Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, December 01, 2009



December 1, 2009

Council Chambers

1175 E. Main Street



Council Chair Jackson called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.



Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Silbiger and Chapman were present.  Mayor Stromberg was absent.



Council Chair Jackson read an update from the medics in the Infantry Battalion of the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard (1/186) expressing the Battalion’s appreciation for all the support they have received.  


City Recorder Barbara Christensen announced vacancies on the Tree Commission, Forest Lands Commission, Conservation Commission, Housing Commission and the Planning Commission.



The minutes of the Study Session of November 16, 2009 and Regular Council of November 17, 2009 were approved as presented.



Proclamations of December 7, 2009 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and the Proclamation regarding the Canvass of the Vote were read aloud.


Does Council have any questions about the issues covered in the presentation on the 10-year Plan to End Homelessness for Jackson County?

Connie Saldana, a member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid provided a presentation on the 10-year Plan to End Homelessness that included background on the plan and the following strategies:

1.       Increase stock of permanent, affordable and supportive housing for individuals and families earning less than 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI)

2.       Increase agency coordination and service integration at all levels

3.       Provide case management to help people maintain stable rental housing

4.       Provide financial assistance and life skill training to help people move into stable housing

5.       Develop and increase sustainable emergency and transitional shelter and permanent, supportive housing options for youth and other vulnerable populations as they emerge.

6.       Develop an ongoing community campaign that highlights emerging issues in the continuum of homelessness

They explained how elected officials could help and described services for homeless families, veterans and children.  Monthly Task Force meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. at the Jackson County Housing Authority conference room at 22331 Table Rock Road in Medford.



1.   Will Council approve the minutes of the Boards, Commissions, and Committees?

2.   Does Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Ron Yamaoka dba Red Hibiscus at 11 North First Street?

3.   Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve a Public Contract for a copier rental, including full maintenance, with Ricoh under the State of Oregon Price Agreement #8618 for a term of 36-months?

4.   Shall the Council approve the resolution declaring the Canvass of the Vote of the election held in and for the City of Ashland, Oregon on November 2, 2009?

5.   Will Council approve an Intergovernmental Agreement with Josephine County and the amendment to ODOT Agreement No. 25537 to exchange $22,183.71 in unused City ARRA funds for $20,852.69 in Josephine County funds?

6.   Does Council wish to approve a resolution correcting for an error of omission for two electric rate schedules that were left out of the resolution adopted by the Council on September 22, 2009?


Councilor Chapman requested that Consent Agenda item #6 be pulled for discussion.


Councilor Navickas/Lemhouse m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1 through #5. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg clarified on Consent Agenda item #6, that the services and charges were negotiated as part of the long-term contract.  Schedules supposedly eliminated when the services in the fees rolled into base charges actually had not occurred.  After the rate study is complete in two years, staff will recommend rolling the costs into the base charge at that time, in the interim they proposed restoring the table with no changes to the fee or cost.


Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #6. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.



1.   Does Council wish to adopt a resolution for Fire Prevention/Life Safety Inspection Program and fee schedule pursuant to AMC Chapter 15.28.160?   

Fire Chief John Karns provided the staff report that recommended reinstituting the Fire Prevention and Life Safety Inspection Program for businesses and multi-family residences three units and above.  The program was discontinued 10 years before, due to staffing and budget issues.  The fee structure would be based on the hazard classification and size of the occupancy.  Chief Karns presented slides depicting hazardous situations.   


The Fire Department was reviewing education publications to send to businesses in advance of the inspections. Currently 1,800 buildings met the criteria. The Fire Department’s goal was 900 inspections per year.  Inspection fees would go into the General Fund and possibly fund the Fire Inspector position. 


Fire Marshal Margueritte Hickman explained the State of Oregon requires training levels for specific types of inspections.  The current training package available for Fire Fighters addresses business and mercantile occupancy. These structures are considered a lower hazard and not as complex in the code requirement.  The Fire Department anticipates creating an advanced training program that will require State approval first.  It was not practical or cost effective to have all Fire Fighters trained at the Fire Inspector level. 


Staff clarified Fire Fighters would perform the majority of building inspections with the Fire Inspector focusing on industrial areas, care centers, hospitals, high-rise buildings and theaters.


Public Hearing Open: 7:54 p.m.


Brent Thompson/582 Allison/PO Box 201/Submitted a statement into the record, agreed with a Fire Inspection System for commercial areas and buildings adjacent to each other but disagreed with the 3-unit scale for residential. The largest potential for fire was a wildfire and he did not want multi-unit residential inspections prioritized above that. He asked Council to consider the allocation of resources to that critical need and explained insurance companies make buildings inspections whenever property owners switch agencies.  


Public Hearing Closed: 7:59 p.m.


Chief Karns clarified jurisdiction for residential 3-units and above was a State requirement.  Inspections of multi-family residences occur in the common area only, the Fire Department does not have jurisdiction in the actual living space.  However, the Fire Department would eventually like to offer inspection services to single-family residences and duplexes. 


Staff explained the Fire Inspector position would go through the budget process where the Council and Budget Committee would decide if the need justified the expenditure.


Councilor Lemhouse/Silbiger m/s to approve Resolution #2009-34.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse had concerns on funding the Fire Inspector position but wanted to move the proposal forward to start the process for existing staff.  Councilor Silbiger was surprised inspections had not taken place for years. Councilor Navickas thought it was important for public safety and limited resources would help set priorities.  He suggested alternative funding sources for the General Fund, possibly a special district or fee for those who live in higher elevation areas in the interface zone.  Councilor Voisin was also surprised inspections had not occurred for years, as it is an important service to provide the citizenry.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Silbiger, Voisin, Chapman, Navickas, Jackson and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.



Brent Thompson/582 Allison/PO Box 201/Expressed concern he could not access staff on the upper floor of City Hall as easily as he had in the past.  He understood the reason for the added security but thought it disengaged the public and Council should reverse the policy. 



1.   Will Council approve a $20,078 amendment to the existing Brown and Caldwell contract to provide additional soil and water sampling and testing at the Lithia Springs site?

Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson explained the amendment was a continuation of the contract Council approved May 2009 for an environmental risk assessment on the Lithia Springs property. Initially Council approved a contract of approximately $44,000 for a Level 1 Scoping study that results indicated a need for a Level Two Screening study. The Level 3 study would address best management practices for the control and management of the lead products at the shooting range at the Ashland Gun Club.  The amendment cost was $20,078 that staff had negotiated down from approximately $85,000. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) would provide the final review and acceptance of the risk assessment and could ask for additional testing.  Level Two Screening will require the Gun Club to close for a 4-day period.  


Mr. Olson explained the factors that had increased the cost and how the assessment would be complete before the Gun Club’s one-year lease extension expired May 2010.


Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to approve the contract amendment in excess of 25% of the initial contract. DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman reluctantly supported the motion and was uncomfortable with the company bidding 1/3 of the cost.  Councilor Navickas was not surprised there were complications with the study since the site had years of negligence and no regular clean ups.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Chapman, Navickas, Jackson, Lemhouse, Silbiger and Voisin, YES. Motion passed.




1.   Does Council wish Ashland Fire and Rescue to apply for 1 to 4 safety positions through the United States Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program?

Fire Chief John Karns presented the staff report and explained they were able to change the benefits of the SAFER grant due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funding.  The grant would cover two years of salary, benefits costs for new employees, and re-hires.  Per the grant, the City would maintain all personnel for an additional year.  He provided a presentation that included:

·         The Grant intends to increase Fire Department Staffing

·         Help Fire Department meet NFPA Standards, OSHA Regulations, Department of Homeland Security Recommendations

·         Allows for New Hires and Rehires

·         Funds 100% for New Hires for 2 years

·         Funds 100% of Rehires for 2 years

·         Covers Salaries and Benefits

·         Requires Retention of New Hires for Additional 1 Year

·         No Retention Required for Rehires

·         Ashland Fire and Rescue Staffing

·         NFPA Fire Department Staffing

·         ICMA Fire Department Staffing

·         SAFR Grant Summary


Council and staff discussed the grants requirement of maintaining current staffing levels and new hires for the third year, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) staffing standards, Insurance Services Office (ISO) staffing requirements and inspection periods and the benefits of gaining one position. 


Councilor Lemhouse/Navickas m/s to approve Ashland Fire & Rescue to apply for 1 safety position through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFR) grant program.

DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse explained how one position would cut overtime costs for two-years at no additional cost to the City and allowed more flexibility.  Applying for more than one position was a risk he was not comfortable taking.  Councilor Navickas agreed with Councilor Lemhouse.  Councilor Silbiger noted applying for all four positions would have maxed out the property tax cap and required using reserves during the third year.  Councilor Voisin would support the motion and agreed on not taking the risk of applying for more positions. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Jackson, Navickas, Chapman, Silbiger and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.


Council Chair Jackson moved the agenda item for the Water Resources ordinance before the agenda item regarding City Council Goal Setting for 2010 with Council consent.


2.   Should Council accept the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report as recommended by the Ashland Audit Committee?

Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg provided the background and an overview of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) that included the following:

·         Cover Letter

·         Management Discussion and Analysis (MDNA)

·         Statement of Net Assets

·         Statement of Activities

·         Balance Sheet and Reconciliations

·         Notes to Basic Financial Statements

·         Required Supplementary Information

·         Schedule of Revenues, Expenditures & Changes in Fund Balance Budget & Actual General Fund

·         Supplementary Information (Combining & Individual Fund Statements & Other Financial Schedules)

·         Statistical Sections (Unaudited)

·         Audit Comments & Disclosures Required by State Regulations

·         Report of Federal Monies Received During the Year – not included – the City did not receive enough Federal money to perform an audit or presentation


Council noted how the exceptional work by the Finance Department staff resulted in a price reduction for the following year’s audit.  Mr. Tuneberg added the Audit Committee approved an extension of a 1-year contract with the current Auditors.  He expressed his appreciation of everyone involved with the report and gave a special thanks to his department for their efforts.


Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to accept the Audit Committee Report and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009 as presented.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.



1.   Should Council approve the potential revisions included in the council communication, and continue second reading of the Water Resources ordinance to December 15, 2009?

Council Chair Jackson explained this was a request to continue the reading until December 15, 2009 to provide time for staff to prepare additional findings.  Community Development Director Bill Molnar further explained the need for additional time and discussed possible language changes to the ordinance. 


Planning Manager Maria Harris presented the following potential revisions:

·         Exempting the Replacement of Non-residential Nonconforming Structures, 1863.060.3.D and

Staff explained the new language removed the location piece so all non-residential non-conforming structures would be exempt and replaced in the event of a natural disaster.  Replacing the phrase “existing building footprint,” with “existing footprint of the structure” would account for decks and made the code consistent.  For residential zones, it would apply to the principle-building, accessory structures would go through the normal Planning Approval process for replacement.


Council shared concerns the language should address the downtown historic area only and others thought it should apply citywide.  An additional comment noted that most of the downtown area would be out of compliance if the ordinance were in place.  


Staff clarified that non-conforming commercial structures in the Flood Plain Ordinance allowed rebuilding as long it began within six months following a natural disaster through a conditional use or if there were substantial improvement based on a dollar cost.  Chapter 18.63 in the Water Resources Protection Zones was more restrictive.


Council consensus was to delay a decision regarding this issue until the 12/15/2009 meeting.


·         Replacement of Public Parking Lots as a Limited Activity and Use, 18.63.070.B

Replacing public parking lots would require a Planning application.  The review process would allow an evaluation of the encroachment, seek ways to lessen the impacts through environmental construction techniques and look at restoration.  Council consensus agreed with the added language.   


·         Fence Materials, 18.63.969.B.3 & 18.63.060.C2

Staff explained language was reinstated that would not allow wire mesh or chain link fencing.  The language was consistent with the Flood Plain ordinance as well.  Council consensus agreed with the change.  


Councilor Lemhouse/Navickas m/s to continue second reading of ordinance to December 15, 2009.

Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.



3.   What direction does the Council have related to City Council Goal Setting for 2010?

City Administrator Martha Bennett noted the Goal Setting session was scheduled for January 23, 2010.  Staff and Council decided on The Grove for location, discussed the advantage and disadvantage of utilizing a facilitator, and opted to have Boards, Commissions, the City Recorder, the City Attorney, department heads and the Judge provide written feedback on the current goals.   Council Chair Jackson volunteered to work with the City Administrator and Mayor on the agenda.



1.   Discussion regarding default on Food and Beverage Tax Agreement

Council Chair Jackson provided the background on the default.  City Attorney Richard Appicello explained how the City was entitled to sue for penalties and interest due to the breach of contract.  


An interest in pursuing a favorable agreement towards Ron Roth, citing his contributions to the community, and that his failure to pay the Food and Beverage Tax was the result of health cost issues was noted. However, Council majority preferred to retain Council directives from 2008 not to waive penalties and interest.  Staff would discuss details and possible actions with Council at a future Executive Session.



Meeting was adjourned at 10:20 p.m.


Barbara Christensen, City Recorder 
Kate Jackson, Council Chair     



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