Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Committee (View All)

Conservation Commission Monthly Meeting 10/26/11

Wednesday, October 26, 2011



6-8 p.m. –October 26, 2011
Community Development Building---To be approved at the November 19th, Commission meeting
Chairperson Hartman called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm.
 Risa Buck, Thomas Beam, Sheri Cellini, Stuart Corns, Cat Gould, Jim Hartman, Jim McGinnis, and David Runkel were present.  
City Council Liaison: Carol Voisin,
Staff Representative: Lee Tuneberg, Larry Giardina, and Mary McClary.
Chairperson Hartman asked for approval of the minutes for September 27, 2011.
Commissioner Corns made a motion to approve the minutes as stated and Commissioner Runkel seconded the motion.
Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Jefree Mathews spoke to the commission about the expansion of Mount Ashland Ski Area and the impact on the environment.
Shawn/SOU, student sustainability director attended the meeting to better understand the Commission and to advocate for sustainability.
Set aside to end of meeting.
Chairperson Hartman went over the agenda and timeline for the meeting.
He determined the Commission would address Old Business first then the rest of the meeting would be focused on Sustainability Planning.
  1. North Main “Road Diet”
Commissioner Runkel passed around the letter to the council and read it into the minutes:
Dear Mayor Stromberg and members of the Ashland City Council,
            At its meeting on August 24, the Conservation Commission approved a motion urging the city
            government to initiate an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed North Main Street “road
diet.”  Subsequently, the Commission was advised that Public Works Director Mike Faught believes
such a statement could cost in the range of $100,000.
This cost estimate has raised concerns.  Therefore, the Commission requests that the city
 undertake an environmental review of the project.   This could include assessing the experiences of
other municipalities where similar highway changes were made.
Potential questions to be answered in a review would include:
  1. Estimated increase in bicycle and pedestrian use of the North Main Street corridor.
  2. Estimated environmental and energy savings from additional bicycle and pedestrian use.
  3. Estimated decrease in auto and truck traffic on other streets.
  4. Estimated increase in auto and truck traffic on other streets.
  5. Estimated impact on environment of anticipated delays in auto and truck traffic.
  6.  Estimated impact on energy use of anticipated delays in auto and truck traffic.
The Conservation Commission did not take a position on whether this study should be made before the “road diet” test was initiated or as a part of the review of the test.
Jim Hartman
The members discussed the issues concerning the environmental impact of the road diet, including what the impact would be if the assessment had been conducted before the project was designed.
Commissioner Beam discussed how the Commission could be informed about projects/issues that would concern the Conservation Commission. 
Councilor Voisin referred the Commission to the Ashland City web site, which publishes agenda and minutes from the City Council and all Commissions.  Any member may attend any meeting.
Commissioner McGinnis made a motion to accept the letter to the City Council as written.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Beam.
Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
  1. 4th of July planning
Set aside until Commissioner Buck’s report for Recology Ashland Sanitary Service report.
  1. Grey Water Update
Larry Giardina explained to the Commission that the city building code rules and the DEQ rules are not the same.  The main difference is the mandatory reporting and annual inspection for DEQ.  The state has stringent rules about grey water and the city supports the state.
  1. Local Source for local bags
Set aside
  1. Update on water Master Plan
Set aside
Quarterly Liaison Report
Recology Ashland Sanitary Service
            Risa reported they had sold 109 sets of bags for the prepaid leaf bags program in two days.
There are 3 free leaf drop off days at the recycling center:
                        Sunday, November 6th, November 20th, and December 4th.
The Plastic Round-up this year, yielded 577 vehicles with 272 big white sacks of hard and soft nursery waste and 125 yards of loose material.
She explained that recycling is an ok solution, and better than filling the landfill, but as a Waste Zero Specialists, she believes in education to empower people and let them make choices to create less waste.
They had 55 gallons of plastic bottle caps, and last year there were approx. 394 garbage trucks full. The members talked about making a video similar to the one SOU put together for educational purposes.
The Green Debris Program has now eliminated the 12 month commitment and the Prescription Drug Program is ongoing.  The Paint Care program has partners and is year round.  Miller Paint and Ashland Hardware are drop off sites, but please call ahead of time. 
Commissioner Buck and Hartman are cleaning and redoing the compost area at the Recycling Center.
Regarding the 4th of July event, the Chamber of Commerce is looking how the Chamber can serve as a model for the rest of the community by the way it looks at doing its events.
The Commission members felt visuals work best for education purposes and wondered it they could incorporate more posters and videos.
  1. Sustainability Planning
Commissioner McGinnis gave an overview of the communications regarding the sustainability plans.
Lee Tuneberg wrote a memo to the Commission regarding an April study meeting the City Council held when the Council asked the Commission to do some background work with sustainability and view other city plans and practices.  They hoped the Commission would report back with some practices they felt the city could utilize.
Commissioner McGinnis and Lee recommended all the members listen to the taped recording of the study session.
They reviewed the prior work they had done with respect to gathering information from other cities and talked about additional cities they could research.  The members discussed formats for collecting information and discussed meeting to collaborate in the findings. 
There was much discussion about how to represent the findings to the City Council and how to plan for budget requirements, staff involvement, supporting council goals, establishing a criteria for a Sustainability Commission, the goals and mission statement associated, and the timeline for accomplishing everything they want to accomplish.
It is determined to hold a retreat on a Saturday to plan and finalize their goals and create a report for Council.  Since they want to accomplish a lot during this retreat, they felt hiring a facilitator would be highly beneficial.
Commissioner Beam mad a motion to hold a special meeting for the Conservation Commission on Saturday, November 19th, from 9am to 3pm and to hire a facilitator to facilitate the meeting.  Commissioner Cellini seconded the motion.
            Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Set aside
(Set aside to end of meeting).
December’s meeting to be announced.
Chairperson Hartman adjourned the meeting at 8:10 pm.
Respectfully submitted by:
Mary McClary
Administrative Assistant for Electric, Telecommunication
and the Conservation Departments.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the Community Development office at 541-488-5305 (TTY phone number is 1-800-735-2900).  Notification 72 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title1).


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