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Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (View All)

Conservation Commission Meeting of October 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ashland Conservation Commission
Meeting Minutes
October 23, 2013
Community Development Building, Siskiyou Room
51 Winburn Way
  1. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Commission Chair Weir at 6:00.  Commissioners Beam, Buck, Beigel-Coryell, Gould, Koopman, Hartman, Silverberg and  Weir were in attendance.  Commissioner McGinnis was present for a portion of the meeting.  Council Liaison Rosenthal and City Staff Hanks were also in attendance.
  1. Consent Agenda / Reports
Chair Weir asked for a motion to approve the meeting minutes of September 25, 2013.  Commissioner McGinnis noted that the month for the Sustainability sub-committee presentation back to the full Commission should read November rather than December.  Additionally, Hanks noted that the meeting attendance list was omitted from the minutes and requested the approval to note the addition of Commission attendees.  A motion to approve was made by Commissioner Hartman, with a second from Commissioner Buck, with unanimous approval from the Commission.
  1. Announcements
Chair Weir announced the next Regular Meeting for November 20, 2013 with upcoming Sustainability sub-committee meetings scheduled for November 6th and 13th.  Commissoner Beam announced that the pilot downtown storm drain filter check project was in progress and invited Commissioners to take a look with he and staff each Friday morning at 7:30.  Commissioner Buck announced an E-Cycle event happening in Jackson County on November 16th with some extra features such as hard drive erasing.
  1. Public Forum
Winston Freidman spoke to the Commission about his desire to see the City make a statement about divestment, whether through the City’s own investments or by a statement from the Council to PERS and other entities that hold make investments with City related funds.  The Commission asked questions about the exact request, how it would be moved to Council and the final objective.
  1. Reports
Council Liaison Report - Councilor Rosenthal
Councilor Rosenthal reported to the Commission that he made a request to the Mayor for the Bag Ban/BYOB issue to be placed on the November 18, 2013 study session and described the importance of how the issue was to be framed both verbally by the Commissioners who are planning to present and by staff in the drafting of the Council Communication that accompanies the Commission’s recommendation memo and supporting materials.  Hanks offered to share a draft Council Communication with the sub-committee at their next meeting.
Rosenthal also gave a brief recap of the Recology franchise agreement, rate increase and Recycle Center surcharge decisions that were made by Council and noted that the Mayor will be appointing an additional Conservation Commissioner and two members of the public to the already established Council working group to focus efforts on the future of the Recycle Center, including long term funding options, operational issues, etc.
City Staff Report – Hanks
Hanks informed the Commission of some of the details of the Recology franchise agreement already highlighted by Councilor Rosenthal.  Additionally, Hanks mentioned that the Conservation Division staff is working through significant changes in the program operations of the current Earth Advantage/Energy Star new construction green certification program that the Division has operated for over a decade.  Changes are being made as a result of program changes from both Earth Advantage and Energy Star with a goal of maintaining or increasing participation levels through third party inspection ability rather than City staff only.
Hanks also mentioned that the Electric Utility cost of service study was delayed and will be presented to Council in their December 16, 2013 Study Session.  Hanks also noted that Council recently approved a 5.3% electric rate increase which typically drives an increase in the participation in Conservation Division energy efficiency programs.  
Ashland School District Quarterly Report – Hartman
Commissioner Hartman gave an overview of conservation related activities happening at the various schools within the District.  Bellview is using their garden area for class activities, Eric Sandrock from the Middle School leads the AMS garden activities and is heading up the AMS plastic round-up drive.  Hartman discussed that the high school has teacher learning targets that he is using to conduct activities around composting, including making compost tea.
Hartman noted that Helman School is still working on their Ashland Ponds project with Lomakatsi and Willow Wind has an active bird program running.
City Operational Sustainability Plan Update – Hanks
Hanks gave an update on the progress of the Operational Sustainability Plan.  Key milestones included the recent completion of the Facilities Energy Audit for 18 City buildings.  That data, along with non-building energy data (significant pumps, lift stations, etc) will be used to complete the energy portion of the plan and help establish targets for future years.  It is anticipated that a similar process will be done for water consumption at city facilities.  Work is underway in compiling fleet/fuel data with the help of new pump software.  A partial audit of material waste has been completed but additional work is needed to better define actual volumes being collected.  With the federally required change from Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to Safety Data Sheets (SDS), the City is conducting inventories of all of the hazardous materials used at all facilities.  This will be used to compile the benchmark data for the operational sustainability plan and will assist in evaluation of potential reduction, elimination or better replacements for these materials.
Hanks also noted that an SOU student is assisting in some of the plan development as part of a capstone project. 
  1. Old Business
Process Update - “Bring Your Own Bag” Policy (Plastic Bag Ban) – Buck/Silverberg
Commissioner Buck gave a brief overview of the status of the recommendation reminding the Commission of the already approved recommendation memo that will be the key piece of the presentation to the Council at the November 18th study session.
Councilor Rosenthal noted that it is important to note that it isn’t a finished product, nor is it intended to at this point and that key components include the educational aspect and the issue of the charge for the paper bags.  Rosenthal suggested have data references for the recommendation should it be needed in the discussion.
It was decided that the sub-committee would meet one additional time prior to the study session to review the draft Council Communication from staff and to coordinate the presentation efforts.  The date was set for November 6th at 3:30 in the Recology meeting room.
City of Ashland Investment Policy /Divestment Issue – Barbara Christensen,
City Recorder Christensen was not present so Chair Weir suggested, with agreement from the Commission, that it be placed on the November agenda.
Follow Up - Car Washing Best practices / Signage for Anti Idling – Gould
Car Washing - Commissioner Gould referred the Commission to the packet for information on the car wash program solution to the existing issue of car washes in local parking lots.  The program would encourage fundraising groups to use a City sponsored program that supports the use of the two automated car wash systems in Ashland for fundraising efforts.  These systems recycle their water and are connected to the waste water system instead of the storm drain system.  Gould has contacted the City of Stockton who has run a successful program and will be meeting with PW Storm Drain staff and Hanks to develop the program information to be operated by PW staff.
Anti-idling signage for schools  - Gould again referenced the meeting packet that contains a selection of potential signage to be suggested and possibly purchased for the School District to use in their parent/public parking lot and pick up areas to encourage waiting drivers to turn off their engines while they wait.  The Commission selected the color sign that included a school bus graphic but added that they would actual prefer that it be altered to be a passenger vehicle instead since these signs will be targeted at parents rather than the school buses who already comply with District policy for no idling.
  1. New Business
Appointment recommendation of Commission members to Ad-hoc Recycle Center Committee
Chair Weir reminded the Commission of the decision made by Council to expand the previous group that was working to develop the Recology franchise agreement to a seven member group to make recommendations on the future of the Recycle Center.  The new ad-hoc committee would contain the existing members; Councilors Morris, Voisin and Slattery and Commissioner Beam, an additional new Conservation Commissioner and two members of the general public.
Weir asked for those interested to give a short overview of their perspective on the topic followed by votes from the Commission to appoint the members.  Commissioner Beam indicated that he is willing to continue in his role and again stated that he feels that the garbage service should be mandated so everyone pays equitably in the services.
Commissioner Koopman also stated her willingness to represent the Commission and stated the importance for waste reduction goals and targets to be a part of any recommendation.
Commissioner Beigel-Coryell also stated she was willing to represent.  The Commission voted to recommend Commissioners Beam and Beigel-Coryell to the Mayor for appointment to the Ad-Hoc Committee.
  1. Wrap Up
Weir noted the change in the November Meeting date to November 20, 2013.  A request was made to invite Public Works Director Faught to the November Commission meeting to update the Commission on the road diet project.  Hanks asked the Commission for some topics they would like addressed, which included trip data, ped/bike counts. Safety data, speed data.  Hanks mentioned that the matter would be in front of Council for a final decision in December and wasn’t sure of Faught’s availability but would extend the invitation.  Koopman reminded the group that she would like to get work started on the Conservation Awards sub-committee for the November agenda as well.
Chair Weir adjourned the meeting at 8:00 PM

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