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Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (View All)

Conservation Commission Monthly Meeting 06/22/2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011



6-8 p.m. –June 22, 2011

Community Development Building




Chairperson Hartman called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm.


Thomas Beam, Risa Buck, Sheri Cellini, Stuart Corns, Jim Hartman, and David Runkel were present.  

Jim McGinnis was not present.


City Council Liaison: Carol Voisin,

Staff Representative: Lee Tuneberg, Larry Giardina, and Mary McClary



INTRODUCTION OF LEE TUNEBERG, Interim Assistant City Administrator

Chairperson Hartman introduced Lee Tuneberg to the Commission members.  Lee explained his role as the Interim Assistant City Administrator for the next few months until the position is filled.  In addition to his regular duties for the City, he will oversee the Electric Department, Information Technology Department and the Conservation Division. 


Commissioner Beam raised the question about the citizens of Ashland using paperless forms of paying their utility bills, and then customers who would like paper bills, paying extra for the paper copy.  The savings could help fund a Conservation Manager.  He was looking for new ways to generate revenue to fund a new position, while at the same time inserting some strong conservation measures.



Chairperson Hartman asked for approval of the minutes for May 25, 2011.


Larry Giardina corrected the structure of his comments concerning his comments about the absence of a Conservation manager.  Commissioner Buck corrected her statement for prescription drugs.


Commissioner Runkel made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected and Commissioner Beam seconded the


Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.



No one present



The next Commission meeting will be July 27, 2011.


Mary will check on the status of any applications received to fill Commission vacancies.



New Chair

Chairperson Hartman spoke to the Commission regarding his new role and how he was willing to assume the chairperson responsibilities.  Commissioner Beam will be able to lead the meetings when he is not able to attend.

Mary will get Chairperson Hartman the schedule for the brown bag lunches with the Mayor.


Budget Items

set aside


Fourth of July Discussion

Councilor Voisin relayed information from Sandra Slattery about the Chamber’s role with conservation efforts for the 4th of July parade, including a requirement to relay a plan for recycling. 


Commissioner Buck has been working with the Chamber since January and working on changes that would affect the infrastructure for the annual event.  Last year there were 10 clear stream containers and this year there will be 20 containers.  People from the Master Recyclers will be on hand to help and she asked the Commissioners to help or solicit any other help for that day. 


The Water on Wheels will be debuted in front of the Community Development Building, “Back to the Tap”.  There will be three outlets for water, Water on Wheels, Cert and the Water Buffalo. 


Other changes will include:

  • A boy scouts who will be doing an eagle project where they will be collecting and recycling nickel deposits.
  • Announcements
  • Master Recycler’s booth with an interactive waster diversion wheel
  • Info at the band shell
  • Constant collection from clear stream containers
  • Can fill up plastic water bottles all day for free
  • Map with portable water stations, nickel deposit containers



Councilor Voisin suggested the Chairperson acknowledge and thank the great work the Chamber is doing with their present and future conservation efforts.


Commissioner Beam mentioned his wife will help establish criteria for the Halloween parade, and the Commissioners discussed the beginning of a conservation presence in the parade events.


North Main Project

Mike Faught, the Public Works Director, spoke to the commission about the “Road Diet” project.

Commissioner Runkel asked if anyone had considered the environmental aspects/effects to the project.


Mike gave a brief overview of the North Main Project and answered questions about different aspects of the

project.  They discussed the flow of traffic, realignment of Wimer Street, permanent and temporary solutions, pollution, environmental impact and multi-mobile transportation.  Mike was able to answer all concerns and questions and reminded the Commissioners this is a pilot project.


Commissioner Buck wondered if a long range plan had been considered, where the City would be in 20 years, trying to anticipate the future.  Mike explained the Transportation Commission works with this type of vision in mind.


The Commission thanked Mr. Faught for coming and giving them information concerning the upcoming project.


Next Step in Council Sustainability Goal

Set aside to next month



Allocation of Budget/Criteria of Budget

Commissioner Runkel and Beam reported they believe the budget should also be used to support the Commission goals. There are some things that the Commission contributes to each year, and the remainder of the money, they would like to see used to advance their goals and the Council goals.


The Commissioners reviewed prior year’s budget items and discussed changing out the lights at City Hall again.  Commissioner Beam was going to contact someone to come to the next meeting and discuss with the Commission regarding costs for a new project.


The Commissioners again discussed ideas of hiring grant writers to expand their budget for future projects.

Commissioner Buck remarked she feels grants were a gamble because the grant writer is paid whether or not

you receive grant monies.  She believes it is an added complication, extra work, and she doesn’t feel comfortable appropriating City money for the solicitation of grants.


Councilor Voisin presented the ideas of the Rogue Valley becoming an independent company for generating energy.  With the cost of power rising, it seemed appropriate to try and ensure the lowest possible energy costs.  She hopes the Commission would take the lead and invite different representatives/municipalities in the Rogue Valley to discuss the possibilities, even inviting guest speakers/experts/engineers to join in the discussions.


The Commissioners were very much in favor of conservation efforts to keep energy rates low, and trying to keep out of Tier 2 power rates whether we are energy dependent or energy independent.  Commissioner Buck feels, due to a lack of leadership within the City for conservation, the focus is diminished off of conservation and to help achieve the short term objectives. 


Mr. Tuneberg explained to the Commission the process of how the City falls into the Tier 2 power rates, and the upcoming contracts.  They discussed using their budget funds for both short term benefit and long term benefits. He reintegrated the main points of the conservation efforts for the past 20 years, and how it has helped to maintain the city’s low usage of energy and water.


 The group discussed future problems arising with the rise of energy rates and hopes to discuss longer term goals.


Commissioner Cellini would like to focus on a specific sustainability goal for better productivity.  Their efforts/projects would then be designed to support the accomplishment of that particular area.  This way they would be more productive and less overwhelmed.  Commissioner Beam would like to follow the City’s comprehensive plan to be able to focus more on the sustainability plan. 



Compost Classes

Commission support for the classes is as follows:

June 25—Tom Beam

July 30---Jim Hartman

August 27---Carol Voisin

September 24---Staff member—Conservation Division


Commissioner Buck remarked being there was an opportunity to explain about the Commission and the programs they support.  She asked also, if they would have citizens sign in so it could be tracked.




Timeline of Goals

 Set aside.


Quarterly Liaison Report

Ashland School District

Commissioner Hartman presented a Power Point presentation about the efforts and results

of conservation at Ashland High School.




Set aside



Chairperson Hartman adjourned the meeting at 8:05pm.



































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