Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, August 21, 2001

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
August 21, 2001 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street




PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

ROLL CALL
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison and Hearn were present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 7, Executive Council Minutes of August 7, and Continued Council meeting Minutes of August 8, 2001 were approved as written. Study Session Minutes of August 8, 2001 were approved with a clarification to reflect that it is illegal for minors to smoke cigarettes.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
(None)

CONSENT AGENDA

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. Liquor License Application from Graham, George, and Carolyn Sheldon dba Ashland Creek Inn
3. Written Findings, Conclusion and Decision for Fire Station #1
4. Confirmation of Judge Pro Tem Appointment

Councilors Morrison/Hanson m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
(None)

PUBLIC FORUM
Eric Navickas/711 Faith
/Spoke regarding fire reduction in the watershed and handed out a map of the proposed Ashland Watershed Protection Project. He has filed an appeal against the project. Navickas voiced his concern with possible damage resulting from the proposed project presented by the US Forest Service.

Russ Silbiger/562 Ray/Spoke regarding the Talent Irrigation District (TID) trail access along Clay Street, which was recently closed to the public. He challenged the closure of the trail and requested support by the council and the public.

Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to place the trail access issue on the agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed. Hartzell noted a meeting was set to discuss preliminary issues on September 5, at 3:30 p.m. in the City of Ashland Electric Department meeting room. Silbiger and other citizens were invited to attend the meeting.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Request by Irrigation Point of Diversion (IPOD) Steering Committee for council support for federal funding of Rogue River Basin Feasibility Study
Rogue Basin Fish Access Team Program Manager Steve Mason and City of Medford Water Reclamation Division Administrator Jim Hill introduced themselves. Mason explained that he is looking for council support. Rogue Basin means Big Butte, Little Butte, and Bear Creak valleys and areas where water is stored in the Klamath Basin (Hyatt Lake, Howard Prairie, Fish Lake). IPOD is made up of irrigation districts, environmental groups, federal, state, and local agencies, and citizens. Their focus works toward increasing stream flow for critical fish habitat, improved water quality, and improved local irrigation districtsí water supply systems. Impacts from Little Butte Creek, the Bear Creek Basin, and the Rogue River Basin have been studied. The goal was to optimize water resource utilization in the Rogue Valley to ensure adequate, long-term irrigation supplies and in-stream water supplies for fish passage. Mason requested support from the council.

Reid felt that the Klamath Basin should be included. Mason stated studies are currently being conducted in the Klamath Basin. Hill noted that the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) wanted to keep the studies separate. Mason stated it was important to review the studies together to have a more useful Environmental Impact Study. Both water quality and water quantity is being considered in the feasibility study. Mason explained that little impact is expected on other projects the BOR may have on the table at this time.

Councilors Morrison/Reid m/s to support a request from IPOD to include the Rogue Basin Feasibility Study with the Federal Bureau of Reclamation activities in this yearís congressional appropriations for support and funding authorization. DISCUSSION: Mason listed other organizations that have offered support: Water Watch, Oregon Trout, Oregon Water Trust, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Headwaters, the three watershed organizations, and the coordinating committee. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC FORUM CONTINUED
Jay Lininger/1253 Tolman Creek/Klamath Siskiyou Wildland Center Representative/
Spoke regarding fire reduction in the watershed. An appeal was filed against the Ashland Watershed Protection Project approved by the Ashland Ranger District. The appeal disputes commercial logging, not brush reduction, tree thinning, and limited burning. He urged the council to encourage the Forest Service to develop a good fire management plan.

Abe Max/320-Ĺ Bridge/Spoke regarding councilsí response to his statement at the August 7, council meeting. He felt the response lacked sufficient information. Max wanted to see funds allocated for public art by making it part of downtown development plans. DeBoer encouraged Max to contact Richard Benson of Ashland Hardwood.

Steve Traisman/Invited the council and community to attend the "Walk in Peace" celebration and spiritual gathering on September 22, from 10:00 a.m. to midnight at the Wellsprings (formerly Jackson Hot Springs).

2. Ratification of City Administratorís Decision to Implement Stage 1 Water Curtailment and Update on Water Use
City Administrator Greg Scoles explained monitoring results of the Cityís water situation. Stage 1 water curtailment was enacted on August 16. Public Works Director Paula Brown provided the council with additional chart information on water use and temperature comparison. Although rain has been forecasted for this week, more high temperatures are expected after the storm passes. If the rainy season begins in September, curtailment will end earlier. TID water allocations are close to being used up and other TID users are being asked to reduce water intake. Brown noted the community's efforts to limit use, which helps to assure drinking water into November.

Councilors Morrison/Reid m/s to approve City Administratorís decision to implement Stage 1 water curtailment on August 16, as provided for in AMC Chapter 14.06. DISCUSSION: Brown explained that efforts are being made to increase awareness for irrigation by large users such as Southern Oregon University. Council discussed water bills and the way they can be read to determine usage. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

3. Update on the Talent Ashland Phoenix (TAP) Intertie Pipeline Project
Public Works Director Paula Brown presented, for the councilís information, a brief synopsis on the status of the construction of the pipeline to the City of Talent, reporting that the project is nearing completion, which is expected by December 2001. The cityís original share in the cost of the project has remained the same at $1,101,500. Brown explained that the decision to participate in the TAP project was based on a 1998 Water Study. The need for participating was based on water needs and water curtailment. It was estimated that by the year 2020 more water would be needed. Brown does not intend to move forward at this point, but plans to keep the issue on the horizon from a budgetary standpoint. One except is a water study on the current distribution system to determine where the distribution point would be for the TAP project.

Laws noted past studies that were conducted. Conservation efforts have allowed for enough water, even with population growth. Variables that must be monitored are climatic changes and continued outdoor water conservation efforts. Reid noted that TID water availability would also be a variable that must be monitored.

Brown clarified that Medford would charge SDCs for their treatment of water and transportation to Ashland. The goal is to use less water, which saves money from having to bring water from elsewhere.

Scoles noted the Strategic Plan Goal to develop a plan for the future extension of the TAP project to the City of Ashland.
There is no current commitment to push the issue up in time. DeBoer urged councilsí support in requesting a report for the RFP, engineering, design, and other portions of the plan from staff. Reid requested more information from staff and suggested adding to a study session. Hartzell did not support pushing forward at this time. Hanson supported bring TAP to Ashland. Morrison felt staff was overburdened at present. Brown agreed to bring a report to the council in February 2002.

4. Overview of changes to the Ashland Fiber Network Business Plan
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained that the report was a baseline summary. Construction delays and supply delivery issues have created difficulties with adding new customers, which has lowered revenue.

Laws noted competition by another cable provider, which was not included in the report. He felt council needed a realistic view of the situation. Tuneberg stated the committee was looking into this issue.

Scoles noted most of the construction would be completed in the current fiscal year. Very little construction is expected in the next four years. Wanderschied noted the largest portion of the project would be completed by December 2001. AFN is in the process of prioritizing smaller "pocket" areas for completion.

Morrison voiced his disappointment with the report, as nothing indicates how projections would be made. He felt the council and the community needs to know how the project would be projected. Tuneberg stated the committee is working on this issue. Wanderschied stated the committee is working on three goals: 1) developing a good reporting system; 2) review of current business plan for adjustments; 3) reducing expenses and increasing revenue. The report given to the council is preliminary. Scoles stated the report is a simple comparison of the business plan with the budget. Laws noted that his concern was councilsí need for a timely report. Scoles recognized councilsí need. Reid voiced her interest in potential revenue outside of cable television.

Hartzell stated her concern with the committee evaluating the business plan and suggested giving the committee more experienced help. Morrison supported Hartzell's comments and suggested utilizing an expert.

Reid felt the report should come first and then discussion could allow for changes. Hanson agreed with Reid, adding that the committee needs to be allowed to develop a report. Hartzell did not think the committee was unable to make a determination, but that adding expertise would make her feel more comfortable. Laws stated that staff has experience and he did not support additional experts. Morrison was interested in employing all available resources.

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS

  • First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Requiring that a Living Wage be paid to Employees of the City, to Employees of Contractors of the City, and to Employees of Recipients of City Grants insofar as Employment relates to City Grants."


  • Scoles gave a brief background and explained supportive paperwork given to the council in their packets. Hartzell explained her proposed changes to the ordinance. Scoles clarified that the original waiver provisions were non-specific.

    Morrison noted a potential conflict of interest with his association with RVCOG. He spoke with the city attorney before the meeting and it was determined that there was no direct personal impact.

    Morrison stated that in most contracts, a prevailing wage is determined as $25,000. He questioned whether the ordinance should be changed to make it more consistent with existing contracts. Reid stated she was uncomfortable with making the alteration, as it is a big change. Scoles explained that $25,000 limits are for Public Works projects only.

    Councilor Hanson made motion to table the matter indefinitely. Motion died due to lack of second.

    Laws noted his disappointment at not receiving more information. Other cities that have passed ordinances set the limit at a variety of levels. He was willing to set the limit at $25,000 for businesses that provide services and products to the city. In addition, he felt there should be an exemption for non-profit organizations. These agencies are not in a position to compete for contracts or to ask for more money from the city to provide services for the public.

    Reid stated that in her review of other ordinances, she noted the ones with higher caps also had higher populations. She suggested setting the limit at a rate comparable to cities of similar size.

    DeBoer stated he was not willing to support the ordinance as written. He noted he had several changes to the wording that would make it more easily enforceable.

    Hartzell felt that private-public partnerships were a priority for providing more funding. She was not opposed to the waiver for non-profit organizations, and added that their workers deserved a living wage.

    Morrison stated that the ordinance would not be necessary if minimum wage had kept up with inflation. He did not think the ordinance needed sweeping changes, but could use a little "word-smithing."

    Councilors Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve first reading of the ordinance and to pass it on second reading.
    DISCUSSION: Laws stated businesses providing goods and services are able to raise their prices, but safety-net services cannot, which results in higher expenses and fewer services. He was in favor of the ordinance, but not if it reduces services to the public. Reid suggested separating small non-profit from large non-profits through a waiver system that could allow small safety-net service organizations relief. Hartzell agreed to exempting agencies providing safety-net services, but urged the council to make a commitment to work with them to provide living wages to workers through a partnership agreement. Hearn compared this issue to the Federal Davis Bacon Act, which requires prevailing wages on contracts. He supported the ordinance with the addition of a waiver. Scoles noted that council has discussed "goods and services" as provided to the city and he made a clarification that goods are not included in the proposal, only services. DeBoer noted that OSF would be affected by the ordinance through the grant they receive and a lease agreement with the City for the land. He voiced his concern that decision-making powers would be removed from the Board of Directors and suggested excluding organizations with these types of boards. Scoles noted that leases would not fall under the ordinance.

    Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to make the following amendments to the ordinance: 1) Section 3.12.010 line 8 to read, "The City has a responsibility when spending public money to set a community standard that promotes workers living above the poverty line."; 2) Section 3.12.020 - alter the exemption cap to $15,000; 3) Section 3.12.020D to read, "Employee . . . spends 50% or more of the employee's compensated time in a month on the project or portion of business that received City financial assistance."; 4) Section 3.12.060 add item D to read, "City Council may waive the requirements of this chapter for a recipient or service contractor upon a finding and determination that such a waiver is in the best interest of the City. City Council may waive the requirements of this chapter for a recipient or service contractor who provides safety net services, upon council acceptance of a three-year plan for achieving the requirements of this chapter. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Hearn, Laws, Morrison, and Reid - Yes; Hanson was not in the room.

    DeBoer listed his proposed changes: 1) altering the title to read, "An Ordinance requiring that a living wage as defined by this ordinance be paid. . ."; 2) Section 3.12.020A add "Recipient means any person, company, or organization. . ."; 3) Section 3.12.020D-2 to read "fiscal year" instead of "twelve-month period"; 4) Section 3.12.030C change effective dates to January through December; 5) Section 3.12.040A last line, paragraph two to read "two years" instead of "five years." DeBoer suggested making the implementation date January 1, 2002, rather than the normal 30 days after the second reading. Laws did not approve of the mayor's first change.

    Councilors Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve first reading of the ordinance with amendments and pass it on to second reading. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Hearn, Laws, Morrison, and Reid - Yes; Hanson - No. Motion passed 5-1.

    First reading of "An Ordinance amending Section 15.28.070H of the Ashland Municipal Code to Prohibit the Use of Fireworks within the City except when sale of Fireworks is permitted within the State of Oregon."

    Councilors Hanson/Hartzell m/s to approve first reading of the Ordinance and pass it on to second reading. Roll Call Vote: Hanson, Laws, Morrison, Hearn, and Hartzell - Yes; Reid was not in the room. Motion passed.

    Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Updating Code Provisions regarding City Cemeteries by Replacing Chapter 2.64 of the Ashland Municipal Code."

    Councilors Morrison/Hanson m/s to approve Ordinance 2872. Roll Call Vote: Reid, Hanson, Laws, Hearn, and Morrison - Yes; Hartzell was not in the room. Motion passed.


    4. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Updating Code Provisions regarding Traffic Safety Commission by Replacing Chapter 2.26 of the Ashland Municipal Code."

    Councilors Morrison/Reid m/s to approve Ordinance 2873. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Hanson, Hearn, Laws, and Laws - Yes; Hartzell was not in the room. Motion passed.

    5. Second reading of "An Ordinance amending section 11.30.020 of the Ashland Municipal Code to Exempt the Hargadine Parking Facility from Downtown Employee Parking Restrictions."

    Councilors Hanson/Reid m/s to approve Ordinance 2874. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison, and Hearn - Yes. Motion passed.

    6. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Setting a Public Hearing for the Formation of a Local Improvement District to Provide for Improvements Consisting of Sidewalks and Associated Improvements for Helman Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Nevada Street."

    Councilors Laws/Hanson m/s too approve Resolution 2001-24. DISCUSSION: Public Works Director Paula Brown clarified that this LID would not delay the Tolman Creek project. Morrison noted he lives in the area and supports passing the resolution. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Hearn, Hanson, Laws, Reid, and Morrison - Yes. Motion passed.


    OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
    DeBoer noted an opening on the Planning Commission. Applications will be accepted until August 27, 2001.

    Hartzell noted an opening on the Citizens' Budget Committee. Applications will be accepted until September 4, 2001.

    ADJOURNMENT
    Meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.


    Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer

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