Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Monday, August 15, 2011

City of Ashland

August 15, 2011

Present:  Commissioners Eggers, Landt, Lewis, Rosenthal, Seffinger; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Dickens
Absent:  City Council Liaison Slattery

Eggers called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. in the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

Robertson said the Ashland City Council changed its process for Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) approval when it separated the CIP from the general budget approval process. He referred to a spreadsheet showing existing CIP projects and their estimated costs. He said uncompleted projects could be carried over year to year and projects added or deleted at the commissionís discretion.

Robertson said the Public Works Department administered the CIP. He asked the commission to review, revise, and approve the list, as council would discuss it at an October meeting. He said primary sources of Parks Department revenue for CIP projects were Food and Beverage tax funds, with 20% of each dollar directed to Parks, and Systems Development Charges (SDCs). He said State of Oregon regulations dictated how SDCs could be utilized and spending options included land acquisition for parks and development of parks. He said the commission had the discretion of transferring tax dollars into the CIP and of using it as a leverage tool in seeking grant funding.

Robertson said the CIP list, which included projects and funding dollars for fiscal years 2013 through 2018, was a working document that could be altered by the commission, with projects pulled back or pushed forward as needed. He asked the commission to review the list in terms of projects, dollar amounts, and funds per year and consider whether to frontload some projects by going out for a revenue bond. He said bonds were useful for large expenditures like land acquisitions and park development. He gave an example of a project that could benefit from a revenue bond: the lower Clay Street property purchased by the City, with the commission repaying their portion of debt over five-plus years.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Rosenthal suggested removing from the list the tennis court resurfacing and tennis lighting upgrades at Hunter Park as they were existing facilities requiring maintenance. Robertson suggested creating a supplemental budget at the start of the budget season to aid the departmentís infrastructure improvements and rolling stock needs. Lewis noted that the unfunded column was blank and asked Robertson for his thoughts. Robertson said the development of Ashland Creek Park was an appropriate choice for the unfunded column, as development dollars currently were unavailable. Seffinger asked about the replacement building for The Grove and said the CIP list included many park development and rehabilitation projects but few projects related to recreational programs or facilities. Robertson said staff could look at Lincoln School as a possible facility option for recreational programs. Landt said the estimated cost of $25,000 in FY 2013 for Lithia Park master planning was insufficient. Rosenthal said three park development projects on the list, Ashland Creek Park and lower and upper Clay Street parks, could be prioritized. Landt said his first priority was Ashland Creek Park but lower Clay Street was in poor condition and a haven for weeds. Eggers said that in terms of density, lower Clay Street would be used more, as many people were moving into that area. Robertson said 90% of the construction documents for Ashland Creek Park were completed while no construction documents were available for lower Clay Street. He said if the commission chose to bond for parks, he would suggest frontloading dollars for Ashland Creek Park development and backloading dollars for lower Clay Street to allow for the development of construction documents. Landt asked for the inclusion of a second dog park on the list along with an artificial turf athletic field with lights.

Robertson summarized the commissionís request to remove certain items from the list such as tennis court lights. He said he would update the list, revise dollar figures where appropriate, and add:

∑         Year-round artificial turf surface for multi-use athletics;
∑         Replacement for The Grove in the form of a multi-generational recreational facility;
∑         Lithia Park master planóplanning costs and long-term development costs;
∑         Second dog park on the southern end of town.

Robertson said a revised spreadsheet would be provided to the commission at their September regular meeting for additional review and revisions.

By consensus, Eggers adjourned into executive session at 8:40 p.m.
∑         Executive Session: Real Property Acquisition ORS 192.660. (2)(e)

By consensus, Eggers adjourned out of executive session at 9:35 p.m.

By consensus, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 9:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Dyssegard
Ashland Parks and Recreation

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