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Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, January 31, 2011

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

 

MINUTES

January 31, 2011

ATTENDANCE

Present:     Commissioners Eggers, Landt, Lewis, Rosenthal, Seffinger; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Gies

Absent:      None

CALL TO ORDER

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – December 13, 2010

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

The vote was: All yes (Eggers, Lewis, Rosenthal)

Regular Meeting – December 20, 2010

Under “Fees and Charges Recommendations,” Rosenthal asked that the word “appropriate” be changed to “equitable” in the sentence in which: “He said having both the artisans and the restaurants paying the same $4 per square foot fee was not equitable, as restaurants operated on a daily basis during the season while artisans operated only on weekends.”

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

The vote was: All yes (Eggers, Lewis, Rosenthal)

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

OPEN FORUM

Liza Maltsberger, 276 B Street, requested the elimination of pesticides on parks and school grounds. She said they posed health hazards for human beings, pets, and wildlife and contained up to 98% inert ingredients. She asked the commission to include a goal within the Parks pesticide policy of not using pesticides, to implement that goal within 2-3 years, and to not rely on volunteers to achieve that goal.

Jonathan Boulton, 244 Hargadine Street, spoke with appreciation about the work of the commission in keeping parks beautiful and said parks needed to be free of toxic chemicals. He asked the commission to add the elimination of chemicals in parks to the evening’s agenda or to review the topic at their next meeting.

Elisa Boulton, 244 Hargadine Street, said herbicides were toxic and poisonous to life and not to be spread around, especially where children played. She said commissioners were the managers of the land and asked them to commit to the goal of eliminating chemicals on park lands. She turned over to staff nine letters from citizens expressing similar concerns who were not in attendance that evening.

Regina Linsday, 383 Glenn Street, read a letter from Bonnie Nedrow, ND, asking for the elimination of toxic chemicals on areas where children live and play (park and school grounds). Nedrow wrote that many chemicals used on public lands within Ashland were endocrine disruptors. Linsday asked the commission to make a goal (with a timeline) of becoming pesticide-free.

Heidi Weeda, 313 Cambridge Street, asked for the removal of chemicals from Ashland’s public spaces and said her small daughter and unborn baby could be seriously harmed by them. 

Devon Evans, 1332 E. Nevada Street, said she appreciated the work of the commission. She said her children were enrolled at the Siskiyou School and played at Clay Street Park, which she said was regularly sprayed with chemicals. She asked the commission to revise their pesticide policy and remove chemicals from parks, in a fiscally responsible manner, using the same methods as other cities that were able to achieve the same goal.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Rosenthal read a list of responsibilities for the chair and vice-chair positions and opened the floor for nominations.

Seffinger nominated Eggers as chair for 2011. Lewis seconded the nomination.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Lewis nominated Rosenthal as vice-chair for 2011. Seffinger seconded the nomination.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Ashland Creek Bacteria Study Results

Eggers welcomed the presenters and invited them to speak to the commission.

Leslie Adams and Forrest English of Rogue Riverkeepers reported on the results of their 2010 Ashland Creek bacteria study and said they made four recommendations to the City based on their results:

1.       Educate citizens about water quality issues

2.       Install dog waste stations at south end of Ashland along the TID Ditch Trail

3.       Pipe the TID ditch within the  City limits

4.       Build on the study; encourage further study of the issues by City employees and volunteers

Commissioners thanked Adams and English for their efforts. Adams said an exit meeting with community volunteers was scheduled for Tuesday, February 8. She said the study took a great deal of time and resources and she encouraged the commission to continue the study in 2011.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

LOWER CLAY STREET PURCHASE ACTION

Robertson said that in July of 2010 the commission approved the purchase of 3.75 acres on lower Clay Street at a cost of $1.3 million, with details to be worked out between the commission and council. He said .57 of those acres would be used for infrastructure improvements, including streets, curbs, and gutters, yielding 3.18 acres of usable property. He said the land was contiguous with YMCA Park land. He said the City wanted the commission to contribute additional resources for an alleyway between the apartments on the south side of the property along with a bike and pedestrian pathway to link Engle Street to the YMCA land. He said the commission would be charged $35,000 for a turning lane and sidewalk improvements but receive other improvements free of charge. He said council requested commissioner comments before their meeting the following evening.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Landt said one reason the lower Clay Street property was added to the Open Space Plan was because it was adjacent to the YMCA Park and large enough for regulation-sized soccer fields. He said reducing the size of the park property at that location might negate the intent behind including it on the list. He suggested changing the map so the path followed the property line. Other commissioner concerns included having no long-term plan for maintenance of the wetlands; reserving sections of the land for various City amenities before Parks was able to conduct their own master planning; the need to locate the bike / pedestrian path to the fringe of the south side; costs impacting the Parks budget such as the right turn lane toward which they would be expected to contribute; and the importance of spending Parks resources for Parks purposes.

Robertson said he would convey the commissioners’ thoughts and concerns to council the following evening.

NEW BUSINESS

BEAR CREEK JOINT POWERS AGREEMENT

Robertson said that several years earlier the commission entered into the Bear Creek Joint Powers Agreement with Medford, Phoenix, Central Point, Talent, and Jackson County for the long-term maintenance and operations of the Bear Creek Greenway. He said the Joint Powers Committee, consisting of representatives from each jurisdiction, identified and authorized expenditures on behalf of their entities. He said the agreement stipulated that a review would occur every three years to consider funding responsibilities and maintenance plans of each jurisdiction. Robertson welcomed Jenna Stanke of Jackson County and invited her to update the commission on the status of the agreement.

Jenna Stanke of Jackson County said most of the 17-mile Bear Creek Greenway had been completed over the past 37 years and in the last five years the focus had shifted from development and construction to management and maintenance. She said each city contributed toward a 24-hour-per-week Greenway staff position and each jurisdiction paid for maintenance based on the number of miles within their jurisdiction as well as their population. She talked about specific maintenance concerns on the pathway, such as root intrusions, and reviewed other improvements through 2014 that were prioritized by the Joint Powers Committee. She said projects addressing safety issues and protecting the investment in the pavement were of the highest priority and monies were used to leverage grant funding whenever possible. Stanke asked for the commission’s support and approval for the ongoing Joint Powers Agreement as well as for moving forward with the projects as outlined.

Robertson said the Bear Creek Greenway was a popular and highly valued amenity in the community, used for both recreation and transportation purposes. He said the commission’s Greenway funding was included within the regular Parks budget.

MOTION Landt moved to authorize staff to continue the joint powers agreement over the next three years. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

COMMUNITY GARDEN AT GARDEN WAY PARK

Gies said a previous commission goal was to add more community garden plots in City parks so staff reviewed options and found space at Garden Way Park. He said the site could accommodate ten 4-foot by 14-foot raised beds at a cost of $4,000 (including a small garden shed and fencing). If the commission chose to move forward, he said Parks staff could prepare the garden plots before the spring planting season.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Landt asked about the status of daylighting Paradise Creek under the park and said that while he was a supporter of community gardens, he would not wish to see the daylighting pre-empted by garden plot installations. Gies said the plots were located far from the creek area. Rosenthal asked if neighbors around the park had been notified of the proposal and staff said they had not been notified. Rosenthal suggested tabling the proposal until the neighbors could be notified and had an opportunity to express thoughts or concerns. Eggers, Lewis and Seffinger voiced support for the garden proposal. Landt said he would like more information before moving forward. Eggers suggested putting up signs around Garden Way Park asking for public input. Robertson said he would contact an Engineering Department staff person about meeting Parks staff and Landt at the park to identify the creek in relation to the garden plots and to discuss the feasibility of daylighting Paradise Creek.

Commissioners agreed to review the matter again at the February 28 regular meeting and directed staff to notify Garden Way Park neighbors about the potential garden plots at that location.

OAK KNOLL GOLF COURSE IRRIGATION PROJECT

Gies said he spent a great deal of time at the golf course after the departure of the Golf Course Superintendent the previous year. He said the replacement of the irrigation system at Oak Knoll Golf Course had been on the commission’s CIP list for some years and staff had estimated the cost to be $1 million. He said that after reviewing the matter in detail, he determined that the 30-year-old pump system could be replaced for $25,000, the control system for $25,000, and 60 sprinkler heads purchased for $3,000. He said if the commission chose to proceed with the project, the recommendation would be to immediately replace the pumping system before the start of the new irrigation season. He said the sprinkler heads would be replaced a zone at a time, with all heads replaced over two years’ time. He said the changes would allow staff to gain a better understanding of the irrigation system in terms of knowing when and where problems occurred. He said the new system would provide increased water pressure, allow for more efficient power and water usage, and require less staff time to chase down problems.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Rosenthal and Landt said the smaller repair figures were a relief from the earlier estimate of $1M for a completely overhauled irrigation system.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to authorize the use of CIP funding to replace the pumping system, control system, and sprinkler heads at Oak Knoll Golf Course. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

FOREST LANDS COMMISSION – PARKS COMMISSION POSITION

Eggers said the Parks Commission held a regular voting seat on the Forest Lands Commission. She said she had served on the commission and found it to be an interesting experience. She said the meetings were held the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room of the Community Development Building. She asked for a Parks Commission volunteer to serve on the Forest Lands Commission.

No commissioners volunteered to serve.

Robertson said he would notify the Forest Lands Commission’s staff liaison that no Parks Commission member volunteered to serve but that the Parks Commission would review the matter again in the future.

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

None

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Rosenthal complimented Nature Center staff on their 2010 annual report.

Landt asked Parks staff to estimate the cost of becoming pesticide-free prior to the one-year review of the Parks pesticide policy on February 28.

Seffinger expressed interest in serving on a dogs subcommittee and spoke of the need for additional dog waste stations, compliance with rules, and public awareness about dog issues. Robertson said staff spoke with the City Attorney and the Ashland Police Department about dog issues. He said Parks staff proposed a possible trail host program in which volunteers provided outreach to citizens about proper trail use, including issues with dogs on trails.

UPCOMING MEETING DATES

  • Joint special meeting with council set for February 1 at 6:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main. Topics:
    • Permanent Rate
    • Parks / Council Joint Interests
  • Study session set for February 16 at 7:00 p.m., Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Topics:
    • Goals
    • Begin Process of Replacing Parks Superintendent
  • Regular meeting set for February 28 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street. Topics:
    • Annual Review of Integrated Pest Management Policy
    • Volunteer Program Update
    • Community Gardens at Garden Way Park
    • Calle Guanajuato Space Contracts

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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