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Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (View All)

Conservation Commission Meeting

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ashland Conservation Commission
Meeting Minutes
February 26, 2014
Community Development Building, Siskiyou Room
51 Winburn Way
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by Chair Weir.  In attendance were Weir, Koopman, Beam, Hartman, McGinnis, Beigel-Coryell and Hanks (staff liaison)
Weir announced a change in the order of the agenda for the Earth Day discussion to occur immediately following Public Forum.
Consent Agenda / Reports
The minutes of the December 18 and January 22 Commission meetings were motioned for approval by Beigel-Coryell with a second from Beam and were unanimously approved with a correction noted by Weir for the title of the January minutes.
Chair Weir noted that the next regular Commission meeting is scheduled for March 26, 2014, which is spring break week and also would be too late for the Commission’s review and recommendation for the BYOB (plastic bag ban) ordinance scheduled to be presented to the Council on April 1st and requested vote to move the meeting to March 19.  Beam motioned for the move to March 19, second from Koopman and approved unanimously.
Upcoming meetings for March were noted for the Sustainability  sub-committee for the 5th and 19th of March and the BYOB sub-committee tentatively scheduled for March 10th depending on the status of the draft ordinance.
Other Announcements from Commissioners included a reminder from Beigel-Coryell about the Master Recycler program openings.  Beam updated the Commission on the Chamber Fourth of July decision to ban flyers/brochures and more strictly enforcing the no candy throwing rule.
Public Forum
Jerry and Betty Pashan presented the Commission with an overview of their business, Green Energy Wind Power and described their plans for a potential wind power generation system to be sited within Jackson County and encouraged the Commission to support the effort and is looking for a letter of intent from the City of Ashland to purchase the power from the project. 
Chair Weir thanked them for their presentation and reminded them that the Commission is not able to make those types of decisions.
Old Business (moved)
Russ Chapman, representing the Rogue Valley Earth day, presented the Commission with a flyer of the history, objectives and succeses of Earth Day activities in Ashland and requested the Commission and City’s continuing financial and participatory support for the event, noting that the Commission has historically providing a $1,000 sponsorship amount and the City’s Conservation Division $500.
The Commission discussed the matter and noted that they had voted in the January meeting to devote $500 to the OSF Green Green Show as part of the updated Conservation Awards (now All School Sustainability Contest) presentation which took away funds that would have previously been allocated to Earth Day.
Hanks suggested the Commission discuss and vote on what the Commission would recommend be allocated as overall City sponsorship support of the event, rather than discussing the Commission contribution separate from the Conservation Division.
McGinnis motioned for a recommendation of $650 with a second from Beigel-Coryell.  The motion was amended by Hartman and approved by McGinnis for the Commission to recommend $500 from the Commission’s budget with a condition that it only be given if the City, through the Conservation Division was able to contribute the $1,000 to make up the historical total contribution.  The motion was approved unanimously.
Hanks then noted to Mr. Chapman the Conservation Division would be able to contribute the $1,000 making the total City contribution $1,500.
Reports / Presentations
Council Update
Councilor Morris was not in attendance
City Operations
Hanks noted that he had recently attended a meeting in Salem as part of the City’s participation in the Oregon Municipal Electric Utility association.  The meeting was a legislative update on existing legislation in progress that may affect public utilities.  Hanks noted that the Umatilla Co-op appeal of the definition of renewable energy had seemed to be worked out and would not impact the City.  Additionally, discussion and comment was forwarded regarding the development of standards and rules for the standardization of the Energy Performance Score (EPS) statewide.
Hanks also gave updates on the following
  • He is participating in workgroup sessions with BPA and other utility customers as part of the Post 2011 Review process and will update the Commission further on some of the key issues that may impact the City.
  • Recent purchase and installation of indoor source separated recycling containers at several public use areas of City and Parks buildings and thanked Commissioner Buck and Recology for their assistance.
  • City staff recently completed the annual survey report for Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition for fleet/transportation related air quality improvements.  The City has five hybrid vehicles and two all electric vehicles and continue to look for opportunities to increase the efficiency and air quality of the City fleet.
  • The Wastewater Treatment Plant recently completed an energy efficiency measure with the replacement of variable frequency drives (VFD’s) in many of the pump systems at the plant which has a substantial decrease in energy consumption and no loss of control or specifications for the plant operators.
  • The City and Parks Dept will be joining forces to conduct a City/Parks property indoor and outdoor water audit to identify both short term and long term water saving opportunities on City properties to take place in late summer, early fall of 2014
  • The Community Development Dept will be presenting a proposal to City Council for the mandating of electric vehicle charging infrastructure for new residential construction as part of a pilot program request from the State Building Codes Division as  outlined in the Governor’s Ten Year Energy Plan.  The item is a study session item and ordinance development would follow if approved by Council
Quarterly Report – SOU
Beigel-Coryell noted the following

The solar systems are currently being installed on the new dorms buildings, one is a 72 kW system and the other is an 81 kW system.
  • The science building renovation is starting and is anticipated and planned to be a minimum of a LEED Silver certified building.
  • The Sustainability Center and Farm project is underway on Walker Av and TID supply and irrigation is being installed and upgrades are being made to the house to be used for student offices and meetings.
  • SOU has partnered with Keep America Beautiful for waste and debris diversion associated with residence hall move outs at the end of each year.
  • The Recycling program has calculated a waste diversion rate of 54% for 2013 up from 46% in 2012
  • The residence halls are in the process of measurement and verification for the anticipated LEED Gold certification
  • SOU is sending two staff members to the upcoming Master Recyclers classes
  • SOU sold the renewable energy credits (REC) from the residence hall project to Chevrolet
  • Tree Campus USA is sponsoring the installation of over 6,000 plants around the SOU campus this spring.
Quarterly Report – Ashland School District (added after deferral from January meeting)
Hartman noted the follow activities happening at the School District.

The District is installing LED lights in parking lots over the coming months, saving energy and operational costs.
  • The solar system at the Inspire House (Wilderness Charter School) has some shading issues that they are going to address.
  • Facilities has removed some “unofficial” compost areas and is working to consolidate to a site for efficiency and sanitary improvements
  • Hartman is working with Facilities to address the composting options for a batch of sugar cane cafeteria trays that is a challenging issue.
  • Hartman is working with a student to install an energy generating windmill at the High School.
Recycling Center Ad-Hoc Committee Update
Commissioners Beam and Beigel-Coryell updated the Commission on the status of the committee and noted that the primary task at this point is data collection/survey on site at the Recycle Center to get information on who uses the center, where they come from, what materials they recycle most, etc.  The survey will be conducted over the last two weeks in March and the first week in April.
Beam noted that the committee also discussed different models of financing recycling overall including distribution of costs to all residents.  Staff is working on developing pro’s and con’s for the different models.  Beam also noted that the committee is discussion different services and objectives possible for the Center, including a bigger emphasis on re-use and re-purposing of materials.
Weir suggested the committee be careful about the timing of surveys and public input to ensure that the input gathered is based on the most current and relevant data on the issues.

Sustainability Sub-Committee
Deferred to the March meeting
Fourth of July Sub-Committee
Deferred to the March meeting
Old Business
Conservationist of the Year Awards Committee
Koopman gave an update noting that the flyers were approved by the School District and are now ready for distribution and she would work with staff and the sub-committee members to make that happen.  The Commission again noted their support for the new focus of the competition aspect of the awards and Koopman stated that she feels this year is a great learning process for a bigger and better product in the coming years.
Koopman added that she would be interested in suggestions from the Commission for people to be competition judges and asked Commissioners to email her their ideas.
Ashland Garden Club–Sponsorship Recommendation Request
New Business
Commission Goals Review
Weir informed the Commission of his planned structure for a goals discussion at the March Commission meeting.  Weir instructed each Commissioner to come to the March meeting with one priority goal they would like to have accomplished by the Commission in the next year.
Wrap Up
Items to be added to next agenda include the Recology quarterly report, an update from the Ad-hoc Recycle Center Committee, the Awards sub-committee and the Fourth of July Committee as well as a review and recommendation on the BYOB (plastic bag ban) ordinance.  April agenda items include the School District quarterly update, the Sustainability sub-committee update
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM

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