Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, January 15, 2002

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
January 15, 2002 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

ROLL CALL
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Morrison, Hanson and Hearn were present.

MAYOR'S ANNUAL ADDRESS
Mayor DeBoer delivered the Official State of Ashland Address.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 18, 2001 were approved as presented.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS

  1. Commendation of Officers Camp and Baines for outstanding service.
    Police Chief Scott Fleuter presented a commendation to Officers Camp and Baines for their outstanding service when responding to a residence fire that was remotely located and had limited access to the residence. Because of their fast response and quick actions, "a disaster" was prevented.
  2. Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.
    The City of Ashland was presented the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the current fiscal year from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).
  3. Proclamation of School Board Appreciation Month.
    Proclamation was read proclaiming "School Board Recognition Month" urging all citizens to join us in recognizing the dedication and hard work of local school board members in preparing today's students for tomorrow's world.

CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
  2. Liquor License Application from John Koch dba The Natural Café.
  3. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Joanne Krippaehne to the Historic Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2002.

Councilors Reid/Hanson m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

  1. Public Hearing for Planning Action 2001-103, Kaufmann Crossing Zone Change and comprehensive plan map amendment for property at the old Croman Mill site (Applicant has requested a continuance to February 19, 2002).

    Mayor announced that the applicant had requested that the hearing, scheduled for this evening, be continued to the February 19, 2002. Reid expressed regret that she would not be in attendance at that meeting.

    Councilors Laws/Hearn m/s to approve a continuance on the public hearing scheduled from January 15, 2002 to February 19, 2002 council meeting at 7:00 p.m. at 1175 East Main Street.
  2. Public Hearing regarding 2002/2003 Goals and Priorities.
    Mayor explained that this public hearing is intended to allow opportunity for the public to provide to the council goals and priorities for 2002/2003.

    PUBLIC HEARING  OPEN: 7:15 p.m.
    PUBLIC HEARING  CLOSED: 7:15 p.m.

    Scoles explained that the Mayor and council will consider public input for the 2002/2003 priorities at the goal setting session scheduled in February.

PUBLIC FORUM
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Street/Spoke concerning the Winburn Parcel and Forest Lands Commission proposal to move forward with logging City-owned lands. He gave a slide presentation of the Winburn parcel illustrating various historic elements, waterways, and views of old growth and selectively logged forest. He questioned reasons behind the logging of the Winburn parcel and stated that logging the parcel would create more problems, including increased fuel loads and landslides.

Richard B. Jensen/300 Harrison Street/Spoke regarding the escalating safety issues involving traffic incidents and noted the recent pedestrian death. He commented on traffic problem areas in the community, the need to educate on pedestrian use of crosswalks, delivery trucks blocking traffic lanes, parking problems, and the number of deer showing up in city limits. He brought forward several suggestions that he felt would be helpful in alleviating some of the problems, including crosswalk monitors, speed bumps, and increased traffic police presence.

John Freedom/442 Holly Street/Spoke on the increase of population and how it relates to traffic/pedestrian safety. He suggested that an assessment be made in order to provide a solution to the problem, including evaluating whether there is an adequate staffing level in the police department. Noting that we are all responsible for citizen safety, he requested that the council appoint an ad-hoc committee to assess this situation within the next 90 days.

Pam Hammond/632 Walnut/Owner of Paddington Station, spoke regarding the recent pedestrian death and safety issues. She read aloud a letter from Jim Teece, president of Ashland Chamber of Commerce, that discussed his concerns regarding traffic safety, announcing the Chamber of Commerce's formation of a Task Force Committee, and his hopes of participating with the city in addressing the problem.

The Mayor clarified that the Forest Lands Commission (FLC) is preparing a recommendation regarding the Winburn parcel to be presented to the council and that the meeting will be open to the public. Morrison pointed out that the density reductions being contemplated for the Winburn parcel are not for economic consideration, but for ecosystem management.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS

  1. Ashland Fiber Network Quarterly Report.
    Electric and Telecommunications Director Dick Wanderscheid and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg presented AFN's second quarterly report. Wanderscheid reported that all is going very well, that they are exceeding projections, and the main focus is on the build out of the system. He noted that next month they will come back to the council with more precise numbers and request a transfer of appropriations and supplemental budget in order to implement the revised business plan. He estimated that with that, the build out should be about 99% complete by the end of June.

    Tuneberg explained for the council that the Business Plan Revenues are based on an annual basis rather than a monthly basis, and noted that revenue is increasing. Laws complemented AFN's speed in comparison to Charter. Wanderscheid clarified that AFN is not funded by tax dollars that ISP rates are being kept track of, and that market competition will keep ISP's from raising rates excessively in response to AFN rate increases.

  2. Policy for providing AFN services outside the City of Ashland.
    Electric and Telecommunications Director Dick Wanderscheid presented the staff recommendation of a proposed policy for providing AFN services outside of the City, including: 1) All areas within the City of Ashland will be served directly by AFN, 2) All areas within the Urban Growth Boundary but outside of the city may be served by AFN. These areas will not be served until the city's build-out is complete or in special circumstances where the connection is simple enough to require work by an AFN installer or requires only a hand dug conduit run and staff is available for this and not needed for inside the city work, 3) For all areas outside the Urban Growth Boundary, AFN will only provide wholesale products and services in conjunction with a contracted wholesale reseller. In special circumstances where because of density or other reasons no wholesale reseller is available, AFN may provide direct services if there is sufficient benefit to AFN and it passes a predetermined cost/benefit test, and 4) For Governmental or nonprofit agencies outside of the Urban Growth Boundary, un-managed or managed network services may be provided by AFN on a case by case basis if there is sufficient benefit to AFN and it passes a predetermined cost/benefit test. These services may be provided directly by AFN or in conjunction with a contracted wholesale reseller. Wanderscheid clarified that this policy would not slow down providing service to those in the community, nor would it guarantee service to those outside the City.

    Hanson noted that other local municipalities might benefit from our service and expressed hope that providing that service might be considered. Wanderscheid clarified that a wholesale/retail partnership would provide that benefit to those kinds of entities while being less staff-intensive than if we provided retail service ourselves

    Councilors Hartzell/Reid m/s to approve staff recommended policy. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

  3. Mayor's appointments of council liaisons to various boards and committees.

    Councilors Morrison/Laws m/s to approve council liaisons appointments effective immediately. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

  4. Election of Council Chair for 2002.

    Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to appoint Cameron Hanson as Council Chair for 2002. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

  5. CDBG Program Performance.
    Community Development Director John McLaughlin reported that staff believes the local Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program could be improved and explained that the intent of suggested changes is to balance the most effective use of funds. The program changes would, 1) limit the number of funded projects to two for a three-year period, 2) change the grant cycle process to a three-year cycle, and 3) consistent with the highest priorities of the adopted City of Ashland 2000-2004 Consolidated Plan, utilize a "Request for Proposals" process and limit awards to one affordable housing project. He explained that the Housing Commission would review the applications and make a recommendation to the council. A public hearing would be held at a city council meeting and the council would make a final decision on the grant awards. The second project would be to retain the accessibility improvements to the City-owned buildings to address ADA requirements. Staff requested the council to direct staff to initiate the process to revise the City's CDBG program.

    The council discussed various issues and concerns regarding the change in process, including how staff is allocated and administration costs are tracked. DeBoer noted that Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives CDBG to communities based on their size that Ashland qualifies for about $225,000 per year, and that the main focus is affordable housing. He noted concern over awarding money to the same entities every year. Reid stated concern over how funding changes might impact important project areas. McLaughlin noted that multiple projects increase administrative costs and that HUD says we are spreading ourselves too thin. He stated that limiting the number of projects would result in a more effective use of funds. Hartzell asked clarification on the benefit of the three-year cycle on administration costs, and suggested a transition between the present system and the proposed system. McLaughlin agreed that multiple year allocation might be more difficult to monitor than what was originally determined and staff will continue to evaluate the proper direction to take.

    It was noted that no changes should take place without the council's approval. Staff was directed to bring back additional information in order for the council to make a decision.

  6. Consolidation of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP or 911 centers).
    Police Chief Scott Fleuter gave a brief synopsis on the 2001 Oregon State Legislature HB397 that focused on facilitating the consolidation of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in multi-PSAP counties. The bill requires multi-PSAP counties to jointly submit a consolidation plan to Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) by September 1, 2002. Fleuter explained that there are three PSAPs in Jackson County including the Ashland Police Department, Medford Police Department, and Southern Oregon Regional Communications (SORC). Each center receives a certain amount of State funding from the 911 tax and the intent of the legislature is that State tax revenues will only be used to support one PSAP in each county. He noted that staff recommends waiting for the outcome of the Jackson County multi-agency work group's consolidation plan being prepared for OEM. Once the plan is completed, the council will be provided with alternatives on which to base their decision.

    Reid noted her concern with having the best service and response for the community, wondered about current staffing levels, and bottom line costs. She questioned if a centralized PSAP would provide better access. Fleuter stated that improved access might be a possibility with centralization of service. Morrison noted that the major impetus is cost savings, and questioned "How will we know it will work for our community?" Fleuter clarified that work is being done to analyze the impact of change on the current level of service.

    Fleuter explained for the council that this issue is being raised at this time, because it has become emergent since Medford's decision to build a new communications center, and that this discussion is informational. Hartzell requested a summary of what Medford is doing and what our options are. Fleuter offered to provide more information and detail to any that wanted it. The Mayor requested that staff bring forward a recommendation through the city administrator at the time the council is requested to make a decision. He noted his support of protecting current dispatch employees.

  7. Discussion of Adoption of a Sidewalk Café ordinance regarding use of sidewalks and public right-of-way.
    Community Development Director John McLaughlin presented a proposed sidewalk café ordinance that would set standards for use of the city sidewalks and rights-of-way by businesses. He explained that use of city sidewalks and rights of way are essentially unregulated at this time and that the main action of the ordinance would ensure a clear pedestrian path near outdoor dining areas and set various standards.

    Hartzell voiced concern over issues of 1) preference of certain businesses over others in allowing use of public city sidewalks, 2) minimum sidewalk clearances, and 3) supervision of business where alcohol is consumed in the outdoor dining areas. McLaughlin noted that sidewalk clearance is generally 6 feet. Laws noted agreement with Hartzell's concern with clearance issues, and expressed his approval of the ordinance. Morrison favored finding ways to cut down on administration costs, and in regards to Section 6.42.070.3 of the proposed ordinance, expressed hesitation in allowing businesses to extend dining areas in front of other businesses. Hearn expressed his belief that outdoor dining promotes a sense of community within the city, as well as perhaps serving to calm traffic. In reference to 6.42.070.3 he suggested limiting the area businesses could consider, "adjacent." Reid favored consolidating administration of sidewalk dining rather having several agencies involved, and noted her support of sidewalk dining. Hartzell questioned the city's liability in regards to alcohol consumed on public property. Nolte noted that risk is increased, and that to protect the city, businesses must carry additional insurance. Further, liquor liability issues would be covered in the next draft of the ordinance.
    Staff will continue to work on the draft ordinance and bring it back to the council for further discussion.

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS

  1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing an Increase in the Amount Borrowed from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for the Wastewater Treatment Facilities Project and Repealing Resolution 2001-03."

    Councilors Hanson/Reid m/s to approve Resolution #2002-01. DISCUSSION: Scoles explained that this resolution funds the additions to the project that has already been approved by council. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison and Hearn, YES. Motion passed.

OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS

Request from Councilor Hartzell to discuss pedestrian safety on state highway.

Andrew Bangsberg/171 B Street/He reported on statistics he had recently gathered on traffic/pedestrian accidents in the State of Oregon. He felt that there was a need for more thorough driver and pedestrian training and education. Bangsberg suggested that the city set precedence by requiring additional driver training in the high schools and in private agencies.

Hartzell explained that her reason for bringing this forward was to increase public awareness of pedestrian safety issues, and presented a draft summary of some existing and potential efforts to increase pedestrian safety in Ashland. Reid noted concerns about driving speeds in various parts of the city, and how those issues are being addressed. She requested additional information from committees/commission already in place. Morrison said that he would like to see the Traffic Safety Commission (TSC) make recommendations to the council, and noted that education of the public is key in accomplishing these goals. Reid expressed support of Morrison's statement and complimented the police department for their efforts to maintain safe streets.

Councilors Laws/Hearn m/s to send a request to the Traffic Safety Commission to develop a comprehensive plan by the first council meeting in April 2002, which would include safety on our streets and provide specific actions. DISCUSSION: Hartzell encouraged taking steps to slow speeding on the city streets and moving forward with things that will make a difference. Morrison requested that the TSC set the date for recommendations. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Hartzell pointed out the breadth of discretion the police department has in issuing speeding tickets, and supported doing anything we could do to bring speeds down. Reid again expressed satisfaction with the present level of police enforcement on speeding issues. Laws noted looking forward to hearing from TSC on speed enforcement, and expressed hope that education will be emphasized.

Reid requested that the council have opportunity to discuss the recent Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) update.

Mayor reminded all of the Study Session on January 16, 2002 to discuss formation of a Public Art Study Group, and perhaps some discussion from Public Works on current projects.

ADJOURNMENT
Meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

End of Document - Back to Top

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