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Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, June 28, 2010

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

June 28, 2010

ATTENDANCE

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

Absent:     Director Robertson

CALL TO ORDER         

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Ashland Civic Center - Council Chambers,

1175 E. Main Street.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – May 17, 2010

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

The vote was: 4 yes – 0 no [Eggers abstained]

Regular Meeting – May 24, 2010

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

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Allen Baker, 1042 Oak Knoll Drive, said he regularly played tennis at the Hunter Park courts. He said the courts were not highly utilized in the summer months between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. due to the heat and because the lights were inadequate for evening play. He said the Hunter court lights ranged in strength from 3 to 14-foot candles while the industry standard was 50 to 125-foot candles. He suggested refitting the existing light poles with more efficient lighting. He reported contacting the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and asking them to evaluate a lighting proposal by Musco Lighting, which USTA found to be adequate for recreational play. He said the proposed lights cost $25,000 and grant funds were possible along with fundraised contributions. He said more players using the courts in the evenings would decrease vandalism.

Dick Streng, 1255 Munson Drive, said he coached tennis at Ashland High School and the team frequently used Hunter Park courts. He asked the commission to provide better lights so youth players could practice in the evenings in spring, summer, and fall and said better lights would provide opportunities for more and better tennis playing. He said the soccer and baseball lights at North Mountain Park did not have much spillage and he asked for the same quality of lights for tennis players in Ashland.

John Williams, 125 Scenic Drive, said he hoped to produce an evening of acoustic guitar music at the bandshell on either August 6 or 7 and asked for a waiver of the 1.5-hour amplified sound limit. He said the 3-hour event would feature solo guitarists and he would cover all expenses.

Dials said the commission typically waived the 1.5-hour limit only on the 4th of July and for some City Band concerts. She said Mr. Williams hoped the commission would place the item on the evening’s agenda.

Commissioners said they did not receive prior notice about the request and did not normally waive park rules, as waivers led to additional waiver requests. They spoke of the need for sensitivity to neighbors around Lithia Park who were most affected by sound amplification and said the neighbors were not notified about the potential agenda item. The waiver request was denied.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

CITY / PARKS MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING

Gies said Administrative Services and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg attended the June 21 study session to explain that the commission was required to approve MOUs for fiscal years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. He said MOUs outlined services provided by Parks to the City and by the City to Parks, with each document detailing what each entity received, who performed the services, and compensation for each service. He said the major change from the previous year was the transfer of the Parks fleet mechanics to the City shop and the need for Parks to provide compensation to the City for fleet maintenance beginning in FY 2010-2011. 

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked several clarifying questions about the MOU documents. Gies said costs for major capital improvement projects for City buildings were covered by the City and Parks paid a set fee to the City each year for use of The Grove, Ashland Community Center, and Pioneer Hall, with utilities shared between the two entities. Jackson said the need for formalized MOUs stemmed from a financial audit comment indicating that City entities needed to formalize agreements by putting them into writing.

Motion  Noraas moved to accept the Parks / City MOU for FY 2009-2010. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

Vote: All yes

Motion Rosenthal moved to approve the FY 2010-2011 MOU for Parks / City services. Lewis seconded the motion.

Vote: All yes

LOWER CLAY STREET PARK PROPERTY

Gies said the commission discussed, at the June 21 study session, the possibility of purchasing 3.75 acres of park land located at lower Clay Street adjacent to the YMCA Park. He said the commission toured the property on Friday, June 25.

Commissioners discussed the potential property purchase and asked several questions:

§         The history of the original agreement with the YMCA

§         YMCA’s expectations or concerns about reorienting the soccer fields

§         Road and pedestrian easements and other City requirements for the acreage

§         Parking needs for the park versus parking needs for the City

Staff was directed to provide the commission with answers to their questions at the July 19 study session.

NEW BUSINESS

POTENTIAL LAND CONVERSION AT CORNER OF NUTLEY AND GRANITE STREETS

Gies referenced Robertson’s staff memo and invited the property owner to speak to the commission.

Mardi Mastain, 114 Granite Street, requested a land conversion for the corner lot adjacent to her property that was included within the boundaries of Lithia Park. Her reasoning included: the non-irrigated land was a fire hazard from May through October as well as an eyesore; she hoped to install an irrigation system and irrigate the land, plant grass, and beautify but not build on it; and if converted, the land would become a taxable lot that would provide revenues to the City.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners said the land conversion would require a great deal of staff time and paperwork while not providing benefit to the park. Gies said that without clear benefit, the land conversion could be terminated at the state level. Robertson’s suggestion about Mastain possibly purchasing an equivalent lot elsewhere in the city was considered. Rosenthal suggested the possibility of allowing Mastain to beautify the property without purchasing it. Gies said staff could install irrigation lines in the September timeframe toward that end. Jackson said Mastain might be able to obtain a conservation easement that would allow her to landscape the property and take over its management without purchasing it.

Mastain agreed to talk with Parks staff about the possibility of obtaining a conservation easement.

 

SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Dials reported that the 4th of July run was scheduled for Sunday, July 4, with signups ongoing up to the morning event. She said the 6-mile race was set to begin at 7:45 a.m. and the 2-mile race at 7:52 a.m.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Eggers reported seeing overnight sleepers in Lithia Park and said she notified the police but felt the no sleeping ordinance was not adequately enforced.

Gardiner spoke favorably about continuing the tennis lights discussions and said he was encouraged to hear community members offering to fundraise toward that goal. Eggers said the lights were included on capital improvement project lists and she questioned whether the school district would be interested in contributing.

UPCOMING MEETING DATES

  • Study session set for July 19 at 7:00 p.m., Nature Center, 620 N. Mountain Avenue. Topics to include:
    • Tour and discussion of programs and offerings
    • Lower Clay Street property discussion
  • Regular meeting set for July 26 at 7:00 p.m., Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main Street.

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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