MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilor Darrow, Councilor Lemhouse, Councilor Morris, Councilor Slattery, Councilor Seffinger and Councilor Rosenthal were present.
Mayor Stromberg introduced County Commissioner Bob Strosser.
He also announced there are vacancies on the Airport, Historic, Housing and Human Services, Tree, and Wildfire Mitigation Commissions.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Councilor Seffinger moved to approve the Council Minutes from June 6, 2017. Councilor Rosenthal seconded. Discussion: None. All ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Huelz Gutcheon-2253 HWY 99-Ashland, OR- Spoke regarding wires and not enough electricity for buses etc. Would like clean renewable energy and solar panels everywhere.
Louise Shawkut –870 Cambridge – Ashland, OR-Read a letter into the record regarding CEAP (see attached).
Maya Davis –9667 Wagner Creek Rd –Talent, OR- Ms. Davis explained that she is a High School Senior and part of Rogue Climate. She spoke in support of a City Staff person for a CEAP position. She spoke to her reasons why the CEAP would need a full-time staff person.
Randy Jones – 815 Alder Creek Dr. Medford, OR – Representing First Place Partners spoke regarding the ELEA. He suggested to revisit the section on Pioneer and to get started on the project downtown. Councilor Lemhouse asked City Attorney, Dave Lohman the status of updating the ELEA map. Mr. Lohman answered that it is currently being worked on.
1.Approval of minutes of boards, commissions, and committees
2.Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution adopting a supplemental budget for changes to the 2015/17 Biennial Budget”
Finance Director, Mark Welch gave brief Staff report. He explained this is to stay in compliance with Oregon budget law to not over appropriate. He explained all other changes were just line item adjustments.
Meredith Overstreet – 840 Cambridge-Ashland, OR -Spoke regarding the supplemental budget and her concern of the cost to tax payers. She questioned where the interfund loan is coming from. Mr. Welch explained it is not a new loan it’s a line item in the Health Benefit Fund.
4.Adoption of the City’s self-insurance health plan for the plan year July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
Human Resources Director, Tina Gray gave a brief Staff report.
Councilor Rosenthal pulled item #9
9.Contract with Pathway Enterprises to provide janitorial services
Councilor Rosenthal questioned if there was a contract and how the City is assured high quality services.
Public Works Superintendent, Mike Morrison spoke that there is an agreement with Pathways through the purchasing department. Councilor Rosenthal asked if there was a deadline to get this signed. Mr. Morrison explained it needs to be approved before July 1st. City Attorney, Dave Loman explained that the City has the right to not use Pathways but would have to deal with the State.
Councilor Rosenthal suggested for next time to have the contract in the Council Packet.
Councilor Seffinger pulled item #11
11.Approval of a special procurement for City of Ashland forestry consulting services.
Councilor Seffinger spoke in support of this item.
3.Award of two professional services contracts in excess of $75,000 for final design of pump stations.
5.Appointment of Tonya Graham to the Wildfire Mitigation Commission
6.Appointment of Kat Smith to the Transportation Commission
7.Oregon Department of Aviation Intergovernmental Agreement for Ashland Municipal Airport Pavement Maintenance Program
8.Liquor License Application for Corrie Robinson dba Hither Restaurant
10.Request for approval of a contract addendum for UB bulk mailing services
Councilor Slattery moved to approve the consent agenda. Councilor Morris seconded. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (Persons wishing to speak are to submit a “speaker request form” prior to the commencement of the public hearing. Public hearings shall conclude at 9:00 p.m. and be continued to a future date to be set by the Council, unless the Council, by a two-thirds vote of those present, extends the hearing(s) until up to 10:30 p.m. at which time the Council shall set a date for continuance and shall proceed with the balance of the agenda.)
1. Public Hearing and conveyance of real property – YMCA Park
Parks Director, Michael Black presented a PowerPoint to Council (see attached) giving a background of the YMCA Park. He spoke regarding the deed restrictions. He explained the agreement began in 1986 and that the YMCA had land but not the funds to improve it. The agreement stated that YMCA would provide programs while the City would do the maintenance. He explained that currently the City has a large recreation program and is looking at expanding their programs. Maintenance cost today $35-50 thousand dollars. He proposed to review the contract.
Mr. Black spoke that the property was appraised and the fair market value is zero dollars.
He explained the City has invested many structures in the Park which were appraised at $480,000.
Mr. explained the right of transfer of real property. He spoke that YMCA agrees that the contract needs to be looked at.
He suggested for Council to move that the City Council approve conveyance of the 6.56 acres of land which comprises the current YMCA Park to the Ashland YMCA for cash and other considerations listed in the staff report based upon the Council’s determination that the public interest of the City would be furthered by such conveyance.
Councilor Darrow questioned if the conveyance will remove deed restrictions. YMCA will be able to if they choose.
Lisa Molnar – 155 Hillcrest St., Ashland, OR - Thanked the City and Parks Department for the long partnership. She spoke in excitement to have the Park become part of the YMCA campus. She explained that more than 1/3 of Ashland utilizes the YMCA. She spoke that with this change they will still be in a partnership with the City.
Laurie Shaaf - 347 Orange Ave., Ashland, OR – Spoke in appreciation of the partnership with the Parks Department. She spoke that this will be a positive change.
Jerry Taylor -1176 Highwood Dr., Ashland, OR – Spoke that the YMCA is such great place for the Community and spoke in favor of the change.
Ron Roth-6950 Old 99 – Ashland, OR – Spoke that it is time to get a new structure. He spoke that there was only 5 days’ public notice and before a decision is made the City should look at other options. He suggested 40-50 affordable housing units on the lower field.
Councilor Rosenthal asked how the property owner will maintain the 4.78 acres. Ms. Molnar answered that they will still need use of the fields and will be contracting with a company.
Councilor Seffinger questioned the use of pesticides. Ms. Molnar explained that they will continue to move in the direction of not using them. She spoke that she would work with Mr. Black on this.
Councilor Seffinger asked if no pesticide use can be written into the agreement. Mr. Lohman answered that it could be part of the agreement but would need to open up negotiations again.
Councilor Morris questioned if the well came with the YMCA. Ms. Molnar explained the well did come with the YMCA in the 70’s; the YMCA uses half while the other half is for the soccer fields.
Councilor Rosenthal moved that the City Council approve conveyance of the 6.56 acres of land which comprises the current YMCA Park to the Ashland YMCA for cash and other considerations listed in the staff report based upon the Council’s determination that the public interest of the City would be furthered by such conveyance. Councilor Lemhouse seconded. Discussion: Councilor Rosenthal spoke in support to move forward with this. He explained that this is what is needed. He spoke that since both parties are satisfied it should be approved. Councilor Morris agreed with Councilor Rosenthal. Councilor Seffinger spoke that she will support the motion but hopes they will maintain a pesticide free park. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Darrow, Lemhouse, Morris, Slattery, Seffinger and Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Stromberg opened the Public Hearing at 8:14 PM
Mayor Stromberg closed the Public Hearing at 8:14 PM
2. Public Hearing and approval of resolutions titled,
“A resolution certifying City of Ashland services”
“A resolution declaring the City’s election to receive state revenues”
“A resolution to levy taxes for the fiscal year July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018”
“A resolution to adopt the 2017-19 biennial budget and making appropriations”
Mr. Welch gave a staff report. He went over the budget process. He explained that the Budget Committee recommended a Permit Liaison Ombudsman in Community Development, funding CEAP position and reinstate the loan forgiveness proposed between the reserve fund and health benefit fund. Also recommended to bring a future supplemental Budget to appropriate unknown local marijuana tax that would be dedicated to Housing Trust Fund.
He explained how the positions would be funded.
He explained that Council can make changes to the approved budget and property tax. If changes are made regarding the property tax rate, there will need to be another meeting to notice the public.
Mayor Stromberg opened the Public Hearing at 8:23 PM
Mayor Stromberg closed the Public Hearing at 8:23 PM
Councilor Lemhouse moved to approve a Resolution Levying Taxes for the Period of July 1, 2017 to and including June 30, 2018, Such Taxes in the Levy rate of $4.1972/$1000 Assessed Value Upon All the Real and Personal Property Subject to Assessment and Levy within the Corporate Limits of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon. Councilor Slattery seconded. Discussion: Councilor Lemhouse spoke to the importance that our tax rate needs to stay where it is at and shouldn’t go against the Budget Committee. Councilor Slattery agreed with Councilor Lemhouse. He spoke that there was a motion during the Budget Committee Meeting to levy the tax rate and it failed. Councilor Darrow spoke in support in levying the tax rate to fund the police officers instead of raising utility rates and will not support the motion. She spoke that the 9 cents should be assessed to funding the Police Officers. Councilor Morris spoke that he will not support the motion. He spoke that the Marijuana Tax and other sources may be able to offset this funding issue. Councilor Seffinger spoke in support of the motion. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Slattery and Seffinger: YES. Councilor Darrow, Morris and Rosenthal: NO. Tie breaking vote Mayor Stromberg: NO. Motion Failed 3-4.
Councilor Darrow moved to approve setting a Special Meeting on June 30th setting the property tax levy rate up to 4.2865. Councilor Morris seconded. Discussion: Councilor Darrow spoke of the importance for further discussion on this topic. Councilor Morris agreed. Councilor Lemhouse spoke against this motion. He explained it is not the right thing to do and it is going against the Budget Committee. He also spoke that there is already enough burden on property tax owners and it would be easier to use the marijuana proceeds. Councilor Seffinger suggested seeing numbers of what the increased utility and tax rates would be at the Special Meeting. Roll call vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Seffinger, Slattery and Morris: YES. Councilor Darrow and Lemhouse: NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Councilor Rosenthal moved to adopt a Resolution certifying City of Ashland Services. Councilor Lemhouse seconded. Discussion: Councilor Rosenthal spoke for Council to support this motion. Councilor Lemhouse agreed with Councilor Rosenthal. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Darrow, Lemhouse, Morris, Slattery, Seffinger and Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Councilor Slattery moved to adopt a Resolution declaring the City’s election to receive state revenues. Councilor Lemhouse seconded. Discussion: Councilor Slattery spoke for Council to support this motion. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Darrow, Lemhouse, Morris, Slattery, Seffinger and Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Councilor Lemhouse moved to approve a Resolution to adopt the 2017-19 Biennial Budget and making appropriations. Councilor Rosenthal seconded. Discussion: Councilor Lemhouse spoke in appreciation to Staff and the Budget Committee. He spoke that he would like to see the use of years in the interim years during the budget process. Councilor Rosenthal spoke of the importance of the process and in support of the motion. Councilor Slattery spoke in support of the motion. He also suggested utilizing the Budget Committee and hopes for a better process next time. Mr. Karns spoke that the new Finance Director did a great job. Councilor Darrow supported the motion and thanked members of Budget Committee.
Mr. Welch spoke that Council would need to make separate motions for Staff recommended appropriations.
Councilor Lemhouse withdrew his previous motion and moved it to approve a Resolution to adopt the 2017-19 Biennial Budget and making appropriations directed by Staff in the Council Communication. Councilor Rosenthal seconded.
Mayor Stromberg opened the public hearing at 9:01 PM
Mayor Stromberg closed the public hearing 9:01 PM
Councilor Seffinger spoke in support of the motion. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Darrow, Lemhouse, Morris, Slattery, Seffinger and Rosenthal: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
Council gave consensus to hold the Special Meeting on June 30th at 3:00 PM.
Councilor Slattery moved to extend the Public Hearings until 10:30 PM. Councilor Morris seconded. Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
3. Public Hearing and approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution adopting a Miscellaneous Fees and Charges document and repealing prior fee Resolution 2016-04”
Mr. Welch gave a staff report.
Mayor Stromberg opened the Public Hearing at 9:10 PM
Mayor Stromberg closed the Public Hearing at 9:10 PM
Councilor Darrow moved approval of Resolution adopting a miscellaneous fees and charges document and Repealing prior fee Resolution 2016-04. Councilor Lemhouse seconded. Discussion: Councilor Darrow spoke in support of the Resolution. Roll call vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Seffinger, Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse and Darrow: YES. Motion passed unanimously.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. East Nevada Street Extension project
June 20, 2017
1175 E. Main Street
Public Works Director, Mike Faught gave a presented a PowerPoint to Council (see attached).
Sue Newbery spoke to reasons why the Traffic Commission gave the proposed recommendation.
Councilor Slattery questioned if the bridge hadn’t been put on the plan would it be needed. Mr. Faught spoke that it would be a good option for a bike path and the importance for different forms of transportation. Councilor Lemhouse questioned emergency access for the bridge being used. Bridge size and emergency response time was discussed. Mr. Karns explained that with at 12 ft. bridge it would not improve response time.
Council discussed the options.
Andrew Cubic – 1251 Munson Dr., Ashland, OR– Spoke that he attended all the Transportation Commission meetings and he supported their vote regarding the bridge. He explained the importance of connecting a bridge to the Greenway. He recommended to have purpose and need statement for projects.
Susan Hall- 210 East Nevada- Ashland, OR – Spoke with disappointment that this came up so late in the evening so some people could not stay to speak. She suggested to select the 2nd
Susan Sullivan – 305 Stoneridge Avenue- Ashland, OR – Read a statement into the record urging Council to not go ahead with the new bridge (see attached).
Spike Breon - 295 East Nevada-Ashland, OR-
Spoke against option 2 in the proposal.
Ted Hall – 210 East Nevada – Ashland, OR -210 – Professional Engineer- Handed out a picture to Council showing suggestions to bridge size.
He suggested a 14 ft. bridge.
Councilor Seffinger moved to reject a motorized vehicle bridge as proposed into the TPS project R17 East Nevada Street bridge as recommended by the Transportation Commission. Councilor Lemhouse seconded. Discussion: Seffinger spoke that this seems premature Councilor Lemhouse spoke that it’s clear that it is not the option we want to go with. He spoke that a 12-foot bridge would be a better way to go. Councilor Morris spoke to the need of having this bridge. He spoke that he cannot support this motion.
Councilor Darrow spoke in support of the motion. She spoke to the importance to look at this project and to not abandon biker and non-motorized transportation within the City. Councilor Rosenthal spoke that he was on the MPO at the time of these decisions. He spoke he understands the rational but will vote against this motion. Mayor Stromberg suggested that the money should go to Independence Way. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Darrow, Lemhouse, Slattery and Seffinger: YES. Councilor Morris and Councilor Rosenthal: NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Councilor Seffinger moved to direct Staff to submit Independence Way as a substitute project to the RMVPO for funding. Councilor Slattery seconded. Discussion: Councilor Seffinger spoke to the importance of the project. Councilor Slattery agreed with Councilor Seffinger. Councilor Rosenthal spoke that he agrees with the MPO standpoint and would like to see pedestrian bridge cross Nevada Street. Councilor Lemhouse spoke against this motion due to 12 ft. bike and tread is the best option. Councilor Slattery spoke in support of the motion due to being the best option of keeping 1.5 million. He spoke he would like to keep the 12 ft. bike and pedestrian bridge. Councilor Morris spoke that there needs to be some connectivity to Nevada St. and will not support the motion. Mr. Faught explained the project wouldn’t go away and the funding would go to the bridge.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Slattery, and Seffinger: YES. Councilor Darrow, Morris and Rosenthal: NO. Mayor Stromberg: YES. Motion passed 4-3. Councilor Lemhouse explained that he changed his vote due to Mr. Faughts clarification.
Council directed Staff to bring back options for a 14 ft. bridge.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
The Business Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 PM
Respectfully submitted by:
City Recorder, Melissa Huhtala