Ashland Conservation Commission
March 19, 2014
Community Development Building, Siskiyou Room
51 Winburn Way
- Call to Order
Meeting called to order by Chair Weir. In attendance were Commissioners Buck, Weir, Sliverberg, Gould, Hartman, McGinnis, Beigel-Coryell and Koopman. City Staff Hanks was also present.
- Consent Agenda / Reports (5 min)
The meeting minutes of the February 26nd
Commission meeting and the March 5, 2014 Sustainability Sub-committee were unanimously approved by the Commission
- Announcements (5 min)
Weir noted that the next Regular Meeting is scheduled for April 23, 2014 and sustainability sub-committee meetings are scheduled for April 2nd
. Koopman noted that a Clean Energy Day is coming up sponsored by Rogue Climate.
McGinnis requested via motion that the goals discussion on the current agenda be moved to another date, either a future regular meeting or a special, extra meeting date to be determined by the Commission at a future meeting. Koopman provided the second and was approved unanimously by the Commission.
- Public Forum
- Reports / Presentations/Updates
Chair Weir announced that a planned agenda item inadvertently didn’t make it onto the meeting agenda and he then added a special presentation/discussion regarding the Commissions sponsorship of summer composting classes at the Recycle Center.
Rhianna Simes, the instructor of the classes for the past three years introduced herself to the Commission, described her background with the OSU Extension Service and other entities and her educational background in soils science and horticulture related fields.
Simes noted that her primary objective for attending the meeting was to discuss the status of the composting classes and to be connected with the Commission in their discussions on desired objectives in future years. The Commission discussed a general desire to match the class materials primarily to the urban composting setting rather than rural, as well as ways to increase participation in the classes and expanding its reach in the community. Ideas included a compost tour, more focus on worm based composting, offering reduced cost or free compost bins to participants.
The Commission thanked Simes for her input and great work in teaching the classes and would continue to work on ways to collaboratively improve the process each year.
Council - Councilor Morris
Weir noted that Councilor Morris had not yet attended a meeting and inquired with Hanks as to the reasons. Hanks noted that he would contact Morris and also encouraged Weir or other interested Commissioners to do the same to understand the situation.
City Operations – Hanks
Hanks noted that he had recently attended a BPA regional meeting discussing improvements and modifications to the BPA funded energy efficiency programs that the City of Ashland participates in. The issue of utility self funding and changes to the implementation manual were items of interest for the City in future efficiency efforts. Hanks also noted that the overall BPA budget for future year energy efficiency programs has been recently released for public comment and many regional efficiency groups/agencies have been critical of the funding allotted being far short of what had been previously funded to meet regional conservation targets.
Quarterly Report – Recology – Buck
Recycling Center Ad-Hoc – Beigel-Coryell
Beigel-Coryell noted that the group has had several meetings and that some data collection is currently happening at the Recycle Center with SOU student/interns, Recology and City Staff to get some basic information about the current users of the facility. This information will assist the ad-hoc committee in developing a recommendation for the Council scheduled for June.
The next ad-hoc committee meeting is scheduled for April 18th
McGinnis gave a brief update and referenced the minutes in the meeting packet and noted that the sub-committee will be asking for some discussion time at the next Commission meeting to present the STAR matrix and the next process steps in getting Council approval for the concept.
Fourth of July Sub-Committee – Buck
Buck noted that the event for the Commission’s role has been simplified with a group walking and carrying a banner. Buck noted that the sub-committee has discussed and received preliminary approval from Recology to put a large sign on a Recology truck noting overall trash statistics for the Fourth of July event. Buck added that they are hoping for a large group, including kids.
Conservation Awards Committee – Koopman
Koopman updated the Commission on the status of the outreach to the schools, noting the process challenges that took a little longer to work through than anticipated. The sub-committee will be developing a judging panel that is scheduled for May 13/14. Final recommendations for the panel will be presented at the April Commission meeting
Koopman also noted that the Green Show date for the performance and award announcement will be Saturday June 7th
and that she and others will be on a Jefferson Exchange program to publicize the event. Additionally, it was motioned by Buck, second by Weir to work with Hanks to have a presentation slot on a Council agenda to announce the award winners. Commission unanimously approved.
School Zone Area Idling – Gould
Gould updated the Commission on her work with the School District, noting that she presented to the School Board regarding their interest and willingness to institute a no-idling policy and related signage in parent/child drop-off/pick up locations on school grounds. The Board did not commit to the project but took it under advisement. Gould noted that while this was her last meeting as a Commissioner, she would still be following up and seeing this project through, as well as continuing to assist with the awards program.
The Commission collectively thanked her for her participation on the Commission and dedication of time and energy to the projects she spearheaded.
- Old Business
Weir asked for nominations for Commission chair and vice-chair noting that his term has expired. Buck nominated (McGinnis second) Koopman for chair and Beigel-Coryell for vice chair. Both indicated their willingness to take on the task. The nominations were unanimously approved and take effect beginning with the April meeting.
BYOB(Plastic Bag Ban) Ordinance Review/Recommendation
- New Business
Weir referenced the materials in the meeting packet and the Commission discussed the key issues, primarily focusing on the desire to recommend a fee for the paper bag use that was large enough to effectively change behavior and direct a transition to reusable bags.
Beigel-Coryell recommended (Koopman second) that the Commission include a formal recommendation for the ordinance to state a 25 cent fee for reusable bags, with a minimum of 15 cents if the Council felt the 25 cent fee was too high. The motion unanimously passed.
Commission Goal Setting
Deferred to future meeting (see announcements)
- Meeting was adjourned at 8:00 by Chair Weir.