Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Water Advisory Ad-Hoc Committee (View All)

March 2 Monthly Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

City of Ashland

Ashland Water Advisory Committee

1699 Homes Avenue, Senior Center

March 2, 2011



I.      CALL TO ORDER:  Meeting called to order by Chair Rich Whitley at 4:20 p.m.

Committee Members Present: Pat Acklin, Alex Amarotico, Darrell Boldt, Lesley Adams, Don Morris, Amy Patton, Councilor Carol Voisin, Rich Whitley (Chair), John Williams, Kate Jackson and Donna Rhee

Absent: Donna Mickley

Staff Present:  Brenda Barker, Mike Faught, Robbin Pearce, Nancy Slocum and Pieter Smeenk

Guests:  Joseph Graf, 1160 Fern Street 



Patton moved to approve the minutes of February 3, 2011 with the revision that it be noted that water treatment plant (WTP) “hardening” was not included in each of the packages. The Committee seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. 


The Committee asked that hardening, at $1.88 million, be added to each water option.





Joe Graf, 1160 Fern Street, asked to defer comments until after the discussion.


Adams wondered whether which fund, water supply or wastewater treatment would cover the cost of recycling water options.  Smeenk said that the costs would be borne by each fund in proportion to relative benefit each fund received.  The cost of storing WWTP effluent on the Imperatrice property would be only a benefit to the wastewater side of the equation, and is estimated by the wastewater master plan consultant to be a more costly solution to the temperature problem than the option to provide riparian shading, in exchange for leaving the effluent in the creek.  If wastewater were to be used on the Imperatrice Property for the purpose of freeing up TID water for increased supply, the costs associated with that work would be borne by the water supply fund, but it would benefit both efforts.           



A.    Review of John Williams Questions-

Williams submitted questions to staff by email before the meeting.  Smeenk passed out answers to the questions. Williams wondered if TID rights from the Imperatrice property could be transferred to the City. Smeenk said yes, but without another source of water, the property value would significantly decrease. Conversely, with wastewater irrigation on the Imperatrice property at a volume greater than the current TID allocation, property values would likely increase.  Staff clarified that a preliminary cost of slope stabilization was not included within the $1.88 million for hardening. Additionally “renting” a mobile water treatment plant was no less expensive than purchasing one. The least expensive emergency supply identified by Carollo was the Talent intertie.


B.     Review of Medford Water Commission-Troubled Waters article dated 2/9/2011-

Faught noted that the Medford Water Commission was in the beginning stages of their technical review and was confident of eventual success. Smeenk noted that the change in the estimated cost of water from the MWC would not affect the Committee’s ultimate decision on the water supply packages


C.     Water Supply Options-

Faught noted that the committee had asked staff to provide recommendations for the final water supply package. He decided against providing a staff recommendation unless the Committee was at a loss. Committee agreed.


Smeenk presented a list of “tools” for use in coming to a consensus on a final package. The tools included options within the recycle, TAP, TID and groundwater packages and included:


1A. Re-use WWTP Effluent for agriculture (Imperatrice and/or Billings Ranch)

1B. Re-use WWTP Effluent inside city limits on schools and parks

2A. Build ~ 14,000 ft long, 18” diameter, TAP pipeline from Ashland Mine Rd to Creel Rd w/emergency (only) connections and pumps

2B. Build ~ 21,000 ft long, 18” diameter pipeline from Culver Road to Ashland w/pump station (assuming 1A doesn’t happen), this option is in lieu of 2A

3A. TID Canal piped from Starlite to Ashland Creek (serves ~ 70% of COA TID users)

3B. TID Canal piped from Ashland Creek to Wrights Creek

4A. Groundwater – test whether wells could serve as emergency potable supply; if not, promote use for irrigation

4B. Potable Groundwater as new acquisition or drilling of wells

5.    Increase WTP capacity from 7.5 mgd to 10 mgd

6.    Backup 1.5 mgd WTP (at Crowson II)

7.    Harden WTP

8.    Add potable water storage (Crowson II)

9.    Purchase or lease senior Ashland Creek water rights over time


The tools included scoring for each of the four established criteria to meet ultimate level of service goals: supply, unit cost, redundancy, reliability and environmental stewardship.  They also assumed a population growth of 187 persons per year. The Committee’s goal was to meet an estimated water supply shortfall of approximately 619 ac ft needed by 2060 (took into account a 5% conservation effort).


The Committee decided that a water supply option package would have to be made of parts of other options and possibly tiered (phased) over time so water rates could remain tolerable.  Jackson suggested a hybrid water package to pipe TID (for water quality) and a second WTP option as an alternative to TAP. A majority of members thought a second WTP would be too expensive.  Smeenk reported that a high zone reservoir is scheduled for construction in Talent within the next five years.


The Committee agreed that testing the five major wells in the City at a cost of $50,000 was the first part of the final package.


Williams wondered if any lifecycle costs were included in the estimated costs. Smeenk said yes. 


Adams recommended tiered tools as in 3A since additional water was not needed until approximately 2038.  Faught noted that additional TID water could not be counted on outside of TID’s normal operation period.  Smeenk mentioned that the City must meet new TMDL water quality requirements within the next five years.  Kate Jackson did not agree with waiting until 2038 for additional water.  She thought more likely 2020.  Amarotico also noted the importance of 3A and the need to increase canal/pipe capacity throughout the City length of the TID lateral.


Patton thought it important to pipe the TID ditch especially south of Starlite to also prevent contamination and reduce vulnerabilities. Smeenk noted that one of the four “redundancy” options (2A, 2B, 4B and 6) should be chosen if redundancy was a Committee goal. Morris agreed that a catastrophic fire event was the most likely scenario. Acklin agreed. Fire Chief Karns had previously voiced concern over fire’s effect on redundancy. Patton noted that the WTP was inoperable after the 1997 flood and the community endured. Faught noted that a catastrophic fire could mean three months without treated water.


Williams wondered if constructing a second, smaller capacity WTP, with an ability to expand, would increase redundancy and lower the vulnerability risk. Construction could be phased and this would eliminate the need for hardening. He questioned whether the Crowson II site was ideal and would prefer to see another location study.


Whitley asked for public comments.  Joseph Graf agreed with the sequence proposed in the committee’s discussion thus far. 



The next Committee meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, 2011 with the location to be determined. Whitley asked Committee members to email questions to staff ahead of the meeting.   


VII.          MEETING ADJOURNED: 6:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by

Brenda Barker, Administrative Assistant and

Nancy Slocum, Accounting Clerk I

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