Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008 at 6:00 p.m.
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way.
Councilors Hardesty, Silbiger, Chapman, Jackson, Navickas, and Hartzell were present.
1. Look Ahead Review.
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Council Look Ahead. She noted the training session prior to the February 5, 2008 Council Meeting. She also clarified the Council could utilize the second half of the February 4, 2008 Study Session to hold a Special Meeting if they are unable to complete the Ashland Land Use Ordinance amendments tomorrow night.

Councilor Chapman spoke regarding the Imperitrice Property and recommended the Council decide what they are going to do with the land before they give the water rights away.

Councilor Hartzell offered the following suggestions: 1) for the minutes of the Community Library Advisory Committee to be posted on the City's website, 2) for the members of the Planning Commission to be invited to the Council's deliberation of the Land Use Ordinance amendments, and 3) for the Fiscal Stability Council Goal item to come before the Council sooner than currently listed on the Look Ahead.

2. Review of Regular Meeting Agenda for January 15, 2008.

Public Contract for the Purchase of a Street Sweeper
Councilor Hardesty noted this is a large expenditure and questioned if the purchase of the sweeper could be deferred for one year. Interim Public Works Director Jim Olson explained the City is following its equipment replacement schedule. City Administrator Martha Bennett added it is her understanding that there are significant maintenance issues with this sweeper and replacement cannot be deferred; however, she will verify this with staff.

Talent Ashland Phoenix (TAP) Intertie Pipeline
Clarification was requested on whether the TAP Pipeline would be used for emergency purposes only or whether it would become part of the City's daily supply flow. Mr. Olson indicated Paula Brown would be presenting this issue at tomorrow's meeting and would clarify at that time. Comment was made requesting information on what this would cost each household. Mr. Olson stated he would prepare this information and have it ready for tomorrow's meeting.

Willow Wind Sewer Service Request
Mr. Olson clarified the service line can handle the capacity in the instances when both buildings are being used at the same time.

Measure 49
Request was made for staff to provide examples of what this has looked like in other communities.

Order of Agenda Items
Council briefly discussed and Mayor Morrison announced they would address the amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance first and place the TAP Pipeline item to the end of agenda for them to discuss should time allow.

3. How will the Council address funding requirements for the ambulance services program in light of the diminishing stream associated with the provision of ambulance services?
Fire Chief Keith Woodley and Division Chief Greg Case provided a presentation to the Council. Mr. Woodley explained that under the "old" Medicare rules, the City was able to bill the patient (or their insurance) for the balance not covered by Medicare. However, under the new requirements, the City can no longer do this and they are being forced to write off the balance. He indicated the shortfall is currently 1.4 million dollars.

Mr. Woodley listed the following short term options available to the City:

1) Increase the FireMed membership fee,
2) Charge an EMS response fee when patient treatment services are provided and no ambulance transport occurs, and
3) Petition Jackson County Commissioners to approve a single ambulance transport rate.

Mr. Woodley stated the City's long term options are:

1) Implement a Fire/EMS utility charge similar to current City street and storm drain charges,
2) Investigate the potential for a public/private ambulance service partnership that serves the City's interests, and
3) Investigate the potential for an ambulance services special district in the Rogue Valley.

The service delivery options are:

1) Subcontract with a private ambulance service provider for non-emergency services,
2) Release the ASA contract to a private ambulance service provider,
3) Maintain the status-quo and continue to provide tiered response with Fire Dept EMS resources, or
4) Jackson Co Fire District 5 annexes the City into their fire protection district.

Mr. Woodley commented on the advantages and disadvantages of each option and stated staff's recommendation is to increase the FireMed membership fee, charge an EMS response fee when patient treatment services are provided and no ambulance transport occurs, and petition Jackson County Commissioners to approve a single ambulance transport rate. Staff also recommends they investigate long term revenue stabilization options beyond the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

Ms. Bennett clarified there is no option that will recover the entire deficit. She added that the Budget Committee will need to have a discussion during the budget process on taxes.

Meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder

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