City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
December 20, 2010
Present: Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; City Council Liaison Jackson; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Gies
Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers,
Study Session – November 15, 2010
In the second paragraph under “Chitwood Park Discussion,” Eggers asked that the reference to “the stormwater bioswale” be rephrased as “the potential stormwater treatment plan on the Parks site.” In the section entitled “Facilities,” she asked that the sentence in which Dials referred to a fee increase be revised to read: “Dials said the only suggested fee increase in this category...”.
MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as amended. Noraas seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
Regular Meeting – November 22, 2010
Under “Dog Process Discussion,” Rosenthal asked that item #2 be rephrased as follows: “Develop educational programs and strategies, including signage, maps, and other informational materials about where dogs currently are allowed.” Eggers questioned the wording of item #1, “Develop enforcement methods,” as Parks does not enforce, and suggested rewording it to read “Ensure enforcement” or “Establish enforcement methods.” Noraas, who was not at the meeting but watched the video, suggested rewording the item as follows: “Consult police department about enforcement methods.” Eggers also suggested restating the sentence as “Communicate with the city about effective enforcement.” Rosenthal suggested “Study or examine enforcement considerations.” Gardiner suggested “Establish enforcement methods, including citations and fines.” Eggers said the potential changes the commission proposed with regard to dogs in parks were lost, including opening up more parks for dogs or being more restrictive about dogs in parks. Rosenthal suggested adding a paragraph below #6 that read: “Commissioners discussed potentially opening up a number of parks to dogs on leashes, including Railroad Park, Garden Way, Glenwood, Garfield, Hunter, Clay Street, Sherwood, Triangle, and the Golf Course walking trail, for use as potential dog friendly public spaces and also discussed eliminating Lithia Park and North Mountain Park from consideration for such use.” Eggers asked for an additional statement reflecting that any broadening of dogs in public parks would depend on effective enforcement and follow through.
MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as amended. Rosenthal seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes (Noraas abstained)
City of Ashland Administrative Services and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg presented the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ending June 30, 2010. He said the report was a national award winner year after year because it met high state standards. He guided the commission through key points contained within the document, including the transmittal letter signed by Robertson, the 2009 report award, the financial statements, notes to the basic financial statements, management’s discussion and analysis, required supplementary information, and the auditor’s comments and disclosures. He said the auditors found no misrepresentations and everything was in compliance.
MOTION Noraas moved to accept the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ending June 30, 2010. Rosenthal seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
FEES AND CHARGES RECOMMENDATIONS
Dials said the commission’s November 15 study session included a discussion on fees, charges, and cost recovery for facility rentals, the Daniel Meyer Pool, Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink, Calle Guanajuato, N. Mtn. Park Nature Center, Oak Knoll Golf Course, adult and youth recreation programs, the Ashland Senior Center, and special events. She said staff worked on providing answers to commissioner questions generated from that meeting. Questions and answers included:
Includes staff time for booking each event, showing the facility, three hours of custodial / maintenance time for prepping and cleaning of facility, and utility costs for the reserved location. $250 per wedding reservation covers all costs for the event.
Staff surveyed eight organizations and found prices ranging from $24 to $70. Daniel Meyer Pool prices range from $40-$48 for a 2-week program.
Fiscal year ‘08-‘09: 3,539 participants; Fiscal year ‘09-‘10: 3,312 participants
Per the commission’s request, staff reviewed this charge and lowered it to adjust for less staff time. The cost was lowered from $27,835 to $20,874, increasing the recovery rate from 54% to 63%.
Dials said the recovery rate for adult recreation programs increased by 8% over the previous year, from 83% to 91%.
Dials recommended the following fees and charges adjustments:
· Facility Rentals
o New fee: $100 fee charged at booking for use of portable stage, benches, or other movable equipment belonging to the Parks Department
o Reduce the security deposit for meetings from $300 to $150
o Reduce the wedding package fee from $1,350 to $1,150
o Reduce the fee for wedding park site only (4 hours of time) from $800 to $400
o Oak Knoll Golf Course:
§ In-season (March – October):
· Full-day rental (8 AM – 8 PM): $1,500
· Half-day rental (any 6-hour period): $800
§ Off-season (November – February):
· Full-day rental (8 AM – 4 PM): $750
· Half-day rental (any 5-hour period): $400
Dials recommended retaining the same $4 square footage fee on the Calle Guanajuato in 2011 as in 2010.
Discussion Among Commissioners
Eggers asked why alcohol was not allowed at the Senior Center when it was allowed at the other reservable facilities and expressed that it should be consistent for all Parks-managed facilities. Dials said the Senior Center was not staffed seven days a week but only a few times a week and alcohol at events required more cleaning of facilities. Eggers suggested having staff review alcohol requests at the Senior Center on a case-by-case basis.
Rosenthal said he participated as member of the Calle Subcommittee several years earlier and, at the time of his participation, witnessed acrimony between the artisans, restaurants, and Parks Department staff. He said the per-chair fee at the time was $22 and the subcommittee decided to implement a square footage fee for both restaurants and artisans to replace the chair fee. He said having both the artisans and the restaurants paying the same $4 per square foot fee was not appropriate, as restaurants operated on a daily basis during the season while artisans operated only on weekends. He said the commission’s challenge was to consider fees objectively and suggested using the CPI (Consumer Price Index) in determining when to raise prices, so that when the CPI adjusted up, the restaurateurs’ square footage rate adjusted accordingly. Other commissioners agreed that the price paid by restaurateurs and artisans was worth reviewing in more detail at a future meeting. Robertson said Rosenthal was trying to level the playing field given that restaurants operated their businesses more days on the Calle than the artisans. Rosenthal said the counterargument might be to lower the artsians’ fee when their contract came up for review / renewal in 2014. Eggers said capital improvements were needed on the Calle and raising fees might allow the commission to collect more toward that end. Noraas said the restaurants had more overhead than the artisans and also provided employment opportunities and tax revenues for the City of Ashland. She suggested requesting feedback from both groups. Jackson said other City of Ashland sidewalks were available for rent but the renters did not contribute toward improvements or beautification of sidewalks and the Calle. She said this topic could be part of a larger discussion about recouping City costs.
Dials suggested reviewing the topic again at the February 28 regular meeting, at which Calle space requests would be discussed, and to invite artisans and restaurateurs to participate in the discussion. She said she would notify both groups about the February 28 agenda item.
MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the fees and charges recommendations proposed by Parks staff, with the exception of the Calle Guanajuato fee, with implementation occurring on January 1, 2011. Eggers seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
2011 MEETING CALENDAR
Robertson said the commission scheduled their annual meeting calendar in December of each year. He said there were some conflicts with regular Monday meetings in 2011 due to holidays. For January, he suggested moving both the study session and regular meetings out by one week to accommodate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and for February he recommended moving the study session from the third Monday to the third Wednesday of the month to accommodate the President’s Day holiday. For December, he suggested moving both meetings back by one week to accommodate the Christmas holiday.
MOTION Eggers moved to adopt the meeting calendar as proposed by staff, with exceptions permitted given appropriate notice. Noraas seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS
Noraas said she served on the Forest Lands Commission for the past few years and she urged other commissioners to consider serving in her place. She said it was a rewarding experience, especially for those interested in trails. At the last meeting, she said Ashland Fire and Rescue strongly recommended not lifting the ban on camping in public lands as camping would pose problems related to fire danger, sanitation, and refuse removal and set an unwelcome precedent.
ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Eggers acknowledged Gardiner and Noraas for their service on the commission and said she appreciated their hard work and perspectives.
Noraas said she appreciated working with the Parks Commission and staff and that she learned a great deal and benefited from the experience.
Lewis thanked Gardiner and Noraas for their wisdom and patience through the years and said he enjoyed working with them.
Rosenthal acknowledged Gardiner and Noraas and also thanked Jackson for being a wonderful council liaison to the Parks Commission. He spoke with appreciation about her participation and wished her well in her post-council life.
On behalf of the Parks Commission, Rosenthal presented Gardiner and Noraas with plaques of appreciation for their years of service on the commission (eight years for Gardiner and four years for Noraas) and wished them all the best.
UPCOMING MEETING DATES
ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation