Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, March 22, 2010

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

March 22, 2010

ATTENDANCE

Present:    Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; City Council Liaison Jackson; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Gies

Absent:     None

CALL TO ORDER         

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – February 8, 2010

MOTION Noraas moved to approve the minutes as written. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – February 22, 2010

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as written. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

None

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

SWIMMING POOL REPORT

Dials presented a draft summer schedule for the Daniel Meyer Pool and said the proposed operating season was June 15 through Labor Day. She said staff held a public meeting at the Ashland Senior Center on February 3 that was attended by 20 pool users who offered suggestions for changes or improvements to the pool schedule and processes. She said staff compiled all comments and categorized them by user group. She read through the current pool policies and procedures and reviewed lifeguard-to-patron ratios during open swim sessions. She reported on the average number of hours each pool user group utilized the pool per week. She said most lifeguards were in high school or college and their school schedules conflicted with the proposed earlier / later seasonal pool operations. She said the Parks Department was willing to hire guards of any age or certification but the only applicants in previous years were high school and college-aged lifeguards. Dials said the existing recovery rate for the pool was 38%. She read aloud all staff recommendations, developed in response to pool user suggestions.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners spoke in favor of opening the pool one week before June 15 and keeping the pool open two weeks beyond Labor Day, lifeguards permitting. They suggested offering school groups use of the pool during the first week of June for their end-of-year parties and asking them to provide their own lifeguards.

PROPOSED BUDGET RECOMMENDATION

Robertson said the Parks budget was prepared each year with assistance from the City Administrator, City Finance Director, and Budget Committee and was incorporated into the city budget. He asked the commission to approve the proposed budget and recommend its adoption by the Budget Committee. He said budget assumptions included a continuation of the $2.09 millage, direction about developing a budget with the same expenditure total as the previous year’s adopted budget, and direction about building the ending fund balance to $1.5 million. He said the proposed budget included two reassigned positions, $15,000 for pesticide reduction strategies, and the transfer of two mechanics from Parks to the city that would result in a net savings of $4,000 for FY 2010-2011. He talked about a proposed “add package” for a permanent part-time position at the golf club house that would cost $24,417.43 per year. He reviewed potential funding sources for that position.

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the proposed budget and recommend its adoption to the Budget Committee, including the golf club house add package. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

NEW BUSINESS

LION CLUB REQUESTS

Robertson said the Ashland Lions Club requested two rule waivers: 1) to sell concessions at City Band concerts to raise money for school band programs; and 2) to restore beer sales at the “Feast of Will” celebration.

Lions Club President Mark Haneberg said the first request was a continuation from the previous year. He said the Lions Club raised more than $2,000 at 2009 concerts and also sold concessions at the 4th of July concert, raising an additional $1,000. He said the Lions doubled the proceeds and donated $3,000 to both the high school and middle school bands. He said frozen desserts were sold in 2009 along with bottled water and Hansen’s sodas. He said the 2009 concessions trailer, set up near the bandshell, could be used again in 2010.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners spoke favorably of allowing the Lions to sell frozen desserts but not bottled water. Haneberg indicated his willingness to remove bottled water from the menu.

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the Lions Club request to sell concessions at City Band concerts in 2010. Noraas seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Haneberg said the second request was a proposal to sell “Shakespearean beer” at the Feast of Will in Lithia Park. He said beer would complement dinners sold and make it a Shakespearean feast for attendees. Robertson said the Lions would be required to go before council if the commission approved the alcohol ordinance exception.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Most commissioners expressed concern about setting such a precedent in the park, with one commissioner voicing support for the ordinance exception and willingness to potentially allow park patrons to apply for special event alcohol permits.

MOTION Eggers moved to deny the request for restoring beer sales at the Feast of Will event. Noraas seconded the motion.

                                         The vote was:   Eggers, Gardiner, Noraas – yes

                                                                 Rosenthal, Lewis – no

FEE WAIVER POLICY

Dials said staff occasionally received requests from non-profit organizations to reduce or eliminate facility rental fees. She said staff currently directed requestors to attend a commission meeting and make requests in person. She said the commission directed staff to develop a draft fee waiver policy that would allow staff to make such determinations. She reviewed the draft policy with the commission:

The commission will consider fee reductions for facility rentals with the following conditions:

1.       Requesting organizations must maintain a non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service.

2.       Requests must be made in writing at least two months prior to the event or at staff’s discretion.

3.       If a reduction is approved, the fee will be reduced to a $15-per-hour rate to cover the costs of utilities and basic maintenance.

4.       Refundable deposits will be reduced by 75%.

5.       This policy will be reviewed yearly during the cost and fees process that begins in November.

6.       There is no appeals process.

Commissioners spoke favorably about the proposed fee waiver policy and agreed to review it in the fall.

MOTION Noraas moved to adopt the fee waiver policy as presented. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PARKS AND RECREATION TREE CLIMBING CLASS

Dials said the North Mountain Park Nature Center wished to offer a tree climbing class in summer 2010 using the black walnut tree located near the Nature Center entrance. She said the former Parks arborist inspected the tree and found it to be a safe choice for that activity. She said staff reqeusted a one-time exception to the tree climbing ordinance. She said the instructing organization, Tree Climbing Northwest, held liability insurance and would name the City of Ashland Parks and Recreation as additionally insured.

Environmental Stewardship Coordinator Linda Chesney said the tree climbing instructor ran a successful program out of Eugene. She said the class would offer participants an opportunity to connect with nature and learn about trees.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners voiced general support for the class, stating that tree climbing was a healthy activity that fostered self-awareness. One commissioner expressed concern about making an exception to the tree climbing ordinance. Commissioners asked for a staff report following the activity.

MOTION Lewis moved to allow a one-time exception to the tree climbing ordinance and requested a staff report following the program. Noraas seconded the motion.

                                         The vote was:   Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas – yes

                                                                 Rosenthal – no

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Robertson said the Pesticides Subcommittee scheduled a public forum on Wednesday, March 31, from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Ashland Senior Center to present the draft Integrated Pest Management program and hear feedback.

Robertson updated the commission on a recent Sierra Club press release addressing concerns outlined by the DEQ during a “green business” tour of Parks facilities. He said staff would continue to work on identifying and resolving problem areas with the help of the City of Ashland Green Team.

Dials said the annual Bike Swap was set for Saturday, April 17, from noon – 2 p.m. at The Grove.

Dials said the annual Earth Day event was set for Saturday, April 24, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

None

UPCOMING MEETING DATES

  • Study session set for April 13 at 7:00 p.m., Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topics to include:
    • Ashland Creek Park Development Plans
    • CIP Financing
  • Budget Presentation to Budget Committee set for April 26 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.
  • Regular meeting set for April 27 at 7:00 p.m., Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way.

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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