Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session

Minutes
Monday, November 18, 2013

City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
STUDY SESSION
MINUTES
November 18, 2013

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

Absent: Commissioner Gardiner

CALL TO ORDER
Seffinger called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

JAPANESE GARDEN ENTRY DISCUSSION
Dickens introduced William Olsen, a woodworker who completed 3-D renderings of the Japanese Garden gateway to present to the commission. The design incorporated steel as well as wood from a monkey puzzle tree removed from Lithia Park.

Olsen said his 3-D renderings provided a realistic view of a steel and wood option for the commission’s consideration. He understood the commission wanted to utilize durable and low-maintenance materials; however, he regarded a design made entirely from steel or concrete as not in line with traditional Japanese gateways. He said monkey puzzle wood weathered well and by using flexible joinery and integrating steel, the gateway could last 100 years.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Lewis said he liked the proposed traditional construction techniques and the design aesthetics. He asked whether the design was compatible with the project’s budget. He further inquired how long it would take to dry the wood for the gateway as the timbers were too large for a kiln. Olsen estimated construction could begin in six months’ time.

Seffinger said she believed the design positively combined traditional aesthetics with longevity. 

Landt commented on the extensive time already given to the project. He said the two-tone design could be controversial to the public. Olsen assured Landt that the steel could be powder-coated to attractively contrast with the wood.

Shaw voiced approval for incorporating wood from the monkey puzzle tree in Lithia Park and suggested mounting an interpretive plaque outlining traditional Japanese construction techniques used.

GARFIELD PARK UPGRADES: PROCESS DISCUSSION
Dickens said the commission previously reviewed three designs by landscape architect Greg Covey. The designs were intended to be used as feasibility study tools—not as a master plan—toward determining where to orient a new splash pad at Garfield Park.   

It was stated that the commission approved by motion a Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) at their October 28 regular meeting. Dickens said City of Ashland procurement rules outlined that a contract could be directly awarded for personnel services under $35,000 but for any project over $35,000, staff needed to prepare an RFP. Covey was directly awarded the Garfield Park design project for $7,000, the amount allotted within the budget for that purpose. Covey’s designs provided staff with the direction they needed to address the placement of the splash pad and to resolve potential conflicts related to sand mixing with the water play area.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Shaw clarified that the designs provided by Covey were meant to address the location of the new splash pad, not serve as a master plan. Dickens agreed that the designs were not meant to be labeled as a master plan.

Robertson said if the commission wanted to complete a master plan prior to fixing the splash pad, the budget would need to be adjusted. He asked the commission to allow staff to directly award the project, which would cost less than $35,000, rather than preparing a time-consuming RFP.

Lewis said foot showers would alleviate the problem of sand entering into the splash pad. He did not think a master plan was necessary because the designs by Covey provided ample suggestions.

Landt originally wanted to relocate the Skate Park to Garfield Park but realized it would be better to keep it simple by separating the sand and the splash pad at this time.

Seffinger remarked on the commission’s consensus for staff to separate the splash pad and volleyball courts at Garfield Park and not move forward with a master plan project at this time.
 
JOINT COMMISSION / COUNCIL PLANNING GROUP
Seffinger asked Robertson for a brief report on the status of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) he had been working on with City Administrator Dave Kanner.
Robertson said the City / Parks MOU, which would delineate responsibilities, was still in the draft phase. Once the draft was completed, council and the commission would be expected to provide feedback.

Seffinger outlined the MOU process for the commission: a draft would be presented to both study groups and then to each body for final approval. Further, another joint study session with council and the commission would be scheduled in the spring.
 
FINAL STAFF AND COMMISSIONER COMMENTS
Shaw asked Dials about the cost of assembling, removing and storing the new ice rink cover.
Robertson said the new ice rink cover was working out well. Staff recently received a complaint from a citizen who lived above the ice rink on Granite Street. Staff visited her home to discuss possible solutions but without success. The neighbor wanted nothing short of removal, claiming she had suffered damages of $250,000. She planned to contact the City Attorney. Robertson reminded the commission that the ice rink cover was approved as a temporary structure and would be removed at the end of February, 2014.
 
ADJOURNMENT
By consensus, Seffinger adjourned out of study session at 8:12 p.m.
 
ADJOURNMENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
By consensus, Seffinger adjourned into executive session at 8:12 p.m.
Executive session: Real Property Acquisition: ORS 192.660 (2)(e)
 
ADJOURNMENT OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
By consensus, Seffinger adjourned out of executive session at 8:23 p.m.
 
ADJOURNMENT OUT OF STUDY SESSION
With no further business, Seffinger adjourned the meeting at 8:23 p.m.
 
Respectfully submitted,                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                       
Amanda Glass                                                               Susan Dyssegard
Ashland Parks and Recreation                                      Ashland Parks and Recreation
 

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