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Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (View All)

Conservation Commission Monthly Meeting 07/27/11

Wednesday, July 27, 2011



6-8 p.m. –July 27, 2011

Community Development Building



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


 Risa Buck, Sheri Cellini, Stuart Corns, Cat Gould, Jim Hartman, Jim McGinnis, and David Runkel were present.  

Thomas Beam was not present.


City Council Liaison: Carol Voisin,

Staff Representative: Lee Tuneberg, Larry Giardina, Dan Cunningham, Robbin Pearce, and

 Mary McClary.



Chairperson Hartman introduced Cat Gould as the newest member of the Commission and the

members introduced themselves. Cat is originally from Australia and has lived in the valley with her family since 1991. She is a graduate from Southern Oregon University, and has a local business.



Chairperson Hartman asked for approval of the minutes for June 22, 2011.


Lyn Blanche, Co-Executive Director for Southern Oregon Sustainable Business Network (SOSBN) wrote a letter to the Commission thanking them for supporting their program, through a donation to the non-profit.  She also explained their organization was now able to further explore waste reduction and water conservation.


Chairperson Hartman asked if the minutes could include more detail, especially the highlights of the Road Diet.

Below is a summary of highlights of the Road Diet that can also be found on the Public Works Homepage on the City of Ashland’s web site.  Page.asp?NavID=14230


The Ashland North Main Road Diet Project


  • The City received a $115,000 Bike and Pedestrian Grant for the Road Diet pilot project, therefore reducing the cost to Ashland from $130,000 to $15,000.


  • Reinstating the current four-lane configuration will cost $35,000. 


  • The proposed project would restripe North Main from the north side of Helman Street north to Jackson Road (railroad tracks) reconfiguring 4-lanes into three-lanes.
  • There will be one thru lane in each direction with a center turn lane.  The center turn lane allows cars to turn left without impeding traffic flow. 
  • The Road Diet will increase the peak travel time thru the project area by an estimated 22 seconds.


  • This is a projected one year pilot project.  If approved, work would begin the week of September 12, 2011.  Originally this project was to have a three month time frame, however, after citizen input the time frame was extended to one year.


Nationwide, statistics show that road diets reduce vehicular collision rates from 25 to 33%.  Reducing typical 4-lane configuration crashes which include rear end, side swipes and left turn/broadsides.

For additional information or questions, please contact Mike Faught, Public Works Director at 541-488-5587 or by email to


Chairperson Hartman commented on his support for the Road Diet, Commissioner McGinnis and Runkel would like to revisit the issue.  Chairperson Hartman will revisit the topic under Commission Items not on the Agenda.  


Councilor Voisin reminded the Commission there would be a public hearing at the Council Chambers on August 2, beginning at 7pm.


Commissioner Cellini, made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected and Commissioner Buck seconded the motion.

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



No one present.



The next Commission meeting will be August 24, 2011.

Commissioner Buck announced Recology is collecting old running shoes to help Nike with their recycling efforts.  They collected 158 with their first collection drive.  The containers will be present at both the Recology office and the Recycling Center until September.



Chairperson Hartman reviewed the rest of the agenda to determine time needed for each item.

It was determined after summarizing the goals, the members would then address item F: Goal Reconstruction.



  1. Sustainable Planning—Commissioner McGinnis asked to combine Sustainable Planning with Summary of Sustainability Planning.  He recapped the Council meeting regarding the Conservation Manager position and Lee Tuneberg explained staff is temporary reorganizing to fulfill the needs of the departments.  He explained he is the Interim Assistant City Administrator and the City is now in the process of creating the new job announcement.

Commissioner McGinnis explained the goal would now be to create an analysis showing the return of investment and cost benefits of hiring a Conservation manager.  He will also contact the Conservation Manager from the City of Pala Alto, which has a citizenship of approximately 50,000 and own their utility that creates some similarities between the two cities, in hopes of gaining insight and information.  They were able to create a $580,000 savings directly from his utilizing this position the first year.  He will also contact other cities for a comparison, looking to see an immediate return on the investment.


The Commissioners discussed putting time/effort in an issue that has already been decided by the City Budget Committee, and thereby the City Council.  Commissioner McGinnis hopes to present this information for next year’s budget.  Councilor Voisin suggested the information be received by Council before they determine their goals for the next year, or at that meeting.


  1. Green Building

The City is moving forward with a grey water policy.  Larry Giardina explained the new statewide adopted green building standard, which is voluntary. (state law demands it be voluntary) There may be some incentives, but the city is still evaluating how that could be implemented.  The REACH code was established by the state to be approximately 15% more efficient than the standard building code. Commissioner Runkel felt the Commission’s role is to encourage this type of incentive as much as possible.

The Commissioners had some discussion about how people would implement these codes. 


Commissioner Cellini re-addressed the idea of focusing on one main goal, or reduction of goals to better focus their accomplishments, instead of spreading the member’s too thin working on multiple goals. 


  1. Conservation Division

Larry Giardina reported they are entering into a new contract with Bonneville Power which would change how the division funds its programs.  Before, in order to continue buying power at a low rate, the city was expected to spend a certain amount of the city’s money to achieve conservation and receive credit for that achievement.  Once they had met that goal, they continued their programs and still received funding.

Now, Bonneville Power will give the City a fixed amount up front, and then the City would have to fund the remainder of the needs for the programs.


The members discussed possible future rate increases, direction for conservation from employing a Electric Director/Conservation Manager, and different conservation measures that would offset future cost.  Mr. Tuneberg explained to the Commission how Bonneville Power negotiates their contracts and some of the reasoning behind their decisions.  He further explained how the reorganization is working in order to keep all departments and divisions functioning towards their objects. 


Commissioner Cellini recommended the Commission concentrate on the first goal and try and get the Council to adopt this goal and work on actual projects that can be finished and realized.  The members recapped their accomplishments for the past year and the progress made.


  1. Water Conservation--No report.


Item D from New Business:

Update for Storm Drain Marketing Program

Chairperson Buck updated the Commission on the Curb to Creek program.  Lesley Adams has been working closely with this program and estimated they are 35-40% done with marking the storm drains.  The city is required to complete all 3,000 storm drains by October of this year or will be fined. She asked if anyone or if the Commissioners knew of anyone who would like to help you can contact Lesley directly.  Commissioner Gould suggested maybe the Ashland Food Project might be able to help ith the coordination.


Item E from New Business:

Grey Water Update

Robbin Pearce read a statement from her contact at DEQ, which stated:

“Oregon is very close to having administrative rules on grey water use and disposal systems.  A final package of proposed rules will be presented to the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) for adoption on August 25th of this year.”

She stated they can adopt all or part of the proposal, and DEQ will issue a public announcement and it will be on their web site.

Commissioner Buck asked if when she hears, if she will send it with the Commission.


  1. Climate Change

There has not been anything done to present to the Commission, but they have formed a new idea.  There is a new release of the Climate Project effort on September 14, 2011 being released around the world on a web site and they would like to try and get something going city wide so citizens can also streamline in for information.

 Also, they have been working with Joanne Eggers to sponsor an informal gathering for any commissioners to attend a movie.  The first movie will be The Economics of Happiness, with a discussion to follow providing an opportunity for all Commissioners to become better acquainted.


Public Outreach

Commissioner Buck reported about the prepaid leaf program, that the Commission contributed to last year.  There was a lot of citizen response, even beyond the designated week.  The program has been well received. 

Under the action items for the goal, they have accomplished 3 of the 4:

Event recognizing Conservation Heroes


Web page


  1. Water Master Plan

Robbin Pearce announced they are meeting tomorrow, July 28th and they are getting close to making

a final decision for the long term water supply.  She will have more information next month.


The members discussed how best to approach their goals and the reconstruction.  Councilor Vision will take the goals and see how they relate to Council goals, then email the results to the members.


Commissioner McGinnis brought up that two counselors were interested in changing the Commission name to the Sustainability Commission and he would like to be able to discuss that with the Counselors.  Item to be placed on next month’s agenda.


Commissioner McGinnis will update goal number 1, Sustainable Planning.

Commissioner Runkel will update goal number 2, Green Building.

Chairperson Hartman will update goal number 3, Conservation Division

Commissioner McGinnis will update goal number 5, Climate Change.

Commissioner Cellini will update goal number 7, Water Master Plan.


Commissioner Runkel explained these goals came from a retreat the Commission conducted 2 years ago, and Commissioner Cellini was concerned about the Council taking this Commission seriously, because our goals are not lined up with their goals.  The members talked about doing another retreat.



Next meeting August 24, 2011



  1. LED lights for downtown area

Larry Giardina recapped the idea of replacing the downtown Christmas lighting on City Hall with LED lights. 

Stacy Page provided a bid, approximately $2,000.00.  He asked the Commission for direction.

Commissioner Cellini would like to obtain several bids for the project.  The members discussed how best to implement some sort of replacement.  Larry Giardina will request a step replacement plan and cost from Mr. Page.  The pay back, is approximately 10 year because these lights are only operated for a short time period.  He will report back at the next meeting. 

Commissioner Buck reported that Target was now selling solar lights for Christmas decorations.


  1. 4th of July Discussion

Commissioner Buck gave a brief view of plans for next year, and would like this item placed on next month’s agenda.   She thanked Jim Hartman, Larry Giardina and Carol Voisin for helping with the last 4th of July event.   She has met with Katheryn Flannery from the Chamber of Commerce and has been working with the Chamber this year.  They are looking for ways to develop long term improvements for the 4th of July event.  She felt the Chamber can become a template for City events and the way the city implements conservation measures.


Councilor Voisin would also like to look at the carbon emissions from the vehicles and Commissioner Cellini remarked about El Tapatio usage of bicycles in the parade.  Commissioner McGinnis felt this Commission should acknowledge entries that are really trying to implement conservation alternatives with a letter.


Set aside until next month.


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


Quarterly Liaison Report

Conservation Division

Robbin Pearce presented some Chieko bags to see if the Commission was interested in supporting the Conservation Division using the bags as a give a way for Earth Day.  The bags could include the Conservation logo.  The Commission asked Robbin to bring back information regarding local sourcing and cost comparison.


The Conservation Division gave a PowerPoint presentation about their Division and their current programs.



Solar Home Tour is October 8th and Larry Giardina would love to have some volunteers.



Chairperson Hartman adjourned the meeting at 8:10pm.





Respectfully submitted by:

Mary McClary

Administrative Assistant for Electric, Telecommunication

and the Conservation Departments.


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