Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Committee (View All)

Conservation Commission Monthly Meeting 11/28/2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012



6:00pm-8:00pm –November 28, 2012
Community Development Building
51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520
--- To be approved at the December 19, 2012 Commission Meeting
Chairperson Beam called the meeting to order at 6:00pm.

Attendees: Thomas Beam, Roxane Beigel-Coryell, Risa Buck, Jim Hartman, Cat Gould, Jim McGinnis, and Mark Weir.
Marni Koopman and David Runkel were not present.
City Council Liaison:   Carol Voisin was not present.
Staff Representative: Lee Tuneberg, Adam Hanks, and Mary McClary (Mary left at 7pm)
Chairperson Beam asked for approval of the minutes for October 24, 2012.

Commissioner Buck wanted to express acknowledgement and thanks to the following people for volunteering their help at the Plastic Round-up event:
                                Councilor Voisin
                                Commissioner Beigel-Coryell
                                Larry Giardina
Commissioner Gould moved to approve the minutes with stated additions for October 24, 2012, seconded by Commissioner Buck.
Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Presentations were moved up on the agenda.
   Waterwise Landscaping website overview—Julie Smitherman, Ashland Water Conservation Specialist.
   Julie passed out information about the program’s current and future goals.

Current Programs:                                                   Program Goals:

Appliance Rebates                                                  Water Wise Landscaping Website
Indoor Water Analysis                                            City of Ashland Water Conservation Webpage
Irrigation System Evaluations                                 Target our highest water users
Water Wise Landscaping Website                          Promotion for events
Watering Hotline                                                  Weather Based Irrigation Controller Incentives for HoA
City of Ashland Water Conservation webpage        Water Budget Calculator
Landscape and Irrigation Plans                               School Presentations
Earth Advance Homes                                              Meter Master
Southern Oregon Landscape Association                Potable Water Supply to TID
 She explained the new Waterwise website and highlighted some of the different features and functions.  She asked for support from the Commission to “spread the word” and explained some upcoming marketing to help make the public more aware of the site.

Chairperson Beam suggested using Earth Day as an educational opportunity, and/or setting up a demonstration in the Community Development lobby. 

Julie reported, last month the site received over 20,000 hits since starting in September, and that was without a marketing campaign.  The Commission also suggested she appear on the Mayor’s Town Hall in the spring.
Commissioner Weir suggested using other low key landscaping (more budget orientation) examples.  Julie explained the purpose of the site was to show and inform people how to have options in creating attractive water saving landscapes in all different scenarios.  He also talked about the minimum standard used and increasing that benchmark the future.  Commissioner McGinnis talked about possible incentives for citizens with TID water rights for a reduction in their use. 
The Commissioners thanked her for the presentation, expressing their excitement for the new Waterwise web site. They asked her to keep them informed how the web site worked in relation to the savings.
The Commission Retreat, Saturday December 1st, at the Parks and Recreation office beginning at 9am.
The next Conservation Commission meeting would be held December 19, 2012.  Commissioner Runkel will be absent for the December 1 study session.
Upcoming sub-committee meetings:
    Sustainability sub-committee will meet the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at the Siskiyou Room,
    Community Development Building.
    Water sub-committee will meet from 6-7pm at the Ashland Library, the 2nd Monday of the month.
Commissioner McGinnis, who works in Sustainable Operations for the Forest Service, reported about how they are trying to get more information to the public.  His suggestions of involving cities and schools were now in the works as an opportunity, taking the form of web sites. 
Chairperson Beam remarked about a natural gas station opening in Medford.  Adam explained about how grants were used to fund that project and gave some more background information to the Commission.  The Commissioners spoke about the environmental impact of different fuels and set the topic for discussion at their May 2013 meeting.

No one presents

  2012-13 Commission Master Calendar Review
  Chairperson Beam remarked there was not a retreat scheduled for 2013.
  Commissioner Weir announced the Water, Education, and Community Outreach vent will be moved to
    the Earth Day event.
  Commissioner McGinnis announced the City Sustainability Planning sub-committee was considering
    participating in the Earth Day event also.
 2012 Commission Retreat Planning
  Chairperson Beam asked for changes or additions to the agenda. Commissioner Weir stated his
   overview of last year’s accomplishments would be brief. 
Chairperson Beam added to the agenda Sub-committee Formation at 12:15pm with discussions about Water and Anti-Idling.
Commissioner McGinnis stated there was a lot to discuss at the retreat, and believed the Chair appointments could be postponed until April.  He believed Section (9:15) City and Commission Policies, Goals and Objectives, should be allocated 45 minutes, instead of 15 minutes. He proposed the discussion for Sustainability Planning be shorten by 15 minutes and 30 minutes allotted to the Conservation Division discussion, which slates lunch to 11:45.  He would like to shorten the Water Conservation discuss to 45 minutes and begin the Commission Goals earlier.
Chairperson Beam wanted to move the master calendar to the end in order to incorporate new topics that were brought up at the retreat.
Adam explained to the Commission about the Council’s goal process and how the Commission could make recommendations to support or add to their process. 
Commissioner Weir wanted to eliminate the lunch expense from the retreat, and save the money for the budget.  The Commissioners discussed and decided to eliminate that expense.

Water Sub-committee Update

Commissioner Gould moved to accept the Water Committee sub-committee minutes as stated.
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Weir.
Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

Commissioner Weir summarized the main topics:
  • Funding for the half-time water conservation position
  • Julie Smitherman to present a water usage report to the Commission
  • Focus on a Spring Grey Water Event
  • Adopt-a-Drain Program
  • Proper Car Wash Procedures
The Commissioners discussed the half time position and their concern for not filling the job, and the City still maintaining a 5% reduction of water usages in the next few years.  Lee Tuneberg answered questions regarding water rate revenue, explaining the funds stay within the department unless it is not utilized, then they go into the ending fund balance.  Commissioner Weir stated the sub-committee would like to request the Conservation Commission write and communicate with the City Administrator the importance of filling the half-time position.
Commissioner Weir asked the Conservation Commission recommend to the City Administrator the half time position be filled in order to continue working towards the 5% reduction goal of the Water Master Plan keeping this a priority.  Lee explained they may want to wait until after the retreat, there might be more items to consider.  The Commissioners agreed. 
The Commissioners discussed each main topic to have a better understanding of each topic.  They discussed how the Commission could/would support the projects.  Commissioner Weir encouraged the members to attend the sub-committee meetings.
City Operational Sustainability Plan Sub-Committee Status Update

Commissioner McGinnis reported at their last meeting they talked about what strategies they could
suggest for sustainability City practices.  Adam briefly summarized the paper in the retreat packet for the framework, plan format & process outline on the Operational Sustainability Plan.  Target Date: June 2013, subject to resources.  Commissioner McGinnis reminded the Sustainable Operational Plan is just a beginning to become part of the system.
Chairperson Beam reminded the Commission that the City Administrator was planned to attend their meeting in January.  He believed it would a good idea to optimize his time with them, by preparing planned items on that agenda for discussion.
 Commissioner Buck reported:
  • Jackson County achieved the 8th highest diversion rate (48%) in the state for 2011.  San Francisco had achieved an 80% diversion rate.  Commissioner Gould inquired about Jackson Counties goals for the year 2020.
  • Discounted Bags—City of Ashland sold 165 sets of 5 bags at the discounted rates, the Commission paid for 62 sets. 
  • First Leaf drop off was November 11, filled six (6) 25 yard boxes of leaves.  The second drop will be December 2 and the last will be December 16th.
  • Adopted Blue Bird Park, weeding and mulching and taking care of it.
  • North Mountain Park, mosaic working on with Sue Springer, made from all recycled material.
  • Up-coming projects:  Mattress recycling,  glass recycling, waste vegetable oil at transfer station,
  • Grants Pass is the new location for co-mingled products use to travel to Clackamas
  • Christmas trees recycling will be added to Green Debris Week at no charge
  • Continuing to work with the compost area at the recycling center, hoping to finish by June 2013
Commissioner Buck showed the Commission two (2) 30 second ads promoting zero waste and prescription drug drop off boxes.

The members inquired if these could be linked to Conservation web page and requested Adam to embed the two videos into the Conservation Commission web site.  Commissioner McGinnis asked about Recology’s goal and/or meaning of zero waste.   She explained the City determines what that means, and Recology follows that direction.
Southern Oregon Sanitation, Rogue Disposal and Recology Ashland Sanitary Service are the three services available in the Rogue Valley.  The cities rely on these waste haulers to provide the majority of incentives, education, and diversion.  
 Commissioner Beigel-Coryell announced SOU was highlighted in a DOE video for their renewable energy commitment, Adam will send out the link, that is located at the SOU web site.
Set aside.
None stated.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00.
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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