Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Monday, January 12, 2009

City of Ashland




January 12, 2009



Present:         Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendents Gies and Teige

Absent:       City Council Liaison Silbiger


Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7 PM at the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.


Robertson said AFSO requested permission to conduct a second duck race fundraiser in Ashland Creek within Lithia Park in July 2009. He invited AFSO representatives to speak to the commission.

Jana Carole said the July 2008 duck race in Ashland Creek raised $13,000 in financial support for Rogue Valley aquatics programs and the SOU pool. She said the community event drew many spectators of all ages and that all environmental protocols [outlined by the commission] were observed, with the area cleaned up after the event and no ducks lost in the creek. She said AFSO hoped to schedule the 2009 race on July 11. She said the venue was familiar to race participants and no other venue had been secured.

Keith Swink said he was pleased that the 2008 event generated community awareness and support for aquatics issues. He said Lithia Park was an ideal race venue and expressed hope about using it again.

Robertson said staff heard no complaints following the 2008 race.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked event organizers to identify another race location in the future. Staff was directed to include the item on the January 26 regular meeting agenda.


Robertson said a Tar & Trail fundraising event was held in Lithia Park in 2008 but event organizers did not obtain approval from the Parks Commission because they were not aware of that requirement. He said organizers hoped to conduct the event again with the commission’s approval, with proceeds benefiting the Ashland Woodlands and Trails Association.

Ian Torrence of Rogue Valley Runners said the March 14 event would begin at 9 AM and attract approximately 80 runners and few spectators. The race route was described as winding through the park for approximately one mile, with race marshals directing runners at major intersections. He said trail shortcutting and littering would be prohibited and event organizers would clean up afterwards.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers questioned whether the commission previously discussed redirecting such events out of the park. Robertson said some events had been relocated to other venues but there was no ban in place on conducting similar events in the park. Gardiner said it was important to share park space for various events and purposes. Noraas suggested minimizing damage on park terrain by identifying potential hazards in advance, since the event was scheduled for the rainy season. Rosenthal said the event would quickly move through the park, unlike a cross country event, and would attract people from other areas, providing an economic benefit to the community. Lewis spoke favorably about the event in terms of its support of AWTA.

Staff was directed to include the item on the January 26 regular meeting agenda.


Gies reported that the ice rink concrete pour began at 4 AM on Friday, January 9, with Arena Systems, OBEC, Knife River, and Parks staff on hand to oversee various aspects of the project. He said the pour was successful despite a slowdown caused by a batch plant delay. After the smoothing was complete, he said tarps were placed over the concrete, to remain for at least one week. He said tests were taken during the pour, for periodic evaluation afterwards, to determine whether the mixture was correct. He said remaining work included pumping glycol into the system, curb work, and setting up the dashers / putting holes down to secure dashers to curbs.

Robertson suggested celebrating the rink opening with a Valentine’s Day event that would serve as a test of the system, provide an opportunity to conduct a rededication ceremony, and honor the Ashland Rotary Club for its generous donation. He said a combination street dance and ice skating event in the afternoon and evening would give community members a chance to have fun and also serve as a fundraiser.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners agreed to open the rink for an abbreviated season and host a Valentine’s Day event, allowing for a test of the new ice system, leaving the season ending date flexible.


Teige said FY ’07-’08 revenues of $63,614 were generated from rentals of the Community Center, Pioneer Hall, The Grove, Lithia Park, Hunter Park Senior Center, ballfields and lighting, and wedding reservations while expenses for full-time administrative staff, materials and supplies, utilities, renovations and major repairs, lighting, and custodial time totaled $183,695. She said the program was subsidized with $120,081 and the recovery rate was 35%, up from 25% the previous year. Teige said fees were adjusted on July 1, 2007, and again on July 1, 2008, and the full outcome of the 2008 fee adjustments would not be known until mid-summer 2009. She recommended increasing wedding and ballfield fees to achieve a 100% recovery and to raise facility rental fees to achieve a 75% recovery.

Teige proposed securing all facility rentals with a refundable $300 credit card deposit, in addition to the non-refundable $150 alcohol deposit, and to charge renters for damages deemed beyond normal wear and tear. She said the deposit would be refunded if the facility was left in good condition.

Teige reported on recent notification that the Community Center and Pioneer Hall were zoned residential, with commercial selling prohibited. She said the zoning had been in place for years and Parks had unwittingly violated it by renting the facilities for commercial sales of rugs, clothing, and other items. She said that if the commission wished to continue renting to commercial vendors (historically done 6-8 times per year), they would need to obtain a $1,000 conditional use permit from the city each year.

Additional revenue generating options outlined by Teige included:

§         Converting the Garden Way Park picnic shelter into a reservable area

§         Charging school groups for the use of Lithia Park for cross country meets

§         Charging Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball for the use of the Hunter Park Senior Center

§         Converting the Oak Knoll Golf Course clubhouse into a reservable facility

Staff was directed to prepare for the final fees and charges discussion on February 23.


Commissioners discussed the upcoming election of officers scheduled for the January 26 regular meeting. Eggers voiced interest in the role and Gardiner also expressed interest in serving again.

Robertson said he intended to schedule one-on-one meetings with commissioners to establish 2009-2010 budget goals in preparation for the upcoming budget season.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 9 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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