MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
March 5, 2007
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
|CALL TO ORDER|
Council Chair Silbiger called the Study Session to order at 5:20 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Hardesty, Navickas, Jackson, Silbiger, and Chapman were present. Councilor Hartzell arrived at 5:25 p.m. Mayor Morrison was absent.
|1.||Look Ahead Review.|
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Look Ahead and noted this document is constantly changing. She noted the Green Fleet and Mayor/Council Budget will be presented at the March 19 Study Session; and the March 20 Council Meeting with include the year end reports from Rogue Valley Council of Governments and Access Inc., appointments to the ODOT Citizen Advisory Committee, the restaurant grading system, a report from Community Development Director David Stalheim on priorities and the Zucker Report work, expansion of sewer service to Willow Winds, and a resolution setting the date for the final assessment of the Nevada Street LID.
|2.||Discussion of a Proposed Bear Creek TMDL.|
Public Works Director Paula Brown introduced Bill Meyers with the Department of Environmental Quality. Ms. Brown noted the three primary impacts of the TMDL for Ashland are: 1) temperature limitations for the wastewater treatment plant, 2) non-point source bacteria in Ashland Creek, and 3) sediment to Reeder Reservoir.
Mr. Meyers provided a presentation to the Council on the Bear Creek Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and its impacts on Ashland. The following are the key points from his presentation:
Mr. Meyers noted that it is difficult to pin point the exact sources of bacteria in the watershed. He commented that the TMDL is a shared responsibility and noted the other jurisdictions in the Bear Creek Watershed are either in the process of writing plans, will need to write plans, or have already submitted plans.
Councilor Navickas noted the Montgomery Study and briefly noted his concerns with the Ski Area's treatment plant.
Ms. Brown clarified that staff provided initial comments during the internal review period and, pending Council discussion, had not planned on submitting additional comments.
|3.||Discussion of Proposed Electric Rate Increase & BPA Surcharge Elimination.|
Electric Director Dick Wanderscheid provided a brief history on why the City has a BPA surcharge. He noted staff had previously recommended that the electric rates be raised, however after review, staff is now recommending no change be made to the electric rates or the BPA surcharge for this fiscal year.
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg submitted an Electric Fund spreadsheet to the Council and commented on the assumptions that were used. He noted they are meeting the target fund balance for this fund and will come close to meeting the revenue stream as long as customers continue to consume energy as normal. Mr. Tuneberg noted the general fund already has a higher amount than the target and it is not necessary to raise rates to benefit the electric fund.
Mr. Wanderscheid commented on the three mechanisms BPA might utilize during the next three year period if they need more revenue, which include a CRAC, a NFB Charge, or an Emergency Fish Surcharge. He stated that with all three mechanisms, the City would have advance warning and would have time adjust rates or spending practices if need be.
Mr. Wanderscheid stated that staff would continue to analyze numbers and stated he is optimistic that the City can postpone raising rates for another year or two.
|4.||Review of Regular Meeting Agenda for March 6, 2007.|
City Administrator Martha Bennett asked each councilor to identify which agenda items they have questions on, and to list those questions for staff so that they can be prepared to provide answers at tomorrow night's meeting.
Councilor Hartzell stated she has questions regarding the Charter situation, Councilor Navickas stated he has questions on the Transient Occupancy Tax and the Capital Improvement Plan, and Councilor Chapman noted he has a question about the Open Burning Ordinance.
City Charter Language
City Administrator Martha Bennett clarified if the Council decided to change the language that was adopted at their last meeting, there would not be sufficient time to re-notice and have the language placed on the May ballot.
Open Burning Ordinance
Transient Occupancy Tax
Comment was made that it would be helpful for the Council to know what other communities have done to allocate these monies.
Capital Improvement Plan
Meeting adjourned at 7:00p.m.
April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder