Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Monday, March 28, 2005

City of Ashland







Present:    Commissioners Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige; City Council Liaison Amarotico

Absent:     None

CALL TO ORDER         

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.


Study Session – February 24, 2005  

MOTION Lewis moved to approve the minutes as written. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – February 28, 2005  Under Unfinished Business item “Baseball Field Lights,” Eggers asked that the minutes be clarified to state: “so they [the commission] could determine where baseball lights would fall in terms of priorities.” Under New Business item “RFP Award,” Eggers requested that the sentence under “Discussion Among Commissioners” be changed to read: “Commissioners debated the pros and cons of the strengths and weaknesses of the proposals.” Under New Business item “Director’s Evaluation Report,” Eggers asked that the motion read: “in accordance with the contractual provision.”

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Special Meeting – March 14, 2005 

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as written. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Study Session – March 14, 2005 

MOTION Lewis moved to approve the minutes as written. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no


Open Forum

Melissa Mitchell-Hooge, 271 High Street, of the Save Our Schools and Playgrounds committee, distributed packets to commissioners consisting of: historical photos of Lincoln Elementary School; results from a survey conducted in Ashland [regarding the preservation of Lincoln School as a neighborhood park]; and potential long-term funding options for retaining both Lincoln and Briscoe School playgrounds as neighborhood parks.


Commissioners agreed to discuss the New Business item “Little League Request” before Unfinished Business.



Gies reported that Ashland Little League requested the installation of a permanent batting cage facility at Hunter Park in place of the temporary cages installed by Parks staff each year. He stated that the group requested the use of the site only, and that they were prepared to fund the project and to provide all necessary labor. He added that the temporary cages get vandalized nearly every year, and a permanent facility might alleviate the problem.

Jack Opgenorth, 575 Elizabeth Avenue [Ashland Little League vice president], and Matt Small, 385 Cherry Lane [design architect], explained the project to the commission. Opgenorth urged the commission to allow the installation of the permanent batting cage facility at Hunter Park while Small presented the site plan for the project, noting that it was designed to avoid harming existing trees and to match the current snack bar structure. Both indicated that installation of lights would extend the use of the facility during the shorter days of the year, and that the design would allow the structure to be locked, which could deter vandalism and theft.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked how the facility would be constructed and were informed that it would be made from cinder block and roofed with composition shingles. A commissioner expressed interest in using natural lighting instead of artificial lighting while another commissioner asked about the cost of the project and was told that $35,000 was budgeted for it, with the hope that donated services might lower the cost. Commissioners thanked the guests for their proposal and agreed to evaluate the project and discuss it at a future meeting.



Robertson outlined the budget narrative document enclosed in the commission packets, stating that the City’s intent for the document was to develop measurable performance goals, with an annual review to generate performance goals for the upcoming budget year. He asked for input from the commission on the Parks pages, which included sections on Parks, Recreation, Golf, Capital Improvement Fund, and the Youth Activities Levy. He asked whether commissioners wished to include goals for the new fiscal year.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked a number of clarifying questions about specific items within the document and agreed that inclusion of the goals would be appropriate. They read and scanned through the document, noting their comments, questions, and concerns and instructing staff to modify and edit the document. Staff agreed to submit the revised document to the Finance Department for inclusion in the City’s overall budget book.


Robertson reminded the commission that, at the conclusion of the March 14 study session, staff was directed to develop an itemized list of potential capital improvement projects and necessary equipment purchases. The projects and equipment identified totaled $647,100, which included funds to remodel facilities, replace playground equipment, possibly develop Phase I of Vogel and / or North Main Street park site properties, and potentially to acquire open space properties and trail easements.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers advocated for land acquisition and development, noting the importance of shifting budget funds to accommodate increasingly high land prices. Staff agreed to itemize “General Park Improvements,” to shift money into park development / acquisition, and to prepare for further discussion at the April study session.


Robertson directed commissioners’ attention to the packet memo regarding potential 2002-2006 long-term capital improvement projects. He requested that staff be given direction on prioritizing projects by importance or by proposed year of completion.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners directed staff to prioritize projects by proposed year of completion. Staff encouraged commissioners to suggest additional projects as appropriate. Rosenthal asked for the inclusion of funding for a parking lot at the driving range at Oak Knoll Golf Course [which was listed as a goal following a 2003 Golf Course Subcommittee meeting].



Robertson reported that the Public Works Department will replace a waterline from the Reeder Reservoir through a portion of the swimming reservoir [and its associated parking area] in the spring and summer of 2005. Following completion of the project, Public Works will reinstall parking spaces to either current standards or improved standards in the form of additional spaces at the reservoir. Since current parking spaces are inadequate on busy days at the reservoir, he questioned whether it would be appropriate to ask Public Works for additional parking spaces upon completion of the project.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers expressed concern about the riparian vegetation near the reservoir and suggested the possibility of closing down parking on the creek side. When asked about the deadline for requesting additional parking spaces at the reservoir, staff reported that the project will be completed in early July and Public Works needs an answer soon.

Staff was directed to ask Public Works to create additional parking spaces near the reservoir, but not on the side bordering the creek.


Commissioners read two pieces of correspondence from members of the public and directed staff to research them and refer them to appropriate staff members, commissions, or departments.


Eggers asked staff to schedule a meeting in the near future to discuss pending requests for plaques, signs, and memorials within the parks system.


·     Study session set for April 18 at 7:00 PM – Senior Center, 1699 Homes Avenue.

·     Regular meeting set for April 25 at 7:00 PM – Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 9:25 PM.


Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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