Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Study Session

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

City of Ashland





April 11, 2006



Present:    Commissioners D. Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige

Absent:     City Council Liaison A. Amarotico


Rosenthal called the study session to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.


Robertson outlined the evening’s agenda and urged the commissioners to continue their budget discussion—based on where it was left at the conclusion of the previous meeting—and to consider both the general operations budget and the proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners reviewed resources as well as proposed CIP project expenditures, including development of two new park sites and repairs to—or replacement of—ice rink materials and structures. Commissioners discussed, in detail, the specific projects and proposed funding amounts identified for FY 06-07. Items and their associated costs included:

§         Ice rink repair                                                $242,000

§         Lower pond waterfall                                       $20,000

§         Park development                                         $100,000

§         Softball lights                                                  $30,000

§         Upper duck pond                                            $50,000

§         Sherwood park restroom                                 $40,000

§         Miscellaneous playground equipment              $35,000

§         Cart paths at golf course                                $250,000

§         Driving range lot                                              $20,000

§         Riverwalk “park” request                                    $7,500

§         Extra golf expenses                                        $20,000

Public Input

Terry Adams, 580 Weller Lane, a high school softball coach for 14 years and a member of committees that helped with the creation and formation of North Mountain Park, remembered that the original park plans allowed for lights on the softball fields. He stated that the softball community would raise their portion of the required funding for the lights and urged the commission to consider the purchase and installation of softball lights in the upcoming fiscal year.

John Sousa, 875 Diamond Street in Medford, stated that he coached softball at the high school with Adams for years and now serves as an ASA softball coach. He reinforced Adams’ assertion that the softball community would assist in funding the softball lights for the fields and stated that, once installed, the lights would allow working parents to watch their children play evening games and would add to the safety of the games. He read aloud a letter, written by the Ashland High School Athletic Director Karl Kemper, expressing his support for the lights [which his estimate showed as $42,000 without installation] and asserting that AHS would pledge $10,000 toward their purchase and installation.

Further Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked Adams and Sousa a number of questions including: the length of the softball season [five months]; the number of players per level [30 at high school level; 50-90 at ASA level]; whether teams—other than those at HS and ASA levels—would be allowed to play on the lighted softball fields [yes]; and how long it would take to raise the matching funds [approximately 60 days]. Commissioners expressed support for the project and moved into discussing the remainder of the items within the budget.

Extensive discussion ensued about funds earmarked for ice rink and golf course improvements. In the case of the ice rink, commissioners suggested reducing the proposed budget amount and making minimal improvements to the mats in order to eek out one additional year with the existing equipment, with the possibility of seeking support from the local community for additional [more extensive] improvements in the future. In terms of the golf course, commissioners debated whether to make improvements in an effort to increase the number of rounds played and thereby generate more revenue or to cease subsidizing golf for the community.

Commissioners agreed to the majority of the items on the CIP list and asked that specific figures not be included in the budget presentation to the Budget Committee on May 10, allowing for more flexibility in moving funds around and/or eliminating or postponing projects in the upcoming fiscal year.

Commissioners directed staff to continue preparations for the budget presentation and agreed to conclude budget discussions and plan to vote on a final budget recommendation at the April 24 regular meeting.


Robertson reviewed the three options proposed by Parks for school ground maintenance [Apple, Banana, Cantaloupe] and expressed the need for an official proposal from the School Board before moving forward with any decisions. He stated that, should Parks resume maintenance of the two school grounds, associated costs would be estimated at $126,174, which would include one full-time employee and some additional assistance from Parks staff.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers talked about the Youth Activities Levy and expressed an interest in seeing that the funds—which she stated had grown 2.5 times in size—be spread out to finance more programs within the community.


Robertson asked, in the interest of time and in light of the fact that the topic had been included in the evening’s discussion, that the commission move toward adjournment.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 9:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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