Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, August 27, 2001

City of Ashland

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

August 27, 2001

ATTENDANCE

Present JoAnne Eggers, Sally Jones, Rick Landt, Jim Lewis, Councilor Don Laws, Director Ken Mickelsen

Absent Laurie MacGraw

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Regular Meeting – July 23, 2001

Commissioner Eggers made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting of July 23, 2001 as written. Commissioner Jones seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes - 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION None

ADDITIONS or DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

Chair Landt proposed that the Commission tentatively ad an Executive Session prior to adjourning the Regular Meeting in the event they choose to discuss an item related to real property per ORS192660. By consensus, Commissioners agreed to meet in Executive Session as suggested.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

DISCUSSION OF CHARGING FOR ATHLETIC EVENTS @ NORTH MOUNTAIN PARK

Reviewing the memorandum dated August 17, 2001, Director Mickelsen reported that earlier in the year, the Mt. Ashland Babe Ruth organization had made a request to charge a fee to attend a district tournament that would be held at North Mountain Park. At that time staff drafted a policy for the Commission to consider that would generally cover the topic. Commissioners chose to grant Babe Ruth permission to charge a fee on a "one-time only" basis and asked staff to take the draft policy to other community athletic groups for their comments and ideas prior to adopting a general policy. He said that staff had done that and with two small changes, a modified draft policy was before the Commission for consideration.

PUBLIC COMMENT None

DISCUSSION AMONG COMMISSIONERS

Commissioner Eggers commented about the term "non-profit" being used within the policy because the term has a legal or tax implications. Director Mickelsen said that staff did not intend that the policy be restrictive to groups that would strictly fit into a "non-profit" category and suggested that the term could be eliminated.

Commissioner Landt suggested the following modifications to the draft policy: Eliminating the "non-profit" term as suggested by Commissioner Eggers, adding the words "approved by the Department" to item number five, ending item number 6 with the word "run" as the balance of the wording is not needed, and adding an eighth item that would state that "The event holder would be responsible for additional maintenance costs created by the event."

MOTION - With no further comment among Commissioners, Commissioner Landt made a motion to approve the policy related to community groups charging admission fees to sporting events at North Mountain Park as presented in the August 17, 2001 memorandum and amended in Commission discussion. Commissioner Eggers seconded.

DISCUSSION OF CHARGING FOR ATHLETIC EVENTS @ NORTH MOUNTAIN PARK - continued

Commissioner Jones asked for staff comment on the amendments included in the motion. Director Mickelsen said that past practice has been for the Department to ask organizations to pay for some increased cost such as additional dumpsters or field lining but not for all additional maintenance costs. He said that he believed that as a public entity it was appropriate to cover some of the cost when community groups are offering recreational opportunities. Commissioner Eggers said that when groups are charging fees, essentially fund raising, she felt that it was appropriate for them to bear all additional maintenance costs.

The vote was: 4 yes - 0 no

DEVELOPING A MANAGEMENT POLICY RELATED TO NATIVE AND NON-NATIVE SPECIES IN THE PARK SYSTEM

By way of introducing the agenda topic, Chair Landt read the proposed policy into the record:

Preamble There are a number of problematic, invasive plants that degrade our park system because of their tendency to spread and crowd out other species, decreasing diversity and wildlife habitat. Many of these plants are non-native species. Non-native animals can also potentially be detrimental to our park system by spreading disease, competing with native species, and, as is the case with the duck ponds, increasing pollution due to their numbers. With this in mind, the following is the policy of the Parks and Recreation Commission:

Policy At the discretion of the Parks and Recreation Department staff, problematic plants and animals may be limited or removed from park lands. In the case of invasive species, as practical and as time allows, the Department shall endeavor to control, limit and if possible, remove these species from park land.

PUBLIC COMMENT None

DISCUSSION AMONG COMMISSIONERS

In response to a comment by Director Mickelsen related to including the plant list prepared by Department Horticulturist Donn Todt into the policy, Commissioners Eggers and Landt said that they would prefer to include the list as an attachment to the policy for informational purposes but not as part of the policy per se.

MOTION - Commissioner Eggers made a motion to adopt the policy related to invasive and/or non-native species in parks as read. Commissioner Jones seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes - 0 no

DISCUSSION OF NEXT STEP IN ADDRESSING WATER QUALITY AT THE UPPER POND IN LITHIA PARK

Director Mickelsen said that the Commission has had several Study Sessions on options that could be explored to address water quality in the ponds in Lithia Park. One of those sessions outlined five possible options that could be considered for the upper pond. At its July meeting when it approved an option for the lower pond, Commissioners suggested that staff obtain a price quotation from URS, the consulting firm that had reviewed options for the lower pond, to see what it would cost for them to perform similar services related to the options presented for the upper pond. URS proposed to do the work for a fee not to exceed $5,604. Director Mickelsen said that he had discussed the topic with Paul Kay, the volunteer who has been working on gathering information about the various options, and Mr. Kay indicated that he would like to address the Commission prior to its making a decision.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Paul Kay (1234 Strawberry Lane) said that after speaking with Director Mickelsen he had developed a possible time line that the Commission might like to consider so that a decision about the direction it would like to take related to the upper pond could be made prior to the budget planning process for FY 2003. He asked that Commissioners comment on the time line during discussion.

DISCUSSION OF NEXT STEP IN ADDRESSING WATER QUALITY AT THE UPPER POND IN LITHIA PARK - continued

As to utilizing an outside firm to evaluate the options for the upper pond, Mr. Kay said that he would like to have the Commission seek a cost estimate from the firm on Brown and Caldwell out of Eugene as well as from URS. He said that an engineer from Brown and Caldwell has volunteered time to assist him in gathering the information that he presented to the Commission on the upper pond. He said that he believes that Brown and Caldwell are well qualified and would be willing to give a performance guarantee to whatever option it recommended be implemented.

DISCUSSION AMONG COMMISSIONERS

In response to a question by Chair Landt related to the time line proposed by Mr. Kay, Director Mickelsen said that he indicated to Mr. Kay that it would be beneficial to the Commission if it could have information about the cost of implementing improvements at the upper pond by the time it is planning next year's budget, essentially by first of the year.

MOTION - Commissioner Lewis made a motion to have staff to submit the same scope of work to Brown and Caldwell as it did to URS and to require that Brown and Caldwell submit a proposal to the Department within one week of receiving the scope of work. Commissioner Landt seconded.

Commissioner Eggers inquired as to whether or not a one week time line was realistic. Both Commissioner Landt and Director Mickelsen indicated that they felt it was a reasonable time frame to develop a proposal for this scope of work.

Director Mickelsen clarified that if the motion passed, staff was to offer the work to one of the two firms keeping the cost of service a consideration. Chair Landt concurred with the statement.

The vote was: 4 yes - 0 no

In reviewing the time line offered by Paul Kay, Commissioner Landt commented that it appeared realistic to have a final design and cost estimate ready for consideration for the FY 2002-03 budget. Director Mickelsen commented that for work to proceed in the 2002-03 budget year, not this budget year, it could not be started until summer or fall 2002. By consensus, Commissioners agreed that the time line presented by Mr. Kay and commented upon by Commissioner Landt and Director Mickelsen was a reasonable estimate for a time line for the project.

DISCUSSION AND APPROVAL OF TIME LINE FOR IMPLEMENTING PUBLIC PROCESS PLAN RELATED TO UPDATING THE OPEN SPACE / PARK LAND ACQUISITION PLAN

Commissioner Eggers reported that the committee consisting of Director Mickelsen, Commissioner Landt and herself had met with Keri Greene to outline a public participation process that would lead to a decision about updating the Open Space / Park Land Acquisition Plan. She said that she had been asked to come up with a time line for working through the process.

Indicating that her thoughts were offered as a starting point for discussion, Commissioner Eggers said that she developed a proposed time line that would schedule preparations, events, and meetings from September 2001 through April 2002 to achieve the stated goals of (1) updating the Parks and Open Space Map, (2) delineating funding strategies, and (3) revising criteria for prioritization and acquisition. In considering the steps of the process previously approved by the Commission, she recommended that Step 1 -- Information and Input Meeting and Step 1a -- Outreach be scheduled within a time frame of 4 to 6 weeks in order to maintain focus and community interest. She indicated that while trying to keep the entire process compressed she had made an effort to take into consideration holidays and the logistics of scheduling budget and policy review sessions.

Councilor Laws commented that the Commission may want to choose a particular place in the time line where the Council would be officially brought into discussion. Commissioner Landt expressed concern that completing the process by March or April might be too soon considering the number of holidays that are contained within November and December. He suggested that April to May might be more realistic. Commissioner Eggers commented that that would be okay with her provided that the process wasn't stretched out to the point that peoples’ energy for the project dissipated.

TIME LINE FOR PUBLIC PROCESS TO UPDATE THE OPEN SPACE / PARK LAND ACQUISITION PLAN - continued

PUBLIC COMMENT

Susan Rust (42 N. Wightman) said that she wanted to thank the Commission for putting Open Space planning high on its agenda for this year. She said that she has been somewhat confused as to what state the plan is in and supports the idea of clarifying and possibly modifying it. She said that in her efforts to gain information about the current plan she was looking for a physical, specific plan because that was what she was used to in San Antonio. She said that what doesn't appear available in Ashland is a clear, written, overall plan that speaks to the vision of the program. She said that she believes that there are a lot of people in Ashland who are interested in open space planning and protection, and, also believes it would be helpful to Ashland's citizens to be able to pick up a document that explains Ashland's vision for green space or open space. She said that the hopes that the process that the Commission will be undertaking will provide some kind of formal mechanism for citizens and interested organizations to participate.

Commissioner Eggers responded that she believed that the public process that the Commission is planning would address Ms. Rust’s comments and welcomed her participation in the process.

DISCUSSION AMONG COMMISSIONERS

MOTION - Commissioner Landt made a motion to set a goal for Commissioners and staff to have an open space and parks update completed by the middle of May 2002. Commissioner Lewis seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes - 0 no

DISCUSSION OF PROPOSED TRAIL THROUGH PEROZZI PROPERTY

Director Mickelsen reviewed the status of the proposal for a trail easement offered by the tentative buyers of the Perozzi property, Michael Cecil and Barbara Coffman. Essentially, the buyers offered a proposal dated July 26, 2001 that the Commission reviewed in an August 7, 2001 Study Session. The purpose of the agenda item this evening is to determine whether or not the Commission wanted to continue negotiations for the trail easement, and, if so, would those negotiations be contingent upon reaching an agreement for an additional easement though the Maurer property that would create a link to Siskiyou Mountain Park.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Barbara Coffman and Michael Cecil (880 Pinecrest Terrace) were present. They said that they were available to answer any questions Commissioners might have and were very interested in having positive conversation about the proposed trail easement continue.

DISCUSSION AMONG COMMISSIONERS

MOTION - Commissioner Landt made a motion to continue to negotiate with Cecil and Coffman related to establishing a trail through the Perozzi property. Commissioner Eggers seconded.

Commissioner Lewis said that he would volunteer to participate in negotiations if the Commission chose to approve the motion. Commissioner Landt said that he believed that moving forward with negotiations was important because if agreement could be reached it would create something very positive for the community. In response to a concern expressed by Commissioners Jones and Eggers about the July proposal calling for negotiations to be completed by September 20th, he commented that the motion simply indicates that the Commission is willing to continue to negotiate. It does not mean that the Commission agrees to any of the items outlined in the July proposal.

Commissioner Eggers inquired whether or not passage of this motion would mean that the Commission would indeed move into Executive Session to discuss how negotiations would proceed. Chair Landt said that it did.

The vote was: 4 yes - 0 no

DISCUSSION OF PROPOSED TRAIL THROUGH PEROZZI PROPERTY - continued

Chair Landt said that the second item that the Commission needs to address related to this topic is to decide whether or not negotiations related to a trail easement through the Perozzi property would be contingent on also gaining a trail easement through the Maurer property so that a link would be established to Siskiyou Mountain Park.

MOTION - Commissioner Landt made a motion to make negotiations related to a trail easement through the Perozzi property contingent upon also being able to reach an agreement for an easement through the Maurer property. Commissioner Lewis seconded.

Commissioner Jones spoke in support of the motion indicating that she believed that considering the linkage through the Maurer property was an appropriate topic to address when negotiating the easement through the Perozzi property.

The vote was: 4 yes - 0 no

Chair Landt asked if there were another Commissioner who would like to join Commissioner Lewis in a sub-committee to work with staff in negotiations. No other Commissioners volunteered. Chair Landt said that he would assist as back-up for Commissioner Lewis if he needed.

NEW BUSINESS None.

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

STAFF REPORT ON POSSIBLE LOCATIONS AND COST OF ESTABLISHING BOCCE BALL COURTS

Director Mickelsen reported that at its July Regular Meeting, a request had come from the public for the Commission to consider establishing Bocce Ball courts somewhere within the system. Commissioners had directed staff to develop a cost estimate and to work with Mr. Carrau who had made the request to determine a possible location for the courts if they were to be installed. As outlined in a memorandum dated August 17, 2001, Superintendent Gies estimated that each court would cost approximately $1,200 to construct and that both staff and Mr. Carrau believe that Sherwood Park would make a good location. Director Mickelsen said that staff supports establishing Bocce Ball courts within the system because even though people of all ages can use them, the Department would be able to construct a facility that seniors would find very enjoyable at very little expense.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Lee Carrau (492 Starflower Lane) said that he was more than pleased with the speedy response he has received from both the Commission and staff related to his request. He said that Director Mickelsen and Superintendent Gies, "who would have command of my next ship if I were if I were in charge of his next fitness report," were very helpful in looking at possible locations. He said that he believed Sherwood Park would be an ideal location and thanked the Commission's willingness to consider establishing a facility that "us old folks" would really appreciate.

Commissioner Lewis asked how well Mr. Carrau thought it would be used if it were built. He said that there was a whole group of seniors who played horseshoes weekly at Lithia Park and he believed that the Bocce Ball courts would be similarly used. He said there were quite a few people who were not physically able to use facilities such as the tennis courts but who would enjoy the moderately physical and social activity that would occur at Bocce Ball courts.

DISCUSSION AMONG COMMISSIONERS

If the project were approved, Commissioner Eggers inquired about a time line and how staff would address the question of re-aligning the irrigation system. Superintendent Gies said that considering the projects currently underway, staff wouldn’t address constructing Bocce Ball courts until some time this winter. He said that the irrigation system at Sherwood Park is very old. Although not planned for the immediate future, it needed to be addressed soon. If the Bocce Ball courts are approved, staff would move to upgrade the irrigation system sooner rather than later.

ESTABLISHING BOCCE BALL COURTS - continued

MOTION - After some brief discussion about fitting the project into this year’s budget, Commissioner Jones made a motion to tentatively approve construction of two Bocce Ball courts at Sherwood Park for a cost of approximately $1,200 per court with the cost being covered out of the Department's general maintenance budget. Commissioner Lewis seconded.

Director Mickelsen suggested that if the Commission chose to approve the project tentatively then, prior to construction, staff could bring information back to the Commission on where the money could be found in this year's budget without unduly affecting other maintenance work. Commissioners Jones and Lewis agreed to add the word "tentatively" to the motion with the understanding that staff would bring that information to the Commission prior to beginning construction.

The vote was: 4 yes - 0 no

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

SETTING FEES FOR USE OF SOCCER FIELD LIGHTS @ NORTH MOUNTAIN PARK

Commissioner Landt remarked that a fee structure needed to be set for use of the soccer field lights at North Mountain Park prior to having them activated. He offered to assist staff in working with the soccer community to discuss a proposed fee structure that would be brought back to the Commission at either a Special Meeting or at the September Regular Meeting.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

SET TIME LINE FOR DISCUSSION RELATED TO KEEPING SWANS IN LITHIA PARK

After brief discussion, Chair Landt said that if inquiries are made as to when the Commission will be addressing keeping swans at the lower pond, staff could respond that the Commission would not be addressing the issue before it has had the opportunity to test the water and determine that the water would not be unhealthy for the swans. Once we know that the water is safe for wildlife, then the Commission can consider whether or not to put swans back in the pond.

ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION per ORS 192.660

RECONVENE REGULAR MEETING

MOTION - Commissioner Landt made a motion to proceed with negotiations related to a trail easement through the Perozzi property as discussed in Executive Session. Commissioner Eggers seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes - 0 no

ADJOURNMENT With no further business, by consensus, Chair Landt adjourned the meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Ann Benedict, Business Manager

Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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