Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Committee (View All)

Conservation Commission Mtg 08/23/06

Wednesday, August 23, 2006



Conservation Commission



These Minutes were approved by Conservation Commission at the September 27, 2006 Conservation Commission Meeting.


August 23, 2006– 7:00 pm
Community Development Building

51 Winburn Way




Chairperson Amarotico called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. in the Community Development Building. 


Attendees:  Risa Buck, Lindsay Gerken, Kathryn Houser, Jim Hartman and Melissa Schweisguth were present. Russ Chapman, Stuart Corns, and Ross Finney were absent.


City Council Liaison: Alex Amarotico

Staff Liaison: Larry Giardina



Chairperson Amarotico asked for an approval of the July 26, 2006 minutes.


Commissioner Schweisguth noted her name was spelled incorrectly.

Commission Buck questioned the wording of the recommendation sent to the Council.  Below is the exact wording sent to the Council on August 15, 2006.


                “The Ashland Conservation Commission recommends that the City design, build &

                certify the new Fire Station No 2 building to at least LEED Silver standards and that we

                meet the additional requirements for a State Tax Credit for design assistance funding, as

                per the sustainable building tax credit.  The commission believes that in the interest of

                making the LEED project successful and less expensive, LEED requirements need to be

                integrated at the very beginning of the design process.  Further, the City should utilize

                this project to evaluate the LEED process and program to see if future City facilities

                should be constructed to these same LEED standards.”


 Commissioner Schweisguth made a motion to approve the minutes of July 26, 2006 with stated corrections, and Commissioner Buck seconded the motion.

Voice vote: all Ayes. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.


The minutes of the Conservation Commission Meeting of July 26, 2006 were approved.



Tracing Harding spoke to the Commission about the Car Free Day event and wondered if the Commission wanted to host a table this year.  The event will be September 22, 2006 from 3-7pm, located on Oak Street between Lithia Way and E Main Street.  There was discussion about the event last year and possible improvements for this year.  Plans for this year include: bicycle rodeo for kids, free how-to bike maintenance, bite-it free style tricks, walking tours, info shops, practical alternatives to car dependence, transportation hero award and education & outreach booths. 




Commissioner Chapman emailed an update to the Commission.  He mentioned $1,192.00 of the $1500.00 light tube grant has been used.  He said Ashland Sanitary will agree to cover the costs over the $1500.00 until the end of the year and will evaluate this program at the end of the year.





Future of Florescent Bulb Grant

The future of florescent bulb recycling grant was discussed.  Ideas included contacting businesses to see if they would contribute, for example Bi-Mart or Ashland Hardware, establishing a deposit law, increase in the disposal service to cover the costs and applying for the local Ashland Coop grant.  Larry Giardina reported about the Energy Star program and our relationship with them.  Also, he reported about the buy down program the City is currently are doing with Bi-Mart, where we subsidize the cost of the bulb, so the retailer can offer it at a much reduced price.


Commissioner Hartman moved to approve another payment of $500.00 to keep the grant going to subsidize the compact florescent grant to Ashland Sanitary, but later after discussion withdrew the motion.


Clarification of Sub-Committee

            The commissioners talked about how to structure the Commission and sub-committees. 




Dave Chapman-Brain Storming

City Councilor Dave Chapman spoke to the Committee about developing a subcommittee to develop ideas through the process of brain storming.   He gave them a brief report of his past interests in conservation, sustainability, and his past experience with other citizens and a brain storming committee.  He was hoping for a monthly public forum where committee members and citizens would be able to share ideas.  Some starting topics may include Green Space, How does a community address: parks, gardens, farms, open space and buffers between cities, water and sewage, wastewater, and water treatment, air quality, water quality, toxic, transportation, land use, housing community and community economic development.


The members discussed with Mr. Chapman different systems, costs, reorganization, finance and the 4 ideas of building local wealth:

            Make more with less, consider your resources

            Make money circulate, buy locally

            Make things yourself, slow imports.

            Make something new for export.


They spent time realistically looking at how this group/subcommittee would function with community input, support and sustainable actions.  Commissioner Buck felt the City of Ashland needs to adopt a guiding commitment that would support the generalities of day to day city functions.  Mr. Chapman explained the general principles that govern the City are the in line with this thinking, but the implementation period is very long.  He hopes to be able to develop a City Task Force that would also look at these issues.


Commissioner Buck reported on her meeting with Paula Brown, Director of Public Works, regarding Bio-diesel fuels for vehicles and she would at any time receive recommendations from the Conservation Commission regarding standards for fuel, or any other suggestion.  She reported about the recommendation from the City of Portland that there would be 5% blend for all diesel vehicles which is 5% bio-diesel and 95% diesel, and other gasoline would be at least 10% ethanol which would reduce in one year the petroleum use by 15-35 million gallons.


Commissioner Buck also reported about the Ashland school District and the 3 year old Green Diesel program, which consists of regular petroleum diesel with lower sodium content and a special cadillac converter.



Renewable Pioneers Renewal-Green Tag Purchase

            Mr. Giardina reported for Paige Prewett (former member) with a suggestion to repurchase 25 green tags.  The Commissioners discussed offsetting energy usage by the Conservation Department and decided to would wait until the next meeting to see how many green tags would be needed. He reported in Ashland there were 3,530 green tags sold with 50 commercial participants. 




1.   Garbage Land Sub-Committee

Meeting on August 29, 6:30 at Standing Stone Brewery


2.   Education/Events

Green and Solar Tour will take place October 14, meeting at the Civic Center.  This year will be two 50 passenger busses to 5 residential sites.  There will be a $5.00 cost for the busses.  Many different types of alternative energy and conservation measures will be on the tour.


Salmon Festival is October 7, 2006.


The Conservation staff will attend a Green Building conference in San Francisco, September 27, 2006.  In addition, Robbin and Larry will learn about restaurant sustainability.


3.  Green Business

    They discussed a need for specific measure to qualify for green businesses and how long a business would be considered green, if they needed to re-qualify each year.




Counselor Chapman wondered if the Commission had discussed the Valdez Principles and tagging onto the Valdez Principles-- The Precautionary Principle:

 When an activity raises threats of harm to human health and the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.  In this context, the proponent of a activity rather than the public should bear the burden of proof.  The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open and forum democratic and must include potentially effected parties.  Must also involve an examination of a full range of alternatives, including no action. 


He stated this was adopted by New York state, Massachusetts, San Francisco, Marion County, and Eugene was working on it. 


Next meeting date, September 27, 2006.


Meeting adjourned at 9:03 pm.



Respectfully submitted,
Mary McClary, Assistant to

Electric Department








































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