Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, August 31, 2015

City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES
August 31, 2015

ATTENDANCE

Present:   Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Lewis, Miller; Shaw; Director Black; 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 – July 20, 2015 

Landt called for clarification and correction of the Study Session Minutes as follows:
 
Page 2 Paragraph 2
Landt proposed a Commission-prioritized list of unfunded projects with similar cost projections, including those for Lithia Park. He noted that the Lithia Park Master Plan could be modified to include playground equipment needs; alternatively, the project could be funded outside the Master Plan. Landt expressed a concern about funding without consideration of the Lithia Park Master Plan because of the potential for overlooking other important projects. In addition, prioritizing projects would ensure an orderly process as funds become available. 
 
Should be:
Landt proposed that the Commission review a list of all unfunded projects with similar cost projections so the Commission could prioritize them. He suggested that it was easy to become excited about a project but that a more global view would allow for a balanced perspective and ensure that worthy projects were not inadvertently lost for consideration.
 
Page 4 Paragraph 1
He noted that there was confusion about the gate that provides access to the creek, stating that it was not designed for floodwater control.
 
Should be:
He noted that there was confusion about the gate that provides access to the creek, stating that it was not designed for bi-directional floodwater control.
 
MOTION: Landt moved to table the Study Session Minutes, dated 7-20-2015, until the record was corrected. Lewis seconded.
                                                            The vote was all yes.
Regular Meeting –July 27, 2015
Landt called for clarification and correction of the Regular Meeting Minutes as follows:
 
Page2 Paragraph 9 
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.
 
Should be:
Dials reviewed the trial period authorized by the Commission in 2014. She stated that, originally, dogs were not allowed in Ashland’s parks. This restriction applied to the Calle Guanajuato as that corridor is considered an extension of Lithia Park. Dials stated that at the time, a Jackson County Ordinance also prohibited dogs in eating establishments. The APRC restriction to prohibit dogs on the Calle and the Jackson County prohibition of dogs in eating areas were subsequently lifted and APRC granted a trial period for restaurants to decide the issue independently.
 
Page 2 Paragraph 10
1) From Lisa Beam, owner of Pasta Piatti:
 
Should be
1) From Lisa Beam, owner of Pasta Piatti and Sesame:
 
Page 3 Paragraph 3
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
 
Should be
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 for capital construction, but the first month’s bond payment was not scheduled.
 
MOTION: Landt moved to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes, dated 7-27-2015, as amended. Shaw seconded.
                                                            The vote was all yes.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
There were no participants.  
 
ADDITIONS AND SUBTRACTIONS TO THE AGENDA
There were none. 

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

  • Approval of Advertising and Sponsorship Policy (Action)
Dials reviewed the revised draft Advertising and Sponsorship Policy. She highlighted the addition of new criteria for approval, stating that all requests should be based on a need established by the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission (APRC).  An amendment addressing onsite recognition now states “Naming of a particular facility within a community center or park where a need has been established by APRC and the sponsorship covers the majority (<60%) of the cost of the facility”.
 
Commissioner Discussion
There followed a brief discussion regarding the percentage assigned to qualify, sponsorship naming rights, and the graded criteria leading to Commission consideration. 
 
MOTION: Landt moved to approve the Advertising and Sponsorship Policy as amended. Lewis seconded.
                                                The vote was all yes.
NEW BUSINESS
  • RVTD Contract Renewal for 2015–2017 (Action)
Black recommended approval of the new contract to broadcast APRC meetings. He stated that only the contract term and the authorizing signature were changed over the previous two-year contract. The new term would extend from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2017, and Director Black would sign the contract as authorized by the APRC Commission. In response to a question by Shaw, Black noted that the cost of the cablecasting contract remained the same over the previous contract. 
 
Lewis highlighted a total of 14 meetings per year as listed in the contract; however, under normal circumstances, the number of regular televised APRC meetings totaled 12 per year. He commented that the cost of the additional 2 meetings would be reimbursed if they were unused. 
 
Motion:  Shaw moved to approval the 2015-2017 Cablecasting Contract with RVTV. Miller seconded. 
 The vote was all yes
  • Long-Term Plans for Issuing a Bond for Garfield Park (Action)
During a previous discussion about issuing a bond for $550,000 for a new Garfield Park splash pad, Black said the Commission considered master planning the entire park. Black presented a schematic of the existing park with supplementary detail about the proposed upgrades. Black stated that any extra amenities should be agreed upon prior to moving forward with the bond.
 
Dickens presented a drawing of the proposed splash pad, illustrating existing trees surrounding the area that might be impacted or removed. He focused on the elimination of one Japanese maple located within the footprint of the splash pad and four other trees in close proximity to the hardscape. He said those trees would be impacted but not be required for removal.
 
Dickens highlighted the dilapidated condition of the current basketball court, noting that previous suggestions for improvements were estimated at $40,000. This would include a larger footprint to better meet regulation standards in addition to engineering for a five-foot perimeter. The backboard would be replaced and new baskets would be installed. In response to a question by Lewis, Dickens suggested an acrylic backboard rather than tempered glass. He reasoned that the glass has been known to shatter and the acrylic would be less prone to do so.  
 
Black reviewed two options for a proposed bike shelter. He indicated that the State of Oregon had designated Garfield Park as the beginning and ending point of a 54-mile scenic bikeway – one of 11 in Oregon. He noted that it was the only bikeway of the 11 that was both scenic and challenging. The State would contribute advertising and signage to bring visibility to the Ashland bikeway and highlight the host City.

Black proposed a small bike shelter equipped with a bike fix-it station, a comfort station including tables, a water source, and a place to prepare for the ride. He also suggested a partnership with the Ashland Chamber of Commerce to provide a map and brochures that would encourage bikers to explore downtown Ashland and identify places to eat and stay.
 
Black presented two options, delineated in separate areas of Garfield Park. He recommended Option B – the shelter closest to parking for the Park. Black commented that it would provide the most convenient alternative to gathering on the street prior to embarking on the ride.
 
Discussion among Commissioners
Discussion focused on the route, the access to water, the placement of picnic tables, and the preferred location. It was agreed that Option B would best facilitate a comfort station and bike shelter for riders. 
 
Dickens continued discussion of other proposed upgrades for the park, suggesting that balancing the bike shelter with one or two other picnic shelters in the area, nearest the basketball court, would provide families with places to gather while watching children in the playground or playing basketball. He described the location, stating that the picnic area would replace the now defunct skateboard feature. 
 
Discussion among Commissioners
Landt proposed an alternative location for the Ashland Skate Park (located at 100 Water Street): Garfield Park. He suggested moving the basketball court closer to the sidewalk (with suitable fencing to prevent balls from leaving the court) to allow for extra room for the skate park. Moving the current Skate Park (located next to Ashland Creek) would assist with restoration of the degraded riparian area.
 
Landt stated that in his opinion, Garfield Park was the most suitable park for a skateboard facility because it was the geographic center of the City, was close to schools, and would complement other family activities in the park. He indicated that there were skateboard facilities small enough to fit into Garfield Park.
 
Shaw expressed a concern about the impact of adding another major attraction to Garfield Park. He advocated against overutilization of a park that was already highly used. Landt conceded the point, suggesting that a skateboard park might have to be placed on a separate property rather than in an Ashland park. He emphasized that he was not advocating for an immediate solution to the Skate Park relocation; rather, he was advocating for future change based on a long-term plan.
 
Lewis differentiated between different types of skateboard facilities, noting that there have been advances in skateboard sports. He supported additional research into skateboard facilities and a recommendation from staff to determine the best approach.     
 
Further discussion centered upon the possibility for smaller skateboard features that could be integrated into Garfield Park. Shaw observed that it would be premature to consider alternatives without hearing from the skateboarding community. Landt agreed that more research would be helpful, stressing that moving the facility and repairing the creek banks would promote better environmental stewardship in keeping with the City’s values.
 
Black suggested that a different use might be more compatible with the nature of Garfield Park. He described a small bicycle skills area for younger children with or without some skateboard features. He stated that it would provide an area where neighborhood children could learn to ride their bikes more skillfully, with less impact than on the street.    
 
Black noted that creating new uses in the park was better left for longer term planning. Current plans to add picnic areas closer to the basketball court seemed to fit in as part of the splash pad and basketball court renovations. Gardiner summarized the plan currently under consideration for funding with bond proceeds: i.e., the introduction of the bike shelter, renovation of the basketball court, and additional picnic tables along with replacement of the antiquated splash pad.  
 
Landt encouraged postponement of the bond to develop a larger concept plan for Garfield Park. The concept plan could become a roadmap for scheduled changes and future improvements at the park. Lewis commented that the current Master Plan addressed all of the areas in the park with the exception of a small portion of land that was formerly used as a skateboard facility.
 
Shaw inquired about timelines for the bonding process and whether immediate approval was necessary. Black replied that partnering with the Department of Public Works was somewhat delayed and final timing was currently unknown. He stated that Public Works was aware that APRC wanted to participate in the bonding. Black questioned moving ahead with the bonding as listed in the CIP for $550,000, stating that it was debatable whether the bond should move forward without anticipating the cost for developing the skateboard site and the cost of repositioning the splash pad. He advocated for financing all projects at once.
        
Landt initiated further discussion about the impact on the trees due to the footprint of the new splash pad. He suggested that the splash pad and/or the surround be adjusted for relief of the impacted trees.     
Placement of each of the five trees was discussed in turn. Dickens noted that only one – the red maple – had to be removed. Of the four trees that might be impacted, Dickens stated that he was confident that with proper care they could be saved. He noted that he would like to replace the maple (that would be removed) with a new tree that would eventually provide shade near the basketball court. Black emphasized that every precaution would be taken to preserve the trees but a successful outcome could not be guaranteed.   
 
 It was agreed that continued review of the Garfield Park Master Plan would be postponed until the September 21, 2015, Study Session.
  • Guidelines for Park Design and Maintenance Standards Subcommittee Formation (Action)
 Gardiner proposed that the former Ashland Creek Park Development Subcommittee be renamed as the
 Park Design and Maintenance Guidelines Subcommittee. Commissioners Lewis and Landt, both members of the former subcommittee, had agreed to continue on as members of the re-named subcommittee.
 
MOTION:  Shaw moved to approve the formation of a Park Design and Maintenance Guidelines Subcommittee for the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission. Lewis seconded.
                                                                                    The vote was all yes.    
  • New Form and Process for Annual Evaluation /Performance Review for Ashland Parks Director
Gardiner reviewed the format used for evaluating the Ashland City Administrator. Working with Tina Gray, from City of Ashland Human Resources, the evaluation form had been re-formatted for use as a performance review for Ashland Parks and Recreation Director Michael Black. Gardiner stated that Black had been hired in August of 2014 and it was now time to conduct his annual evaluation.
 
Gardiner explained the email process, noting that the form could be completed online with the results compiled by Ms. Gray. The final review would be discussed in Executive Session.
 
Gardiner noted that the new process should streamline the review process and provide valuable feedback to the Director and staff.          
 
SUBCOMMITTEE AND STAFF REPORTS

There were none.
 
ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Gardiner reported that a citizen letter about bears in Lithia Park had been received. A copy of the letter would be sent to each Commissioner. 
 
UPCOMING MEETING DATES

Study Session:             September 21, 2015 @ The Grove, 1195 E. Main Street 7:00 P.M.
Regular Meeting:          September 28, 2015 @ Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street 7:00 P.M
 
ADJOURNMENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
By consensus, Gardiner adjourned into Executive Session at 8:23 p.m.
Executive session: For Legal Counsel Pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(h)
 
ADJOURNMENT OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
By consensus, Gardiner adjourned out of executive session at 9:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
 
Betsy Manuel, Assistant
 
 
 
The Minutes are not a verbatim record. The narrative has been condensed and paraphrased to reflect the discussions and decisions made. Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission Study Sessions and Regular Meetings are being digitally recorded and are available upon request. 

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