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Parks Commission Special Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Friday, August 30, 2013

City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
August 30, 2013

ATTENDANCE
Present: Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Lewis, Seffinger; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Dickens
Absent:   Commissioner Shaw; City Council Liaison Voisin

CALL TO ORDER
Seffinger called the study session to order at 8:03 a.m. in the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

DISCUSS ICE RINK BIDS
At the August 19 study session, Robertson said staff reported that the bids for a new ice rink cover could come in above the budgeted figure of $122,000. He said the bids, opened the previous day, came in higher than anticipated, with the low bid for a tent alone at $130,000. The three bids received (low to high), including setup, foundation, and all other components, were reported as follows:

  • Vitus Construction - $268,000

  • Adroit Construction - $297,000

  • Batzer, Inc - $306,000

Discussion Among Commissioners
Landt: In the future, a better job was needed in estimating project costs.

Robertson agreed and said staff used an estimate from Noel Lesley Company from two years prior, which staff adjusted for inflation. He said structural and insurance requirements had since been tightened due to a disaster in Dallas, TX, in which a similar structure fell and caused damage.

Landt: What projects would remain uncompleted if the commission spent more than budgeted for the ice rink cover? He spoke about weighing the use of additional funds against other uses; specifically in terms of the significant costs associated with land acquisitions for two dog parks, a neighborhood park proposed for development in a heavily populated area of town, and some trail sections along Ashland Creek – from Hersey Street to Nevada. He said the additional funds could be used for those purposes.

Robertson agreed but said the ice rink investment needed to be maximized and the project would not prevent other projects from moving forward. He said the Ashland Creek Park development had been estimated to begin the previous fiscal year and the commission set aside $750,000 for that purpose. The grant was not received that year and the commission did not move forward with the park’s development, leaving those funds on the table. The commission directed staff to narrow the scope and again request a grant from the State of Oregon Parks Department. Staff did as instructed and received a grant for half of the reduced-cost park development project ($309,950—half of $619,900). The remaining balance ($750,000 budgeted versus $619,000 reduced project cost) could provide the commission with leeway for continuing to work on proposed projects if approved. Additionally, a discussion with Vitus Construction, Project Manager Steve Ennis, and Parks staff produced an estimated reduction in costs to at or below $250,000. Robertson said the ice rink cover would not get any cheaper if the project was delayed but it was the commission’s decision. He said the commission had $800,000 plus $600,000 in revenues, for a total of $1.4M, remaining in the biennial period that was set aside for land purchases but that was not much when land cost $200,000 per acre.

Seffinger: How would this project differ from a permanent structure’s construction? Would this construction make it easier or harder for staff to put up and take down a roof each year?

Robertson said the anchors would be permanent and an earlier staff estimate for a permanent cover (approximately $500,000) was probably low. In terms of setup and teardown, staff would contract the work out to professionals.
 
Landt: The ice skating rink came about because someone in the community said it was important and the Parks Commission took it on. Just because something existed in the Parks system did not make it a high priority for limited commission funds. The commission needed to make land acquisitions a top priority.

Gardiner: That could be said for any of the various Parks-managed properties.

Lewis: The day the commission chose to embed coils in the Winburn Way parking lot asphalt was the day the commission chose to retain the ice rink facility for the community. The coils would last for decades and a cover was needed. He agreed that land acquisitions needed to move to the top of the commission’s priority list. While not an ice skater, he said this was something the commission provided for the community and hopefully the ice rink cover would last for years.

Seffinger: Agreed and said the ice rink was a multi-use, multi-age facility, suitable for a variety of people. While also not a skater, she said the community favored the facility and considered it important.

Landt: Would vote against the cover, given that its price was more than double the estimated cost. Said the motion should include the exact cost of the cover. Said the extra funds had a higher use, in his opinion.

MOTION Gardiner moved to approve a roof for the ice skating rink, with expenditures not exceeding $268,700. Lewis seconded the motion.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Landt suggested authorizing a cap of $250,000 instead of $268,700, as the contractor would most likely use all funds allocated for the project. Gardiner and Lewis agreed to use that language in a friendly amendment to the motion, revising the amount allocated as “not to exceed $250,000.”

AMENDED MOTION Gardiner moved to approve a roof for the ice skating rink, with expenditures not to exceed $250,000. Lewis seconded the motion.

Vote:
Gardiner, Lewis, Seffinger – Yes
Landt - no

ADJOURNMENT
By consensus, hearing no further business, Seffinger adjourned the meeting at 8:24 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
 
Susan Dyssegard
Ashland Parks and Recreation

 

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