MINUTES FOR CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION
Monday, August 4, 2008
1175 East Main Street
Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 6:08 p.m.
Councilors Hardesty, Hartzell, Navickas, Jackson, and Silbiger were present. Councilor Chapman was absent.
1. Does Council have any questions about the status of the Regional Problem Solving (RPS) Process or any specific concerns about the draft participant's agreement?
Director of Community Development Bill Molnar provided a general overview of the Participant's Agreement and its key components. He introduced John Renz, the Southern Oregon Representative of the DLCD and Michael Quilty, the Chair for the RVMPO.
The overview included:
RPS & Participants' Agreement - Approval Process
Regional Problem Solving - Next Steps
It was explained that the County will probably not make an exception to increase the standard 50 acres to 100 acres in the Minor Plan Amendment because the 50 acres is a threshold between the Minor and Major Plan Amendments in the County's Land Use Plan.
City Attorney Richard Appicello explained that the Participants' Agreement is not adopting the plan, only agreeing to run it through the appropriate Land Use course. It is a perspective Land Use decision that the County will analyze during their review process.
City Administrator Martha Bennett explained that Council would most likely take the initial action of resolution and commit to send the agreement through the process. The next step would be to adopt the Participants' Agreement.
Council discussed and questioned how the population allocation was determined. Mr. Renz explained that the County has complete discretion on population allocation. Mr. Quilty noted that one of the statements in the Participants' Agreement is that the County will abide by the proportional allocation of population within the RPS plan and would make corrections with the next updated population element.
Mr. Quilty further explained that the County would adopt the entire regional plan. Cities would have to comply with the County Comprehensive Plan that would involve the ongoing monitoring process and mechanisms that are in place for the appeal process. Monitoring and compliance was kept general for feasibility. Mr. Quilty said that land use and transportation would take place at the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) level because they meet on a regular basis and update the Regional Transportation Plan every three years. The technical and policy committees from the RPS will meet as needed.
2. Does the Council wish to endorse the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project Preferred Alternative?
Fire Chief Keith Woodley provided an overview on the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project explaining the Federal Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) chapter review was a special government-to-government review period. He introduced Tony Kerwin, the Chair of the Ashland Forest Lands Commission, Marty Main, Ashland City Consulting Forester, Darren Borgias, Staff Ecologist for the Nature Conservancy and Linda Duffy, District Ranger for the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District.
Mr. Kerwin provided an overview of the Ashland Forest Lands Commission Recommendations for Modification of the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project Preferred Alternative.
The six recommendations are as follows:
1. Silvicultural Treatments within the Research Natural Area
Explanation on the significant difference of proposed treated acres.
2. Addition of Roadside Treatments Adjacent to US Forest Road 2060
Three options were made available to the City. (1): to endorse the Forest Service Alternative, (2): endorse the Preferred Alternative with modifications recommended by the Ashland Forest Lands Commission and (3): endorse the unchanged Community Alternative. A fourth option was proposed that Council be able to suggest modifications at the August 5, 2008 meeting based on other input that does not reflect the original compromises.
3. Removal of Diameter Limits in the Roadless Area
It was clarified that the Nature conservancy does not have an official stance on commercial extractions in roadless areas.
4. Locations and Types of Treatments in Roadless Area
It was explained that fuel breaks on the ridge in roadless areas will not look like regular fuel breaks. The project allowed the Forest Service to prepare for the maintenance in the original prescription and to design prescriptions to minimize the amount of maintenance required. There are currently 9.5 miles of fuel breaks existing above the city. There are approximately 23 miles being treated within the entire area along the ridgeline.
Concern was voiced regarding the Forest Service's long-term objective in the watershed. It was explained that the project falls under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act and that the community is highly prone to large-scale catastrophic wild fire.
5. Addition of Strategic Ridgeline Treatments & Canopy Closure
It was explained the plan was to cut fewer trees on the strategic ridgelines, and employ the Community treatments on other areas and monitor the effect.
6. Sedimentation Issue and DEQ TMDL Standards
An extensive monitoring plan was developed for the whole forum covering each treatment area. A detailed implementation strategy and monitoring plan will be developed one the project is approved.
Terrence Stenson/172 Alida/Spoke about the toxic effect of large woody debris rotting in the water. That over time, it will break down into a lethal toxic growth and form bacteria requiring harmful chemicals and water cannons to correct. He noted the Forest Services concerns regarding catastrophic fire but added they had not restored water tables in the watershed.
3. Update on status of Reeder Reservoir
Public Works Director Mike Faught and Dr. Jacob Kann from the Aquatic Ecosystem Sciences, LLC. provided an overview on the current Reeder Reservoir algae bloom.
The overview included:
Algae type: Blue-green or Cyanobacterial algal species: Anabaena flos-aquae
Geosmin and 2-methylisoborneiol or MIB
Staff stated they would provide an update on the algae problem when test results are received.
4. Review of regular meeting agenda for August 5, 2008
Consent Agenda Item #2 regarding the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the City of Medford, Oregon, for the transfer of ownership of surplus mesh (public safety) communications equipment.
Information Technology Director Joe Franell explained the moving costs would not exceed $5,000.00, and they could use in-house labor and the staff Electrician with installation occurring as needed without affecting the current budget.
New and Miscellaneous Business Item #4 regarding the contract for $15,000 between Carollo Engineers PC and the City of Ashland for design and engineering services required to identify a location for the Talent Booster Pump Stations.
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained the next steps required in purchasing and setting up a new a booster station.
5. Look Ahead Review moved to end of agenda
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Council Look Ahead.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:08 p.m.
Assistant to the City Recorder