Committee representative from Ashland and said they would consider an alternate in the future.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 10:02 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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