ASHLAND CONSERVATION COMMISSION
January 23, 2002
CALL TO ORDER- Vice Chairperson Russ Chapman called the meeting to order at 7:08 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. In addition to Chapman, members present were Bruce Moats, Howard Braham, Mort Smith, Joanne Krippaehne, Jim Hartman, Charles Bennett and Paige Prewett. Staff present included Dick Wanderscheid and Sonja Akerman, and Dan Murphy represented Ashland Sanitary & Recycling. Member Susan Reid was unable to attend the meeting.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES - Chapman noted that under Street Sweeping/Leaf Collection in the minutes of the December 12, 2001 meeting, the first part of the fourth line should read "residents weigh inconvenience against..." rather than "convenience." Prewett then moved and Krippaehne seconded to approve the minutes as corrected and the motion was unanimously passed.
PUBLIC FORUM - There was no one in the audience.
ASHLAND SANITARY & RECYCLING UPDATE - Murphy reported 1) Ashland Sanitary will be rolling out curbside yard collection in April. Advertising will begin next week and the 95-gallon carts will be distributed in March. Cost for this service will be $4.50/month (to be billed quarterly) and there will be a $48.00 deposit for the cart. Participants will need to commit to this service for a one-year period and sign a contract to that effect. Yard debris will be collected every other week on garbage service day. Recyclables will still be collected every week. In discussing this, Chapman remarked Rogue Disposal & Recycling has pushed back its initiation of co-mingled recycling because it hasn't decided on the sort line machine yet. He also offered to set up another date for members to tour the Rogue Disposal Recycle Center, Dry Creek Landfill (which includes the composting facility) and BioMass. Murphy commented that branches two inches and smaller can go into the yard debris cart. When Hartman asked what percentage Ashland Sanitary is hoping to meet, Chapman said they are hoping to capture 44%. There are many factors, however, relating to that percentage. Chapman said that while it is necessary to meet DEQ requirements, he would be happy to see more home composting. Murphy related that yard debris can be 20% of a customer's garbage, so the curbside yard service should have an impact on what goes into the landfill. In order to accommodate people who are already composting and recycling, Ashland Sanitary has a sticker program whereby customers can pre-pay for stickers, then put out their garbage cans only when full. There is also a pre-paid bag program for seniors. Ashland Sanitary is trying to accommodate everyone who has reduced garbage volume. Chapman also pointed out that more than one residence can share a yard debris cart. Murphy stated that the yard debris pick up will only be for residences at this time, not businesses. 2) The Qwest phone book drive will be through the month of March. Ashland Sanitary will again be sponsoring the school phone book recycling contest this year. Wanderscheid said the Conservation Commission had received a letter from Qwest indicating phone books could be recycled curbside. The letter was unclear, however, and Murphy said in Ashland, phone books still need to be taken to the Recycle Depot. (It was later decided that curbside recycling of phone books will also be available in Ashland.) Curbside recycling for phone books will be available in Medford. 4) Chipper day at the transfer station is coming up. Murphy will have the date at the next meeting. 5) Latex paint day will be in April. The three hauling companies that service Jackson County will decide on the date, which will be around April 20. 6) Hazardous waste day event will be the first weekend in May. Krippaehne asked about the disposal of fuels used for camping stoves and Murphy responded the empty containers can go in the garbage cans with other garbage for pick up. The propane company will take the 5- and 10-gallon containers for reuse. 7) Discount day at the transfer station will be in June.
Marketing - Krippaehne reported the committee had a great meeting and a work plan resulted. The members looked at the programs for which the Commission wanted to improve marketing (Adopt-A-Street, Green Business, and energy and water programs) based on last year's goal. For Adopt-A-Street and the Green Business Programs, goals will be developed to convert people. Prewett will be writing an article for the April cycle utility bill newsletter on the Adopt-A-Street Program. This will be followed with a newspaper article, then the committee will talk to service clubs and a personal follow-up will result afterwards. For Green Business, the committee will contact Ross Finney (who developed the Ashland Green Business Program), obtain brochures and take them to the service clubs, in particular the Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce. More personal contacts will be made also because people are more likely to participate if asked directly. Chapman commented when they go to the service clubs, they will talk about all the programs. The committee is also talking about getting the Adopt-A-Street volunteers to do some storm drain stenciling while they are working on the streets. Prewett stated she will use the newsletter to not only get more people to adopt streets but will also take the opportunity to thank the people that have already adopted. When asked by Smith, Prewett replied information about stenciling should go in the June newsletter because people are more willing to do it in nice weather.
Prewett reported the Earth Day Celebration at the Nature Center will be on Saturday, April 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The focus of the event will be strictly what people can do in their homes to prevent pollution and the move toward a sustainable future. There will be no vendors because retail sales are not allowed on Park property. Ideas so far cover water and energy conservation, organic foods, native plants, recycling, alternative vehicles, creating backyard habitats, composting, worm bin demonstrations, etc. The celebration will not be limited to individuals and organizations. Businesses will also be included at the celebration and although they won't be allowed to sell anything, they can educate people about what they do. Prewett is also hoping the Conservation Commission will have a presence there and stated this would be a good time to adapt Smith's clothesline idea that he had suggested for the Fourth of July parade. Energy saving tips can be printed on articles of clothing and hung on the line. The Conservation Commission banner will also be displayed. Help will be needed at various stations during the day. Chapman stated the Earth Day committee would like the Commission to help sponsor the event and help with some of the costs. Prewett said this committee will have a better idea of the cost by the next meeting. Bennett asked if there would be speakers and Prewett said they had talked about that but decided if the weather wasn't cooperative, the inside of the Nature Center would need to be used (which wouldn't leave room for displays) and also, they wanted to start out small this year.
Wanderscheid asked if the Ecos Center at S.O.U. will be doing anything for Earth Day. Prewett replied there will be something on campus during the week that although targeted for all citizens, will mostly reach students. The Nature Center celebration will be on the weekend and it will be more limited and focused, not open to any organization for advertising. Braham asked if there is an easy to read environmental guide available that covers all forms of conservation, including lists of businesses, contact numbers, etc. Wanderscheid said the Energy Guide that the City and the Chamber of Commerce publishes should be out soon. Braham said he was more interested in a guide that has information as to what is environmentally possible that everyone could use to gain a better knowledge and understanding on sustainable issues. Some contacts could also be listed and this would be for the general public. Wanderscheid said not everything is covered in the Energy Guide but there is a lot of contact information and it is distributed to all City of Ashland residents. He would like feedback on what else can be added to the Guide and will bring copies to the meeting next month.
Prewett related the other component to the Earth Day Celebration will involve the mural design for the street sweeper. (The quote from Gillespie Graphics, Inc. was between $300-900, which is less than what was anticipated.) The marketing committee thought it would be a good idea to have an art contest, so Prewett talked with Sharon Devora, art teacher at Ashland Middle School, who was very supportive and said this would be a good time for the contest. Krippaehne volunteered to draw up contest rules. The Commission will review the artwork then choose the top 10 or so. These will be on display at the Nature Center on April 20 and the public will vote on the final design. Students will be given the motto What's swept off the street stays out of the creek, examples of native fish, and size specifications to incorporate into their designs. The contest will be school-wide, not just limited to the art class. Public Works will take care of the sweeper maintenance in case the mural gets scratched or scraped. Prewett will ask the Commission to pay for the decal once the specifications and associated costs are known.
Another project the marketing committee talked about was having weekly conservation tips in the Tidings. Smith said this would be a small section with the Commission logo. The sections would contain seasonal bulleted tips and not be in article format. The committee will find out from the editor if this will be possible.
Kudos to the marketing committee!
Sustainable Housing - Since Reid was not present, Chapman and Wanderscheid suggested waiting until next month to discuss this. Krippaehne stated she is getting close to finishing the revised list. She will meet with Wanderscheid and Community Development Director John McLaughlin prior to the next meeting.
Addition of Youth Liaison Member - Prewett stated she had spoken to a representative of the Ecos Center at Southern Oregon University. They concurred they would like to have a connection with the Sustainability Committee (of Ecos) and the Conservation Commission. College students could use this connection for an internship or practicum and at the same time, work on small projects for the Commission. Prewett offered to attend the next Ecos Sustainability meeting. The student(s) can report what the campus is doing at the Conservation Commission meeting and in turn, report back to the Ecos Sustainability Committee. Wanderscheid related the Commission should write a letter to the Mayor in order to get a student from Ashland High School and one from S.O.U. appointed as liaisons to the Commission. These would probably be academic year appointments.
Conservation Commission Display - Prewett related there are less than 90 days to come up with an exhibit for Earth Day and signage for the clothesline. Chapman will bring the Conservation Commission banner to the next Earth Day committee meeting. Prewett asked that all the members think of something to say on the clothesline display. She said that eventually, the Commission should have a display that can be moved to different places. Wanderscheid stated it would be worthwhile to pay a professional company to produce a display that will be durable, fit in a suitcase, etc. This may be spendy, but would be well worth it. Prewett said it would also be important to make it timeless.
Smith asked Hartman about enlisting the high school teacher who worked with the Sustainable Ashland 2020 committee to find out if his students would be interested in working on projects such as the display. Hartman said he may know of a few students that would be interested in being a student liaison and in working on projects.
Budget - The current balance is $3,502.36. Prewett stated upcoming budget items would include Sustainable Ashland stickers, sponsorship of Earth Day, street sweeper mural, display, Fourth of July parade entry, and signs for the Nature Center at North Mountain Park. Krippaehne reminded the Commission that up to $200 has been committed to the S.O.U. class that did the survey on construction waste. Some of these projects can be funded out of the next fiscal budget, which starts July 1. Costs for most of these items should be available for the next meeting.
COMMISSION ITEMS NOT ON AGENDA:
Prewett asked about goal setting for this year. Wanderscheid said we should do that at the next meeting.
Hartman related the Ashland School Foundation will not be coordinating the bike swap this year and wondered if anyone knew of an organization that would be interested. Wanderscheid suggested he ask the Bike & Ped Commission.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.