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City Council Meetings Summary

The City Council will consider several important issues at its meetings next week including a discussion of the long-term use of the Imperatrice Property, planning for City Hall replacement, the summer use of TID and TAP water, allocation of Social Service Grants, and approval of the 2015-17 Biennial Budget.
Listed below is the summary of all the items coming to the Council at the study session on June 15 and the regular Council meeting on June 16.  For the complete agenda and agenda packet click here.
Study Session of June 15, 2015
3.   Discussion of long-term future of the Imperatrice Property. One of the Council’s priority strategic planning goals is “Examine long term use of Imperatrice property,”  an 864-acre piece of City-owned land on the north side of Interstate 5 at Eagle Mill Road.  This study session discussion is prompted by a proposal to place a solar farm on the property that was presented to the Budget Committee by Councilor Voisin on May 7, but is intended to address all potential long-term uses.
4.   Discussion of planning for City Hall replacement. The City has been discussing the reconstruction or relocation of City Hall for more than 20 years.  As part of its 2014 strategic planning initiative, the City Council identified “Examine City Hall replacement and other facility needs” as a priority goal.  The proposed BN 2015-17 budget included a request for $200,000 for a study of City Hall replacement, a long-term facilities master plan and a study of underutilized assets.  However, the Budget Committee approved only $100,000.  Staff proposes to use this money for a comprehensive examination of options for replacing City Hall and will use this study session for a discussion with the Council on how to proceed with that effort.
Business Meeting for June 16, 2015
The first three items are ones Council sees on a regular basis (minutes, liquor licenses, commission appointments, etc.)
4.   Application for Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board grant. As part of the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project and extension of that work to a broader landscape surrounding the watershed and the community, the City has as opportunity to sponsor a grant through the State of Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, or OWEB. OWEB’s Focused Investment Partnerships grant offers up to $6 million over a 6 year period. The project proposal to OWEB would focus primarily on private land in the 52,000 acre footprint area, but may also fund limited work on the federal land portion of AFR and City forestlands. It would not fund maintenance on federal land. There is a 25% match requirement that would be met by the recently awarded $3.16 million from the Joint Chief’s Restoration Partnership and U.S. Forest Service hazardous fuels reduction fund. The Fire Department would like permission from Council to apply for this grant.
5.   Special procurement – Neilson Research, water quality testing. This “Contract-specific Special Procurement” will allow the Public Works and Parks Departments to directly award contracts to Neilson Research for water quality testing services. This will allow Public Works divisions and Parks to retain control of the water samples and ensure that the samples are handled in the most efficient and appropriate manner because the samples can be taken, tracked, and hand delivered by City and Parks employees to Neilson Research in Medford, Oregon.  Neilson Research is the only state certified lab located in the Rogue Valley.  The term of this “Contract-specific Special Procurement” will begin on July 1, 2015, and expire on June 30, 2019.
6.   Special procurement – polydyne (polymer) for Wastewater Treatment Plant. This “Contract-specific Special Procurement” will allow the Wastewater Treatment Plant to directly award a contract to Polydyne for the purchase of polymer (Clarifloc C-6286).  This chemical is used at the WWTP to assist with the “thickening” of biosolids which removes excess water from the solids. The excess solids that are generated are in the 1-2% range and after being treated with this polymer, the solids are thickened to approximately 20%. Therefore, fewer loads of biosolids are hauled to Dry Creek Landfill as a result of using this polymer.  The need for polymer may fluctuate from year to year or season to season based on sludge characteristics. This polymer (Clarifloc C-6286) continues to perform well and is the best product for the application. The term of this “Contract-specific Special Procurement” will begin on July 1, 2015 and expire on June 30, 2019.
7.   Special procurement – aluminum sulfate for Water Treatment Plant. This “Contract- specific Special Procurement” will allow the Water Treatment Plant to directly award a contract to Eco Services (formerly Rhodia) for the purchase of Aluminum Sulfate (48.5%  Concentration). This chemical is extremely important. It has been used by the WTP for over 20 years and continues to be a dependable and reliable product for the state mandated treatment of potable water.  It assists with the treatment process to make water safe to drink by removing pathogens and other contaminants.  The WTP requires chemicals that will enable the water filtration system to meet and/or exceed all of the current Federal and State Drinking Water Regulations as promulgated under the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Oregon Department of Health Services (ODHS). The term of this “Contract-specific Special Procurement” will begin on July 1, 2015 and expire on June 30, 2019.
8.   Sole source procurement – Dry Creek Landfull. This “Sole Source Procurement” will allow the Wastewater Treatment Plant to directly award contracts to Dry Creek Landfill for the disposal of biosolids. The WWTP operates under a DEQ permit and the biosolids that are generated at the plant are required to be disposed of on a daily basis.  The closest local and approved disposal site for biosolids in the Rogue Valley is Dry Creek Landfill. The term for this “Sole Source Procurement” will begin on July 1, 2015 and expire on June 30, 2019.
1.   Public hearing and approval of a resolutions titled, “A resolution adopting the 2015-17 Biennial Budget and making appropriations,” and, “A resolution certifying city provides sufficient municipal services to qualify for State subventions, “ and, “A resolution declaring the City’s election to receive State revenues,” and approval of first reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance levying taxes for the period of July 1, 2015 to and including June 30, 2016, such taxes in the sum of $10,728,511 upon all the real and personal property subject to assessment and levy within the corporate limits of the City of Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon.” Oregon budget law requires the City Council to hold a public hearing prior to adopting the budget for the City of Ashland (including the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission) for Biennium 2015-2017.  After the public hearing, Council will take action to adopt the budget, make appropriations, certify it qualifies for and elects to receive state revenue sharing; and levy property taxes by ordinance.
1.   2016-2017 Social Service Grant Allocation recommendations review and decision. The Housing and Human Services Commission has reviewed the 2016-2017 Social Service Grant applications. At its regular meeting on May 28th the Commission discussed and agreed upon a recommended allocation for the funding. The Council will review the Commission’s recommendations and make a final allocation for the 2016-2017 Social Service Grant funds.
2.   Discussion and Council direction regarding use of TID water for potable water purposes. This information is provided to assist Council in making a decision on whether to use Medford Water Commission water (TAP) in place of Talent Irrigation District (TID) water to supplement the City’s drinking water supply during severe drought events. This is a policy question with cost implications and staff is requesting direction from the City Council.
1.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution endorsing Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument expansion”. The Council at its June 1, 2015 study session heard a presentation from the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council about a proposal to expand the boundaries of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.  At that time, the Council agreed to consider a resolution of support for boundary expansion.
2.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution adopting a supplemental budget increasing appropriations within the 2013-2015 biennium budget”. Additional amounts beyond the current budget were made available from the Oregon Department of Forestry, US Department of Agriculture, Jackson County Citizen Corps, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and Nature Conservancy to fund the Ashland Fire and Rescue activities in both the General and Water funds.  The additional work in the fuels reduction and CERT programs in the General Fund and Water Fund have been well documented and discussed.  A supplemental budget is needed to recognize the additional funding and potential expenditures to the end of the 2013-2015 biennium.
3.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution transferring appropriations within the 2013-2015 biennium budget”. In reviewing recent financial reports for the 2013-15 biennium and reports from departments, staff has identified the need to transfer appropriations in several individual funds to recognize operational changes and to maintain compliance with Oregon Budget Law.  The proposed resolution summarizes the transfers from each Fund’s contingency or other operational area to the department or division requiring the appropriation and includes a short description of the need for the transfer.
1.   Discussion of compensation for non-represented employees. Earlier this year, I had proposed no cost-of-living adjustment to pay ranges for non-represented employees in FY 2016, based on a January-January CPI-W that was a negative number.  However, based on the outcome of union negotiations, I now propose a small COLA for non-represented employees:  1% for department heads and supervisory managers and 1.5% for non-supervisory and confidential non-represented employees.
For more information call 541-488-6002.

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