MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
September 17, 2013
1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Firewise and Tree Commissions, one vacancy on the Band Board and two vacancies on the Citizen Budget Committee.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes for the Business Meeting of September 3, 2013 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
The Mayor’s proclamation of September 21, 2013 as International Day of Peace was read aloud.
Police Chief Terry Holderness introduced Police Sergeant Warren Hensman who summarized calls of service in the Enhanced Law Enforcement Area (ELEA) since its inception August 2012. Over the 13 months the ordinance was in effect, the Police Department issued approximately 166 citations with 67 citations resulting in convictions. Eighteen people qualified for expulsion with eight no longer in the area. The Police served 10 people with five excluded. Of the five excluded, only two continue to violate the ordinance and of those two, one of the individuals appeared to have left the area.
Sergeant Hensman divided statistics into two categories and two timeframes. One category showed all call types including disorder that consisted of assault, disorderly conduct, drug crimes, harassment, liquor law violations, noise, and theft. He used two time-periods, one when the ordinance went into effect July 19, 2012 through August 31, 2013 and the second was seasonal to capture summer activity in the downtown area, May 1 through August 31.
The Police Department received 1,066 calls for service in the ELEA August 1, 2011 through August 31, 2012. The following year that number decreased to 943 at an 11.5% reduction. There were 354 calls for service regarding crimes of disorder August 2011 through August 2012, with the number declining to 306 2012-2013 showing a 13.5% reduction.
Calls for service during summer May 1, 2011 to August 31, 2011 resulted in 274 calls. That number rose significantly in 2012 to 391 then dropped to 320 the summer of 2013. The percentage increase from 2011 to 2012 was 30% and decreased to 18% 2012-2013. Crimes of disorder during the summer season resulted in 107 calls for service 2011, 135 during 2012 with a decline to 95 2013 showing a 30% decrease from 2012 to 2013.
Sergeant Hensman broke down the offenses in the downtown area by the 18 individuals that qualified for expulsion into three categories, Criminal Offenses, Alcohol Violations, and all other violations. Data showed that 57% of the offenses downtown was crimes, 37% were alcohol violations, and 5.4% involved scattering rubbish. Of the crimes, 17% were trespasses, 11% disorderly conduct, 9% criminal mischief, 5% theft, 4% resisting arrest, 3% interfering with a Police Office. The alcohol violations pertained to consumption and possession of alcohol in public.
The Police Department thought the ordinance had a positive effect on the community regarding violations. In addition to the ordinance, staffing, an increase of park patrol, and the cadet patrol contributed to the decline in crime and creating an almost year round presence in the downtown. City Attorney Dave Lohman added another positive effect of the ordinance dealt with failures to appear. If a person failed to appear for court three times, they were subject to expulsion from the downtown area resulting in an increase of people going to court to deal with their offenses.
Sergeant Hensman confirmed the three categories of Crimes, Violations, and All Other Violations related to the 18 individuals that qualified for expulsion August 1, 2012 to August 31 2013. The specific element for a crime of disorderly conduct was a person must feel some sort of physical violence pending. Chief Holderness added that generally disorderly conduct was due to drinking, drugs, or mental illness. Alcohol violations were different from disorderly conduct. In addition, there was a strong correlation in the statistics and large groups of traveler’s and transients that came to Ashland during the summer.
Sergeant Hensman addressed trespassing and explained businesses can request specific individuals to refrain from entering that property. If they come back to the property after being duly warned, the police can arrest them for the crime of trespass.
Chief Holderness explained the Police Department received a grant that funded the cadet program that had allowed seven-day coverage. For 2014, they would be able to fund two cadets for six-day week coverage for 2014. He confirmed the increase of violations during summer 2012 was due to people accustomed to no negative consequences for violating City ordinances and laws.
1. Approval of commission minutes
2. Approval of placing a Lien on a property as a result of weed abatement
3. Authorization to proceed with contract exceeding $100,000 for the Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink Cover
Staff pulled Consent Agenda item number 2 for a future meeting. Councilor Lemhouse pulled Consent Agenda items #3 to clarify Council acted as the local contract review board for City and Parks contracts.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda items minus Consent Agenda Item #2. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public hearing and first reading by title only of three an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Chapters 18.08, 18.24.030, 18.28.030 and 18.112 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance relating to definitions, traveler’s accommodations in multi-family residential districts and enforcement associated with transient lodging”
Community Development Director Bill Molnar described changes Council made to the ordinance during the August 19, 2013 meeting. Changes included removing language regarding short-term home rentals (STHR) without a business owner on the property, the definition for primary residence, and clarified the definition for traveler’s accommodation. Section 2 18.24.030 Conditional Uses cleaned up traveler’s accommodation standards and added new ones for fire inspections, and business license requirements. Advertising a traveler’s accommodation should contain the Planning Action number for the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and prohibited offering residential property for traveler’s accommodation without a CUP, business license, or Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).
Mr. Molnar confirmed Section 2 18.24.030 Conditional Uses (J)(1) All residences used for traveler’s accommodation must be business owner occupied was the same as a Bed and Breakfast (B&B). City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the advertising prohibition applied to R-1, R-2, and R-3 zones. Mr. Molnar noted R-2 and R-3 zones did not have any hotels or motels where this would apply. The prohibition also applied to all zones including C and E zones.
Council and staff discussed Section 2 18.24.030 Conditional Uses (J)(2) The property is located within 200 feet of a boulevard, avenue, neighborhood collector as identified on the official Street Dedication Map in the City's Comprehensive Plan. Distances to the property from a boulevard, avenue or neighborhood collector, shall be measured via a public street or public alley to a lot line. Council questioned the 200-foot requirement with comments that it was arbitrary, and made suggestions to increase to the boundary.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:40 p.m.
Abi Maghamfar/Ashland Lodging Association/451 Main Street/Spoke on behalf of the Ashland Lodging Association in support of the proposed ordinance. The Association would educate their members on the new requirements. He requested Council allocate 60% of the Code Enforcement Officer's time to illegal vacation rentals for the first year with an annual report showing improvements or failures.
Steve Isser/84 Garfield Street/Had issues with the 200-foot requirement in the R-2 and R-3 zones. Applying for a variance was expensive with no guarantee of approval. The requirement was unfair and arbitrary.
Krista Lawlainen/425 North Holly, Medford OR/Spoke on behalf of the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors, submitted a document into the record, and explained Realtors wanted to ensure the process was fair and balanced the rights of personal property.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 8:45 p.m.
Councilor Marsh/Slattery m/s to approve First Reading of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Chapters 18.08, 18.24.030, 18.28.030 and 18.112 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance relating to definitions, traveler’s accommodations in multi-family residential districts and enforcement associated with transient lodging” and move the ordinance to Second Reading.
Councilor Marsh/Slattery m/s to amend by striking the first sentence under Section 2 18.24.030 Conditional Uses (J)(1), “All residences used for traveler’s accommodation must be business owner occupied.” The property may have more than one residence and the owner will not reside in all of the units. The second sentence captured it more accurately, “During operation of a traveler’s accommodation the property on which the traveler’s accommodation is sited must be the primary residence of the business owner.”
Roll Call Vote: Councilor, Voisin, Marsh, Slattery, Morris, Lemhouse, and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
DISCUSSION on amended main motion: Councilor Slattery wanted the Planning Commission to study the 200-foot boundary. Councilor Morris was interested in moving the buffer to 300-feet. Councilor Voisin thought the study should include the impact allowing a zero boundary, 200-foot, 300-foot, and 400-foot. City Administrator Dave Kanner explained during the August 19, 2013 Study Session, Council requested the Planning Commission review the 200-foot buffer and make a recommendation. The Planning Commission had and recommended retaining the 200-foot buffer.
Councilor Marsh opposed referring the 200-foot boundary for further study. It was not arbitrary and there was no evidence of a problem. Additionally it made the R-2 and R-3 zones vulnerable to long-term renters. Councilor Rosenthal questioned having a restriction when an applicant could apply for a CUP and the City considered applications on a case-by-case basis. Councilor Lemhouse suggested Council remove the restriction for a year and amend the ordinance if needed. Council was not in consensus regarding having Planning Commission study the 200-foot boundary.
Councilor Lemhouse/Rosenthal m/s to amend the main motion and request Section 18.24.030 (J)(2) and Section 3 18.28.030 (I)(2); “The property is located within 200 feet of a boulevard, avenue, neighborhood collector as identified on the official Street Dedication Map in the City's Comprehensive Plan. Distances to the property from a boulevard, avenue or neighborhood collector, shall be measured via a public street or public alley to a lot line,” be removed from the ordinance for R-2 and R-3 zones.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Rosenthal agreed with Councilor Lemhouse. Councilor Slattery did not support the motion and thought they should study the 200-foot boundary before making any changes. Councilor Morris commented the Planning Commission did not recommend eliminating the 200-foot buffer. Removing it could have 600 additional units converting to a traveler’s accommodation. Certain areas would need limitations. Councilor Voisin agreed with Councilor Slattery regarding a study that looked at the pros and cons.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse and Rosenthal, Yes; Councilor Marsh, Voisin, Slattery and Morris, NO. Motion failed 2-4.
Council directed staff to provide an analysis regarding the rationale of the 200-foot limitation, the ramifications of expanding and eliminating the restriction and traffic impacts.
Councilor Slattery/Rosenthal m/s to call for the question. Roll Call Vote Councilor Marsh, Voisin, Slattery, Morris, Rosenthal, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on the amended main motion: Councilor Marsh, Voisin, Slattery, Morris, Rosenthal, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion passed.
2. Public hearing and first reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC Chapter 6.04 Business Licenses”
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the ordinance would clarify what was already implicit in the existing ordinance regarding business licenses. It would ensure short-term home rentals (STHR) required a business license. Section 6.04.020 Definitions (A) clarified rental activity as a business activity. Section 6.04.020 Definitions (B) Transient lodging was now consistent with terminology in Section 18 and Section 4 of the TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax). Section 6.04.020 Definitions (C) broadened rental activity. Section 6.04.085 Business License Exemptions (7) required a business license for owners with more than one long-term rental replacing the previous provision of no business license for less than five long-term rentals.
Mr. Molnar clarified short-term home rentals approved as one-unit hotels in the commercial zone and recommended striking the language from the ordinance. Mr. Lohman explained the term was in the ordinance to make it easier for enforcement. However, since it was already implicit in the ordinance Council could strike the language.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 8:26 p.m.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 8:26 p.m.
Councilor Lemhouse/Morris m/s to approve First Reading by title only of the ordinance titled “An Ordinance Amending AMC Chapter 6.04 Business Licenses” and to forward it on to Second Reading. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse explained legal short-term home rentals never objected to this ordinance. Councilor Marsh noted the significant change for owners of long-term rentals, and wanted to know how the City would inform them of the change. Mr. Lohman replied staff notified property management firms and people on lists the Planning Department had regarding long-term rentals and acknowledged it would be difficult to reach everyone. Councilor Voisin suggested having the Ashland Daily Tidings write an article. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Morris, Rosenthal, Lemhouse, Voisin, and Slattery, YES. Motion passed.
3. Public hearing and first reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending AMC Chapter 4.24 Transient Occupancy Tax”
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the ordinance would make clear TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) applied to all transient lodgings. Staff changed terminology in Section 4.24.010 Definitions (B) from hotel to transient lodging, making it consistent with the business license ordinance and land use ordinance. Section 4.24.010 Definitions (E) Rent included rent paid to the owner as well as booking and reservation fees paid to a third party were subject to TOT. Staff replaced the original appeals process with the normal appeal process. People making a donation instead of payment for a rental were subject to TOT.
Staff addressed credible evidence and explained through the ordinance the City could review an owner’s financial books. Additionally, the State and League of Oregon Cities were providing guidance on the matter.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 8:37 p.m.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 8:37 p.m.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to approve First Reading by title only of the ordinance titled “An Ordinance Amending AMC Chapter 4.24 Transient Occupancy Tax” and to forward it on to Second Reading. DISCUSSION: Councilor Voisin wanted quarterly occupancy rates included in the TOT form mailed to owners. Council agreed and directed staff to add the information to the form. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Marsh, Voisin, Lemhouse, and Rosenthal, YES. Motion passed.
Doug Burns/249 Wimer Street/Shared his background as a resident and his involvement with the Cabaret and Chamber of Commerce. His main issue was the Plaza redesign. He read the rules for the Public Arts Commission’s power and duties using public art to enhance existing development, public parks, and public lands. He also read the report on the Public Arts Commission subcommittee that approved the gray pavers and that Covey Pardee agreed with color choice. The designated artist got the City to tear up the existing Plaza and change it into a showcase for one artist’s work. The subcommittee made the decision, it violated the contract with Covey Pardee, and Council did not approve that amendment.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Plaza booth paint colors
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained during a Council meeting earlier in the summer, Council approved painting the Information Booth in the Plaza. Staff put together a committee consisting of Sue Springer, the artist of the tile frieze in the Plaza, Public Arts Commission Chair Margaret Garrington, and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandra Slattery who came up with 3-4 different color combinations to recommend to Council.
Ms. Springer explained the color selection process and the discussion of painting the roof a metal color. They wanted to paint patches on each side of the Information Booth with the selected color schemes for a brief period. During that time, they would informally collect feedback from Council and the public. Ms. Slattery confirmed the blue awning signs with white print were the traditional and international colors for Information. Council directed staff to get an estimate for a copper roof with one Council comment that expressed concern that copper oxidized and could turn green.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s the City direct staff to apply the selected color samples on the booth and request the color selection team come to Council with a final recommendation in October. DISCUSSION: Ms. Springer clarified the Committee would place a box in the Information Booth for people to choose their favorite color combination. If the response overwhelmingly favored one color, the Committee would consider that in their decision. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Second reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Section 2.19 of the Ashland Municipal Code dissolving the Housing Commission and creating the Housing and Human Services Commission”
Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid explained at the September 3, 2013 Council approved First Reading and directed staff to make several amendments. The ordinance included added language that clarified the purpose and mission, changing membership from seven to nine, and removing 2.19.030 Powers and Duties (C) To review and make recommendations to the City Council on Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) related allocations. Mayor Stromberg clarified the purpose of removing 2.19.030 (C) was to discuss whether the Commission would be involved in the Social Services Grant process. Ms. Reid continued with changes noting staff added language to 2.19.030 Powers and Duties that articulated the service population and provided a better definition of human services. Also under 2.19.030 Powers and Duties staff moved (K) To monitor and assess the housing and human services needs of the community, and utilize this information to act in an advisory capacity to provide guidance to the City Council regarding policy and funding strategies relating to housing and human services, to (A). Staff also added new language to 2.19.030 Powers and Duties, to monitor housing discrimination complaints and corrective actions within the City, and to report to the City Council measures taken to further equal opportunity to all persons to live in decent housing facilities regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, source of income, or familial status. Subsequent to printing the Agenda Packet, the Legal Department made further changes to the amended ordinance.
City Attorney Dave Lohman made cosmetic changes to the first page of the ordinance. He simplified the language in 2.19.010 Purpose and Mission and 2.19.030 Powers and Duties (A) and removed the word “develop” from 2.19.030 (B). Other changes were editing and not substantive.
Mayor Stromberg requested staff add the word “continuum” to 2.19.010 Powers and Duties (A) so it read, “To monitor and assess the continuum of housing and human services needs of the community, and utilize this information to advise the City Council regarding policy and funding strategies relating to housing and human services.”
Councilor Slattery/Lemhouse m/s to approve Second Reading by title only of an Ordinance titled “An Ordinance Amending Section 2.19 of the Ashland Municipal Code Dissolving the Housing Commission and creating the Housing and Human Services Commission with the changes as noted and the inclusion of the word Continuum in 2.19.030 A.” DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse clarified this was not merging two Commissions but dissolving two and creating a new one. Councilor Voisin noted Council was deleting 2.19.030(D) To review and make recommendations to the City Council on City of Ashland Social Service Grant related allocations, and wanted staff to explain why the point was originally included. Ms. Reid explained several reasons the Social Service Grant review would be appropriate for the Commission were its familiarity with the groups applying for Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), along with which organizations were working for the City and the gaps the City might have. The new Commission would be familiar with the organizations and their capacity to carry out scope of work, programs they are applying for, and their records of accomplishment. Staff thought it would be easy to consolidate it with the CDBG application process since the social services grant process occurred at the same time to minimize confusion for applicants. Mayor Stromberg reminded Council they removed this point for further discussion with the Budget Committee with a resolution by the end of the year.
Mr. Lohman read aloud the following changes to the ordinance:
- Section 2.19.010 Purpose and Mission now read: The Housing and Human Services Commission is to assess and make recommendations to the City Council for addressing the continuum of housing and human services needs for the purpose of enhancing community health and well-being.
- Section 2.19.020 Established Membership now read: The Housing and Human Services Commission is established and shall consist of nine (9) voting members, one (1) non-voting student liaison from Southern Oregon University, and one (1) non-voting ex-officio member who shall be the City Housing Program Specialist.
- Section 2.19.030 Powers and Duties (A) now read: To monitor and assess the continuum of housing and human services needs of the community, and utilize this information to advise the City Council regarding policy and funding strategies relating to housing and human services
- Section 2.19.030 Powers and Duties (B) now read: To consider the feasibility of and advise the City Council on programs that assist in addressing the unmet utility, medical, transportation, and food needs of seniors, children and families in Ashland, and other related human services programs.
- Section 2.19.030 Powers and Duties (D) To review and make recommendations to the City Council on City of Ashland Social Service Grant related allocations, was removed for future discussion
- Section 2.19.030 Powers and Duties (K) now read: To monitor housing discrimination complaints and corrective actions within the City, and to report to the City Council measures taken to further equal opportunity to all persons to live in decent housing facilities regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, source of income, or familial status.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Slattery, Morris, Rosenthal, Marsh, Lemhouse, and Voisin, YES. Motion passed.
Mayor Stromberg explained the City would use the normal procedure to get applicants for the Housing and Human Services Commission.
2. First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance creating a franchise agreement for solid waste management and collection within the City of Ashland and repealing Ordinances 2829, 2582 relating to previous solid waste franchise agreements and terms”
Management Analyst Adam Hanks explained the Franchise Agreement ordinance described the relationship the City had with a collector. The total packet included three resolutions that would come to Council during Second Reading. One resolution included administrative operations rules, the second resolution provided the rate structure and proposed rates. The third resolution awarded the franchise to Recology.
The Franchise Agreement ordinance contained the ratemaking component. The Franchise Agreement showed how rate adjustments would occur using a 10% operating margin with an annually adjusted CPI (Consumer Price Index) to create rate stability over time.
A key point was automating or partially automating collection services using Recology provided roll carts amortized over the first ten years of the agreement resulting in an incremental cost per year spread out to all users. Another key issue was the Yellow Bag program, a customer driven on call service similar to the Sticker program. The difference was capacity and the Sticker program used roll carts. The Yellow Bag program was heavily subsidized and the recommendation would convert this service to the Sticker Program. Currently 200 plus Yellow Bag customers would roll into the Sticker Program that had 600 participants creating 800 on call customers of the City’s 6,200 customers. Medical waste was another service adjusted because rates were less than the cost of service.
An issue in the Franchise Agreement was the Recycling Center. The proposed Franchise Agreement had the Recycling Center as an Unallowable Expense and not included with the ratemaking criteria. Council needed to decide whether to imbed costs for the Recycling Center in the rates or pull it and account for it separately. Council discussed during the September 16, 2013 Study Session keeping the Recycling Center open for an assessment. Staff recommended two rate options, one Council would approve the First Reading with an amendment to allow expenses related to the Recycling Center to continue as an Allowable Expense until June 30, 2014 or the effective date of the Council approved Operation and Financing Contract for the Recycle Center Operations.
City Administrator Dave Kanner added the issue with allowing it to continue as an Allowed Expense was staff was the proposed 3% across the board rate increase. If the Recycling Center were an Allowed Expense, the increase would be potentially more than 3% until 2015. Another option was pulling the Recycling Center out of the Franchise Agreement, treat it almost as a second contract with Recology, and identify a separate funding stream while the City or ad hoc committee decided the future of the Recycling Center. Mr. Hanks added the Yellow Bag and Sticker program customers also received recycling service at no additional charge. The cost of that service was imbedded in the monthly residential customers but not for on call service. Mr. Kanner confirmed the 3% increase did not include the Recycling Center. Mayor Stromberg clarified if the profit was 10% of sales it worked out to 11.1% of cost.
Mark Weir/546 Scenic Drive/Explained he was a member of the Conservation Commission but spoke as a private citizen and wanted to discuss the Franchise Agreement. The Commission made five recommendations with only a few purpose policy additions incorporated, that he found disappointing. Recology created diversion rates in San Francisco that exceeded other cities. He thought the City had reduced the quality of what Recology provided for cheap rates. Making recycling difficult reduced diversion rates. Waste should be expensive and recycling less expensive. Additionally the City needed to think about the ecosystem services affected by the Franchise Agreement that did not require additional motor vehicle quality standards for waste collection trucks. Recycling should be an Allowable Expense because it ultimately created a better quality of life in Ashland. He thought the Franchise Agreement lacked research and did not reflect a community concerned about the waste it produced. Specific recommendations included keeping the Recycling Center as an Allowable Expense, creating an increased pay-as-you-throw program using small containers almost subsidized by larger containers. Other mechanisms used pick-ups every two weeks to reduce regular waste. Expensive waste collection with cheaper recycling rates drove people towards recycling.
The Conservation Commission had recommended diversion goals in the Franchise Agreement. Recology could also help determine the current waste stream and goals to reduce. The Conservation Commission could facilitate community wide goal setting as part of a larger sustainability plan.
Mr. Kanner explained the City was sensitive to rates. Many of the things Mr. Weir shared were pertinent to the operations standards and not the Franchise Agreement itself. Community goal setting would be worthwhile separate from the Franchise Agreement. In San Francisco where people pay up to $50 a month, diversion worked well. In Jackson and Deschutes Counties rate increases contributed to a rise in illegal dumping. He recommended Council adopt the Franchise Agreement and operations standards as written and continue working on them. There were competing policy goals, one keeping rates reasonable and affordable and the other to increase waste diversion. Education was the most important thing a city could do to increase waste reduction.
Councilor Lemhouse/Slattery m/s to approve First Reading of an Ordinance creating a franchise agreement for solid waste management & collections within the City of Ashland and repealing ordinances 2829 and 2582 relating to previous solid waste franchise agreements and terms.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse noted it was difficult trying to balance cheap rates with the best possible service. The Franchise Agreement was a step in right direction. He supported finding a way to keep the Recycling Center open. Councilor Slattery was interested in having the Recycling Center as a separate item on the bill or finding another way of charging and not making it an Allowable Expense.
Councilor Rosenthal/Marsh m/s to amend the ordinance to allow expenses related to the Recycling Center to continue to be defined as Allowable Expenses until June 30, 2014 or until Council determines an ultimate method to fund the Recycling Center. DISCUSSION: Councilor Rosenthal explained the amendment would give Council time to explore the issue thoroughly. Councilor Marsh added there was interest in maintaining Recycle Center and thought the City should use the same funding method instead of finding another mechanism. Councilor Voisin would not support the amendment and wanted a surcharge added to the Recology bills.
Mayor Stromberg suspended the rules to hear from Recology General Manager Steve DiFabion who explained there was a misunderstanding regarding the short-term rate. The 3% increase included continuing the operation of the Recycling Center without subsidy. If Council removed the Recycling Center from the ordinance, Recology might not need the 3%. If the ordinance passed as an Unallowable Expense and the Council chose to keep the Recycling Center, it would require a subsidy or surcharge. If Council left the Recycling Center open and approved the 3% increase, it would include the operating costs associated with the Recycling Center. If Council found another funding mechanism by June 2014, the 3% would not necessarily come out of the increase. It would depend on the operating ratio range and the CPI. Recology would do a calculation at that time.
Mr. Kanner clarified annual rate adjustments occurred within a specific timeframe during the spring. A rate adjustment if needed would happen the following year. Recology had many moving parts affecting costs. Councilor Slattery thought it would be better to leave the Recycling Center outside the rate structure because a surcharge could end at any time. Mr. DiFabion estimated the surcharge would be 3%. Mr. Kanner added a 3% surcharge on a regular residential bill would be approximately .60 cents. Alternately, the City could apply a flat $1.50 surcharge regardless of customer classification.
Councilor Lemhouse supported the premise but not the motion. A surcharge would buy the City time, provided flexibility to stop any time as opposed to putting it as an Allowable Expense the City may have to pay with for another year. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris and Rosenthal, YES; Councilor Lemhouse, Marsh, Slattery, and Voisin, NO. Motion failed 2-4.
Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to keep the Recycling Center open through a surcharge from Recology and that it sunset June 30, 2014. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Morris, Voisin, Marsh, Slattery, and Rosenthal, Yes. Motion passed.
Roll Call Vote on Main Motion as amended: Councilor Lemhouse, Morris, Voisin, Marsh, Slattery, and Rosenthal, Yes. Motion passed.
3. Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution approving a Jackson County Order to Initiate formation of a Jackson County Agricultural Extension Services District and consenting to the inclusion of the City of Ashland within the boundaries of the District”
Councilor Voisin/Rosenthal m/s to approve the resolution titled, “A resolution approving a Jackson County Order to Initiate Agricultural Extension Service District and consenting to the inclusion of City Territory within the boundaries of the district.”
Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
Meeting adjourned at 10:26 p.m.
Dana Smith, Assistant to the City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor