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Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Minutes
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

ASHLAND CONSERVATION COMMISSION
Minutes
October 23, 2002

CALL TO ORDER - Chairperson Susan Reid called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers. In addition to Reid, members present included Joanne Krippaehne, Jim Hartman, Charles Bennett, Mort Smith, Russ Chapman, Darcy Cronin and Paige Prewett. Staff present included Dick Wanderscheid and Sonja Akerman. Member Bruce Moats was unable to attend the meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES - Chapman stated that under the Ashland Sanitary & Recycling Update in the September 25, 2002 minutes, single "strain" recycling should be single "stream" recycling. Prewett noted on the second page of the minutes that it is Bellview School, not Bellevue School. Chapman then moved to approve the September 25, 2002 minutes as corrected and with a second by Krippaehne, the motion passed with a unanimous vote.

PUBLIC FORUM - Master Composter Claudia Law introduced herself to the Commission. She thanked the members for giving her the opportunity to teach the composting classes, noting she loves to teach people about composting. Law said she will be working with the Education Service District (ESD) and offered to coordinate vermicomposting classes for students. Hartman mentioned he is making a big push for composting in the schools this year.

ASHLAND SANITARY & RECYCLING UPDATE:

  • Chapman introduced Lisa Black, who has worked for Ashland Sanitary for the past nine years. Black will be the new recycling coordinator and will be attending the meetings from now on.
  • Chapman related he had spoken with Kathy Davidson (recycling person for the western region) at the Salem Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) office regarding curbside recycling of glass in Grants Pass. The law does specify that glass will be taken at curbside unless application is made through DEQ for an alternative program. Each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Grants Pass applied for approval of not accepting glass and oil at the curb. DEQ ruled to accept one but not the other, and as a result, glass is not accepted but oil is.
  • Eleven people showed up to take advantage of the chipper at the Transfer Station on October 19. In past years, between 10 to 15 people have shown up.
  • The boxes have been repainted at the Recycle Center and the signs are almost complete. Also, the storyboards in front of the compost bins have been finished.
  • November 12 and 26 will be free leaf drop off days at the Recycle Center.

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT:

Marketing - Krippaehne reported the committee had not met in order to give the Display Board committee a chance to get wording together for the next Marketing committee meeting, which will be a joint meeting between the two committees.

Display Board - Cronin stated she and Bennett had met to brainstorm ideas for the display. They now have a core idea of what needs to go on the display. They will be meeting with the Marketing committee regarding additional ideas. Bennett and Cronin have divided tasks that will be accomplished over the next month. The Conservation Commission, conservation tips and past successes will all be included.

OLD BUSINESS:

Conservation Tips - Wanderscheid asked for an update on getting the conservation tips printed in the Tidings. Chapman replied that editor Larry Berteau had wanted to start a community page and include the tips here, but with the change of ownership, he isn't certain whether or not this will happen. Therefore, this project is currently on hold. Reid stated she had brought an insert from the Oregonian on energy tips to show the Commission what can be done. The insert includes photos of local Portland residents saving energy around the city. She would like our tips to reach a large regional base via a bigger consortium, which includes the Medford Mail Tribune. Since the same company now owns both the Tidings and Tribune, Reid thinks this is something that both papers could use. Prewett volunteered to call Berteau and ask for an update prior to going further at this time.

Earth Advantage Program - Wanderscheid reported that Energy and Water Analysts Cathy Cartmill and Robbin Pearce have now been through the training session and are very enthused about the program. The next steps include tightening the City of Ashland standards, writing better water standards, developing the mechanics about how to recruit builders, what requirements builders will need to follow and how best to offer builder training. These steps will need to be worked out prior to going public with the program. Ideally, the new Energy Analyst will start work in January and that will be the kick-off month. Wanderscheid noted both Cartmill and Pearce are excited about the remodel aspect this program encompasses. Addressing the current Density Bonus Ordinance for new development will come first, then the remodeling and commercial aspects of the program. The Conservation Department hopes to be able to offer the full array of programs for Ashland residents a year from now. Wanderscheid said that modifying the standards will be the biggest challenge. He also said that PGE is now offering this program to other entities. Since PGE will be modifying all the program standards in January and since Ashland was the first utility to buy in, input has been requested by November 15. As a result, the standards will be strengthened.

Krippaehne asked if there would be an opportunity for the Conservation Commission and Natural Step to have input. Wanderscheid responded input would be welcome, as they are open to any ideas. All agreed Krippaehne should be the liaison to get the data and take it back to Natural Step for comments. Wanderscheid also noted the State of Oregon has deemed that commercial projects certified under the Earth Advantage Program automatically qualify for state energy tax credits.

Reid said she had recently talked with representatives of the Oregon Office of Energy about the SOU library project qualifying under the Ashland's Earth Advantage Program for the tax credits. Since a lot of money would have to be spent on architectural fees to document the project with the Green Business Council and an additional $40,000 would have to be spent to document all systems are functioning as designed, Reid felt this might help the SOU budget. It will be discussed further with Moats when he returns.

Update on City of Ashland Purchasing Policy for Recycled Content Paper - Prewett said she, Chapman and Krippaehne had written a draft memo aimed for the City Council, however, Wanderscheid said he was not certain this approach would be best. Since Purchasing Agent Kari Olson is trying to do the right thing with buying recycled paper for the City, he thinks it would be best to start with her, find out what her parameters are for purchasing, and do all the homework prior to submitting anything to the Council. Since Olson has already been buying 100% recycled paper, Wanderscheid said she has the motivation to do what is right. He suggested either sending a letter to Olson informing her of the advantages of developing a policy for purchasing the 100% recycled paper and asking her to explain how she purchases, or invite her to a meeting to discuss it with her. If the results are not satisfactory, then the Commission can take the memo to the Council. Wanderscheid said this is a complex subject. It is also partially educational regarding the buying and the demands for the City. Prewett asked if there is currently a policy that the City has to purchase the lowest priced paper. If so, she would like to get approval to spend a little more on products to demonstrate the City's commitment to becoming more sustainable.

In discussing the certified wood resolution that was passed in 1999, Wanderscheid noted it was only in effect for 18 months. Because the Commission was unaware of this, Smith moved and Cronin seconded to send a letter to the Council encouraging it to reauthorize the certified wood resolution. The motion was unanimously passed.

Progress on Decal for Street Sweeper - Prewett reported the sweeper is here. She contacted Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) and spoke with Richard Smith, who not only works with Gillespie Decals in incorporating decals for the busses, but is the most enthusiastic person about this project. Smith also met with Street Supervisor John Peterson and Prewett to figure out where to put the decal on the sweeper. Gillespie is working on the decal and will be faxing an estimate and sending a draft of the artwork soon.

NEW BUSINESS:

Budget - The budget currently stands at $3,551.00.

It was noted that funding will be needed for supplies for the display and the decal for the street sweeper.

Chapman moved and Bennett seconded to approve $100 as a thank you for Claudia Law, who has volunteered to teach the compost classes for the past several years. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

Set Date for November/December Meeting - the Commission decided to meet on December 18 in the Shakespeare Room in the new Community Development/Engineering Services Building.

City's Renewable Resource Potential - Wanderscheid informed the members he had presented a report to the City Council on Ashland's renewable resource potential and thought it would be worthwhile to share the issue paper with the Conservation Commission, especially since the Imperatrice property was discussed at the last meeting. He also said Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) rates have increased in the last two years and the electric rates are causing a lot of grief for many residents. In the grand scheme of things, 1/20 of Ashland's power is coming from green power sources.

Reid stated solar power is best suited on site, it is best to make buildings as energy efficient as possible, and if photovoltaics became more reasonable, she would like the City to help pay people to incorporate solar panels. Krippaehne noted that in looking ahead, the potential for methane producing electricity is a possibility and she wondered if there are other co-generating opportunities in the valley. Wanderscheid said there are local mills and Rogue Disposal's Dry Creek Landfill in the valley, but it is not feasible to bring the power to Ashland because it wouldn't be federal power. The General Transfer Agreement between BPA and the City of Ashland only allows federal power to flow to Ashland. Rogue Disposal has talked with Ashland about buying electricity it plans to generate at its landfill, but since Ashland is surrounded by Pacific Power & Light (PP&L), PP&L has first rights to the power. BPA pays PP&L to use the lines. Our agreement allows us to bring in non-federal renewable power into Ashland, but not under BPA tariffs - we would have to go into PacificCorp and pay its open access tariff, which would probably double the price of power. Discussion ensued regarding federal regulations and power.

Krippaehne asked to what extent our efforts are impacted by the fact that we sell power and get revenue for the budget. Wanderscheid said the Councils throughout the years have consistently said that energy efficiency is important and they have been supportive of all conservation programs.

COMMISSION ITEMS NOT ON AGENDA:

  • Reid shared a City of Portland brochure regarding global warming, which is an issue most people care about. She thinks the City of Ashland is actively doing things to prevent this and the community is supportive of its efforts. She also thinks that we need to continually remind people that the City is interested. Ashland belongs to such organizations as the Northwest Energy Coalition, which works on this and supports alternative transportation. Wanderscheid noted that he heard ridership on the RVTD busses is up by 10,000 because of the free bus passes. Reid said this is another good example that global warming does matter to the City because money was allocated for the free rides. She said as we tout ourselves, we should link the things we are doing with the overall picture of global warming. Krippaehne suggested this be incorporated in the display and Cronin agreed. Reid said she would like to have a publication similar to the City of Portland brochure go out with the Mail Tribune/Daily Tidings. She will also talk with Communication & Marketing Manager Ann Seltzer.
  • Prewett reported that a Green Power Northwest workshop will be coming up November 19 and 20. She is interested in attending and wondered if the Commission would like to sponsor her attendance by paying the $139 for registration. With a motion by Krippaehne and second by Hartman, it was the unanimous decision of the Commission to allocate the $139 to Prewett.
  • Prewett informed the Commission there will be a worm composting class at the Nature Center on November 7 from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
  • Hartman reminded the Commission that a couple months ago, $100 had been allocated to him for refreshments for workshops he would be scheduling under the Destination Conservation Program. The workshops have not been as well attended as he had hoped, and as a result, he has only spent $32. The elementary schools are currently trying to cope with the fact that one of the schools will be closing down and they are all looking at bigger class sizes. If the rest of the money isn't spent, he said he would most likely use the money for an end of the year Destination Conservation celebration.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The next Conservation Commission meeting will be on December 18, 2002 in the Shakespeare Room in the Community Development/Engineering Building.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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