Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, July 27, 2015

City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES
July 27, 2015

ATTENDANCE
Present:   Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Lewis, Miller; Shaw, Superintendents Dickens and Dials; Administrative Supervisor Dyssegard and Assistant Manuel 

Absent:     City Council Liaison - Mayor Stromberg

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES 
Study Session – June 15, 2015 

MOTION: Shaw moved to approve the Minutes as presented. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was all yes.

Regular Meeting – June 22, 2015

MOTION:  Lewis moved to approve the Minutes as presented. Miller seconded the motion.
The vote was four yes, one abstention.
Landt was not present at that meeting.
 
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION / OPEN FORUM
There were no participants.  
 
ADDITIONS AND SUBTRACTIONS TO THE AGENDA
There were none. 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

·         Ashland Creek Access in Lithia Park Discussion

Black stated that he researched the question of limited access to the Park. He noted that the decision to limit access was a policy decision made by the Parks and Recreation Commission (APRC), and no other governmental entity required limited access to the creek in Lithia Park. 
 
Lewis highlighted the exceptions to the rule, commenting that access to the creek was permitted from the children’s play area, and from the reservoir. He noted that signs were posted to restrict access elsewhere along the creek in an effort to restore habitat and prevent erosion.
 
NEW BUSINESS
  • Sponsorship Policy and Application Process Discussion
Dials presented the draft policy, stating that the purpose of the policy was to increase APRC’s ability to deliver services to the community and/or to provide enhanced levels of service beyond core levels, i.e. levels that are currently funded from the City of Ashland’s General Fund. The draft policy provides guidance to organizations, allows staff to solicit advertising and sponsorships, and provides a prescribed protocol for recognizing sponsors and advertisers. 
 
Dials stated that the City Attorney reviewed the draft policy and had no concerns. Examples of possible uses include cost offsets for APRC banners, newsletters, brochures, event and equipment sponsorships, recreation programs. The policy would facilitate an exchange of services within the community. Dials stated that the policy would encourage increased recognition of valuable sponsors and donors.
 
Dials reported that the application had not yet been finalized, but would contain a list of opportunities for donors and a fee structure for advertising. She proposed an annual review by the Commission to evaluate the activities and report revenue generated.  
 
Discussion among Commissioners
Lewis asked if the policy would address donors desiring naming rights. Dials replied that naming rights and special recognition for large donations would most likely involve the Director.
 
Landt called for more clarity, stating that the draft policy did not differentiate between large and small sponsorships. He suggested that large bequests from donors requesting extraordinary recognition be removed from the policy and discussed at the Commission level.
 
Landt highlighted the draft policy’s mission, noting that in his opinion, the APRC mission statement was incongruent with the subject.      
 
There followed a brief discussion about the value of communicating a rationale as well as an explanation of a desired outcome that would support the APRC mission. Black noted that every sponsorship should support the APRC mission. He proposed structured categories with differing levels of criteria as a guide.    
Landt agreed with the development of weighted criteria. Shaw stated that the mission would be reinforced when embedded within the criteria. 
 
 It was decided by consensus that continued discussion of the draft proposal would be an agenda item in August.
  • Permanent Allowance of Dogs on the Calle
Dials reviewed the trial period authorized by the Commission in 2014. She stated that, originally, dogs were not allowed in Lithia Park. This restriction applied to the Calle as the corridor is considered an extension of the Park. Dials stated that at the time a Jackson County Ordinance also prohibited dogs in eating establishments. Both restrictions were subsequently lifted and the APRC trial period granted restaurants the authority to decide the issue independently. Dials reported that feedback from restaurant owners was mixed. One complaint was received initially. A current request by APRC soliciting feedback resulted in two replies. Each was read into the record as follows:
 
            1) From Lisa Beam, owner of Pasta Piatti:
“We are supportive of dogs being welcome on the Calle. I believe it is a great customer service point and hope the Commission continues on with their decision. In fact, just the other afternoon, I saw three tables sitting with dogs.”
 
            2) From Melissa Jensen, owner of Louie’s:
“Thank you for your invitation to share comments with the Commission regarding dogs on the Calle. Our experience at Louie’s has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, we have never had a single incident that could be considered remotely negative. Locals and visitors alike are thrilled, and express their appreciation daily. Thank you for your efforts in obtaining permanent approval from the Commission. Regrettably, we have a conflict Monday evening and will not be able to attend the meeting. That said, please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to support. Thank you.” 

MOTION: Landt moved to allow dogs to be permanently permitted into restaurants along the Calle. Shaw seconded.                                                           
The vote was all yes.
  • Garfield Park Waterplay Bonding Discussion
Black noted that the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget included an allocation for $550,000 for the Garfield Park splash pad. The budget was approved but no repayments were scheduled. Once it was determined that the splash pad replacement could not be postponed, Black looked for a source of repayment estimating payments of approximately $40,000 per year. The projection was based upon a repayment schedule similar to the bonded parameters of the Butler-Perozzi bond. 
Black explained that $70,000 had been budgeted for a project manager within the CIP. He suggested that hiring the project manager in the spring would free up enough funds to service the bond this biennium. Black stated that projects that are currently underway, such as The Grove, the Performance Audit, Garfield Park and other smaller projects, could be managed without a project manager, thereby protecting the Commission’s goals without altering the outcome. 
 
Discussion among Commissioners
Lewis asked about discussion of the design, noting that the design would be dependent upon the project bid. Black replied that if cost estimates were over the amount budgeted, the project would be scaled back.  He stated that a strategy was in place to make the changes necessary to come in under budget.
 
Lewis referred to past discussion about improvements to Garfield Park. He stated that there were three components to the park that were of primary concern. The first was improvement of the children’s play area, which has since been renovated. A volleyball court and basketball court have not yet been addressed. Lewis asked whether plans were for the splash pad alone, or whether the scope could be enlarged to refurbish additional areas of the park.

Black replied that the hardscape from the volleyball court, to the restrooms, to the play area, and onto the splash pad, as well as shaded seating areas, were included in the $550,000. He stated that there were additional possibilities such as providing a demarcation site for the Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway.

Lewis focused on possibilities for renovating the basketball court. He commented that it was the only full-sized court in the Parks network and it was in poor condition. Lewis advocated for discussion of further improvements to the park.     

Black stated that the Commission had the authority to change the amount of the bond as long as a source of repayment was identified and the revenue stream would be available for the life of the bond. He also noted that a significant amount of debt would be retired in this biennium. He stated that the $310,000 bond for the Clay Street dog park would be paid off in its entirety, and therefore would not be a factor in the next biennium.

In response to a question by Lewis, Black reminded those present that all incoming revenue had been specifically earmarked for the next two years. Bond repayment is typically structured for 20 years for large amounts such as the $550,000 slated for Garfield Park.

Landt stated that broadening the scope might be somewhat premature due to the lack of a Master Plan for the park. Landt advised that continued improvements to the park without a cohesive vision could become problematic.    

Lewis acknowledged the piecemeal selection of improvements for Garfield Park, stating that he would like the study session discussion to include renovations for the basketball court. 
Shaw recommended that further discussions encompass the entire park. He stated that a broad stroke Master Plan could develop from the conversation. 

It was agreed that the bonding discussion would be revisited at the August study session. 
 
SUBCOMMITTEE AND STAFF REPORTS
  • Japanese Garden Project

Dickens reported that the gateway to the garden was in the final stages of completion. He stated that the steel columns were in place, as was the Monkey Puzzle tree cross piece. A copper cap would soon complete the feature. 
 
In response to a question by Shaw, Dickens replied that signage would explain the story of the Lithia Park Monkey Puzzle tree used for the project. He noted that it had taken two years to complete the gateway because the wood, taken from that nearby tree, required a cuing period. The wood was then crafted as an entranceway to the Japanese Garden by William Olsen of William Olsen Designs. 
 
Dickens explained that a small gathering would be planned to celebrate the project. He stated that it would most likely be held in the fall – the best time to feature the colored foliage in the Garden. He encouraged those present to view the structure.    
 
Landt commented that the opening ceremony would be a perfect venue for a ribbon cutting.
 
ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Shaw reported that his presentation to the Conservation Commission about recycling was the first step in encouraging the City to emulate APRC’s recycling efforts. He stated the he was hopeful that the Commission would be interested enough to partner with the City and the Chamber of Commerce in introducing recycling baskets that were attached to garbage cans throughout the City.
 
UPCOMING MEETING DATES
Gardiner noted that the regular meeting scheduled for August 24, 2015, had resulted in a conflict with APRC staff. Director Black and Recreation Superintendent Dials would be away, as well as Parks Superintendent Dickens. Gardiner proposed rescheduling the meeting.
 
There followed a brief discussion as to the most advantageous schedule and it was agreed that the regular meeting would be postponed until Monday, August 31, 2015.
 
Study Session:       August 17, 2015 @ the Grove, 1195 E. Main Street - 7:00 p.m.
Regular Meeting:    August 31, 2015 @ Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street - 7:00 p.m.
 
ADJOURNMENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
By consensus, Gardiner adjourned into executive session at 7:46 p.m.
Executive Session for Legal Counsel Pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(e)
 
ADJOURNMENT OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
By consensus, Gardiner adjourned out of executive session at 8:45 p.m.
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Betsy Manuel, Assistant

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