Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session and Special Meeting

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

City of Ashland
March 11, 2015


Present:   Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Lewis, Miller, Shaw; Director Black; Superintendents Dials and Dickens; Administrative Supervisor Dyssegard
Other:      City Administrator Kanner
Absent:    City Council Liaison - Mayor Stromberg


Gardiner called the study session to order at 12:00 p.m. in the jury room of the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main.

Budget discussion
  • Staff will present the draft budget to the Commission and discuss projected requirements and resources for the upcoming budget in the work session before going into the special meeting.
Black said the proposed budget for the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission (APRC) for the 15-17 biennium would be presented at the work session as well as the special meeting. Both meetings were publicly noticed and some Parks and Recreation staff (Park Tech IIIs, recreation managers and coordinators) were invited to attend. The same information would be provided to the City Administrator / Budget Officer on March 16.
Black presented the four-part proposed budget for the APRC:
  1. Operations and Management
    1. Personnel Services
    2. Materials and Supplies
  2. Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
  3. Revenue
  4. Add Package Requests (Staff additions)
Two principles were considered during budget planning: 1) for Operations and Management, a budget increase of no more than 2% over the prior year’s approved budget; and 2) requirements matching resources, especially in terms of the CIP.
CIP funding resources were reported to include:
  1. Food and Beverage Tax Revenue
  2. SDC (Systems Development Charges) Revenue
  3. Critical Maintenance Appropriations carryover from BN 13-15
  4. Ending Fund Balance Transfer ($470,000)
  5. Other – Grants and Bonds
In the Personnel Services category, Salary and Benefits and Fringe Benefits included costs for potential COLAs as well as step increases, benefits increases and future liabilities associated with vacation payouts. For Materials and Supplies, additional funds were requested in one line item, Vehicle Replacement, due to a budget anomaly. For the CIP category, budget recommendations were based on available resources (per the CIP spreadsheet) and balanced with revenue projections. Black reviewed the CIP spreadsheet that outlined both recommended and closed projects. He talked about using SDC funds for land acquisitions.
Revenue projections, completed by the Recreation Division, included revenue sources from recreation only: rents, golf course fees, recreation programs and others.

Three position add packages were requested for the 15-17 biennium: 1) one FTE for a Project Manager; 2) one FTE for a Trails Maintenance Tech I; and 3) one FTE for Roving Park Tech I.
Black reviewed the proposed BN 15-17 budget in brief:
1)       Operations and Management – percentage increase of 10.31 %
2)       Capital Improvement Plan – percentage decrease of 11.63%
3)       Revenue – Percentage increase of 1.27%

By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the study session at 1:55 p.m. Gardiner called the special meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.

·        Staff will give a presentation on the draft budget for the public and ask the Commission to approve or approve with modifications for presentation to the Budget Committee and Budget Officer. This item will require public comment.

Black said the purpose of the special meeting was to outline the proposed APRC budget for the biennial budget period spanning July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2017. This would be the first step, with the second step a presentation to the Budget Officer, Dave Kanner, and the final step a presentation to the Budget Committee. He outlined the mission of the APRC and showed a graphic of their organizational chart. He listed nine APRC accomplishments in 2013-15: three designated as critical maintenance projects, three capital improvement projects and three in the miscellaneous category.

Black reviewed the Commission’s 2015-17 goal setting process, resulting in 41 goals. Top APRC goals for 2015-2017 included:
  • Facilitate a partnership to build a new competition-style year-round indoor swimming pool for the community.
  • Work with the City to facilitate the full transfer of The Grove into the long-term care and control of APRC.
  • Move forward with sidewalks on Winburn Way and a lower Clay Street Dog Park.
  • Update Trails and Open Space Comprehensive Plan
  • Move forward with the Lithia Park Master Plan and begin planning process.
Black elaborated on two of the five goals:
  • Pool – SOU pool is no longer a viable option per SOU. The pool community recommended placing a bubble over the Daniel Meyer Pool, making it a year-round facility for use by school groups, swim and water polo teams and masters swimmers.
  • The Grove – relocate the Recreation offices and customer service to this location. Benefits: increased recreational opportunities for community members, central location of APRC customer service, visibility, and to serve as a community emergency shelter.
The 2015-17 APRC recommended budget of $16,863,627 included four categories:
  • 49% - Admin / Operations and Management, including Personnel Services and Materials and Supplies. Total for this category: $7,469,390. Source: General Fund. Proposed increase for this category in BN 15-17: 10.31% over BN 13-15 (7.1% in personnel and 3.2% in materials).
    • Full-Time Equivalents. Source: Operations. Proposed increase of three FTEs in BN 15-17 over 13-15, or a 6.8% increase. Add packages to include one Park Tech I – Trails; one Park Tech I – Roving; and one Project Manager. Yearly comparisons: 2008 (50.55 FTEs); 2016 (47 FTEs – if all three add packages were approved by Budget Committee).
  • 28% - CIP. Total for this category (proposed in BN 15-17): $4,696,889. Sources: Food and Beverage Tax, CI, SDC, Bonds / Other. Proposed decrease for this category in BN 15-17: 3.2% over BN 13-15. New 15-17 Proposed CIP Projects:
    • YMCA Park improvements - $5,000. Source: F&B
    • Park Building maintenance - $25,000. Source: F&B
    • Oak Knoll Playground - $45,000. Source: SDC
    • Ashland Creek Park, Phase 2 - $35,000. Source: F&B
    • Bicycle Skills Park - $22,917. Source: F&B
    • The Grove - $111,017. Sources: F&B and CM
    • Winburn Way Sidewalk - $250,000. Sources: F&B and CM
    • Trail and Open Space Comp Plan Update - $120,000. Source: F&B
    • Daniel Meyer Pool Bubble (pool cover and HVAC) - $80,000. Source: F&B
    • Perozzi Fountain - $75,000. Source: F&B
    • Oak Knoll Cart Path - $120,000. Source: F&B
    • Garfield Park Splash and Play - $550,000. Source: Bond
  • 17% - Recreation = $2,547,830
  • 6% - Golf Course = $1,012,880
Black said the Budget Officer instructed all departments to submit proposed budgets that increased by no more than 2% over the prior biennium.
In terms of the three add packages presented, Black said the APRC was down by 6-1/2 employees from 2008. Work had increased while staffing levels decreased. It was time to begin correcting staffing levels. He reported on the funding sources for each of the three position add packages:
  • 1 FTE - Project Manager – CIP and Parks Fund
  • 1 FTE - Trails Tech I – Parks Fund
  • 1 FTE - Roving Tech I – Parks Fund

Black recommended approval of the budget as presented, allowing staff to carry on its work with the Budget Officer and Budget Committee.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Landt said he appreciated the information presented by staff. The recession hit everyone hard, including the APRC, and the Commission cut back on spending. The APRC budget decreased while the parks system grew, with more infrastructure to support but less staffing and funding. Based on the information provided, staff made a good argument that the APRC had successfully recovered from the 2008 recession.

When asked about the cost of putting up and taking down the seasonal pool bubble, staff reported it would cost $10,000 each time. User groups would pay for the major portion of the costs and the school district might be able to store it on their property. It was noted that if the bubble moved forward, the Daniel Meyer Pool building would need winterization and an HVAC system.
Landt reiterated an earlier request for the removal of one item from the CIP list, the Sherwood Park playground upgrade, due to its close proximity to Hunter and Clay Street parks. He suggested also increasing the proposed budget for land acquisitions by $100,000. Black summarized that F&B funding would increase by $100,000, SDC would remain the same, and the grant loan would increase by $100,000. Anything added to land acquisitions would be subtracted from the potential bond. Landt suggested leaving it to staff to balance out the budget numbers. He proposed an additional $100,000 for land acquisitions or The Grove renovations.

In terms of the pool bubble, Black said he had received soft assurance that the school district could pay for its portion of the project. If not, Parks would not spend the proposed $80,000 as presented in the draft budget.

Landt said staff talked about the CIP budget in detail but not the operating budget, other than conceptually. Black said operations budget changes included vehicle purchases and additional FTEs in BN 15-17. He offered to bring more details to the Commission or send information out to the Commission. Landt clarified that the assumption was the amount spent in previous years was reasonable; a good assumption. During the BN 17-19 budget preparation period, Landt asked staff to prepare information for the APRC about operations, for the sake of financial integrity.

MOTION Shaw moved / Landt restated as follows: Approve the APRC budget as presented with the following changes: remove $19,120 for a Sherwood Park playground; reduce funding for the Trails and Open Space Comprehensive Plan Update from $120,000 to $39,120, with the excess $100,000 used for Land Acquisitions or The Grove renovations; allow staff to make the budget adjustments as determined. Lewis seconded the motion.

Discussion of Motion
Miller and Landt requested—and received support from other Commissioners—for staff to adjust funding to allow the pool bubble to move forward if other user groups provided their portions of needed funding.

Black said the budget as discussed that evening, if approved, would become the guiding document for the APRC over the next two-year budget period, with Black bringing any potential changes back to them.

Lewis asked for a budget review midway through BN 15-17. Black said budget adjustments could be requested at any time and mid-period adjustments were common.
The vote was: All yes

MOTION Landt moved to approve the three proposed position add packages as presented.
The vote was: All yes


Shaw asked about the completion date for Ashland Creek Park; Dickens estimated an opening date of April 23 and suggested an opening celebration that day.

Lewis asked for a status update on the FootGolf implementation at Oak Knoll Golf Course. Black said the Commission would discuss FootGolf at their March 16 special meeting, with a Commission decision needed that evening.

Landt suggested holding the “Dogs at Oak Knoll Golf Course” discussion at the March 23 regular meeting to allow for more public attention. The Commission discussed and agreed to include the dogs discussion on their March 16 agenda, with another discussion and a vote occurring at the March 23 regular meeting.
Gardiner said a Bee City USA Subcommittee update would be provided at the March 23 regular meeting.

Staff reported on a free FootGolf event at Oak Knoll Golf Course on Friday, March 13.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the special meeting at 2:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Dyssegard, Administrative Supervisor
Ashland Parks and Recreation

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