Click on "Attachments" to see the full agenda packet.
MINUTES FOR THE CONSERVATION COMMISSION
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chair Roxane Beigel-Coryell at 6 p.m. Commission members Risa Buck, Marni Koopman, James McGinnis, and Bryan Sohl were present. Councilor Stefanie Seffinger and staff liaison Adam Hanks were also present. Commission members David Sommer and Jaime Rosenthal were absent.
1. Welcome/Intro of New Commissioner
The newly appointed Commissioner Erin Halcomb, unfortunately had to resign after moving to a new state.
2. Consent Agenda
Approval of previous three meeting minutes has been moved to September’s meeting.
Beigel-Coryell announced that the next regular scheduled meeting will be held on September 26, 2018. Beigel-Coryell asked all members to let her know closer to next meeting if they are able or unable to attend to avoid not having a quorum. The committee also discussed the regularly scheduled meetings in November and December. It was decided that November’s meeting will be held as scheduled on November 28th. December’s meeting currently falls on December 26th and the Commission will discuss at a later date if they want to move that meeting to an earlier date, such as December 19th, or cancel it completely. Hanks will check if the Siskiyou Room is available for the earlier date.
3.1. Upcoming Sub-committee meetings
A Waste Prevention sub-committee meeting will be scheduled at next meeting to discuss the straw ban pilot program as long as all members of sub-committee are present.
3.2. Other Announcements from Commissioners
Sohl stated that his climate activist daughter was on NPR discussing Jordan Cove and LNG pipelines on the East and West Coast. The members congratulated her for her role. Koopman announced the date for the next Climate Bash, which will be on February 15, 2018 and will most likely held at the Armory.
4. Public Forum
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Highway 99 – described the amount of energy the human body requires in one hour (100 watts) related to how far an electric car could drive with the same amount of energy. Gutcheon stated that he reviewed the 2015-2017 Council goals and objectives and two objectives stood out to him: 1) to seek opportunities for all citizens to meet basic needs and 2) develop and support land use and transportation policy to achieve sustainable development. Gutcheon stressed the lack of progress on requiring new constructions be wired to charge electric cars that are aligned with these goals. He recognized that this will be a large change to take on, but needs to be done if the City and Council are interested in carbon reduction. He stated that Council needs to determine if they want to play a larger role in combatting man-made climate change.
5.1 Council Liaison Update
Councilor Seffinger discussed the previous night’s City Council meeting outcomes including decisions on the Transportation Network Companies (TNC) and the Wildfire Mitigation Ordinances. Seffinger emphasized that it is a time of change for the Council with the upcoming November election, the new City Administrator, current budget issues. Buck stated, that if it is helpful, both Buck and Beigel-Coryell can catch Seffinger up on different projects of the Commission since she is new to the Commission.
5.2 SOU Update
Beigel-Coryell stated that SOU has three solar installs planned. Two of those installs are starting in a couple of weeks and the other one SOU is soliciting bids for. All will be rooftop installations with one using the City’s new virtual net metering program since it will be on a storage shed. The new recreation center is still in process for getting LEED certified.
5.3 City Operations/Administration
Staff member Hanks mentioned the TNC Ordinance including a small incentive towards electric vehicles, progress on the Climate Energy and Action Plan, and pilot incentive programs for electric vehicles and further incentivizing fuel switching. Hanks gave an update on the City’s incentive programs. Current 2018 data shows that there have been 64 heating systems upgraded or installed using the incentives. Those include:
• 20 heat pump systems—17 BPA funded, 3 City funded
• 44 duct less systems—24 BPA funded, 20 City funded
Hanks stated that most City funded systems are ones that have moved from gas to electric systems; therefore, did not qualify for BPA incentives. Last year there were only 109 systems, so the incentive program is tracking slightly above for surpassing the previous year’s total.
Solar incentives for current budget are over the 50% mark for the first budget year. This overage is a result of the State residential tax credits that ended in 2017. Hanks also stated that the number of solar systems, even those not-qualifying for City incentives, are going up based on the amount of net-metering requests the City has received. Hanks plans on working with the Climate Energy and Action Plan Implementation (CEAP 2) Committee to include the annual figures in the CEAP’s website dashboard. Buck was interested in learning more about the City’s process for permitting solar trackers. Hanks will collect information on this process for the next meeting.
6. Old Business
6.1. Commission Monthly Column in Sneak Preview
Beigel-Coryell thanked the CEAP 2 Committee and McGinnis for their submission to the Sneak Preview’s September issue. Koopman sent out an article on Alternative Transportation for the Commission to review and discuss at the meeting. McGinnis had a question about how the dollar savings were calculated. Koopman explained that the source was the Ashland.ChooseEV.com website and that the calculations were based off using a Chevy Spark as a reference point. McGinnis moved to approve the article as written with Buck seconding the motion. Beigel-Coryell asked if there was any further discussion and the Commissioners thanked Koopman and Stu Green who was not present, but helped with the article. The motion passed with all in favor.
November’s article concerning the Straws on Demand Pilot Program will be on next month’s agenda for approval. The article will entail a progress report on the current program with possibly including participating businesses’ feedback. The Commission will revisit material from the previous years to include for December’s article. Hanks will compile the previous December articles and include them in next meeting’s packet.
6.2. Sub-committee updates
Energy Conservation, Renewable Energy, and Water sub-committees have not had recent meetings or have new items to report to the Commission. Hanks mentioned the “Love Your Water” campaign run this summer by Julie Smitherman, Water Conservation Analyst, and the Public Works Department. Buck stated that Julie should attend one of the future meetings either in October or later in the year.
The Waste Prevention sub-committee has been working on the Straws on Demand pilot program which ended on August 14th. The sub-committee will send a survey to the involved businesses on the overall experience, feedback from customers and employees, and the cost of paper versus plastic straws. Next meeting will include the article outlining these results as well as an update with the business feedback compiled by the Waste Reduction sub-committee. The survey and feedback will help the sub-committee decide on whether or not to expand the program and future steps. Beigel-Coryell also mentioned that the sub-committee is talking to local businesses about a pilot program for reusable to-go boxes. There is potential to partner with the City and local businesses to get grant funding for the to-go boxes that select businesses could pilot the program. Hanks informed the Commission that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Materials Management Grants are due September 28, 2018. The City’s Economic Development grants are due in March of next year and a non-profit has to be the applicant.
7.1 CEAP 2.0 Committee Update
McGinnis updated the Commission on the previous CEAP 2 meeting. Three things were reviewed:
• Council recommendation and possible Commission restructure presented by CEAP 1
CEAP 1 recommend a Commission restructure based on Diana Shiplet’s presentation to Council. The restructure was aimed at reducing the amount of Commission overlap, increasing community involvement, and being better aligned with Council goals and requests. Buck requested that Hanks send the Commission restructure presentation discussed in the previous CEAP 2 meeting and the packet items from that meeting as well in advance of next meeting, if possible.
• CEAP 2’s Council recommendation
Discussion revolved around expanding upon CEAP 1’s recommendation for commission restructure as well as the future for a CEAP committee. As CEAP 2 is near the end of its charge and getting prepared to present its recommendation to Council.
• Finalized EMPOWER Ashland plan
McGinnis reported that the CEAP 2 members approved the EMPOWER Ashland Plan designed to engage the community to adopt the plans recommendations. Target audience for this plan included local contractor’s, youth, car dealers, and other stakeholders to be determined. The plan includes three strategies: online presence, printed materials, and community events and presentations.
7.2 Review Commission Rules
Beigel-Coryell read through the Commission rules that were agreed upon as a group:
• Participate on sub-committees
• Be on time
• Actively listen
• Check in that everyone understands
• Raise your hand to speak to have one voice at a time
• Okay to disagree
• Be respectful of meeting time by staying on topic
• Moving certain topics outside of the meeting, if necessary
• Topic bin for later discussion
• Do your homework by reading the packet materials to be prepared for meetings
• Take responsibility for creating the Commission that you want to have
• Encourage group engagement in an informal way
• Support our relationship to and with the City
• Keep open mind
Hank mentioned there were some rules relating to staff responsibilities as well:
• Staff will send out agenda and packet with enough time for members to view
• Commissioners will get packet items to staff as needed
7.3 Review Commission Goals
Beigel-Coryell announced the Commission goals from September 2017:
• Working with sub-committees: Energy Conservation, Renewable Energy, Water, and Waste Prevention
• 10 x 20 Ordinance
Hanks informed the Commission that the 10 x 20 Ordinance update is scheduled for the October 1st Council Study Session. Hanks will have more information for the September Conservation Commission meeting. Koopman asked Sohl if he would like to join the Renewable Energy sub-committee and meet with Hanks before next meeting to discuss 10 x 20’s progress. Sohl agreed to join. McGinnis suggested discussing possible advertising for 10 x 20 at next meeting.
• Electric use score cards
Sohl asked if there was something members are passionate about; how would they get it on the goal’s list. Beigel-Coryell said members can email her and she can collect those proposed goals for next meetings discussion.
7.4 Commission Presentation to Council – Prep
Beigel-Coryell announced the presentation to Council is set for the September 4th regular business meeting. Hanks presented members with presentation information from last year. Beigel-Coryell asked if there were any new items were wanted to be part of the presentation. Items interested by members included:
• Straws on Demand pilot program
• Bottles & Cans Baskets
Hanks will get total number installed within the City.
• Gray water and laundry landscape workshops
• Conservation Corner in Sneak Preview
Hanks proposed that they compile previous articles published for the Council communication packet.
• Acknowledge CEAP 2’s work and cross over with Conservation Commission
If members have any additional ideas for the presentation, they can email Beigel-Coryell.
8. Wrap Up
Items discussed at this meeting for next agenda include:
• Approval of previous meetings minutes
• A Waste Prevention sub-committee meeting will be scheduled to discuss the straw ban pilot program as long as all members of sub-committee are present
• November’s article concerning the Straws on Demand Pilot Program
• Update on Straws on Demand business feedback
• Update on the 10 x 20 Ordinance and possible advertising for 10 x 20
• Solar tracker permitting
Members can email Beigel-Coryell with any additional items to be on next agenda.
Meeting was officially adjourned at 7:35 p.m. by Chair Beigel-Coryell.
• All members need to email Beigel-Coryell closer to next meeting about whether or not they will be able to attend.
• Members with any additional ideas for the presentation can email Beigel-Coryell.
• Members can email Beigel-Coryell with any additional items to be on next agenda.
• Buck and Beigel-Coryell will catch Seffinger up on different projects of the Commission.
• Hanks will check if the Siskiyou Room is available for a possible early meeting on December 19th.
• Hanks will collect information on this solar tracker permitting for the next meeting.
• Hanks will schedule with Julie Smitherman to have her attend one of the fall meetings.
• Hanks will get total number of bottles and cans baskets installed within the City.
• Hanks will compile previous articles published in the Sneak Preview for the Council communication packet.
• Hanks will send the Commission restructure presentation discussed in the previous CEAP 2 meeting and the packet items from that meeting.
• Hanks will compile the Sneak Preview’s previous December articles for next meeting’s packet.
• The Renewable Energy sub-committee will meet with Hanks before the September meeting to discuss the 10 x 20 Ordinance.
• The Waste Prevention sub-committee will compile business feedback on the Straws on Demand program to present at the September meeting.
Elizabeth Taylor, Executive Assistant