MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
July 16, 2012
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:55 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room.
Councilor Lemhouse, Morris, Silbiger, Chapman, and Voisin were present. Councilor Slattery was absent.
1. Look Ahead review
City Administrator Dave Kanner reviewed items on the Look Ahead.
2. Presentation of final concept plan for Plaza designs
Covey Pardee Landscape Architects Alan Pardee and Greg Covey described the process that included public input, site analysis, and historical research that resulted in the final concept. They provided suggestions for plants, trees, permeable pavers, and concrete, recommending concrete because it was more cost effective. The proposed plan would increase pavement 20% and add 150 linear feet of seating in concrete flex. The initial estimated cost for the re-design was $155,700.
Engineering Services Manager Scott Fleury explained the City could reduce project costs approximately $39,000 using staff for concrete excavation, grating work, tree prep, lighting, and relocating utilities. City Administrator Dave Kanner added there was $80,000 originally designated for the urban renewal plan that could go towards downtown improvements since the City was no longer pursuing urban renewal. Alternately, the City could borrow internally, pay for the all the improvements at once then use future Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) collections to repay the loan.
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer explained staff would move the utility box behind the information booth and use a smaller container.
Council liked the overall design but thought the wall seating should be less angular, include backs, and possibly use a different material instead of concrete. Other suggestions included reducing seating and kiosk size, creating additional open space, and adding tree gates.
Council directed staff to amend the contract with Covey Pardee who in turn would incorporate Councilís suggestions and concerns into the final design.
3. Update on downtown improvements
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer explained staff needed Council input on the following:
There were two options for dirty sidewalks. One was steam cleaning that entailed adhering to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requirements on the used water and would cost approximately $10,000 to hire a contractor. The second involved cold-water power washing where the City could do the work and absorb the costs. It did not have DEQ restrictions, but was not as effective steam cleaning. Staff clarified that businesses were responsible for repairing cracks and trip hazards on sidewalk space but were not responsible for cleanliness.
Council supported cold-water power washing with the City covering expenses at least once and directed staff to research reinstating the downtown maintenance fee on property owners of business buildings.
Council was interested in replacing trashcans but wanted additional information on costs, use of wood and possible recycling functions.
Staff and Council discussed hiring a landscape architect to create a consistent design for plant materials. Council in general supported a cohesive scheme but wanted additional cost information.
4. Options to televise and/or stream City Council study sessions
Councilor Silbiger explained how Google Hangouts would work for streaming Study Sessions and was less expensive then the estimates provided. Council directed staff to research streaming Study Sessions using Google Hangouts or a similar technology.
5. Continued discussion and direction to staff regarding enterprise zone designation
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained there were three potential Enterprise Zones that included the Railroad district, the Croman Mill site, and the airport. Council supported staff pursuing all three areas.
Meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.
Assistant to the City Recorder