MINUTES FOR CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION
Monday, October 20, 2008
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
Councilors Navickas, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present. Councilor Hardesty was absent.
1. Look Ahead Review
City Administrator Martha Bennett reviewed the items on the Council Look Ahead.
2. Review of regular meeting agenda for October 21, 2008
There were no questions regarding the October 21, 2008 Agenda.
3. Does Council have questions regarding pending financing of capital projects?
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg provided the staff report on the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for financing the Water and Wastewater funds. Mr. Tuneberg explained the City was looking at $7 million with under $5 million slated for the water fund and approximately $2.5 million for the wastewater fund.
Bond issue costs range from $50,000 to $150,000 per issue and produce savings when projects are bundled together. The City purchases 20-year bonds. The reimbursement provision allows the City to start projects and reimburse them for the cost. Within the $7 million, there is approximately $1.1 million reimbursement for projects in process or almost complete.
Mr. Tuneberg made a clarification regarding the 2003 Water Revenue Bonds. They were actually $3 million per project with $2.7 million for refunding when Finance realized the conditions in the market were lower than when the original bonds were issued so they refunded $2.7 million in bonds and saved the City several hundred thousand dollars.
Associate Engineer Peter Smeenk explained that the Ashland Creek bridge installation would replace an Arizona Crossing at the west fork above the upper reservoir and would reduce erosion.
Mr. Tuneberg responded to a rate inquiry that revenue bonds were in the 6% range. The 1%-2% per year calculation was based on an even need over the life of the CIP. There was a rate adjustment this year of 1% in anticipation of having debt service to pay. The City was building fixed assets that had a life of 20-30 years and it would be difficult to set aside money in a reserve fund and not do debt issuance. It made sense to have users pay the debt service while receiving the benefit instead of pre-paying for something that would not be used for 20-30 years.
Mr. Smeenk provided a brief history on the temporary water rights the City currently pays for. When the City of Talent gave up their water rights, 600-acre feet became available as a temporary water right. Part of the money designated on the CIP table would go to the temporary water right and the other part to purchasing the water right when it becomes available after the Bureau of Reclamations completes their biological assessment next year.
Mr. Tuneberg noted that the CIP section of the budget document contained narratives on the projects.
4. Will Council adopt an ordinance forming a Transportation Commission and dissolving the Traffic Safety Commission and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission?
Mayor Morrison explained that the Traffic Safety Commission (TSC) and the Bike and Pedestrian Commission proposed forming a Transportation Committe that would incorporate the responsibilities and the roles of each group from advocacy to safety with the intention of creating a more efficient use of resources and a superior outcome.
Public Works Director Mike Faught and Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson presented the staff report and overview that included information on Background, Draft Traffic Commission Ordinance and General Powers and Duties.
Powers and Duties
Mr. Olson explained that parking was included in the ordinance because 75%-80% of the TSC day-to-day business was addressing a variety of parking issues. Council suggested moving Parking to another section or using Public Venue as a category instead. Mr. Olson noted that the action the TSC took often resulted in traffic regulations. Mr. Faught added that Public Transportation was included in the ordinance.
City Administrator Martha Bennett summarized that the TSC is the first place citizens would approach to resolve issues. The ordinance needed to point to parking and staff would work on that as well as how the Commission would reach out to the rest of the region. Staff would add under 2.13.010 Established - Generally, C-4. Advocacy, wording that advocates and promotes all modes of transportation to make multi modal realty and add language that included the community and other regional entities as a power or duty.
Council discussed having a brochure or website to help citizens navigate and speed up the process for type one actions. Mr. Faught and Mr. Olson will put together a brochure for Council's review.
Draft Traffic Commission Ordinance
• 2.13.020 Established - Membership
A. Voting Members: The Mayor commented the language should indicate the chair is elected from among those at large members. It was decided to add a period in the second sentence under A. Voting Members after "…all modes of transportation…" and strike "…bicycle, pedestrian and transit." Then change the first sentence under 2.13.010 Establish - Generally, A. Role to "The Transportation Commission advises the City Council on transportation related issues specifically as they relate to safety, planning, funding and advocacy for bicycle, pedestrian transit and all other modes of transportation."
B. Non-voting Ex Officio Membership: City Attorney Richard Appicello explained that using non-voting ex officio signifies individuals that are not full members and clearly defines their roles. It was suggested to re-word the last sentence regarding student members.
• 2.13.030 Term and Vacancies
C. Vacancy: Staff will research other Commissions to determine the number of absences that constitutes a member no longer being active. They will also add "…without notification to the board…" to the second sentence after "…who is absent from four or more meetings after a 12 month period…"
• 2.13.050 Traffic Hearings Sub-Committee
A. Purpose: Council and staff discussed whether there was a need for a sub-committee, decided to leave the sub-committee as is and adjusted the term limits to 6 months allowing for two consecutive terms.
Colin Swales/Chair of TSC/Commented that the sub-committee provided a venue for the public to voice their concerns. Having nine people discuss routine matters was too much and the emphasis should be the whole body determining policy-making issues. The sub committee would be ideal for three people to listen to public concerns and if necessary make suggestions other than staff. Regarding the importance of transportation planning one should look at how the commission would play a party in the quasi-judicial process on a par with the Historic and Tree Commissions.
Steve Ryan/Bike and Pedestrian Commission Member and liaison to the TSC/Noted that the TSC had more power to make decisions and that the Bike and Ped Commission often went to the TSC to help intercede and add power to what they are advocating. The Transportation Commission would integrate the Bike and Pedestrian Commission closer to traffic safety and transportation issues. The new commission would upgrade Bicycle and Pedestrian Commissions access to the decision-making power and advocacy.
Pam Turner/Ashland Municipal Judge/Requested that the Ashland Judge be reinstated as an ex-officio non-voting member. Ms. Bennett explained there were concerns if the Judge participated in a decision that turned into a regulation and then had a violation of that regulation in court, it could be a perceived conflict. Judge Turner explained if someone raised an issue she would recuse herself and have a pro-tem judge intervene but thought there was a remote possibility of that circumstance occurring.
Larry Blake/TSC Commissioner/Agreed with Mr. Swales and that there were a number of routine things where the Commission would vote with staff recommendations but the value was allowing for public input.
Council further discussed whether to reinstate Judge Turner as an ex-officio non-voting member and decided against reinstating explaining it was a separation of power issue.
Site Plan Review
Council discussed having the sub-committee or commission review site plans. Mr. Appicello explained that it was very difficult to put an advocacy group into a quasi-judicial realm where they would have to disregard personal opinions and make decisions based on facts by the law. When he talked to staff, they determined not to request site plan reviews with this commission.
It was suggested that the sub-committee review pre-applications instead. Mr. Olson explained that on occasion, the TSC looked at site plans but it depended on the complexity of the plan, and the TSC was cautious not to delve into land use issues. They did review the traffic impact on the adjacent intersection for Verde Village. Concern was raised at having the Transportation Commission review site plans and that the Transportation Commission should serve in an advisory role only. Suggestion was made to allow a quasi-judicial review of Type 3 land use decisions that would limit it to larger scale annexations and large master plan zone changes.
Mr. Appicello clarified that Type 3 review was reserved for Council and instead of a quasi-judicial review as suggested; it could be a recommendation to Council. He concluded that prior to establishing this process, the suggestion required discussion with staff.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:29 p.m.
Assistant to the City Recorder