Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, August 04, 2009

 MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING

ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL

August 4, 2009

Council Chambers

1175 E. Main Street

 

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

 

ROLL CALL

Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Silbiger and Chapman were present. Councilor Jackson was absent.

 

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Stromberg read from a July 30, 2009 article in the Oregonian how the 1/186th Infantry Battalion of the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard (1/186) escaped serious injury earlier this month when two roadside bombs exploded during one of their first missions in Iraq. 

 

He went on to note vacancies on the Transportation Commission, Housing Commission and Forest Lands Commission.

 

SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?

The minutes of the Study Session of July 20, 2009, Annual Joint Meeting of Council and Ashland Community Hospital of July 21, 2009, Executive Session of July 21, 2009 and Regular Council of July 21, 2009 were approved as presented.

 

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS

Proclamations of August 6 as Hiroshima Day and August 9 as Nagasaki Day and the month of August as Kiwanis Month were read aloud.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

1.   Does Council approve the recommendations of the Public Art Commission to accept a loan of Public Art from artist Kevin Christman for placement on private property owned by Jerry and Cherie Garland?

2.   Does Council approve the recommendations of the Public Art Commission to accept a gift of public art from Alice Hardesty?

3.   Will Council approve the Ashland Fiber Network proposal seeking Federal Broadband Stimulus grant funding not to exceed $800,000?

4.   Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve a contract for safety training to Evergreen Job and Safety for a term of three years?

5.   Will Council accept a grant offered by the FAA in the amount of $199,000 to fund preliminary engineering services in the development of the runway rehabilitation project at Ashland Municipal Airport?

6.   Will Council approve the Agreement for Services between the City of Ashland and the Rogue Valley Transportation District?

7.   Does Council wish to ratify the new Labor Agreement between the City of Ashland and the Ashland Firefighter’s Association?

 

Item #3 was pulled for further clarification.

 

Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1, #2 and #4 through #7. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

City Administrator Martha Bennett explained there was an unresolved issue regarding the Federal Broadband Stimulus grant and the City would not be able to apply within the designated timeframe. 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS (none)

 

PUBLIC FORUM

Mark DiRienzo/1500 E Main Street/Introduced himself as the Executive Director at Science Works Museum and explained that some of the money received from an economic and cultural development grant was going to fund a regional LEGO ROBOTICS competition in December.  Prior to that event, NASA has agreed to come to Science Works with a touring trailer truck for an exhibition September 18-20, 2009.  In addition to moon rock exhibits, there is an educational component involving LEGO ROBOTICS that would help promote the LEGO ROBOTICS Competition.  Mr. DiRienzo was there to ask Council direction on diverting some of the funding for the competition to support the three-day NASA event.    

 

Staff recommended Council provide a formal acknowledgement of reallocating monies due to the grant process.

 

Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to allow Science Works to use grant money for the alternative purposes that have been presented.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman noted the Budget Committee had originally approved the grant monies.  City Administrator Martha Bennett clarified since the grant was an agreement between the City and the grantee, Council could authorize the reallocation of funds.  Voice Vote: all ayes. Motion passed.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1.   Does Council wish to direct Staff to initiate an ordinance to modify the expiration dates of land use application approvals?

Project Manager Adam Hanks presented the staff report and explained how a tolling provision would prevent an applicant’s approval to expire during the appeals process and the timetable extension would allow a one-time 18-month extension for land use applications approved January 1, 2006 through July 1, 2009.

 

City Administrator Martha Bennett added other jurisdictions initiated this ordinance in response to what occurred to the lending market September 2008 in an effort to avoid duplicating the application process due to only the finance market changing.  Currently there were 40-50 applications where tolling or extensions could potentially apply.

 

Colin Swales/Voiced his surprise that the item was on the agenda since it had come from staff without initiation by the Planning Commission or the Council.  Recent changes to the land use ordinance included granting an additional 6 months to the 12-month extension.  Adding another 18 months seemed unnecessary, would apply to commercial projects since residential single family improvements rarely required a land use application and seemed to cater to a specific section of the community.

 

Council discussed concerns with tolling not having a limit, a re-approval process instead of a global extension and the possibility of the approval extension taking years with different conditions developing that require consideration and suggested the ordinance go to the Planning Commission for consideration.

 

Councilor Lemhouse motion to direct staff to initiate the Timetable Tolling and Timetable Extension ordinance as proposed, with the understanding that changes may be made throughout the Staff, Planning Commission and Public review. Motion failed due to lack of second.

 

Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to take the proposal to the Planning Commission and not develop an ordinance until the Planning Commission deems one necessary.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse and Voisin agreed with the motion.  Councilor Navickas thought it was a more appropriate way for staff to work with Council and the Planning Commission.  Mayor Stromberg referred to an earlier conversation with Councilor Chapman and Ms. Bennett where it was decided that staff would wait for Council direction on drafting ordinances in the future.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Lemhouse, Voisin, Chapman, Silbiger and Navickas, YES.  Motion passed. 

 

2.   Does Council approve the second reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Relating to Food and Beverage Tax, Extending the Tax to 2030, and Amending Chapter 4.34?”  Does Council approve the ballot measure?  Does Council approve the resolution calling for a special election for November 3, 2009?

Staff distributed a revised Resolution, Ballot Title and Explanatory Statement to the Council.  Management Analyst Ann Seltzer presented the staff report and summarized changes to the proposed ordinance made by the Council at the previous City Council meeting.

 

City Attorney Richard Appicello addressed the Southern Oregon University (SOU) exemptions and suggested Council strike “Non-educational related catering events are not exempt” from 4.34.030(A) Exemptions   

 

Mr. Appicello read the ordinance title and noted additions and amendments to the proposed ordinance. In section, 4.34.020(C) Note, “of City parks,” was added to Note:  “20% of all taxes collected by the City under this chapter shall be paid into a Parks account for the purposes of acquisitions, planning and development and major rehabilitation of City parks per the City of Ashland’s Capital Improvement Plan.”  “Of the 20% allocated to the Parks account, 20% of the amount collected must be used for open space acquisition,” was added as well.  In 4.34.020 Tax Imposed 5(D) changes were as follows:  “Eighty Percent (80%) of all taxes collected by the City shall be used for the purpose of paying for wastewater capital improvement projects,” per the City of Ashland’s Capital Improvement Plan, which includes, but is not limited to, the wastewater treatment plant debt.”    

 

Mr. Appicello read proposed language the Council might want to add to the ordinance.  Chapter 4.34.130 Confidentiality paragraph C. would read, “Presentation of evidence to the court, or other tribunal having jurisdiction in the prosecution of any criminal or civil claim or an appeal for amount due the city under this chapter.”  Under 4.34.130, new paragraph “D. The disclosure of information when such disclosure of conditionally exempt information is ordered under public records law procedures.” Councilor Jackson’s suggestion of a new paragraph E. under 4.34.130, “The disclosure of records related to a business’s failure to report and remit tax when the report or tax is in arrears for over six months or the tax exceeds $5,000.00.  The City Council expressly finds and determines that the public interest in disclosure of such records clearly outweighs the interest in confidentiality under ORS 192.501(5).” 

 

Mr. Appicello explained SOU would violate zoning laws if they used educational facilities for commercial operations and suggested an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the university if Council decided to strike the line, “Non-educational related catering events are not exempt” in 4.34.030(A) Exemptions.”  

 

Ms. Bennett added SOU would have paid $1200 tax for the non-educational events during 2008. 

 

Councilor Silbiger/Navickas m/s to remove the language Non-educational related catering events are not tax exempt.”  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Lemhouse, Navickas, Voisin and Silbiger, YES.  Motion passed.

 

Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s approve the language proposed for 4.34.020 C & D as amended by the City Attorney.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Lemhouse, Navickas, Voisin and Silbiger, YES.  Motion passed. 

 

Councilor Navickas/Silbiger m/s to approve the language in Section 4.34.130 C & D as amended by the City Attorney.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Navickas, Lemhouse, Chapman and Voisin, YES.  Motion passed.

 

Councilor Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s to approve 4.34.130(E) as written.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas explained disclosure was a privacy issue and Council should not expose an individual’s personal financial position to the public.  Councilor Lemhouse responded a business in significant arrears affects the population of Ashland financially and it was unfair to the competitors paying the tax.   Councilor Navickas thought taking restaurants in arrears through Municipal Court was a better approach than using public pressure.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Silbiger and Chapman, YES; Councilor Navickas and Voisin, NO.  Motion passed 3-2.   

 

Councilor Voisin/Chapman m/s move that the expiration date for the ordinance relating to the Food and Beverage Tax be extended to 2022.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Voisin stated the public should have the opportunity to extend the tax in 2022 and had talked to citizens who would not support extending the tax to 2030.  Ending the tax at 2022 sent a clearer statement to the community that the tax went to paying the debt service.  Councilor Navickas explained the debt covered the waste treatment plant and deferred maintenance not yet begun.  Extending the tax to 2030 would allow the City to address the effluent and meet the temperature requirement with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  Councilor Chapman supported the motion, was comfortable extending the tax to 2030 for Parks Department purposes but not for the wastewater treatment plant.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin and Chapman, YES; Councilor Silbiger, Navickas and Lemhouse, NO.  Motion failed 3-2. 

 

Councilor Silbiger/Navickas m/s to approve Ordinance #2991 with noted changes by the City Attorney.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Lemhouse, Navickas, Voisin and Silbiger, YES.  Motion passed. 

 

Councilor Lemhouse/Silbiger m/s direct staff to negotiate with Southern Oregon University for an Intergovernmental Agreement for the purpose of collecting the Food and Beverage Tax on non-educational catering events.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse explained the City could not have the perception of giving a state run agency a break that private enterprises did not receive.  Councilor Voisin responded SOU was not interested in catering non-educational events, the university brought in over 5,000 students yearly that access Ashland restaurants and pay the tax, and she had not heard local businesses take issue with SOU’s catering policy. Councilor Navickas commented SOU is not a venue competing with local businesses and the agreement was unnecessary.  Councilor Silbiger thought if SOU was in competition and it was not part of their primary mission, they should be subject to the tax.  Councilor Chapman would support the motion because SOU was open to discuss the issue.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Silbiger, Chapman and Navickas, YES;  Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-1. 

 

Council agreed to change the Ballot Measure Caption to, “Shall 5% tax on prepared food/beverage extend to 2030 for wastewater treatment debt and improvements, 80% and Parks 20%?”

 

On the second paragraph of the summary, Council agreed on changing the wording and after discussion, removed the dollar amounts.  “80% of tax revenues are dedicated to wastewater treatment plant debt (dollar amount) that is and capital improvements (dollar amount) that might be.  20% is dedicated to Parks for capital improvements and acquisitions, projects are identified in the City’s adopted Capital Improvement Plan.”

 

Council and Staff changed the following language under the first paragraph of the Explanatory Statement: “Passage of this measure extends the tax that provides funding for the wastewater treatment debt and capital improvements as well as park’s capital improvements and acquisitions.  Projects are required to be in the adopted Capital Improvement Plan.”

 

Council agreed on changes to the last sentence of the Explanatory Statement:  “Funds generated after 2022 not designated for parks will be used for wastewater capital improvements.”

 

Staff noted a final edit to the Ballot Measure language, paragraph 4 under Summary deleting “…or non educational catered events.”

 

Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Resolution 2009-22.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Voisin, Navickas, Voisin and Lemhouse, YES.  Motion passed.

 

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS

1.   Will Council approve an agreement with the Ashland School District for a water service connection to Willow Wind Community Learning Center, outside of the City limit and the urban growth boundary?

Public Works Director Mike Faught and Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson presented the staff report and introduced Ashland School Business Manager Jill Turner. The following changes to the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) were read aloud: section 3. Functions or Activities, last sentence of the paragraph, add, “…as provided here in,” and strike “…by City for customer served outside City.” In section 8. Termination(A), first sentence add “…upon default,” and strike “…at anytime, upon one-hundred eighty (180) days.”  

 

Mr. Faught gave a presentation that included:

·       Will the City Council approve an agreement with the Ashland School District for a Water Service Connection to Willow Wind Community Learning Center, Outside of the City Limits?

·         Background

·         Proposed Water Service Map

·        Council September 5, 2000

·         IGA

·         IGA – City Provides

·         Resolution 97-27

·         Jackson County Approval

·         City is on Track with Conservation – Projected and Actual

Ms. Turner stated the need for water connection arose when the School District decided to proceed with the barn project.  At that time there was not enough funding to install a sprinkler system in the buildings for fire protection and well water was too expensive.  The School District had since received voter-approved funds for capital construction and there was now enough money to start the project.

 It was explained that Willow Wind paid the Systems Development Charges (SDC), the service connection and were offered an in-city rate instead of an outside-city limits rate at a difference of 1.5%.  Ms. Turner added the School District pays the additional fees, the buy-in of the capital through the SDC with property taxes used to supplement water rates and pay for debt service.  As a non-profit governmental entity, the School District does not pay property taxes.

 

Staff explained the purpose of charging a higher outside-city limits water rate was to recover funds non-profit government entities do not pay through property taxes.  The City also wanted the school using City drinking water opposed to well water.  Offering the in-city rate was an incentive for the school District to connect for water service instead of connecting only for fire service.  Currently Willow Wind brought in bottled water for drinking and used well water for the sewer.

 

Council expressed concerns that the agreement should have a limit to avoid becoming outdated.  The School had also violated water usage amount, State Land Use Code and the City Charter and there was opposition on changing City policy regarding how connections outside city limits were charged.  It set a precedent and Council should change the rates or the ordinance before making special rate offers.  Other comments included Council making an exception to Willow Wind and concern the School District had requested multiple payments for the SDC.  

 

Staff confirmed those living outside of City limits paid 1.5% more for water service.

 

Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s strike the language giving the School District the in-city water rate from the Intergovernmental Agreement as amended by the City Attorney.  DISCUSSION:  City Attorney Richard Appicello noted that in section 3. Functions or Activities (A)The City of Ashland agrees to the following, second sentence, strike “Not withstanding the location of service, the water rate the City shall charge the School District shall be the same as the in-city water rate, provided the Willow Wind Community Center property remains a school.  Any change in use will trigger an increase in the rate charged to the out of city rate structure,” and add to the last sentence of that paragraph, “As provided here in,” and strike “By City for customers served outside the City.”Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Voisin and Lemhouse, YES; Councilor Navickas, NO.  Motion passed 4-2. 

 

Ms. Turner confirmed the School District would make a single payment instead of installments.  Staff explained section 4. Payment (B) could be deleted from the IGA if single payment occurred. 

 

Councilor Voisin/Navickas m/s to approve staff recommendation to approve the amended agreement with the Ashland School District for a Water Service Connection to Willow Wind Community Learning Center.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Chapman, Lemhouse, Silbiger and Voisin, YES.  Motion passed.

 

2.   Will the Council authorize the City Administrator to sign a confidentiality agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad for data related to the Siskiyou Section?Councilor Chapman explained several discussions with cities in California had occurred regarding the rail service.  Union Pacific invited the City of Ashland to discuss the railroad further but required a Confidentiality Agreement prior.  City Administrator Martha Bennett further explained by signing the agreement, the City would be subject to  all legal fees of Union Pacific if the City ever disclosed, it was an open-ended liability statement based on the laws of Nebraska 

 

Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s that Council authorize the City Administrator to sign a confidentiality agreement with Union Pacific Railroad regarding the Siskiyou section.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Chapman, Navickas, Voisin, Silbiger and Lemhouse, YES.  Motion passed. 

 

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS None

 

OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS

1.   Housing Commission

Councilor Voisin reported that during an analysis to impediments to fair housing, serious impediments were discovered that the Housing Commission would address during their next meetings.  The Housing Commission was also working on the preservation of vulnerable property of affordable housing. 

 

Council suggested a proclamation in honor of Alice Hardesty for her efforts on the City Council and the Housing Commission.

 

2.      Parks & Recreation Commission  

Councilor Silbiger reported the Parks and Recreation Commission were glad the Council was putting the renewal of the Food and Beverage Tax on the ballot.  Currently, the Commission was working on a large informational sign at the entrance to Lithia Park.  He expressed the Commission’s disappointment that Parks Director Don Robertson was unable to reduce the price on the Clay Street property.  A contingency to purchase the property might be the Food and Beverage Tax passing.  

 

3.      Transportation Commission/Policy Committee of the MPO

Transportation Commission

Councilor Chapman reported the Commission was getting ready to update the City’s Transportation Plan, review how the Will Dodge Way alley operates and replace a recent resignation on the Commission.

 

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) - Policy Committee

Councilor Chapman shared the history of the committee’s origin and policies.  The MPO is comprised of a Public Advisory Committee, Technical Advisory and the Policy Committee.  Recently, the Policy Committee updated the Regional Transportation Plan, established their mission, vision statement, and goals.  

 

SUMMARY OF MEETING

Mayor Stromberg provided a brief summary of the meeting.

 

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

 

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John Stromberg, Mayor

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