Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, July 19, 2011



July 19, 2011

Council Chambers

1175 E. Main Street



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



Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin, Silbiger, and Chapman were present.  Councilor Slattery was absent.



Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Housing Commission, the Forest Lands Commission, the Planning Commission, the Conservation Commission, the Tree Commission, and the Audit Committee.


Mayor Stromberg noted the passing of Marty Levine who served for many years on the City Citizens Budget Committee, the Audit Committee, and the AFN Advisory Board and honored him with a moment of silence.



The minutes of the Study Session of June 20, 2011, Regular Meeting of June 21, 2011 and Special Meeting of June 28, 2011 were approved as presented.



Fire Chief John Karns introduced Forest Lands Commissioner John Williams who presented the new watershed map.  Mr. Williams explained the process the Commission went through to create a fun and educational map of the watershed based on a suggestion from Commissioner Chris Iverson. 



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

2.   Will Council, acting as the local contract review board, approve the award of two public contracts for janitorial services to Pathway Enterprises (QRF)?

3.   Will Council approve an extension of an existing contract for legal services with Douglas McGeary, not to exceed $25,000?

4.   Will Council approve a lease amendment to the existing Civil Air Patrol (CAP) lease, which would allow the hanger to be sold and would grant the City first right of refusal? and Will Council waive its first right of refusal to purchase the CAP hanger for the current offer of $40,000, thereby allowing the hanger to be purchased by a private party?

5.   Will Council, acting as the local contract review board, approve the award of a public contract to L.N. Curtis & Sons for fire hose and related equipment?

6.   Will Council, acting as the local contract review board, approve the request for approval of a “Class Special Procurement” to use an alternative contracting approach (solicitation process) for fuel purchases?

7.   Will Council authorize signature of an Intergovernmental Agreement with Jackson County to provide building inspection services?


Councilor Silbiger requested Consent Agenda item #1 be pulled for discussion.


Councilor Voisin/Chapman m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #2 through #7. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


Councilor Silbiger explained the Planning Commission meeting of June 28, 2011 did not have a full quorum and therefore Council could not approve the minutes from that meeting.


Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to accept the Housing Commission minutes of March 23, 2011. Voice Vote:  all AYES.  Motion passed.



1.   Will Council hold a public hearing and approve a resolution titled, “A Resolution Adopting a Miscellaneous Fees and Charges Document and Repealing Prior Fee Resolutions 2001-05, 2007-34, and 2008-29 and the Hourly Service Charge Section of Resolution 1999-29”?

Interim Assistant City Administrator Lee Tuneberg explained the resolution would help staff administer the program and citizens easily identify specific fees and went on to note changes and additions.


Community Development Director Bill Molnar addressed the $150 Appeal fee and explained it would recoup public noticing charges only, not staff time attending meetings for an actual appeal.  The City would also waive the fee for recognized neighborhood and community organizations and refund the fee if an appellant were successful.     


Mr. Tuneberg explained the fee for replacing an electric service line from overhead to underground increased from $505 to $993 to recoup time, material, and equipment used to change the line.  He would provide Councilor Morris with additional information on whether this fee might work against the City incentive to move lines from overhead to underground. 


Public Hearing Opened: 7:24 p.m.

Public Hearing Closed: 7:24 p.m.


Councilor Chapman/Silbiger m/s to approve Resolution #2011-26. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.


2.   Does Council wish to approve an order authorizing a lease of real property to the Ashland Gun Club?

Facilities Manager Mike Morrison, Engineering Services Manager Jim Olson, Public Works Director Mike Faught and from JBR and Environmental Associates, Geologist and Project Manager Obie Strickler introduced themselves.


Contract Attorney Megan Thornton provided the background on the Ashland Gun Club lease and explained the proposed lease agreement offered an initial 10-year term with additional extensions on the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th years to extend the lease for a maximum of 25 years. 


The City had two issues regarding the lease, whether the Gun Club was good neighbors and environmental concerns for the property.  Good neighbor provisions in the proposed lease limited the hours and days of operation with 4 days a year when the Gun Club would close.  The lease also limited types of weapons used to reduce noise.  The lease would permit night use by law enforcement agencies only with a two-week notice to neighbors.  It would have access limits to the property and specifically exclude historic structures from Gun Club use.


To address stewardship and environmental issues with the property, the lease included an environmental stewardship plan for lead monitoring with scheduled removal on a regular basis.  The definition of lead was defined separately in the lease because it was not considered a hazardous waste.  The lease also provided protection for the riparian corridor.  An additional overnight stay was included to cover an archery event for two overnight events per year.  Also added was a clause that states Oregon Department of  Environmental Quality (DEQ) will be the agency that determines the level of lead clean up required if Gun Club activities cease on the site.


The City will develop the stewardship plan with the consultant.  Council will adopt the plan and add it to the lease as an exhibit.  Council expressed concern on the timing of the stewardship plan and signing the lease. 


Mike LaNier/201 West Main Street, Medford/Explained he was a consultant for the Ashland Gun Club and noted the proposed lease would protect the City, the Gun Club and the environment.  The stewardship plan was expensive.  In order for the Gun Club to qualify for grants, specifically the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), it required at the minimum a 10-year lease.  Once the Gun Club has the lease, they will use grant money to fund the stewardship plan.   He added the Gun Club recycles the lead shot found on the property.


Chuck Parlier/6801 Irish Lane/Spoke as the President of the Ashland Gun Club and commented how the club serves community in several ways that included the Ashland Police, the Forensic Lab, the ROTC, the National Guard, Boy Scouts and recently hosted a Civil War Reenactment for the college.  The Gun Club was a good asset to the community.  


George Pitts/19041 SW Olson Avenue/Introduced himself as the Chairman of the Oregon Association of Shooting Ranges and was a member of the Ashland Gun Club.  The Oregon Association of Shooting Ranges ensured gun clubs remained open and complied with regulations.  It also required all gun club members to have an environmental stewardship plan in place and assisted in creating those plans.  He stressed the need to have controlled environments with safe ranges for shooting. 


Stan Pate/5011 SE Thomas Smith, Milwaukie/Explained he was the Vice Chair of the State Range Association, President of the Oregon State Shooting Association, sat on the board for the National Shooting Sports Foundation and was the Environmental Steward for his gun club.  Lead removal was part of an environmental stewardship program (ESP) when economically feasible.  Lead removal at the expense of a facility would drive down the facility instead of building up an organization there to support the community.  The Oregon State Shooting Association was there to help the Gun club achieve an environmental stewardship program and address issues they may have or the City may have as they arise.


Ed Claassen/1000 Timberline Terrace/Presented principals endorsed by 66 concerned citizens.  They believed the lead shot accumulating over the years together with toxic elements of waste from City dumping on the property had created an unhealthy environment on the property for birds and fish. The lease did not provide adequate provisions for lead clean up for current contamination or prevent future pollution.  The lease should require high standard property clean up verified by a qualified third party with explicit milestones that could result in termination of the lease if the Gun Club did not comply.  Additionally the Gun Club should use only lead-free shot.  Council was obligated  to ensure Gun Club use did not create or sanction damage to the ecosystem, substantial liability to the City, future costly clean up requirements and the devaluation of a public asset.


Bob Morris/225 West Valley View Road/Belonged to the Ashland Gun Club and the Cowboy Action Shooting Club along with members of his family.  The Gun Club adopted best management practices they would incorporate into the formal environmental stewardship program.  Part of those practices included testing the PH level on an annual basis for lead.  He explained the levels and risks and noted last summer the test sites were all neutral with one site slightly basic.  To the best of his knowledge, none of the testing conducted identified pollution.  He agreed with additional testing but thought the public should not panic about possible contamination because initial results did not support that conclusion.


Peter Gibb/435 Thornton Way/Explained how continuing the Gun Club lease could affect the Jackson County Flood Plan Ordinance and the Federal Endangered Species Act.  The draft lease would allow the Gun Club to construct a variety of structures that could encroach on a regulatory flood plain or a determined flood plain when FEMA establishes the 100-year flood plain boundary.  This development may also adversely affect the endangered species act by harming Coho Salmon in Immigrant Creek.  Immigrant Creek was not in the 100-year flood plain but inland, an A Zone 100 year boundary mapped by Jackson County was approximately 75 feet from existing Gun Club buildings.  The City was responsible to ensure development on City lands complied with the water resources protection chapter in the Ashland Municipal Code, the Jackson County Flood Plain Ordinance and met the provisions of the Federal Endangered Species Act. Council should reconsider the lease for environmental, financial and liability reasons and not pass problems for future generations.

Kirt Bell/102 Mace Road, Medford/Encouraged Council to extend the lease for the Gun Club and explained he was a board member of the Jefferson State Regulators that practice shooting at the club.  Shooting was a family sport and the range provided positive things for the community.


Julie Norman/596 Helman Street/Explained the Brown and Caldwell report measured lead that was higher than expected and showed ground contamination.  DEQ considered the report incomplete because it lacked monitoring on how shot was arranged on the site.  The Club continually relocated berms and shooting ranges over the years and there was the possibility of widespread contamination.  The remedy was a comprehensive clean up as soon as possible that included the sweeper debris from the City.  The wetlands were filled using this debris and the Gun Club uses it to build berms.  All without a permit issued by the Army Corp of Engineers, and the City’s Jackson County permit lacked requirements.  She appreciated the values and expertise of the sport but there was a responsibility to address current contamination.  She agreed with Councilor Voisin on assuring an ESP acceptable to Council was ready the same time the lease was renewed and refined according to the ESP.  Lastly, the lease should prohibit lead shot and require non-hazardous steel shot.


Rob Raby/901 Glendale Avenue/Introduced himself as the Range Safety Officer of the Gun Club and urged Council to pass the lease. 


Robert Miller/765 Reiten Drive/Spoke as a member of the Ashland Gun Club since 1974 and was in favor of Council renewing the lease.  His family passed the Hunters Safety Course due to the Ashland Gun Club. He commended Council for funding the environmental study and added it showed diligence on Gun Club’s part in caring for the land. 


Miles Corlen Frode/147 Blue Heron Way/Supported the right to bear arms but thought it was important to focus on the environment.  Currently the Gun Club site was under consideration as an archeological historical area and was the source of Lithia Springs. He was concerned about lead leaching and asked Council to consider the ramifications of lead on the ground and in the water.


Marea Claassen/1000 Timberline Terrace/Explained the pathway for migratory birds went through the Ashland Gun Club property.  According to the Klamath-Siskiyou E-Bird website, there were 84 bird species in the Immigrant Lake and Creek prone to lead ingestion.  Birds ingest lead pellets for digestion and eventually die from lead poisoning.  Lead poisoning caused 20,000,000 dove deaths in the United States in the past year.  Great birds of prey die from ingesting lead poisoned prey within days.   Ammunition manufacturers now make a variety of non-hazardous non-toxic shotgun pellets and bullets to replace lead shot.   She urged Council to ban the use of lead shot at the Ashland Gun Club.


Bill Longiotti/245 Arnos, Talent/Introduced himself as an NRA Certified Range Officer and a Single Action Shooting Society Range Officer Level 2.  The City had been taking water samples from Lithia wells for over 80 years and results never showed an increase in lead. 


James Moore/1217 Park Street/Understood the impact of lead shot as it pertained to wildlife and addressed the wetlands on the Gun Club property.  DEQ strongly advised against shooting into wetlands and currently there was a wetland in the shot fall zone of the Gun Club.  He added the Brown and Caldwell study detected hydrogen sulfide at wetlands B and D, explained how the gas could convert lead ammunition into a soluble, and suggested additional testing.  He supported DEQ recommendations and wanted the lead removed from the property.


Noel Preslar/730 Alaska Street/Spoke as a member of the Ashland Gun Club and supported being environmentally responsible.   Gun Club membership was willing to clean up and it made sense to extend the lease.  He read a note written by his wife on her observation of gun use in the area and how the Gun Club provides gun safety training.  They were a service organization to the community. 


Donna Klosterman/1652 Kings Hwy, Medford/Encouraged the Council to extend the lease and explained the Club was willing to work with the City to be in compliance.  Club members were family oriented and animal friendly.  The Club provided a place to learn gun and hunter safety, and practice shooting. 


Cate Hartzell/892 Garden Way/Explained lead shot corrodes in soils both alkaline and acidic.  Corrosion starts within one week and can continue for hundreds of years.  Acidic conditions magnify the build-up of lead concentrations in soil and exist on portions of the Lithia Springs property.  The City was motivated to enter into a lease agreement to avoid clean up costs but that only made sense if there the Gun Club was able to fund and conduct the clean up.  She cited evidence that suggested otherwise and thought the Gun Club should develop a business plan for clean up to determine whether it was financially feasible. 


Michael Klosterman/1652 Kings Hwy, Medford/Noted lead was easy to recover and thought it was better to have one place for shooting versus letting people shoot in the woods.  In addition, there were the benefits of the Gun Club training and safety issues.  He urged the Council to approve the lease.


Linda Merryman/631 Spring Creek Drive/Questioned why the Gun Club had leased the property for more than 40 years at $1 a year when so many people were using it and what it required to ensure safety, clean up and liability.  It seemed unfair and irresponsible for the Council to provide a special interest group access to this property for a $1 yearly.  She wondered why the Gun Club had not devised a cleanup policy themselves years before. 


David Seulean/696 Liberty Street/Urged Council to extend the Gun Club’s lease.  He commented on how diverse Ashland was as a community and thought the Gun Club was another part of that spectrum.  He observed the contrasting comments made about lead and encouraged Council to get an engineering report to determine the true nature.  If there were no danger, continue the lease.  If there were a verifiable danger, he would not support extending the lease.     


Melvin Winner/215 Tolman Creek Drive #22/Explained he was a member of the Gun Club for 20 years and invited everyone to visit and get to know the members. There was no lead migration detected in the 43 years the Gun Club has leased the land.  He encouraged Council to extend the lease.


Nancy Ashmead/220 Pompadour Drive/Stated the land rented to the Gun Club had been fouled over a long period of time and not just by lead.  Lead was stable in its natural state but mined lead could leach into the water and bullets were mined lead.  An environmental development plan needed to be in place with an independent third party responsible for oversight and supervising the clean up prior to renewing the lease.  She encouraged Council not to extend the lease as written.  She also suggested Council disclose whether they were Gun Club members and if they were, not vote on the issue.


Mr. Strickland explained JBR reviewed the Brown and Caldwell report and the DEQ response to that report.  JBR developed a work plan and received concurrence from DEQ in terms of the necessary steps to complete additional data requirements to determine if there is a lead contamination issue at the site.  They will conduct the wetlands study separately and submit that report to DEQ soon.  The final report to the City was already established.  Wetland delineations are not complete until submitted to the Department of State Lands or the US Army Corp of Engineers for agreement on Findings.  The lead contamination assessment was a different scope of work currently not contracted.


Mr. Olson explained the work plan set forth planning the curriculum and soil and water monitoring.  JBR will conduct discreet soil samplings as well as composite sampling in the shot fall zone.  Another component was the ground water assessment that involved installing ground water monitoring wells.  Completion of the soil sampling assessment would occur a few weeks after receiving authorization to proceed.  Ground water installation was a quarterly monitoring process.


Ms. Thornton added under the proposed lease if there were lead contamination, the City would develop an environmental stewardship plan to address the contamination and remediate it.  If the Gun Club violated the remediation strategy or could not afford remediation, it was a breach of the lease and the City could move to terminate.   The new lease required scheduled lead shot clean up with specific timelines.  In the event the City terminated the lease, they would provide clean up and the Gun Club could no longer operate.  DEQ would determine the best use for the land that may require additional clean up.


Councilor Voisin motioned to move to propose an extension of the current lease until the City receives the report from the Environmental Consultants and have in place an environmental stewardship plan.  Motion died due to lack of a second.


Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to approve an Order of the City of Council authorizing the lease of real property to the Ashland Gun Club. DISCUSSION:  Councilor Silbiger explained the City was better off leasing to the Gun Club based on liability, environmental and safety reasons.  Councilor Chapman was concerned about the environment and thought this was the best way to take care of it.  Councilor Voisin understood the value the Gun Club provided but had issues with the results of the sport on the land.   Council needed to abide by the Valdez Principles that required property cleaned up to its original state.  When the Gun Club incorporated best practices, instead of removing targets by historical structures, they moved them two feet in front of the sites and continued to shoot until the City intervened.  The grants the Gun Club applied for would not help mitigate clean up.  Alternately, the City could apply for many grants to clean up the sweeper debris but would have to discontinue any activity that caused pollution.  Finally, there were five other shooting ranges in the valley.  She would not support the motion.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Lemhouse, Chapman, and Morris, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-1.



Colin Swales/143 8th Street/ Shared his concerns regarding the applicant selection and training for the Planning Commission.  He thought the planning process was eroding.





1.   Does Council wish to adopt the Economic Development Strategy?

Project Manager Adam Hanks provided a presentation on the Economic Development Strategy that included:

  • 2009-2010 Council Goal:  Develop and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy for the purpose of:

o   Diversifying the economic base of the community

o   Supporting creation and growth of businesses that use and provide local and regional products

o   Increasing the number of family-wage jobs in the community

o   Leveraging the strengths of Ashland’s tourism and repeat visitors

  • Strategy Highlights

o   Support existing traded sector business and develop/support programs to aid in their growth

o   Increase coordination/communication between economic development partners

o   Support local purchasing opportunities

o   Maintain existing tourism strengths, shoot for year round success

  • Support existing business – Targeted support of business that produce specialty goods and services for export

o   Focus on innovative, specialty value added, growth businesses for quality job expansion

o   Find out what they need for success/growth

o   Be a partner in their physical growth

o   Provide or connect them with the resources/education/tools they need to succeed

  • Stuff that only the City can do:

o   Public infrastructure (roads, water, sewer, electricity, parks, etc.)

o   Development regulations and process

o   Some funding (urban renewal, Enterprise Zones, State/Fed grants-IOF, USDA, IFA, etc.)

  • Where the City can assist and support:

o   Coordination

o   Data collection and distribution

o   Information resource and distribution hub

o   Indentifying and facilitating the creation of needed programs resources for Ashland businesses

o   Other funding/grant programs

·         Strategy First Actions – Priority 1 Actions Being Immediately

o   1.1 Conduct a targeted Business Retention and Expansion (B,R&E) survey

o   1.2 Designate City Staff “point of contact” for economic development needs/projects/interactions

o   2.1 Formalize relationships and roles for Ashland specific strategy implementation among major partners

o   3.1 Maximize impact of existing City Economic Development/Cultural Grants Process

o   6.1 Evaluate the use of Urban Renewal Districts to spur private reinvestment in targeted commercial and employment areas of Ashland (in progress)

o   7.1 Improve the Land Use Development Process


Mayor Stromberg requested an annual review and update of the plan come to Council for formal approval. 


Council and staff discussed finding ways to better service Southern Oregon University (SOU) students. The SOU Master Plan had a section on creating a university district but there was a conscious decision not to discuss retail.  It was an important issue but Council’s direction for the economic development strategy was to diversify the economy in a way that generated living wage jobs.    


Colin Swales/143 8th Street/Expressed his concerns regarding urban renewal and the Council having to make a finding of blight on the downtown area and the diminishing Planning Commission and planning processes.


Councilor Voisin/Silbiger m/s to approve adoption of the Economic Development Strategy with the following modifications that every year a review and update of the strategy is brought to Council for its approval.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Chapman thought the plan was not specific enough, there was nothing new, and there were things he disagreed with and would not support the motion.  Councilor Lemhouse commented not everyone would agree with everything in the strategy but it was important to have one.  The key part was taking action on the items.  He supported annual meetings but wanted quarterly staff reports.  Councilor Silbiger thought achieving the high priority tasks would be a huge step forward.  Councilor Morris added it was a good starting point.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Voisin, Lemhouse, and Silbiger, YES; Councilor Chapman, NO. Motion passed 4-1.


Councilor Lemhouse/Voisin m/s to direct staff to provide a quarterly report on the progress of the Economic Development Plan.  Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, Voisin and Silbiger, AYE; Councilor Chapman, NAY. Motion passed 4-1.


2.   Does Council approve the staff and consultant recommended solution for effluent disposal to meet temperature requirements for the new total maximum daily levels of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit?

Engineering Technician II Scott Fleury provided a presentation on wastewater effluent that included:

·         Regulatory Requirements-NPDES Permit

o   2007 Bear Creek TMDLs – temperature, bacteria, and sediment

o   Watershed impact “Far Field” 46 million Kcal/day

o   OAR 340-045-0053 – address thermal plume or “Near Field” concerns:  spawning Impacts, thermal shock, migration blockage and lethality

·         Consultant analyzed six options

o   Full and partial re-use: NPV =$5.8-13.4 million

o   Discharge to TID canal: NPV n/a

o   Blending – Flow Augmentation: NPV n/a

o   Hyporheic-shallow ground water interaction: NPV n/a

o   Cooling tower and chiller: NPV = $8.6-11.6 million

o   Water quality trading: NPV = $2.9 million

·         Phase 1 “Near Field”

o   Data Collection phase for joint design with Parks Commission

o   Relocate current outfall through existing channel to Bear Creek via Ashland Pond

o   Additional Plantings in forested Wetland

o   Remove current water diversion in Ashland Creek

o   Install fish screen on intake pipe to pond

o   Monitoring stations:  plant outfall, pond entrance and pond outfall to Bear Creek

·         Near Field Site Map

·         Existing Dam Divergence – Remove existing divergence

Mr. Fleury explained they were in the process of creating a final design to ensure water temperature decreased that may include making Ashland pond part of a wetland or moving the water to a different location and meandering it to create more of a wetland.


·         Water Quality Trading/Shading “Far Field”

o   New standards and accounting protocols developed by conservation groups and agencies

o   Increases shade to minimize stream exposure to sun

o   Requires planting native trees along 8+miles of streams in the Bear Creek watershed

(46 million Kcals/day)

o   Benefits – natural approach to achieve compliance, provides other ecological benefits

o   Preferred by DEQ for far field compliance


Councilor Chapman/Lemhouse m/s to approve the recommended effluent temperature solution. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse commented this was the obvious choice and at a reduced cost, was innovative and where the City should be.  Councilor Silbiger thought it was a great step forward but noted the Sewage Water Committee that provided technical review for the Master Plan had several outstanding improvements and questioned if the cost for these improvements would be worthwhile. 

Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.





Meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.



Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                

John Stromberg, Mayor


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