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Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Minutes
Monday, July 21, 2008

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

STUDY SESSION
MINUTES

 

July 21, 2008

 

ATTENDANCE

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

Absent:       Commissioner Rosenthal; 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.

REQUEST TO SELL CONCESSIONS AT CITY BAND CONCERTS

Robertson reminded commissioners that Ashland Lions Club member Mark Haneberg spoke during the “Open Forum” section of the June regular meeting to request permission to fundraise for the Ashland City Band by selling concession items at summer concerts. He welcomed Haneberg and invited him to speak to the commission.

Mark Haneberg said the Lions Club hoped to fundraise for the Ashland City Band by selling concession items on a trial basis at the remaining Thursday evening summer band concerts. The proposal called for Lions Club members to sell packaged ice cream and soft drinks to concert patrons from a mobile concession trailer. He said the short-term pilot project would benefit the Ashland City Band and also fund improvements for bandshell benches for the benefit of Lithia Park patrons. He outlined proposed objectives, hours of operation, menu items, prices, locations for the mobile cart, and distribution of proceeds. He said the Lions Club would provide a suggestion box in the area to solicit feedback about the pilot project.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked Haneberg about the trailer, equipment, and proposed setup and cleanup. Eggers said other entities had been denied the opportunity to sell or solicit in parks, including the Ashland Ballet, and questioned whether approval of this project might invite criticism. Lewis pointed out that the band is included within the city charter, making it a city entity and placing it into a different category than a non-affiliated entity. Robertson pointed out that council recently rescinded several city ordinances, including a ban on soliciting in parks.

Commissioners invited Haneberg to attend the regular commission meeting on Monday, July 28, and said any potential or future approval would be contingent upon a successful pilot program.

REVIEW MOCKUPS OF DUCK POND SIGNS

Gies displayed draft versions of informational duck pond signs and invited commissioner feedback.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners said the information was valuable but the signs were too large and wordy and did not convey the most important message about not feeding the ducks. Lewis said the information would be appropriate for a newspaper article but not a sign.

Gies agreed to work with staff to rework the signs and bring them back to the commission for a final review.

ICE RINK CONTINGENCY PLAN

Robertson reported that the requested funds for the reconstruction of the Darex Family Ice Rink were not granted by the State of Oregon grant committee. He distributed a memo outlining potential options for the future of the ice rink:

1.       No ice rink: Eliminate the service permanently.

2.       New matting: Replace old mats with same style as used in the past. Previous cost estimate (given eight months ago) was $35,000. Anticipate increase due to current oil increases. Requires shipping from east coast.

3.       Fundraise and reapply for grant next year. This option would rely on fundraising and grant to implement current plan. Anticipate increase due to current oil increases.

4.       Install current plan: Utilize current capital funds to install per plan. $200,000 for ice sheet and parking improvements only, with spectator cover, concessions building, and restroom funded separately.

Robertson said options #2 and #4 would possibly provide a rink in the upcoming season and that ’08-’09 funds allocated for ice rink improvements totaled $100,000, including $50,000 budgeted from the capital improvement fund, $45,000 from the insurance settlement for the collapsed roof, and $5,000 from an Ashland Parks Foundation grant. He requested feedback from the commission.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked about the potential impact of using non-allocated capital funds for the project and Robertson said it would restrict spending on other capital projects. Commissioners asked for a breakdown of utility and maintenance costs for the rink and Gies and Teige agreed to provide the figures at an upcoming meeting. Noraas said the figures would help the commission to understand how much would be saved if the coils were embedded into the concrete, reducing some maintenance costs. Gardiner stressed the importance of continuing the ice rink operation and said that if non-allocated capital funds were used for rink improvements, staff could later write a grant for funds to develop a capital project not earmarked for the current fiscal year. Robertson stated that grant funds for park development were common and said the commission could direct staff to write a grant for funds to develop the Scenic or Ashland Creek Parks.

Commissioners directed staff to place the item on the Monday, July 28, regular meeting agenda for further discussion and a decision about the future of the ice rink.

OTHER COMMISSION BUSINESS

Robertson reported that Robbin Pearce of the Conservation Department sent a Green Business update.

Eggers reported seeing Lions Club members parking vehicles on Lithia Park turf during 4th of July festivities and said she thought the issue had been addressed in prior years. Staff agreed to send a letter stating that any future use of the park by the Lions Club for 4th of July activities would be contingent upon their agreement to adhere to Parks policies regarding driving only on paved surfaces.

Robertson reported that upcoming conferences included ORPA, starting on September 22, and NRPA, starting on October 14. He asked commissioners about their interest in attending either or both of the conferences and said it might be necessary to move the September regular meeting to the last Monday in September, since staff would not be available on September 22 due to ORPA. Staff was directed to move the September regular meeting to September 29.

Eggers asked about the water quality in Ashland Creek and Gies reported that weekly water quality test results were regularly sent to the Jackson County Health Department and the water quality was still fine for swimming and wading.

Teige reported that the first summer 2008 “Movie in the Park” at Garfield Park was successful, with approximately 170 people attending.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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