MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
August 5, 1999
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Council Chairperson Don Laws called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Laws, Hauck, Fine, Wheeldon and Reid; City Administrator Mike Freeman, Assistant City Administrator Greg Scoles, Dick Wanderschied, and Ann Seltzer.
Assistant Administrator Greg Scoles updated council as to where we stand in regards to the Civic Center, Hillah Temple and City Hall expansion project. Gave brief review of the past process, which has gotten staff to where we are currently in this project. Scoles explained the schedule, which begins August 5, 1999 with the study session, then on too a public meeting scheduled for August 19, 1999 and then an additional public hearing held at a council meeting on September 7, 1999.
Scoles introduced Jack Berry representing Berry Architecture and Marshall Balfe. Berry submitted to council a draft space needs assessment for facilities at City Hall, Hillah Temple, Civic Center and a concept study for Hillah Temple site. Explained that the proposal was only in draft form and is not complete. Explained that space studies were used to determine space needs. Explained further that the report included space needs which include staffing needs and preferred location of departments. Stated that the study was not only done for 1999, but that the year 2019 was included to address future needs.
Berry pointed out that diagrams were included in study to illustrate proximity requirements of the functional work groups of each department. Explained the Hillah Temple Site plan with existing conditions and the required square footage for these existing conditions. Berry included a conceptional study for the use of Hillah Temple by Community Development and the Public Works Administration Departments. Scoles clarified for council that the functions and staff from Public Works currently at the Civic Center site would not be moved to the new Hillah Temple site.
Estimated construction costs for a two-story and one-story project was presented as an estimate of $1,861,515 for a two-story and $1,572,351 for a one-story building. Stated that the one-story building is shown to be more cost effective and would meet the space needs requirement for proposed departments to occupy.
Berry explained that parking needs were not calculated in the study. Councilor Reid requested that information be provided to council and voiced concern that this be addressed. Scoles explained that the there is a net loss of 4-5 spaces, but reminded that the current spaces do not comply with current requirements and would need to be revised. Berry explained that the two-story concept allows for further parking. Reid requested additional information on the estimated number of individuals that would be using the building. Scoles explained that the property will need to be re-zoned and would not require parking spaces. Clarified that the city will be complying with zoning laws as would any other property owner.
Berry agreed that access to public restrooms could be considered in the Hillah Temple site project. Councilor Wheeldon urged that the space in between the Calle and the Hillah temple be considered and blended in this project. Voiced her appreciation of the possible flexibility by spending an additional $300,000 in the project if it would help to blend this area. Comments were made on the Calle project and how this may be a competing project with the Hillah Temple project and that the two projects coordinators should get together. Wheeldon emphasized the importance of interfacing the area between the Hillah Temple and the Calle. Reid noted the additional importance of the Alice Piel Walkway which will need to be considered in the Hillah project.
Councilor Fine asked that we be mindful of the burden that the city is placing on the downtown when we address the revision of the downtown plan.
Berry explained that the methodology which determined space needs was previously done by a prior study, but that there is a formula used to determine space based on the function of the position. Councilor Laws feels that this is a critical issue and should be addressed by using space as efficiently as possible. Berry explained that when design begins, is when space efficiency will be determined. Scoles explained that the estimate included seismic requirements.
Marilyn Briggs spoke regarding the need for restrooms and trash area close to the Calle. Briggs is in favor of including this in the area adjacent to the Hillah Temple. Stated that she is in favor of a two-story building, but would like to see the height of the building reviewed so not to block property owners directly behind the proposed two-story building. Scoles clarified her confusion on the elevation and roof height of the two-story building.
Rick Vezie questioned how parking by city staff has been viewed and noted the need for parking by staff that are required to make several trips in and out of the building. Vezie suggested a possible shuttle service. Councilor Reid noted that there is a need for flexibility in regards to employees and the parking issue. Councilor Laws explained that there is constant review going on in regards to the parking issue and city employees.
Council consensus on agreement of proposed schedule for direction to staff. Scoles explained that public would not be presented with a preferred design, but would be asked which design they prefer. Scoles expects to present a preferred design to council at the September council meeting.
Discussion of Water Conservation Program Goals and Plan
Administrative Services Director Dick Wanderschied presented to council plan to achieve the water conservation goals of the Comprehensive Water Study. Water conservation analysis was distributed to council for discussion purposes only. Wanderscheid reported that the water study was completed in 1998 by Carollo Engineers assuming a 20% water demand reduction during the summer months. Explained that this translates into a savings target of 1,050,000 gallons of water per day in the year 2050 and the proposed paper presents a plan to implement this goal.
Wanderschied stated that current water use per person is 148 gallons a day and the proposal is to reduce this to 140 gallons per day. Presented memo which explained the goal of the Water Conservation and how much conservation is needed. Report also explained how this would be met projecting fifty years into the future by realizing the current conservation programs will probably evolve into much different programs than what we can envision at present. Used the horizontal axis washing machine as an example and how standards of efficiency are changing which would make these the only product available.
Conservation programs include: 1) Toilet rebate; 2) Showerhead replacements; 3) Horizontal Axis Washing Machine rebates; 4) Dishwasher replacement rebate; 5) Residential Irrigation Audits; 6) Leak Detection/Water Line Replacements; and 7) Government/Institutional/Large Commercial Real Time/Weather Station Irrigation Systems.
Wanderschied explained in further detail the Weather Station Irrigation System and the possible future use of this program. Reported that the Park Department is currently using this system. Stated that this has the potential to save a large amount of water for the city and that there are at least 30 sites that can benefit from this control system.
Wanderschied stated that the project daily target can be achieved and that the target is attainable and realistic. Explained for council that the current conservation programs will only expand and be more cost effective for individuals to use. Explained that code requirements would have no direct impact and that rebates would be ramped down. Reported that many property owners request retrofitting of showerheads when renters move out.
Finalize Strategic Planning Process for 1999-2000.
City Administrator Freeman gave brief update and proposed a draft concept to deal with some missing points in the strategic planning process. Explained the addition of public forums at elementary schools in order to provide information and obtain input from residents that could then be reported back to council.
Councilor Laws felt that what was being done is not strategic planning, but goal setting. Laws stated his view, that in order to do strategic planning, you would need to take the Comprehensive Plan, develop a Social Plan and include the Capitol Plan. These would need to be reviewed these each year, together with staff and the public, and develop what needs to be done to carry that existing plan out or changed. Would like to see the process become more systematic and understands that this would take more time.
Freeman explained that what was being presented was response to several comments by council that the public did not have enough opportunity to provide input on the strategic planning process. The idea was to provide an opportunity for additional public input so that we could do exactly what Councilor Laws was suggesting. That the council would know what was on the publicís mind so that the strategic plan could be relevant. Clarified that the points brought up by Councilor Laws are currently being done.
Freeman noted that broad categories had been identified and one of the things that are going to be worked on this year is developing policy statements. Does not believe broad categories will change, but time would be spent on focusing what these mean and what direction to go in a long-term perspective. Explained that lastly, there would be the budget that executes these.
Wheeldon felt that having public input is an important component and suggests focusing discussion on the Comprehensive Plan elements. Voiced her hope that council will share in the interface with the public in their own areas when these forums are held. Freeman felt that there is the possibility of intimidation by the public if council is in attendance. Laws agreed that there is a concern, but that it could be addressed by how the meeting is run. Councilor Reid disagrees that the public would be intimidated and that there would be more intimidation by a professional consultant.
Councilor Reid felt that long term planning is essential and how we go about it is okay as long as we do it. Councilor Laws explained what strategic planning does and what it means to him: That you start with a long-term plan and then use the long-term plan to very systematically develop your short term actions. Laws feels that what has been done is "hodge-podge converting" of our long term plan into short term plans. Stated that if we were doing real strategic planning, we would be reviewing the long-term plans and then seeing what needs to be done for each of the elements to carry them out in systematic way.
Freeman stated that it was a major accomplishment in identifying the topical areas, and that those will be the framework under which we do strategic planning. Freeman reviewed the 1999-2000 Strategic Plan goals with council and explained that plans with specific goals should be worked out in the upcoming strategic planning process. Explained and updated council on each of the goals outlined in the strategic plan. Stated that these goals will be defined and direction of these goals, along with policy statements, is the next logical step.
Meeting adjourned at 1:53 p.m.
Submitted by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder