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Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Minutes
Monday, May 14, 2012

 

City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

STUDY SESSION
MINUTES
May 14, 2012

ATTENDANCE
Present:
  Commissioners Eggers, Landt, Lewis, Rosenthal, Seffinger; Director Robertson; Superintendent Dickens.
Absent:   City Council Liaison Silbiger; Superintendent Dials

CALL TO ORDER
Eggers called the study session to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way.

ENDERS SHELTER REVIEW
Dickens said the agenda included a review of three iconic structures in Lithia Park: the Enders Shelter, Perozzi Fountain, and the main Lithia Park bridge. He said a proposal for preserving the Enders Shelter was submitted by Jerome White of Kistler, Small and White Architects, with assistance from structural engineer Allen Goffe of Ace Engineering. Others in attendance were introduced as Historic Commission members Terry SkibbyDale Shostrom, and Allison Renwick along with historical consultant Jay Treiger.

Dickens said the nearly 100-year-old Enders Shelter was named after the Enders family, Ashland residents from approximately 1910 to 1927. Skibby said the Enders family was involved in constructing the Elks Building and the Ashland Springs Hotel (formerly Lithia Springs Hotel). He said the shelter was remodeled after its initial installation, with the fountain installed at that time. He said of the three similar structures in the City, it was the last one standing. Dickens said he read that it was the first location in the City to provide access to lithia water.

Robertson said the commission directed staff to evaluate the infrastructure within the parks system. He said their first priority was public safety, with structural integrity their second priority. He said the Enders Shelter had both safety and structural issues of concern, including toe stubbers and grade differences.

White said he was asked to evaluate the Enders Shelter and provide potential options. Suggested options included demolition, repairing the shelter as is, repairing the foundation and stabilizing columns and beams all around, and removing and replacing both upper and lower sections. Goffe said most of the existing structure needed to be replaced to bring it up to current building code standards. Treiger spoke in favor of repairing the existing shelter as is rather than replacing it.

Lewis said when dealing with historic repairs or restorations, meeting building code standards was not mandatory. He voiced support for restoring and replicating as much of the original shelter as possible. Landt spoke of its close proximity to the creek and asked about the long-term viability of retaining it in that location. He said the commission would need to ask themselves if park amenities such as the Enders Shelter could be maintained in areas where floods occurred. Lewis said it probably survived four or five floods. Eggers said she had three concerns related to the Enders Shelter: its history, the environment, and finances. Landt said he would be in favor of retaining the shelter in its current location but first wanted to know the costs of repairs along with future maintenance costs.

Dickens said construction estimates were not available at present. Goffe said option #2 was all about public safety. Shostrom said the most important and least expensive repair would entail re-roofing the shelter, then shoring up the foundation later. Renwick voiced support for preserving the original look and scale.

PEROZZI FOUNTAIN REVIEW
Dickens said the Perozzi Fountain leaked in the bottom area and through cracks, He suggested hiring the most recent repair person to evaluate the leaks at the base and assess other damage. Skibby said Bill Emerson handled the design work for the last repair and Jeffrey Bernard the stone work. Dickens said one option would be to move the marble fountain to an indoor location, then create a bronze replica for the outdoor location. He said the surrounding lampposts were rusting out and rebar was exposed.
 
Lewis said the fountain restoration would be expensive and the structure an ongoing maintenance headache. He indicated the marble was low-grade travertine and ripe for decay. Landt said a better placement of the fountain would have been a central locale like the downtown area, not in the park surrounded by trees and subject to vandalism. Dickens voiced uncertainty about whether the marble was reparable. Landt said the commissionís first priority was safety and several of the steps were of unequal size. Dickens said he would look into finding a repair person for the project.

LITHIA PARK BRIDGE REVIEW
Goffe said the bridge was showing its age, with materials missing, rusted rebar showing, and concrete abutments exposed to flowing water. He said a contractor would be able to provide a restoration estimate. Eggers said the two biggest concerns were safety and cosmetics. Dickens suggested obtaining a structural evaluation of the bridge. Goffe said if the commission chose to make cosmetic repairs, they might want to consider structural repairs at that time.
Commissioners thanked attendees for their input.

Adjournment into executive session
∑        Executive Session: Legal Counsel Pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(h)
Adjournment out of executive session; Adjournment into study session

DEBRIEFING ON BUDGET PROCESS
Robertson said the lengthy City budget process ended on May 10 when the Budget Committee approved the Parks budget as presented with the exception of $263,000 transferred from Parks and placed into the Cityís general fund. He said several other City budgets were approved with modifications such as add packages. He reviewed events of the May 10 budget meeting:

∑   A motion about the City tax rate needed eight votes for approval and failed by one vote;
∑   A motion to reduce taxes by 5 cents per $1,000 failed;
∑   A motion to reduce taxes by 5 cents per $1,000 and transfer an additional $120,000 from Parks into the general fund was seconded. If passed, it would have cost Parks $500,000 but the Mayor stepped forward and said it was wrong to take funds from Parks late in the budget process. The motion failed for lack of a majority vote.

Robertson distributed copies of CIP projects totaling $350,000 and Parks CIP Plan projects estimated at $1.2M and indicated that CIP projects could commence by July 1, 2012. He said both documents would be discussed at length at the May 21 regular meeting.

Rosenthal asked what the commission learned during the budget process and said his analysis was that appointed Budget Committee members were allowed to shape policy decisions, an inappropriate action for an appointed body. He said a joint meeting with council and the commission had to occur before the budget process, preferably before January 2013. He said the 2013 Parks budget message had to be the best ever and the commission could not be taken by surprise again. Seffinger said it would be advantageous to publicize commission responsibilities and accomplishments throughout the year. Landt said Rosenthalís evaluation was correct, as Budget Committee members were appointed by the Mayor and approved by council but not elected. He said they appeared to be more conservative than the general Ashland community.

Eggers asked for a near future review of FY 2011-2012 commission goals to determine their status and levels of completion.  

ADJOURNMENTĖ By consensus, Eggers adjourned the study session at 9:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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