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Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, January 28, 2013

City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES

January 28, 2013

ATTENDANCE
Present:  Commissioners Landt, Lewis, Seffinger, Shaw; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Dickens
Absent:   None

CALL TO ORDER
Seffinger called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Regular Meeting – October 22, 2012
MOTION Landt moved to approve the minutes as presented. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes

Study Session – December 10, 2012
MOTION Landt moved to approve the minutes as presented. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes

Regular Meeting – December 17, 2012
MOTION Landt moved to approve the minutes as presented. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
CJ Schatza, 350 Buckhorn Springs Road in Grants Pass, Chief Operating Officer for Krauss Craft Inc., asked why the department chose a different vendor for Garfield Park playground equipment, spending an additional $30,000 over the Krauss Craft proposal. He said Parks staff did not get commission input on the purchase, there was no competitive bid process, and his company’s product was an equivalent, lower cost structure. He said, legally, the commission could purchase off the State of Oregon contract without having any sort of process but he didn't think that was the right thing to do in the current economy.

Robertson provided background for the commission: Krauss Craft was invited to submit a design proposal along with two other companies. Playcraft submitted three proposals and a Parks Department committee chose another vendor, Landscape Structures, Inc (LSI). When staff notified Playcraft about the decision, Krauss Kraft submitted an additional proposal knowing the LSI product was selected. They subsequently contacted an attorney and submitted a public records request with the City. The matter was currently in the hands of attorneys for Krauss Kraft and the City of Ashland.

Kathleen Weckerle, 247 Hill Top in Grants Pass, said she was saddened to hear that the Garfield Park playground equipment was awarded to another vendor. She said Kurt Krauss was denied the opportunity to address the commission at their December meeting and the Krauss Kraft product was tens of thousands of dollars lower in price than their competitor’s.

Margaret Miller, 346 N. Sawyer in Cave Junction, a current employee of Krauss Craft and a council / planning commission / contract review board member for her community, said she understood public processes based on her experiences. She asked what purchasing criteria were used in selecting the LSI product and said Krauss Kraft was a member of the local community, they met the highest standards of the industry, and their product was less expensive than LSI’s. She asked the commission to be good stewards of the funds entrusted to them.

Ron Roth, 6950 Old Hwy 99 South, a long-time Ashland resident, said he was a big supporter of the Parks Commission and parks and had heard about the proposed changes in funding between the commission and the City. He asked how Parks funds were obtained, how much they received annually, and who was in charge of them. He asked if the cancelled joint meeting between Parks and Council would be rescheduled. He said Parks needed to spend the funds allotted to them rather than have a surplus.

Chris Hearn, 515 E. Main, a local attorney who previously served on the Planning Commission and City Council, said his clients were concerned about the proposed permanent cover for the Ashland outdoor ice rink in Lithia Park. He said his clients, members of the “silent majority,” were not comfortable attending evening meetings but wanted their voices to be heard. He said a petition was circulated and signatures obtained in opposition to the proposed permanent, year-round cover over the parking lot that would cost four times the amount of a temporary cover and tarnish the “crown jewel of Ashland,” Lithia Park.


ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA
None

ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Seffinger referred to the list of duties for chair and vice chair positions and then opened the floor to nominations.

Landt nominated Seffinger as chair for 2013. Shaw seconded the nomination.
The vote was: All yes

Lewis nominated Landt as vice chair for 2013. Shaw seconded the nomination.
The vote was: All yes


UNFINISHED BUSINESS
None


NEW BUSINESS
PARKS COMMISSION POSITION #3

Seffinger said there was one candidate for the position, Mike Gardiner. She said he was interviewed and the commission could recommend him to council for appointment.

Lewis said Gardiner was a well-qualified candidate and his application and answers to commission candidate questions showed that clearly.


MOTION Lewis moved to forward the name of Mike Gardiner to City Council for Parks Commission seat #3, to serve on the commission through December 31, 2014. Shaw seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes


ANNUAL FEES AND CHARGES DISCUSSION
Dials said in 2005-2006 the commission set an annual goal of reviewing fees and charges as a kick-off to its annual budget planning process. At their January 14 study session, the commission reviewed fees associated with all Parks Department programs and services: North Mountain Park Nature Center, facility rentals, Daniel Meyer Pool, Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink, the Calle Guanajuato, Oak Knoll Golf Course, adult and youth recreation programs, the Ashland Senior Center, community gardens, ballfield lights, and special events. She said until 2005-2006, fees were not annually reviewed so if larger increases were being proposed, it was important to understand the commission was playing catch-up from previous years.

Dials said the commission heard staff recommendations for potential increases at their January 14 study session. Staff also provided pros and cons for increases and the history of fee increases.


Ballfield Lights
Dials said staff recommended a fee increase of at least 10% (to $31 per hour) to keep pace with utility increases. She said Landt had requested fees associated with tennis lights so staff contacted the USTA and learned that coin-operated lights were rarely used anymore.

Landt said it was best to recoup direct costs in ways that made logical sense. He said the commission was playing catch-up in charging for utility costs. He suggested a two-tiered rate increase: to $31 this year and to $34 next year to allow for recouping full electricity costs within two years. Other commissioners requested minor clarifications and spoke positively about the proposed increases.

MOTION Landt moved to approve a 10% increase in hourly ballfield lighting fees effective July 1, 2013 (to $31 per hour), and another increase on July 1, 2014 (to $34 per hour). Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes


Hourly Rates for Indoor Facilities
Dials said staff recommended increasing the long-term / non-profit hourly rental rate for Pioneer Hall, Ashland Community Center, and Senior Center by 15% and the other two rates (weekday hourly and weekend hourly) by 5%. She said any increased rates for these City-owned facilities would require council approval.

Recommended rate increases were reviewed:

  • A 15% increase for the long-term / non-profit rate of $15 would be $17.50 per hour (or rounded up to $18 per hour)

  • A 5% increase for the weekday rate of $19.50 would be $20.50 per hour (or rounded up to $21 per hour)

  • A 5% increase for the weekend rate of $31.50 would be $33 per hour

Dials reviewed the pros and cons included in the commission packets and recommended a tiered rate increase. She said a letter was received from a citizen representing Ashland Contemporary Theatre stating that the fee increases would render full productions impossible in the future.

Commissioners agreed that increasing the non-profit rate by 15% would bring that rate closer to regular hourly rates. They discussed whether or not it was fair to have a non-profit rate or better to have a single-tiered system.


MOTION Lewis moved to accept the staff recommendations for indoor facility hourly rate increases.

MOTION Lewis moved to repeal the previous motion. Landt seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes


MOTION: Lewis moved to approve increasing the long-term / non-profit hourly rate for indoor facilities (Pioneer Hall, Community Center, Senior Center) from $15 per hour to $18 per hour; increasing the weekday rate from $19.50 per hour to $21 per hour; and increasing the weekend rate from $31.50 per hour to $33 per hour, effective July 1, 2013. Landt seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes


Calle Artisan Market Square Footage Rate Increase
Dials said staff recommended increasing the Calle artisan per square footage rate from $4 to $5.

MOTION: Landt moved to approve increasing the Lithia Artisans Market fee on the Calle Guanajuato from $4 to $5 per square foot for the 2013 season. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes


Community Garden Rate Increases
Dials said staff recommended increasing community garden rates by 10-15% for plots currently priced at $25, $50, $65, and $75.

MOTION: Landt moved to approve increasing community garden plots by 15% this year, then by another 15% the following year, rounded up to the nearest dollar, to meet Parks utility costs.
The motion died for lack for lack of a second.

Shaw said he didn’t see why the commission had to reach the 100% recovery rate in two years. He suggested phasing in recovery rates in smaller increments, over four to five years. Landt said people with home gardens paid the full cost of their water bills. Shaw suggested a 10 / 10 / 10% increase over three years. Dials said the community garden coordinator indicated that a 10-15% increase would be reasonable and notified all the gardeners about that possibility. Lewis said many of the gardeners were interested in conserving water. He suggested posting a sign at the gardens stating that by keeping water usage down, costs could be kept down.

MOTION: Lewis moved to approve increasing community garden plot rentals by 15% for the 2013 season: from $25 to $29; from $50 to $58; from $65 to $75 and from $75 to $87. Landt seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes

 
Oak Knoll Golf Course
Dials said staff recommended increasing the golf course daily coupon rate to $10, the 9-hole cart rate to $10 and $8 for seniors, the daily rate for 9 holes (off-season) to $14 and $12 for seniors, and the daily rate for 18 holes (off-season) to $20 and $18 for seniors. She said golf clubhouse staff researched Rogue Valley rates and the proposed increases would be in line with fees charged by other area courses.

MOTION: Shaw moved to approve increasing golf course fees as follows: daily coupon rate to $10; 9-hole cart rate to $10 and $8 for seniors; daily rate for 9 holes (off-season) to $14 and $12 for seniors; and daily rate for 18 holes (off-season) to $20 and $18 for seniors. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes


SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS
None

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Landt said any decision about an ice rink cover would be made with full public participation and the commission would work hard to make a fiscally responsible decision.

Seffinger said the commission sought an expert opinion from Harvey Rogers, a Portland attorney who provided the original legal interpretation upon passage of Measures 47 and 50. Robertson said Rogers was considered the legal expert in Oregon for the two measures and the restated opinion could impact other state jurisdictions.

Ron Roth, 6950 Old Hwy 99 South, said Ashland was unique in many ways and he was concerned about an apparent lack of public process with regard to Parks resources being proposed for use by the City. He suggested scheduling some public meetings to allow for transparency and asked Parks to spend up to their budgeted allotments.


UPCOMING MEETING DATES & PROPOSED AGENDA ITEM(S)

  • Study session set for February 19 at 7:00 p.m., Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Topic:

    • CIP Projects Discussion

  • Regular meeting set for February 25 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

ADJOURNMENT
By consensus, with no further business, Seffinger adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,
 
Susan Dyssegard
Ashland Parks and Recreation




 

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