Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, May 01, 2001

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
May 1, 2001 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

ROLL CALL
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison were present. Councilor Fine was absent.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 17, 2001 were approved as presented. Councilor Hartzell clarified that she incorrectly identified Community Works as the anti-smoking group who will make a presentation to the council in June. She should have identified The Tobacco Free Jackson County Ad Hoc Citizens for a Healthy Ashland group.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1. Proclamations for National Historic Preservation Week, Gun Turn-In Day, and Brain Tumor Awareness Week were read by the council.

2. Presentation by the Historic Commission on current activities.
Historic Commission member Keith Chambers introduced other members from the commission, including Terry Skibby, Dale Shostrom, J. Leighton, Bob Meiser, Gary Foll, Kay Maser, Ted Mularz and Joan Steele. Chambers gave a brief presentation, noting the quality and amount of work performed by commission members in their efforts to preserve Ashland's history. The City has been added to the National Park Service website, with a description of qualities making the City unique. The commission has drafted a letter of welcome, and upon approval from the mayor, it will be placed on the website as well. National Historic Week is May 13-19, with a focus on local historic schools. Displays will be presented at the Ashland Springs Hotel and Safeway from May 7-19. The council voiced their appreciation of the commission, noting the value in preserving the community’s history.

Ginger Rilling/557 Ross Rd, Talent/Presented herself for council's questions regarding Gun Turn-In Day on May 12, at the Ashland Christian Fellowship Church parking lot from 10 am to 1 p.m.. She explained that relinquished guns would be destroyed. If a gun is identified as stolen property, the owner will be found and the gun will be returned. Gift certificates have been solicited for people who turn in guns.

CONSENT AGENDA
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. Confirmation of Mayor’s appointment of Charles Bennett to the Conservation Commission for a term to expire 4/30/04

Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)

PUBLIC FORUM
JoAnne Eggers/221 Granite
/Represented the Ashland Watershed Partnership and spoke regarding Ashland Creek. The Forest Service Stream Survey was handed out to council. A workshop is planned for May 12, from 9 am to noon at 815 Oak Street to discuss appropriate planting along the creek. Questions can be answered through the Environmental Stewardship Program at 488-6606.

Councilors Hartzell/Hanson m/s to place the discussion of the gypsy moth spraying on the agenda under Old Business. DISCUSSION: Reid questioned whether there would be adequate representation from the community, as this issue was not publicly noticed. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. Review of proposed costs and grant/loan application for the Hargadine parking facility.
City Administrator Greg Scoles explained that there are two issues regarding the facility: the grant and loan from OECDD and the overall cost of the project. Staff has attempted to answer council's questions through a modified agreement between the State and City. In addition, a cooperative draft agreement has been developed between the City and OSF. The obligation of the City is approximately $700,000. Staff recommended council's review of the packet materials and asked for direction to develop a final draft for consideration at the May 15, council meeting.

Philip C. Lang/758 B
/Noted that staff affirms there is no legal action pending that might adversely effect the project. In fact, there is a lawsuit asking the court to find the lease null and void, which was filed December 4, 2000. An initial court hearing found the suit to be premature because the form was not correct, but the defect has since been corrected. The suit has been held in hope that the City would review the lease. As the mayor and council is unwilling review the lease, Lang intends to proceed with the suit.

Colin Swales/461 Allison/Was concerned with the assumption that the building will be a paid-parking structure. He felt that, should the structure become paid parking, surrounding areas would also become paid parking, which would require community-parking permits. He stated that it should be decided whether the structure will be for-pay, and which people would be paying. Swales requested a public notation of the council's position on the policy for paid parking. DeBoer noted that council will make this decision at a later date. At this point, staff is seeking direction. Swales noted that the parking provided by the facility falls far short of OSF's requirement for the new and existing facilities. He suggested having the City keep the grant money to offset the cost to the taxpayers for providing OSF's parking.

Scoles clarified that no payback-parking plan has been developed. There is an assumption that paid parking would be utilized through the facility. The cost for parking will fluctuate depending upon time of day. The question before council is not whether taxpayers will be committed to paying for the facility, as the City has already obligated itself to the fair share of the expenses. A number of decisions still need to be made. If this issue is going to hold up the process, then the grant cannot be utilized because it is due June 1. The loan proceeds must be used before grant monies can be obtained. The total grant and loan is $1.5 million. The City is obligated for $700,000. In order to implement the entire amount, the council must work with OSF to decide how the money is utilized. Rough estimates were provided in the packet on projected revenue potential. Full occupancy would not be allowed during the first year. Approximately 100 spaces would be available. Nolte stated the agreement provides that OSF cannot open the theater until the parking spaces are available. Scoles stated that OSF understands that losing the parking lot has been a burden to the community.

Laws noted that rough estimates were provided to the council when the initial lease approval was made. The loan and grant was given to the community for Economic Development. He felt it was fair to put a formula into the document providing the City a proportion of the loan to cover its obligation.

Laws noted that rough estimates were provided to the council when the initial lease approval was made. The loan and grant was given to the community for Economic Development. He felt it was fair to put a formula into the document providing the City a proportion of the loan to cover its obligation.

Morrison suggested separating the issue of payment from the issue of the grant. A partnership was entered into because OSF could not receive the grant without the City. He proposed looking at the grant as a 50/50 proposition.

Reid noted that the need for long-term parking was an issue long before the new theater was proposed. Many cities have the option of free, time-limited street parking and paid long-term parking. She suggested accepting the loan and grant, working with OSF on how to allot the money, and making a list of preferences.

Hartzell clarified that the City worked collaboratively with OSF in writing the grant. She felt it was important to think to the City's share, because it is taxpayer money, when providing more parking beyond what was already there.

Scoles stated that the amount the City is responsible for would be available at the next council meeting. Some of the paid parking equipment will be included in the estimate. He will develop a recommendation from staff that provides the council with several options, including modifications proposed by council. Council and staff discussed the preliminary grant and loan application. Scoles noted that OECDD could make changes to the provisions as well. Hartzell suggested reviewing the lease with OSF.

2. Discussion regarding Gypsy Moth Spray program.
DeBoer explained the approval given to the Oregon Department of Agriculture for low-flying aircraft.

Caja Cupito/174 Eastbrook/Noted the quality of life offered in Ashland. She shared research raising serious health concerns regarding Btk. She noted that no long-term study has been done on humans. Cupito requested halting the spraying of the Ashland area.

Jim Hollens/827 Leonard/Shared how the recent spraying adversely affected him. Hollens urged the council to stop the low-flying spraying of Btk in order to protect children and those with fragile immune systems.

 
Ken Orsow/810 Leonard/Read a portion of a report produced by the State Office of New York Attorney General Environmental Protection Bureau from February 1996 entitled, "The Secret Hazards of Pesticide's Inert Ingredients." He also read an excerpt from a report written by an unidentified genetics professor who was unconvinced of Btk's safety.

Barbara Orsow/810 Leonard
/Came as a representative for individuals who suffered adverse health symptoms after the spraying. When direction was sought on how to report symptoms, people were told there was no where to report. Orsow requested that council consider other less harmful options to humans, pets, and the environment.

Kathleen Johnson/Oregon Department of Agriculture/Came to address council's questions. Johnson noted that the website, no-spray-zone/org/btk, was originated by a single person who is not a scientist. A group of doctors and professors was convened to evaluate the health-issue information associated with spraying. Johnson read a portion of the summary. She relayed that the Oregon Health Division has noted that a portion of the inert ingredients (20-30%) is artificial sweetener, which is mixed with a large portion of water. All issues related to spraying, land-application, and other issues related to gypsy moth eradication were presented at several Public information meetings.

Nolte stated that the previous decision to allowing the low-flying aircraft could be rescinded, disallowing any future flights. Under FAA regulations, written consent is required from the municipal body.

Gary Carpenter/State Plant Health Director for the US Department of Agriculture/Contended that Btk is a very safe product in the battle against the gypsy moth. The gypsy moth has caused severe damage to the environment, which has created economic hardship. The spray has not stopped the spread of the moths, but it has considerably slowed the progress.

Dave Gilmour, MD/Jackson County Health Officer
/Questioned the City's liability should the council rescind the approval and the moth caused widespread damage to the forests. Gilmour shared statistical information regarding spraying and health problems, noting that illness may be simply coincidental. He maintained that Btk is a safe agent and is not harmful to humans. He agreed that all ingredients should be listed. Gilmour stated there is no money available for reporting and tracking health issues related to spraying.

Dan Hilburn/Oregon Department of Agriculture/Stated that the effectiveness of the spraying is based on the growth rate hatching eggs. Btk becomes inactive after a certain period of time. 6 moths were found

Council discussed a high absenteeism rate during the week of the spraying at Lincoln Elementary and the lack of a reporting system for health issues. Johnson stated that she spoke with the District Superintendent, who indicated that he would speak with the local school principals to inform them of the spraying.

Councilors Hartzell/Hanson m/s to rescind permission for allowing low-flying aircraft.DISCUSSION: Laws felt that gathering information and continued discussion would not put the council's mind at rest. Reid felt unprepared to make a decision because she had not been in attendance at the prior council meeting where this was originally approved and felt she had limited information. Hartzell stressed her position for approval on assurance that mechanisms were in place to take action for possible reactions to the spraying. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Hanson, and Morrison - YES; Laws and Reid - NO. Motion passed 3-2.

Council continued discussion regarding the decision to rescind permission. Johnson noted that all the information was available at the public meetings last year. It was noted that this issue was not on the agenda and the public was not notified. At the April 17, meeting, the issue was on the agenda and notice was made, but few citizens came. DeBoer continued the meeting until noon on May 2, 2001.

Councilors Hanson/Reid m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Consideration of a modification to the City’s Water Curtailment Ordinance.
Public Works Director Paula Brown gave brief synopsis of the revised water curtailment ordinance and planning for a potential summer drought. Proposed revisions to the current Water Curtailment Ordinance include: 1) Authorization for the City Administrator to impose a prohibition on waste; 2) changes to the language, requiring medical exemptions in writing and elimination of language for previously exempted commercial or residential accounts, granting permission on an annual basis; and 3) a minor change to the water allocation table for residential accounts (Stage 2 will authorize 2500 gallons per meter versus 2700).

Wanderschied explained the provision allowing the building official to determine the size of a meter under the current plumbing code. Customers are required to notify the City if there is multiple use on a water meter. Many older buildings are still on outdated meters. The overall goal is to preserve water.

Brown explained that the September delivery date from T.I.D. is based on the amount of water in the system and how much is expected. It is possible to get less water than planned. Nolte clarified that water consumers outside the city limits have signed agreements binding them to curtailments. More information will be available at the next meeting regarding the Welcome Center, which will be located outside the city limits. The provisions will not end should it rain during the summer. It is important to preserve water on a long-term basis. It was clarified that the council has not made a decision to move up the date for the Talent/Phoenix TAP line.

2. Presentation by RVCOG regarding request for additional funds to establish a cash reserve.
Morrison removed himself from the council chambers, due to a conflict of interest as he is an RVCOG employee.

Michael Cavallaro of Rogue Valley Council of Governments relayed a brief history. RVCOG has been working diligently to rectify a financial deficit from the early 1990s. The agency was evaluated and sweeping changes were made regarding employees and programs. The fund-equity gap has come closer. Both long and short-term assets are in excess of liabilities, making them a viable agency. It is the monthly cash flow issue causing the problems. The budget has increased by 150% since 1990, which allows for more services for communities and more experienced employees. Policies have been implemented to address cash flow issues. Rogue River, Shady Cove, Jacksonville, and Talent have agreed to give RVCOG additional funds.

Councilors Hanson/Reid m/s to approve staff recommendation. Voice Vote: all AYES, with the exception of Councilor Morrison, who had excused himself from the council chambers due to conflict of interest. Motion passed.

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. First Reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending Sections 14.06.010, 14.06.020, 14.06.060, 14.06.080 and the Water Allocation Table of the Ashland Municipal Code to Clarify Water Curtailment Procedures and to Eliminate some Exemptions, Eliminate the Surcharge for Medical Exemption, and Reducing Some Water Allocations During a Water Shortage.

Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to approve first reading of ordinance and move to second reading. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Morrison, Hartzell and Hanson - Yes. Motion Passed.

2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Urging the Oregon State Legislature to Observe the Right of Self-government for Oregon Cities and to Refrain from Pre-emptying Local Control on all Matters Best Decided by Local Self-determination."

Councilors Laws/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Laws, Hanson, and Morrison - Yes; Reid - No. Motion Passed.

OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
(None)

ADJOURNMENT
At 10:30 p.m., the meeting was adjourned to May 2, at noon in the Council Chambers.

Submitted by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer

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