City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
March 7, 2014
Present: Commissioners Gardiner, Lewis, Seffinger, Shaw; Director Robertson; Superintendent Dials
Absent: Commissioner Landt; Superintendent Dickens
CALL TO ORDER
Seffinger called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m. in the Parks office, 340 S Pioneer Street.
USE OF UNAPPROPRIATED PARKS FUNDS
At the Parks commission study session on Monday, February 26, the commission discussed several options for utilizing their approximate $470,000 in special reserve funds. Robertson said options ranged from additional work on the Daniel Meyer Pool to master planning of Lithia Park. In the end, commission consensus was to build a second dog park adjacent to the lower portion of Clay Street and to add a sidewalk along Winburn Way through Lithia Park for pedestrian safety. The commission asked staff to research estimated costs of the two projects.
Engineering Services Manager Scott Fleury determined sidewalk costs using a project cost sheet. He suggested following the curb line of Winburn Way and building a six-foot-wide sidewalk out to the street for a total estimated cost of $237,387. If the width increased, prices would go up and if the sidewalk stopped at the upper duck pond, costs would go down. Robertson said he preferred extending sidewalks to the parking lot of the Parks maintenance office. Fleury said the sidewalk alone would not calm traffic and bump-outs and/or foliage would be required to slow cars.
Robertson said staff worked with Wes Norton and Andy George to price the second dog park located on lower Clay Street off Villard. The dog park had an estimated cost of $223,220.96. Staff used a pencil sketch to show requirements of the two-acre park, including a five-foot concrete sidewalk and parking strip. Off-street parking would not be required due to existing YMCA parking lots and on-street parking. Robertson believed there was a need for a second dog park in that area and the City and Housing Authority planned to develop more houses off Villard. At present there was a large berm of soil on the property that would be incorporated into the design to create a raised area. Also included in the design were a shelter, tables, trash cans, and other standard dog park amenities.
Discussion Among the Commissioners
Shaw voiced support for the draft plan and said it was a good start.
Seffinger liked including the small dog area as it would allow for separation from dogs that could be aggressive.
Lewis said as long as Planning approved the project, he thought the second dog park was very possible and beneficial the whole community.
Robertson said two property options for the second dog park originally were discussed: the Parks property on Mistletoe Road and the other on lower Clay Street. Regarding the Mistletoe property, Lewis said the Planning department would need to review the Croman Mill plan before considering the commissionís idea about placing a dog park in that location.
Robertson said development of this property was a long-term goal of the commission and he favored placing the second dog park off lower Clay Street. Robertson said using the property on lower Clay might also allow for potential community gardens, something requested for that area. He said the adjacent playground at the YMCA Park appealed to resident families with dogs. According to Robertson, City Administrator Dave Kanner supported use of the funds for the two projects; however, Kanner previously thought the commission would choose to fund a reserve account dedicated to Lithia Park projects.
Seffinger called for a vote.
MOTION Gardiner moved to approve the use of unappropriated Parks and Recreation funds for two projects: the second dog park on lower Clay Street and sidewalks in Lithia Park along Winburn Way. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes (Landt was absent)
FINAL STAFF AND COMMISSIONER COMMENTS
Ice Rink Cover
Robertson summarized the removal process for the ice rink cover: The Noel Lesley company agreed to dismantle, store and re-install the cover for a total estimated price of $30,000. One other submittal was received from Creative Structures for $55,000. After Noel Lesley signed their quote, they voiced concern about signing the liability insurance portion of the contract and wanted to revise the contract and shift all liability to the Parks department. City attorney Dave Lohman contacted Noel Lesleyís attorney and was told the company no longer wanted the job. Robertson called Billie at Noel Lesley and asked if they were offended by the liability portion of the contract. They said while they were not offended they 1) did not need the business and 2) did not feel right about signing the contract.
Staff then contacted a tent company in the Tualatin area and re-opened the rink area to parking. Robertson spoke with the Planning department and asked what would happen if the tent didnít come down. He was told Planning did not have issues with leaving it up. Noel Lesley had indicated that the tent structure would last longer (if washed once a year) if it were left up because it was meant to be a permanent structure.
Shaw voiced support for leaving the tent up. Robertson said he was not comfortable doing that because he gave his word to a resident above the rink that the temporary cover would be removed at the end of the 2013-2014 season.
Gardiner asked who could take the cover down and put it up again. Robertson said possibly the company in Tualatin or possibly the Parks department. He said removing the tent would require assistance from all Parks maintenance staff and they were not trained for that work.
Seffinger said the structure could provide a covered area for the Lithia Artisanís Market and possibly the Farmerís Market. She said it might be time to review the alcohol policy if the parking lot space was utilized for events. Dials agreed that if the structure were left up, discussing the alcohol policy at some point was a good idea. She said she would speak to the Lithia Artisanís Market to gauge their interest in relocating under the cover as part of a public process.
Robertson said a public process was necessary before deciding to leave the tent up. He said Planning met about the ice rink cover and would report back to the commission.
Dials said a petition was signed several years prior by fifty people opposed to a previous building project in the same vicinity. Robertson said their opposition was due in part to the fact that many of the homeowners had views that might be obstructed.
Seffinger proposed leaving the structure up on a one-year trial basis to gauge public reaction. Robertson said he wanted to hear from Planning before possibly pursuing a public process.
Calle Guanajuato Update
Dials said the Calle Guanajuato resurfacing project would be finished the week of April 28. Normally restaurants and artisans used the Calle from April 1 through mid-November; however, this year the contracts would probably begin on May 5. Dials said property owner Allen Sandler had been working on his building but agreed to schedule his workers from Friday through Sunday, with KOGAP continuing on the Calle from Monday through Thursday.
Seffinger said she wanted to pursue a multi-generational recreation center in the future.
Shaw said seismic issues with the Parks building might also require attention.
The commission discussed scheduling the joint meeting with council. Lewis asked staff to send materials to the commission in advance.
Robertson reminded the commission that they would still need to make a presentation to the Budget Committee explaining their rationale for using the unappropriated funds for the two projects as approved by the commission: a second dog park off lower Clay Street and sidewalks along Winburn Way. Gardiner agreed to be the spokesperson before council.
ADJOURNMENTĖ By consensus, with no further business, Seffinger adjourned the meeting at 9:08 a.m.
Ashland Parks and Recreation