ASHLAND CONSERVATION COMMISSION
February 23, 2000
CALL TO ORDER– The meeting was called to order by Vice Chairperson Kari Tuck at 7:06 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Members present were Bruce Moats, Kari Tuck, Karen Amarotico, Howard Braham, Russ Otte, and Russ Chapman. Staff present were Dick Wanderscheid and Sonja Akerman. Also present was Dan Murphy from Ashland Sanitary & Recycling. Members Ashley Henry, Carole Wheeldon and Kirk Evans were unable to attend.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Chapman moved to approve the Minutes of the January 26, 2000 meeting and Otte seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.
PUBLIC FORUM – Paul Kay updated the Commission on the subsurface drip (SSD) irrigation system he has now completed on the corner of Mountain Avenue and "B" Street for the City. With the help of three Parks Department people, Kay said the installation took three days. The design consists of an underground distribution system that gets the water to the emitters with a flushing system at the end to clear the lines. Emitter lines were laid on top of that, then covered with six inches of mulch. He invited the Commission to take a look at the site. The rest of the yard is being designed for landscape construction this spring and subsurface drip irrigation will be considered. When asked by Tuck about the rest of the landscaping at the site, Kay responded the SSD portion was one-third of the landscaping project; the rest includes the area by the bike path, along the west and north side of the yard and perhaps an area inside the yard. Tuck then asked about monitoring the water usage, and Kay replied electronic flow meters and electronic controllers will be installed which will hook up to the City’s central computer, so each time the water goes on, it will be logged into the system. Comparisons can be analyzed by zones with similar plantings. This particular site was designed for low water usage plants, so only shrubs and trees were installed and it wouldn’t be fair to compare it to sites with water thirsty plants. Chapman stated that if it is known SSD irrigation systems will be used for projects that require land use approval, staff should publicize the use of these systems at the Planning Commission meetings. Kay agreed. He then noted another use of SSD irrigation would be for gray water disposal systems but that can’t be used without State approval. California is currently evaluating this as an accessory to waterwise landscape systems, where it has been found it is a less expensive than developing new water resources. Otte noted the strip across the street is now torn up and looks as though it will be landscaped also. Even though it is after the fact, he stated it would have been better to have similar vegetation plantings but different strategies for irrigation in order to make a better comparison.
ASHLAND SANITARY & RECYCLING UPDATE – Murphy reported as part of our county-wide goal, Ashland Sanitary is required to submit a recycle report to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) every year which lists all the good recycling things done each year. They are also currently in the process of getting bids for a new building at the transfer station in order to take everything that is taken at the depot. Tuck asked if there is more DEQ would like them to do. Murphy replied DEQ would like them to mail all residents in their jurisdiction information about recycling. The problem is that this is very paper producing. The depot, the office and City Hall all have brochures and the company takes out newspaper ads. Wanderscheid added Ashland Sanitary does not send out bills in envelopes, so stuffers cannot be utilized. Murphy said two mailers are sent out a year regarding hazardous waste and waste reduction (2% credit is achieved for this). Amarotico asked if ICCA could be mentioned as a resource of where to take such things as clothing and bedding because people who have nothing would be thrilled with anything. Murphy will look in to this. Otte asked if Ashland Sanitary had a web page that could be utilized for recycle information. Murphy answered that has not been considered, and that usually, the company advertises through the radio and newspaper. Their mailing goes to the 8,000 residences that have garbage service, not to all 20,000 people in Ashland plus the City of Talent and Jackson County residents they serve. He said they would try to utilize the City bill stuffers more.
Green Business – Ross Finney gave the Commission his Green Business presentation that will go before the City Council on March 7. At the Council meeting, it was decided Chapman would begin the presentation with the project history and then introduce Finney, who will give the program and standards overview. Wanderscheid will talk about the pilot project. Questions can be directed to all three. Wanderscheid said he would try to get this first thing on the agenda under presentations. All Councilors will receive the brochure with their packets prior to the meeting. The Commission commended Finney for a job well done.
Education Subcommittee – Tuck reported the committee is only working on the conservation articles right now. She will talk with Energy Analyst/Inspector Cathy Cartmill after all four articles have been published to evaluate and figure the effects. Water Conservation Analyst and Irrigation Specialist Eric Setterberg will present another waterwise landscaping class on April 8th. Also, Paige Pruitt will again teach a vermiculture class. Tuck said she would like help in advertising these classes because they relate directly to conservation issues. Wanderscheid said the best way to advertise be to utilize the utility bill insert. Tuck will talk with Fran Berteau about this.
Recycling in the Schools Letter – Since the recycling appreciation letters that were sent to the schools listed Murphy as a contact person, Tuck asked if he would let her know if anyone called.
Jefferson Monthly Article – Because no one had volunteered to write the April article, Chapman submitted one written in French by a journalist who was visiting last summer. The woman was very impressed with the Recycle Depot and wrote an article about it for a newspaper in Leon, France. Chapman procured a college student to translate the article. Tuck volunteered to write the next article (probably on composting), and Amarotico will do the following one. Tuck requested a list of topics that has already been covered in the articles.
Letter to TID – It was decided it would be best not to mail the letter because TID is currently in transition. Hollie Cannon is retiring and when his replacement is hired, the Commission will send a letter offering to work on water conservation measures with TID.
Update on Solar Program – Wanderscheid reported over half the utility bills have now been mailed with the solar program brochure. He predicted the City would have more than enough people sign up for green power in order to fully subscribe to the three systems. A system will not be installed by Earth Day, however there will be an attempt to have the systems installed by the summer solstice. There should at least be publicity about the program on Earth Day.
TID Subcommittee Report – The Commission briefly discussed the TID issues. Wanderscheid noted Water Quality Superintendent Mike Morrison and Water Quality Technician Keith Marshall are very excited the Commission is involved in these issues. A date will be set later for the next meeting. Chapman would also like to be involved.
Adoption of Goals for 2000 – Goals for this year will be:
Otte moved and Chapman seconded to adopt the above goals for the year 2000. The motion was unanimously passed.
July 4th Parade Float Discussion – Wanderscheid will find out the theme for this year’s parade from the Chamber of Commerce. Tuck suggested advertising the new solar program and Amarotico suggested using the Green Business Program. This will be on the next agenda.
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives Information – Wanderscheid stated he was asked to have this put on the agenda by Councilor Susan Reid, however it deals mainly with governmental issues so he doesn’t see the need for the Commission to be involved.
March Meeting Date – The Commission decided to meet March 29 rather than March 22 due to spring break.
Budget – The balance is $2,833. Wanderscheid noted the latest expense was for the annual membership for the Association of Oregon Recyclers, not the leaf campaign ad as stated on the agenda.
COMMISSION ITEMS – None
ADJOURNMENT – The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.