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Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Minutes
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

STUDY SESSION
MINUTES

May 13, 2009

ATTENDANCE

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

Absent:       Commissioner Eggers; City Council Liaison Silbiger

CALL TO ORDER

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

FY 2009-2010 STUDY SESSION CALENDAR

Commissioners paired FY 2009-2010 goals with study session dates as follows:

§         June 15, 2009 – Food and Beverage Tax renewal

§         July 20, 2009 – Environmental evaluations and audits (held at golf course)

§         August 17 – Non-native vegetation removal

§         September 21 – Fees and charges

§         October 19 – Preliminary steps for Lithia Park master plan / Upper and lower Clay Street property

§         November 16 – Financial and business plan / Community communication

§         December 14 – Initial goal setting session

§         January 11 (date to be confirmed) – Goal setting / Nature Center

§         February 15 (date to be confirmed)Nature Center

§         March 15 – Budget planning

§         April 19 - Budget planning

§         May 10 (date to be confirmed) – Budget planning

OPEN FORUM

Andy Cochrane, 490 Park Ridge, inquired about renting two Lithia Park tennis courts for one and one-half hours per week (4:30 – 6:00 p.m.) from June 1 through October 1 to operate a junior advanced tennis program for 5-8 youth tennis players ages 13 to 15 years. He said he selected a weekday in late afternoon because the courts were typically used less then. He voiced willingness to pay a rental fee for the courts.

Commissioners invited Cochrane to submit a written proposal and attend the May 18 regular meeting to present his request.

NORTH MOUNTAIN PARK SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Dials said the Ashland School District would not pay for Nature Center programs in the 2009-2010 school year. She said Nature Center staff developed a “pay as you go” program and she welcomed Kari Gies, inviting her to speak to the commission.

Kari Gies of the North Mountain Park Nature Center said Nature Center program funding through the Youth Activities Levy was terminated and teachers were asked to request payment by students and parents for Nature Center programs in the upcoming school year. Gies said there was no guarantee that teachers or students would pay for the programs. She said program costs, including materials and development time, were estimated to range from $10-$16 per student per program. After speaking with teachers, she said a compromise was reached whereby kindergarten through 3rd grade students would be charged $5 while 4th through 8th grade students would be charged $8, with the Nature Center subsidizing the remaining costs. She said the programs had been subsidized in the past, with the school district paying $15,000 per year for the $50,000 program. She suggested sending a letter to teachers and school staff about the changing cost structure, asking them to notify families in advance about the new fee structure and encouraging fundraising. She suggested possibly giving Ashland students first priority for program slots and filling remaining slots with groups from other Rogue Valley schools. She expressed hope that the new funding model would generate $20,000 in the upcoming school year.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed the need to notify the public—especially children, teachers, parents, and volunteers—about the financial jeopardy facing Nature Center environmental education programs. They questioned whether to charge resident / non-resident fees. They suggested possibly shifting away from school programs and instead developing community-oriented Nature Center programs.

Dials agreed to prepare a Nature Center report and present it during the fees and charges discussion at the September 21 study session.

OTHER BUSINESS

Robertson reported attending a Budget Committee meeting earlier in the evening. He said no funding decisions were determined at the time of his early departure.

ADJOURNMENT OUT OF STUDY SESSION – By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the study session at 8:31 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION – By consensus, Gardiner adjourned into executive session at 8:31 p.m.

§         Executive Session: Employee Negotiations ORS 192.660 (1)(D)

ADJOURNMENT OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION – By consensus, Gardiner adjourned out of executive session at 8:57 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:57 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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