Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Thursday, August 19, 1999

August 19, 1999
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Council Chairperson Don Laws called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

Councilors Laws, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon, and Fine were present. Staff present: City Administrator Freeman, City Attorney Nolte, Administrative Services Director Dick Wanderscheid, Assistant City Administrator Greg Scoles, and Public Works Director Paula Brown.

1. Capital Improvement Plan, 1999-2000 and GIS update.
City Administrator Mike Freeman explained that this Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) should have been produced as part of the budget process, and will be in the future. Explained that this document represents capital projects to be completed over the next five years, and each project has an information sheet giving relevant details to be considered in the budget process. Noted that in the future, larger projects may have informational videos to provide detailed information.

Emphasized that in most cities, the council and community are very interested in the CIP, and this provides a means to communicate capital priorities, projects planned, sequences and funding sources. Noted that a spreadsheet summarizing the complete CIP was prepared and would be added at a later date.

Public Works Director Paula Brown explained the projects included in the CIP. Noted that the successful bid for the Oak Street Traffic Calming project went to Versatile Concrete, for $157,000, and that work should begin next week. Discussed concerns about getting all of the pledges to meet this cost, which is slightly over the initial estimate. Freeman emphasized the level of coordination occurring between departments to include undergrounding of utilities at the same time.

Brown noted that the Union Street Reconstruction project, which is similar to what was done on Sherman Street, will receive almost $90,000 in Oregon Department of Transportation – Federal Aid Urban Streets/Surface Transportation Program (ODOT-FAUS/STP) funds.

Brown explained that she would be coming to council in the next few months for help in putting together a design team for the Siskiyou Boulevard Redesign project. Noted that this would be tied to the jurisdictional exchange. Noted that this would be funded over several years, primarily with ODOT dollars, and that the total project cost would be roughly $1.4 million. Emphasized that the local portion would be primarily for design, and that the bulk of actual construction would occur in fiscal year 2002-03.

Noted that bids are to be opened on the bus shelter project in late August, but emphasized that this may be scaled back depending on what occurs with bus routes. At Fine’s suggestion, Brown stated she would look at using grant money to build needed shelters and warehousing materials for those not being built at this time. Confirmed that the cost of shelters involves costs for lighting, conduit, drinking fountains, paving, etc.

Brown discussed the Central Ashland Bikepath Phase II; the Beach Street Intersection Improvements project; the Tolman Creek Road Improvements project, which relates to the Tolman Creek Neighborhood Plan; the Water Street Bridge; and future FAU Pavement Projects.

Brown noted Transportation Plan Advisory Committee (TPAC) sidewalk projects focusing on sidewalks near schools and heavy pedestrian travel areas. Explained the Nevada Street Connection project, noting that although this is a priority in the Transportation System Plan it may be pushed out beyond the CIP five-year horizon due to a lack of funding. Laws expressed concern over this possibility given the level of development occurring on Mountain Avenue; suggested charging developments on Mountain Avenue to fund this much needed improvement.

Discussed Local Improvement Districts (LIDs) listed in the CIP, which do not correspond exactly to the budget document as some changes were made based on neighborhood requests since the adoption of the LID policy

Brown spoke briefly about airport improvements and hangar construction, noting that the local portion of the improvements will come out of the airport budget. Also noted that discussion was still underway as to whether the city would build the hangars, or have them constructed by an outside contractor.

Noted that the Talent-Ashland-Phoenix (TAP) water intertie was still scheduled to have the bulk of the work done this fiscal year, and explained that water rights would be purchased in fiscal 2002. Emphasized that the second phase of this project remains unclear – both in timing and funding.

Brown cited six projects that are scheduled for the water system, and confirmed for council that the city’s water system is adequate for fire suppression needs. Noted that ten bids were received on the wastewater treatment plant, and that the low bid was $8.36 million compared to the engineer’s estimate of $8.4 million. Brown also noted miscellaneous storm drain projects to be completed.

Freeman explained that there would be a future meeting to discuss details of the Hillah Temple remodel.

Brown explained that the improvements to the City’s maintenance yard on B Street will be taken through the planning process this fall, and stated that landscaping would also occur in the fall. Brown noted that no further discussion was needed on the fire stations, as council is aware of the status of both stations from recent discussions.

Freeman noted that the Financial Information and Customer Information System mentioned in the CIP went live on July 1, and emphasized that no difficulties were encountered. Noted the need to streamline the Community Development permit tracking software with a technology upgrade.

Freeman noted that the page dealing with the Ashland Fiber Network does not have updated numbers, and needs to be corrected to reflect the $5.8 million total. Freeman also noted that efforts would continue to underground all power lines, and explained that undergrounding is development driven.

Freeman briefly spoke about Calle Guanajuato improvements to be done this year, as well as open space acquisitions to occur.

Wheeldon exited.

2. GIS Update
Brown introduced Rich Hall who has been developing the City’s GIS system, and noted the progress that has been made in implementing this system. Brown emphasized that Hall had been able to obtain a grant to fund the purchase of much of the necessary software, and explained the possible applications of the new system.

Hall explained that staff is currently looking at the corrected tax lot parcel layering system being prepared by the state and determining whether it will meet the city’s needs. Confirmed that the GIS system can be used to pull up properties by tax lot number or address now, with only minor cross-referencing necessary. Brown explained that utility billing, conservation, planning and emergency response services will all be linked to the GIS system. Fine expressed concern for personal privacy given the linking of these information systems, and suggested that a policy was necessary to ensure personal privacy.

3. Economic Development Committee.
Freeman asked for council input on potential committee members. Hauck suggested Joan Legg of the Southern Oregon Economic Development Coalition, and Rich Rohde of Oregon Action. Laws suggested Claud Curran, a semi-retired professor, as someone else to consider.

4. National League of Cities meeting in December in Los Angeles.
Hauck noted that he was planning to attend this meeting. Hanson noted that he might be interested, but stated that he would need more information.

5. Discussion of Improvements to the City Council Chambers.
Scoles noted that he had spoken with designer Ted Mularz, and presented council with an alternative plan that might improve the configuration of the council chambers for speakers and presentations.

Meeting was adjourned at 1:11 p.m.

Submitted by Barbara Christensen City Recorder/Treasurer

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