Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Committee (View All)

Conservation Commission Monthly Meeting 04/25/12

Wednesday, April 25, 2012



6:00pm-8:00pm ĖApril 25, 2012
Electric Building, 90 North Mountain Ave
--- To be approved at the May 23, 2012 Commission Meeting.
Chairperson Hartman called the meeting to order at 6:00pm.
Thomas Beam, Risa Buck, Roxane Beigel-Coryell,  Cat Gould, Jim Hartman, Jim McGinnis, David Runkel and Mark Weir were present.  Sheri Cellini was not present
City Council Liaison: Carol Voisin, present arrived at 6:11
Staff Representative: Lee Tuneberg, Adam Hanks, and Mary McClary.
Chairperson Hartman explained they had a guest phone speaker, Regina Hauser at 6:15.
Chairperson Hartman asked for approval of the minutes for April 09, 2012.
Commissioner Buck questioned listing Shaun Franks as a representative.  Mary McClary explained she removed him from that section.
Commissioner Buck changed verbiage under item D New Business, Fourth of July, to read:
Commissioner Buck reported to the Commission about the Chamber of Commerce meetings where they have discussed the Chamber modeling ďGreenĒ events.  She explained the Fourth of July event was the biggest garbage maker of the year.  The members passed around different ideas for supporting the event, and Commissioner Buck asked the members to consider joining in helping waste prevention and some recycling this year.
Commissioner Buck moved to accept the minutes of February 25, 2012 with the stated changed.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner McGinnis.
Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
The next Conservation Commission meeting would be held May 23, 2012.
Central Point would be holding a Round-Up Event sponsored by Southern Oregon Sanitation and Waste Management of Grants Pass on May 19th.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection will be held on May 4th and 5th at the Rogue Transfer and Recycling station from 8am to 4pm.
Commissioner Buck asked the Commission to give Commissioner Corns a Certificate of Appreciation for his work on the Commission.
Ashlandís 1st Annual Firewise Clean-Up Day will be held on May 6th at the Lincoln School dirt parking lot from 9am to 4pm.  Citizens may drop off leaves, pine needles, small branches, brush & other yard debris for free sponsored by Recology Ashland Sanitary Service, Ashland Fire & Rescue and the Ashland Firewise Commission.
Russ Chapman felt there should not be any burning allowed within the city defined border called the Air Quality Maintenance Area. He stated there are other options, composting or burning at Bio Mass.
Russ Chapman thanked the Commission and the Conservation Division for their continued financial support in helping to make the Ashland Earth Day an annual success.  He stated how much he appreciated the efforts of everyone. 
Regina Hauser, member of the International Board of Directors for Natural Step, spoke (by phone) to the Commission regarding what was included in putting together the Natural Step framework for an organization.  She explained the framework can be used in a number of different ways:
  • A starting place to unite behind a definition of sustainability
  • How it is relevant to a municipality and helps to meet the human needs of the community
  • Strategic planning process, goals to achieve
  • How the community would be truly successful in sustainable practices at an
      operations and/or community level
She gave the Commission examples of cities that were successful with the Natural Step process and were approximately the same size as Ashland for example: Whistler, BC, Corvallis, OR, and the City of Wisconsin.  Information can also be found on the city web sites.  In addition, Organically Grown, a company for organic food distribution, had reported their strategic processes and goals each year. The framework does not offer carbon measurement programs, or the usage of the best chemicals in lighting.  Each community has its own set of unique needs based on a variety of circumstances.
Commissioner Buck asked how much participation would be needed for success and what would be the time commitment.  Reginia remarked for strategic sustainability planning, the top leaders of the city would need to be supportive and provide a level of leadership.  Putting together a plan would vary, but it could take approximately 30-40 hours within an organization, and 100 hours for the community with a lot of support and spread over a few months.
 The next meeting would be held on May 23, 2012.
  1. Recap of April 16 Council Study Session
Commissioner McGinnis recapped the Council study session highlighting the success of the letter the Commission sent to the City Council for discussion.
Leed Silver Standards for new construction
Commissioner McGinnis felt they were leaning toward creating a policy for how the city
would adopt a policy toward meeting the intent of a minimum of Leed Silver standards for new city construction.
Councilor Silbiger questioned if Council decided to apply Leed Silver to all new city construction projects, or just Fire Station 2.  Adam Hanks explained the Council voted in the fall of 2006 (6-0) to construct the Fire Station 2 Leed Silver and a vote of (4-2) to require the certification.  They deferred creating a policy about future projects until they would be able to evaluate Fire Station 2.
Commissioner Weir asked the Commission for support in asking Councilor Voisin to put forth to the Council to make it a city policy for all future city construction projects meet at least Leed Silver Certification.  Mr. Tuneberg responded staff would be constructing recommendations to the Council for either a resolution or a policy for adoption within the next few months.
                                    The members discussed their frustration in their ability to make changes and
                                    recommendations of policy and resolutions within the city government. They discussed
                                    some of the processes the city goes through to create those kinds of changes and the
                                    difference between policy and resolution.  Resolution meaning legally responsible and policy
                                    more of guidelines holding a different legal ratification. 
Mr. Tuneberg explained either it was an internal policy established by resolution, or an ordinance changing the municipal code.  Ordinances and codes were laws.  He explained the first step would be to see the results with Fire Station 2 and also communicating with Community Development to understand the impacts they would be facing.  He would report to the Commission with updates.
                        Developing concise sustainability action items
                                    Staff would bring forward to a Council Meeting the Conservation Goals presented at the
                                    study session.  In addition, the Council would have the minutes of the study session.
Anti Idling Discussion/Road Diet Letter
                                    The Council would like to see a study done for the whole Road Diet.
  1. Fourth of July
Set aside
  1. Commission Expenditure Requests for FY2011-12
The Commissioners decided to delay a public event to demonstrate the Natural Step process and instead discussed holding a June meeting/event to inform the public about the greywater permitting process after they receive information from the City in regards to their standards.  They also discussed making a video to keep as a resource for the future.
Adam explained Bill Molnar, Director of Community Development, and his staff were working on how they would facilitate the new process within the City.
            Commissioner Weir made a motion to set up a sub-committee for the grey water meeting, of which
 he would lead, and allocate the funds available still in this physical year for that meeting and
 work out the details of where it would occur and present at the next Commission meeting in conjunction
 with the city staff member from Community Development.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner
Chairperson Hartman talked about giving the Rogue River Keepers $100.00 in addition to the award to Maureen Page for their conservation efforts with the non-profit Conservation Award.
Commissioner Weir moved to give Rogue River Keepers $100.00. Motion died for lack of a second.
Commissioner Runkel mentioned a member of the Virginia Tec professionals who had written a book called Small Cities Sustainability and might be a possible speaker.
Commissioner Weir amended his motion to state using $1,300.00 instead of all monies left.  Seconded by Commissioner Gould.
Amendment motion vote:
Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Original motion vote:
Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Commissioner Beam spoke to the Commission about the $100.00 for the Rogue River Keepers.  So moved by Commissioner Runkel and seconded by Commissioner Gould.
Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Commissioner Weir made a motion to create a Sustainability sub-committee and planned to allocate a fund amount that would be determined by that sub-committee for an event sometime in July or August.
Motion died for lack of a second. 
The members discussed how the event could be funded, either by the Commission and/or a city department.
Commissioner Buck, Runkel, Beam, Beigel-Coryell, and Gould wanted to participate in the Greywater sub-committee.  Mary McClary reminded the Commission about noticing the meetings, taking minutes and reporting back to the Commission.
Commissioner Cellini joined the meeting at 7:24pm.
Adam explained to the Commission some of the issues the Commission was concerned about, might be already addressed by staff from Community Development and all the administrative components.  Commissioner Cellini spoke to Pieter Smeenk and Larry Elliot and reported they were fully working on the details. She recommended the Commission allow staff to report back before establishing the sub-committee to save time and energy. 
Commissioner McGinnis would like as a Commission, to make a recommendation to the City Council about the sustainability framework.  Adam hoped at the next Council meeting the Commissionís role would be clarified.  McGinnis asked for staff to keep them informed.
  1. FY 2012-13 Commission Budget Appropriation Requests
Set Aside.  They discussed reviewing the past three years of budget spending going towards the next year.  They asked Adam to put together a proposal of the 12-13 budget based on the prior three years spending trends.
  1. Earth Day Recap
       Commissioner Cellini made some suggestions for next yearís event:
  • Tablecloths
  • Canopy
  • Updating the Commission display board
  • Activity for the kids
  • Setting up an Earth Day sub-committee
Commissioner Buck complimented Commissionerís Runkel and Celliniís efforts for the Awards, believing the awards have now become a very successful annual event.  The Commissioners gave them a round of applause.  Commissioner Cellini suggested the Commission not give a monetary award in the future suggesting some other form, for example: supporting city landscaping.
Commissioner Cellini left at 7:42pm.
  1. Energy Efficiency Program Recommendation
Commissioner Weir commented he would have to set this topic aside until the next meeting.
  1. Water Conservation Analyst Position Update
Mr. Tuneberg announced the position had been filled and the new person would start at the end of May.  The Commission asked that person to attend the June Commissioner meeting.  Until the new Assistant City Administrator position is filled, that position would report to the Public Works Director.
  1. Storm Drain Marking Program Update
Commissioner Buck remarked the project was to be completed by Fall of 2012.  Lee would ask Mike Faught for an update on the project.
  1. Fourth of July
The Commission developed a sub-committee consisting of Buck, Beam, Weir, McGinnis, and Hartman and there was also a suggestion they include sharing with the public the Commissionís accomplishments.
  1. Discussion on Preparations for Sustainability Planning Council Item
Already discussed.
  1. Commission Member Assignment/ Project Updates & Next Steps
Set aside
  1. Staff Report: Commission Draft Idling, Policies, and Actions
Adam passed out documents last month and updated the Commission.  Diamond parking was monitoring vehicles for idling.  He was looking for a better reporting system to get an understanding of what areas to target. He was working with the Superintendant and their budget, including trends.  They were implementing the stickers the Commission recommended.  In addition, there would be training for all staff that operates vehicles.  The fleet had fuel efficiency targets, looking for a comparative standard for a bench mark. 
Commissioner Weir wondered if the successes could be put onto the Ashland website, or compile reports that other people and cities would be able to recognize.  Adam remarked the city would need to find out the reason for the reduction and not make assumptions, but as the efforts come to fruitarian, staff could compile the information for communication purposes.   Lee reminded the Commission about Dave Kannerís message to the budget Committee highlighting Ashlandís trends in power, water and conservation efforts.  Commissionerís Weir would like to have our accomplishments highlighted on the city web.
  1. Green Drinks Discussion on potential Commission Involvement
Set aside.
            A.  Southern Oregon University
            B.  Ashland School Districtónot ready to give postponed to next meeting
            C.  Recology Ashland Sanitary
Set Aside
Future agenda item requests, set aside
Chairperson Hartman made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:04pm, seconded by Commissioner Gould.
Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Respectfully submitted by:
Mary McClary
Administrative Assistant for Electric, Telecommunication
and the Conservation Department.

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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