ASHLAND CONSERVATION COMMISSION
April 24, 2002
CALL TO ORDER - Vice Chairperson Russ Chapman called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. at the Council Chambers. In addition to Chapman, members present were Bruce Moats, Mort Smith, Joanne Krippaehne (who had to leave at 7:30), Jim Hartman, Charles Bennett, and Paige Prewett. Staff present included Dick Wanderscheid and Sonja Akerman, and Dan Murphy represented Ashland Sanitary & Recycling. Members Susan Reid and Howard Braham were not able to attend. Chapman introduced Darcy Davis, who was appointed to replace Braham and whose term will begin on May 1.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES - Krippaehne moved and Chapman seconded to approve the minutes of the March 21,2002 meeting as submitted. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
PUBLIC FORUM - There was no one present who wished to speak.
ASHLAND SANITARY & RECYCLING UPDATE - Murphy reported that 1) April 19 and 20 was free latex paint disposal day at the Transfer Station. 234 people attended (which was more than they had last year) and 15 people took 74 gallons of paint (more than twice the amount than given away last year), which means 24 cubic yards of paint will not be sent to Dry Creek Landfill. 2) Talent Elementary was the big winner for the phone book contest again and Walker Elementary placed second. Not as many phone books came in this year as in past years, however, Murphy attributes some of this to the curbside pickup of phone books this year. There has also been a big drop at the Depot. 3) Over 300 customers have signed up for the green waste program, of which about 50 are in Talent. In addition, Murphy noted people are still signing up. 4) Chipper day, which was April 13, generated 10 cubic yards for the high school. All but one customer donated the chipped wood to the high school.
Prewett informed the Commission she will be teaching a vermiculture class on May 5 from 2:00 to 3:30 at the Nature Center. Murphy responded people are still bringing in coupons to receive $8 off on the worm bins and there should be plenty of bins to accommodate the participants.
Marketing - Krippaehne reported the marketing committee had not met because of its involvement with Earth Day.
Earth Day Celebration Report - Prewett reported the celebration was very successful. There were lots of volunteers (including Conservation Commission members), sponsorships, great weather, and at least 2,000 people attended. They will probably extend it an hour next year. She has heard a lot of positive feedback. There were 31 exhibitors and the food went off without a hitch. The Nature Center is still getting bills, so the surplus is not known at this time. Over 200 people cast votes for the street sweeper mural and Prewett displayed the top three winners. After discussing what to do for the winners, Smith moved and Moats seconded to authorize $100 for prizes. The first place winning drawing will also be on the street sweeper. If there is surplus money left over from the event, that money will be used first. The motion was unanimously passed. Prewett thanked all the members for their help.
Adoption of Goals - Krippaehne moved to adopt the goals as submitted with the packet, which are 1) marketing of resource efficiency, 2) help to develop and implement a sustainable housing program, 3) have a Conservation Commission entry in the July 4, 2002 parade, and 4) develop a Conservation Commission display. Discussion ensued regarding the parade entry. Smith moved to form another committee (other than the Marketing Committee) to figure out what needs to be done with the parade entry. There were no seconds. All members thought it would be nice to have the entry, but in case it didn't work out, they did not want to include it with the goals for adoption. Members will try to recruit a group of kids to carry the clothesline in the parade and it will be discussed again next month. Krippaehne's first motion died for a lack of a second. She then moved to adopt goals 1, 2 and 4. Prewett seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.
Sustainable Housing/Earth Advantage - Wanderscheid reported he had met with representatives from Portland General Electric (PGE) and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) about the Earth Advantage Program developed by PGE. He stated BPA will not be moving fast enough because Ashland is ready to buy into the program now. PGE should have the proposal with the buy-in cost to the City within a week. Wanderscheid said PGE would like to have the City of Ashland as one of its first municipalities to buy in to the program, hopefully within the next three months. He also said he received assurance from BPA that if the City buys in prior to BPA, Ashland will get reimbursed. Wanderscheid verified that Ashland would not only be buying the rights to the program, but also the technical manuals, builder training, staff training and the right to manage and advertise the program. We would be running the program ourselves and can alter criteria, pay incentives, etc. to fit our needs. Wanderscheid clarified for Chapman that the Earth Advantage Program would replace the Super Good Cents Program, as Earth Advantage is much more holistic. It is fuel blind and it includes embodied energy, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, renewable resources, storm water runoff, water conservation and energy efficient appliances. It also has a commercial component and a remodel/addition component. The City is moving ahead with the purchase of this program.
Addition of Youth Liaison Member - Wanderscheid reported that Mayor DeBoer had proposed to the City Council the addition of two non-voting students, one from the high school and one from Southern Oregon University (SOU), to several commissions. Some of the Councilors, however, thought his memo was too constraining. For example, the positions should be open to others besides students in the leadership group at the high school or students at SOU. Voting vs. non-voting membership was also discussed. Reid can give more input on this subject at the next meeting.
Krippaehne's Report on Oregon Building Official Association Conference - Since Krippaehne had to leave early, she left a summary of the classes she attended at the OBOA Conference on March 22.
Northwest Climate Response Membership - Wanderscheid stated that Northwest Climate Response is in the process of restructuring so Reid had requested this item be postponed until the May meeting. She will know more about how this is evolving and what the dues will be at that time.
Conservation Program Accessibility on the Web - Wanderscheid related if any members had feedback from Marketing Director Ann Seltzer's memo, they should e-mail him email@example.com.
Budget - The current balance is $2,213.05.
Request for $250 from Robbin Pearce for Spring Garden Tour - The Commission discussed the memo from Pearce regarding the self-guided tour of residents' water efficient gardens. In the past, Wanderscheid stated that Pearce has given small gift certificates to the residents who have agreed to let people tour their gardens. This year, she is also requesting money for advertisement. Bennett moved and Hartman seconded to approve the allocation of $250 for the Spring Garden Tour on June 2. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
COMMISSION ITEMS NOT ON AGENDA:
Hartman informed the Commission there will be a bike swap on May 11. While the Ashland Community Bike Program will be the beneficiary of the proceeds, it is something to benefit the entire community. It is hoped that $4,000-$5,000 will be raised.
Smith said he got a mailing from an organization called Center for New American Dream requesting information on what communities do for conservation. He asked what the City does as far as reducing the toxicity of products that are used in the buildings, the purchasing of non-toxic paper, etc. Wanderscheid stated he should contact Purchasing Agent Kari Olson for specific information. He also said the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA) have stringent requirements for chemicals used by the City. Wanderscheid assured Smith the Electric Department does not use pesticides. Smith stated that he was recently on the bike path near the City yard and a City employee was spraying Round Up along the path on a windy day. Because there were not many weeds, Smith said it could have easily been done by hand. It made him wonder about how conscientious the City is about reducing the use of pesticides. Wanderscheid said the City does have a pesticide policy. He also noted the Tree Commission and Bike & Ped Commission have been working with a high school teacher and students and will soon be cleaning the area around the warehouse by hand. He told Smith he should talk with the Public Works Department about the pesticide policy for that department.
Green Business - Bennett stated Green Business was left off the agenda (my apologies - sa). Ross Finney reported he was able to meet with all six of the original pilot green business program participants. He said he was impressed that all of them had carried forward with additional and new activities since he had last met with them. Ashland Community Food Store is currently expanding its business and is a model for sustainable building practices. Ashland Greenhouses had been searching for a means of recycling the plastic plug trays (which are the largest waste items) and located a business called Agri-Plas that will pick up the plug trays and the plastic that goes over the greenhouses. Standing Stone will be switching to all organic brewing grains. The owners have also agreed to participate in the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP), a new City of Ashland program that is federally funded, similar to the OSU Extension Program. In this program, engineers are the resource efficiency experts that offer assistance and audits. The City subsidizes the cost of these services by paying $40 out of the $75 cost per hour. Prewett asked if it was necessary for a restaurant to have all organic ingredients and Finney said it is included as one of the options but it is not a requirement. Finney went on to say Stratford Inn has installed low-flow showerheads in all the rooms now. Also, the owners are interested in setting up a rainwater collection system for irrigation. This would be a nice model for other businesses in the community. He told Prewett a system like this would be ideal for North Mountain Park and she agreed. Finney said he has a list of eight businesses that were recommended as a result of his interviews. In talking with the original businesses, the consensus was that the Sneak Preview is the most economical way to advertise and reaches the most readers. The Playbill and the Daily Tidings reach a smaller local audience. In discussing this, some of the members said they do not read the Sneak Preview and would rather have something in the Tidings and/or Revels section. Prewett suggested an article stating the Green Business Program is still around. Finney said he still has two more hours to use on the Green Business Program and will get an article in the Tidings, hopefully before the next meeting.
Since it is getting close to the end of the fiscal year, it was suggested that Finney might need more money to use on the Green Business Program. The budget balance will be discussed at the next meeting.
MORE COMMISSION ITEMS NOT ON AGENDA
Volunteer Recognition - Wanderscheid reminded the Commission the City of Ashland will be holding a volunteer recognition function on Thursday May 2nd from 4:00-5:30 at the Historic Ashland Armory. All members were encouraged to stop by.
Composting Classes - Wanderscheid said Claudia Law will again be teaching the classes and the dates have been set. He said the compost bins will cost the Commission around $900.
Oregon Association of Recyclers (OAR) Conference - Wanderscheid reported the OAR will be holding its spring education conference on May 17 from 9:00-3:30 in Turner (which is outside Salem). He said the Commission has sent members to this in the past by paying the registration fee and mileage. Wanderscheid asked if anyone was interested in going, but no one could commit to it.
More Budget Discussion - The Commission discussed buying a shell for the display now since there is money available in the budget this year. Bennett volunteered to look in to this. Davis said the City of Portland has a nice professional display and will look in to that. In discussing the street sweeper mural, it was decided there are currently too many dependants to get the mural picture made at this time. It will be necessary to have the new street sweeper first.
Smart Growth Meeting - Smith informed the Commission there is a meeting on Smart Growth sponsored by the Jackson County Citizen's League and 1000 Friends of Oregon at the Rogue Gallery in Medford. It starts at 6:30 on April 25.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:34 p.m.