ASHLAND CONSERVATION COMMISSION
February 28, 2001
CALL TO ORDER– Chairperson Susan Reid called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Members present were Susan Reid, Bruce Moats, Russ Chapman, Howard Braham, Mort Smith and Paige Prewett. Staff present were Dick Wanderscheid and Sonja Akerman. Dan Murphy represented Ashland Sanitary & Recycling. Members Russ Otte and Karen Amarotico were unable to attend the meeting. The Commission is currently one member short due to the resignation of Kari Tuck. Wanderscheid also noted Amarotico has decided to not be reapppointed for another term. Prewett suggested recruiting a Southern Oregon University student in the Environmental Education Program, and Reid stated it would also be beneficial to have a contractor on the Commission.
APPROVALS OF MINUTES – Chapman moved and Prewett seconded to approve the Minutes of the January 31, 2001 meeting as submitted.
COMMISSION ITEMS – 1) Prewett informed the Commission the vermiculture class she taught the previous Sunday generated 60 participants, thanks to an article in the Medford Mail Tribune. Therefore, 60 coupons worth $8.00 each were given out, and hopefully, at least a quarter of them will be used for purchasing worm bins. With previous classes, Prewett said she had an average of ten people. Murphy reported Ashland Sanitary received numerous phone calls about worm composting the following day. Smith asked why the Ashland Conservation Commission would be spending $8.00 on coupons for people not necessarily living in Ashland. Prewett responded about 80% of the people that come to the programs are from Ashland and that each class is advertised in the Medford Mail Tribune and the Ashland Daily Tidings. Wanderscheid clarified that when the compost classes were originally started, they were meant to include the area Ashland Sanitary services, which includes areas outside the city limits. Typically, the classes include 80% Ashland residents, 10% from the surrounding Ashland area, a few from Talent and occasionally some from Medford. Therefore, it was decided all participants should receive free compost bins. There is currently no expiration date on the coupons for worm bins and Wanderscheid stated that in the future, it might be a good idea to date them, perhaps give the people 12 months to use them. He noted that any coupons that are out there will be honored. Reid congratulated Prewett on the success of the class. 2) Smith noted he had spoken with the new Tidings editor, Larry Berteau, and he is fine with a three article series on recycling. Murphy will do the first article on where recycling materials go (a combination of the two articles he wrote for the Jefferson Monthly). Smith will write one on household recycling and Amarotico will write one on office recycling. Smith stated Berteau is also open to energy and water conservation articles.
ASHLAND SANITARY & RECYCLING UPDATE – Murphy reported 1) One dozen worm bins had already been sold that week. He said this is definitely fall out from the class last Sunday and that he has already ordered more. 2) April 20 and 21 (from 8:00-4:00) are the confirmed dates and times for the free latex paint disposal. 3) The spring events are in order. 4) Ashland Sanitary will do a direct mailing with latex and household hazardous paint disposal information.
Draft Letter to Secretary of State – The Commission gave approval to sending the letter and thanked Chapman for writing the draft.
Jefferson Monthly Article – The members thought Amarotico had written a good article and only wanted to add a few words. Chapman felt it should be mentioned that local options, such as the drop off site for shoes, clothing and canned goods at the Ashland Recycle Center, are available for people also.
Goal Setting – Wanderscheid reviewed the Commission goals from 1996-2000. Braham stated that in past years, there were sometimes too many goals that were adopted to realistically accomplish. He noted that previous goals that are ongoing include Green Business and education. Chapman and Prewett said the Adopt-A-Street program needs regularity and the volunteers need to be recognized. Prewett added that energy and water conservation still need attention, especially since the water year is so low. Smith related he would like to see street cleaning as a goal. Wanderscheid sad Public Works would be willing to work on cleaning up the streets and getting debris out of the storm drains, but the Commission will probably need to take the lead. He is confident Public Works Director Paula Brown or an employee from the Street Department would be willing to meet with the Commission to work out a system. Reid reported the City Council is willing to look at sustainable housing as a Strategic Planning goal. If adopted, the Super Good Cents and density bonus programs will need to be reworked. Chapman noted that last night's Planning Commission study session resulted in the desire to revisit the minimum house size. After discussing various other possible goals, Wanderscheid stated the Commission will be diluted by getting involved in too many goals. He then stated that Mike Morrison (Public Works Superintendent) would like the Commission to help educate people on water conservation and provide a reality check for TID, thus keeping this as an ongoing goal.
Wanderscheid talked about the drought in 1992, explaining how drought control was invoked. In order to avoid last minute curtailment this year, city officials are already working on this and if something similar needs to be enacted, it will be in place and ready to go by May.
The Commissioners also spent some time discussing conservation programs, including advertising and education. Wanderscheid noted the City is in the process of developing a marketing plan for all the conservation programs. Reid stated she would like the Commission to be able to comment on the plan prior to publication. The Commission agreed. Wanderscheid added they are also thinking about a speaker's bureau and more continuity in the ads. Reid said she would also like to see this marketing shared with other communities to help educate people.
The members concluded ongoing goals should be comprised of Adopt-A-Street, Green Business and TID. Overall goals would be sustainable housing, and energy/water conservation education. Wanderscheid will write a draft of these goals for the next meeting so they can be officially adopted. He noted the goals determine what subcommittees are needed.
NEW BUSINESS: Since the next meeting, scheduled for March 28, is during spring vacation, other dates were discussed. Because the Council Room schedule was not available, alternative dates will be e-mailed to the members.
AJOURNMENT – The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.