MINUTES FOR THE CONSERVATION COMMISSION
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
1. Call to Order
The December meeting of the Conservation Commission was called to order by Chair Roxane Beigel-Coryell at 6:01 p.m. Commissioners Risa Buck, James McGinnis, Jamie Rosenthal, Bryan Sohl, and David Sommer were present. Staff member Adam Hanks was also present. Commissioners Marni Koopman and Councilor Stefani Seffinger were absent.
2. Commission Vacancies Update
Hanks announced that there is one current applicant. Beigel-Coryell announced that there is still one seat open if anyone knows someone that might be interested.
3. Consent Agenda
No items were on the Consent Agenda and the November minutes will be included with the December minutes for approval at the January meeting.
4.1. Next Regular Meeting: January 23, 2019
Beigel-Coryell announced that the next regular scheduled meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way.
4.2. Upcoming Sub-committee meetings
Beigel-Coryell asked if there were any current Sub-committee meetings scheduled. Buck stated that the Waste Prevention Sub-committee will schedule a meeting for January after this meeting. Hanks stated he will email Stu Green, McGinnis, Sohl, and Sommer to organize a time to discuss the Air Quality Sub-committee.
4.3. Other Announcements from Commissioners
Rosenthal stated that Recology will be picking up Christmas trees for two weeks at the beginning of January starting on Monday, January 7, 2019. The pick-up days will occur during the regular recycling days and will be for everyone not just those who subscribe to the green box pickups. This will be a week after the Boy Scouts tree pick-up day on Saturday, January 5, 2019, which can be scheduled and are done for donations. Recology is also pushing back their pick-up service to account for Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. For residents with Tuesday or later pick up days, service will be one day later (including a Saturday service for Friday pick-ups).
Sommer informed the Commission of the $109 million bond passed for the Ashland School District (ASD). ASD is now releasing a request for proposal (RFP) for a bond project management company closing on January 16. One and a half percent of the bond (for new constructions) must be used for solar energy technology and the district is leaning towards the most cost-effective option of rooftop solar which could also utilize the City’s virtual net metering program. AMERESCO, an Energy Services Company, was also hired by ASD to help leverage funding for installing upgrades and new systems. The bond committee has kept an open plan to help the bond project management plan on what will maximize efficiency. ASD can look into the future at the next bond cycle which is in 25 years, but will see 12 to 13-year step downs which gives them a lot of flexibility.
Sommer has also talked to the Grange Coop and Bi-Mart about giving discounts for electric landscaping equipment. He said that there was positive feedback at the corporate level about this possibility.
Beigel-Coryell announced that Southern Oregon University is installing the third of its three solar installations. This one will be on the Hannon Library and students pay for the solar and the University buys the power back and students get transfer each year for power generated. The pricing is similar to what SOU pays for the City with fees, although the cost per kWh is higher than what the City charges. SOU has also applied for a Department of Environmental Quality grant for smaller plates in the dining facility to eliminate food waste. The current larger plates will go to the retail dining hall which currently uses disposal able plates. This is to help combat food waste since the University has an all you can eat plan for students and it will force them to take less food or take more trips.
5. Public Forum
Louise Shawkat Ashland, OR – announced that the Transportation Commission will be holding their regular meeting tomorrow and will be reviewing their final chapter of their proposed plan to be presented to Council. If it is approved by Council, then the City will have a plan to apply for funding for innovations in transportation. The plan looks at having smaller vans to transport and pick up residents at their homes rather than investing more into large buses. This section was focused solely on buses and automobiles. Other sections focus on walking or biking.
Beigel-Coryell asked to move Julie Smitherman’s, Water Conservation Analyst, presentation to the first part the of the Reports/Presentations section of the agenda. There was no opposition.
6.1 Water Conservation Program Update – Julie Smitherman, Water Conservation Analyst
Presentation on Water Supply and Conservation by Julie Smitherman can be found here.
6.2 Council Liaison Update
6.3 City Operations/Administration
Hanks announced that goal setting with the new Council will take place in January and include some public input. The current Council has dealing with land use appeals that intersect with the Climate and Energy Action Plan and transportation issues as they are multi-family units. An update to TNC will occur on January 15 Council meeting. The amendment brought back will mirror Medford’s ordinance and the Council will discuss if they would like to accept all of it, parts of it, or not at all. The 10 by 20 RFP is set for February 19, but will mainly include a staff report about its status based on a meeting with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). The City will have an annual meeting with solar contractors to discuss what is working and what is not. Budget discussions will be included since solar was overspent for this biennium largely due to the State’s residential tax credits expiring at the end of 2017. New administrative policies have been signed concerning fleet and facilities fuel switching. The appliance rebates are going away as they are not enough to help consumers and BPA is phasing out.
7. Old Business
7.1. Commission Monthly Column in Sneak Preview
Beigel-Coryell is hoping that Koopman and Green to have an article by January’s meeting for publication in February. Otherwise Beigel-Coryell will write an article. Sommer and McGinnis will also prepare an article on electric yard and landscape equipment to be approved in January for the March publication. Buck will email Sohl, who is interested in joining the Water Sub-committee and helping with the May Water Conservation and supply article, about meeting in January. Beigel-Coryell and Hanks reminded all that article drafts are needed the Monday before the scheduled meeting to be included in the packets. For next meeting, article drafts are due by Monday, January 14 for the packet released on Wednesday, January 16.
7.2. Sub-committee updates
Buck stated the Sub-committee will plan to meet in January with Koopman and Sohl.
• Waste Prevention
Hanks and Green will provide marketing materials for the Straws on Demand expanded program. The Sub-Committee is also expanding its downtown basket program and three more businesses have agreed to participate. Buck will help Hanks and Green do a thank you to all the participating businesses by the Spring of 2019.
8. New Business
8.1 DEQ Materials Management Grant Application Update
Hanks announced that the Commission received the DEQ grant for the full amount of $9,700. There were 59 proposals submitted for a total of $3.4 million. Only 16 applicants were selected to be funded including SOU. Beigel-Coryell clarified that this grant the Commission applied for was for the reusable take out containers for participating restaurants downtown.
8.2 CEAP 2.0 Committee Update
McGinnis announced that CEAP 2.0 ad hoc committee had their last meeting the week prior. They reviewed the benchmarks and indicators for the committee’s charge and will be giving their final recommendation to Council in February 2019. The recommendation includes an amendment to the Conservation Commission charge emphasizing outreach in addition to their current work and a permanent Climate Policy Commission. The Climate Policy Commission will focus on more technical work and policy. Both Commissions will work in conjuncture as they will have the same staff liaisons and will meet every other month with the possibility of having Sub-committee members from both Commissions meeting in between. If approved by Council, the Climate Policy Commission will probably form in June or July while the Conservation Commission’s charge change would take 30 days from the second reading of the amendment to their Ordinance.
9. Wrap Up and Adjournment
9.1 Items to be added to next agenda
Beigel-Coryell asked if anyone wanted anything added to the agenda for next time to please send it to her or Adam the Monday before next meeting. If any members will be absent, please let Beigel-Coryell and Hanks know beforehand. Buck has stated that she will not be able to attend the February 27 meeting, Sohl will not be either. Beigel-Coryell adjourned the meeting at 8:00 p.m.
• Hanks stated he will email Stu Green, McGinnis, Sohl, and Sommer to organize a time to discuss the Air Quality Sub-committee.
• Beigel-Coryell is hoping that Koopman and Green to have an article by January’s meeting for publication in February. Otherwise, Beigel-Coryell will write an article.
• Sommer and McGinnis will prepare an article on Electric yard and landscape equipment to be approved in January for the March publication.
• Buck will email Sohl, who is interested in joining the Water Sub-committee and helping with the May Water Conservation and supply article, about meeting in January.
• Hanks and Green will provide marketing materials for the Straws on Demand expanded program.
• Buck will help Hanks and Green do a thank you to all the participating businesses by the Spring of 2019.
• Beigel-Coryell asked if anyone wanted anything added to the agenda for next time to please send it to her or Adam the Monday before next meeting.
• If any members will not be able to attend the January meeting let Beigel-Coryell and Hanks know beforehand.