MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
December 22, 1999
Council Chambers, 275 E Main
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Shaw called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 275 E Main.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hanson, Hauck and Fine were present. Staff present: City Administrator Mike Freeman, Public Works Director Paula Brown, Finance Director Jill Turner, Community Development Director John McLaughlin, Assistant City Administrator Greg Scoles and Marketing Manager Ann Selzter.
1. CONTINUATION OF TRANSIT DISCUSSION
Mayor read letter submitted by Johanna Fisher which voiced her goal of working toward a plan for city transit.
Johanna Fisher suggested to council a plan for a city-owned transit which would involve the city purchasing 2 vans that will seat 20 people. Fisher stated that the needs of the population can be answered by a city-owned transit system at a reasonable cost, eliminating the extremely expensive RVTD. Additionally, commented that Southern Oregon University is interested in negotiating with the National Guard for the use of their new, extended parking lot.
Shaw clarified that the consultant hired to do the transit study found that the cost to provide a city-owned transit system, was the same amount RVTD was asking as the increase for service. Commented on the Agood neighbor policy in helping to work with RVTD so that a county wide transit system, that follows air quality requirements, would be available for the City of Ashland and throughout the valley. Commented on the federal requirements for disability requirements on transportation services that would need to be provided.
Council suggested that Ms. Fisher's ideas be submitted to staff on the possibility of incorporating some of the ideas into the plan for a transit system. Council discussion on the costs involved in providing ADA service. Council discussion regarding a suggestion to add additional service to the area by persuading local commerce to run a private trolley service.
City Administrator Mike Freeman requested clarification on what the next steps were in providing transit service. Council discussed what their expectation was, on the level of service to be provided. It was generally agreed, that council would like to see the level of service brought back to what was previously provided. Another issue of discussion had to do with parking problems at the college and in the downtown area.
Council discussion on the suggestion that staff meet with RVTD and university staff to negotiate a $300,000 contract for the 15 minute service. Continued discussion on the fiscal responsibility in providing a transit system and providing incentives to private businesses in encouraging employees to use alternative modes of transportation. Council discussion on the possibility of paid parking.
Council consensus to try and get back to the level of service that was previously being provided. Suggestion was made that a couple of council members, along with staff approach university officials to work on a proposal that could be brought back to council for discussion.
2. HILLAH TEMPLE FINANCING
Finance Director Jill Turner explained that this is a $2.6 million project of which $700,000 has been spent on land acquisitions and planning. Turner explained that the financing would assume that the City would enter into a 10-year bank loan at approximately 6.9%, requiring an annual debt payment of $164,000. This payment of $52,000 is an increase to the $112,000 that is currently being set-aside for municipal building improvements and office space rent. The expenditures for Public Works Administration/Engineering and Planning/Building would increase. Both departments are reviewing their fees and charges and will pass this increase along to their users.
Council proceeded to discuss the $450,000 that had been set aside for the fire station. Council voiced concern on using the money that was set aside for the fire department on the Hillah Temple and entering into a 10-year loan versus a 30-year loan. General agreement was made by council, to not use the money set aside for the fire department on the Hillah Temple.
Turner explained the costs associated with financing and how it effects a 10-year bank loan. Stated that this is a more expensive project to finance compared to projects that could be financed through revenue bonds. Turner offered to bring back additional information for council on costs associated with financing this project.
Council requested the following information from staff: 1) What would be the best way to finance the project if we included the $450,000 as part of the Fire Station financing plan and reduced the fire station bond; 2)What the cost of financing would be if we set aside the $450,000 for Fire Station #2; and 3) Look at the costs of financing, if the $450,000 is used for the Hillah Temple.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:25 p.m.
Submitted by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer