Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Council Business Meeting

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
Note: Items on the Agenda not considered due to time constraints are automatically continued to the next regularly scheduled Council meeting [AMC 2.04.030.E.]
Mayor Stromberg called the Business Meeting to order at 6:00 PM.
Councilors’ Slattery, Graham, Akins, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen were present.
City Administrator Kelly Madding spoke regarding the census bureau study. She explained this will be an item on the February 18th Business Meeting.
    1. Business Meeting of January 21, 2020
Rosenthal/Slattery moved approval of the minutes.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
    1. Recognition of Judge Pro Tem Barbara Jarvis
Seffinger presented Judge Pro Tem Barbara Jarvis a Recognition Award for her services to the City of Ashland.
Judge Pamela Turner thanked Ms. Jarvis for her service.
Ms. Jarvis thanked staff and everyone who has supported her over the years. She spoke that she is excited for her new adventures.
  1. Age-Friendly Communities Network Presentation
Senior Services Superintendent Isleen Glatt, Chair of the Ashland Senior Advisory Committee Sandy Thies, and member of the Ashland Senior Advisory Committee Anne Bellegia went over a PowerPoint presentation (see attached). 
Items discussed were:
  • AARP -All age friendly states and communities. 
  • Reasons to apply for AAPR “Age-Friendly” Ashland Designation.
  • 50+ Population growth
  • Implications of aging America.
  • Spending of the growing age 50+ population.  
  • Details of the network and the process on how to become a member.
  • 8 Domains of livability. 
Council discussed integrating the younger population into the need’s assessment. 
Seffinger/Slattery moved to request the Mayor to sign an application to become a participant of the AARP World Health Network of Age-Friendly Communities.  Discussion: None. Voice Vote: All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.   
  1. Annual Presentation by the Transportation Commission
Public Works Deputy Scott Fleury introduced the Transportation Commission Chair Bruce Borgerson.  
Mr. Borgerson gave the annual update of the Transportation Commission (see attached). 
Airport Budget Conservation
Historic Housing and Human Srvs. Parks & Recreation
Forest Lands Climate Policy Cost Review
Planning Public Arts Transportation
Tree Wildfire Mitigation  
  1. PUBLIC FORUM Business from the audience not included on the agenda.
(Total time allowed for Public Forum is 15 minutes. The Mayor will set time limits to enable all people wishing to speak to complete their testimony.) [15 minutes maximum]
Tom Marr – Ashland – Spoke speaking out for the lowest economic members of our community.  He spoke that having exclusion zones are embarrassing and shameful. He spoke against the camping Ordinance. He spoke regarding the homeless. He spoke regarding rate increases.  He spoke that the City can do better. 
    1. Appointment of Kerry KenCairn to the Planning Commission
    2. Appointment of Echo Fields to the Housing and Human Services Commission
    3. Approval of Liquor License Request for T.S. Heer, LLC – Stop N’ Shop
    4. Approval of Liquor License Request for Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Inc.
Jensen/Graham moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Discussion:  None.  All Ayes.  Motion passed unanimously.
  1. PUBLIC HEARINGS (Persons wishing to speak are to submit a “speaker request form” prior to the commencement of the public hearing.  Public hearings shall conclude at 8:00 p.m. and be continued to a future date to be set by the Council, unless the Council, by a two-thirds vote of those present, extends the hearing(s) until up to 9:30 p.m. at which time the Council shall set a date for continuance and shall proceed with the balance of the agenda.)
    1. Mayor Presentation Capital Needs and Financing Bond Proposal
Madding gave a Staff report.
Mayor Stromberg introduced ORW Architect Principals Dana Crawford and David Wilkerson. 
The Council was given 3 handouts from Staff:
City Hall Rebuild/ Replace.
Madding discussed the timeline for rebuilding verses renovating.

Rosenthal questioned the background of ORW regarding working on historic buildings.

Mr. Wilkerson gave a brief overview of his background in working on historic buildings.
Council discussed working with the Historic Commission on this project. Ms. Crawford explained the importance of working collaboratively with not only the City but Commissions and Committees on this project.

Council discussed a second opinion and getting historic consultants.

Council discussed safety issues.

Madding explained the process of a rebuild.

Council discussed the timing of the bond process.
Madding explained if the Bond was passed the money can only be used what it was allotted for.  She explained if the project ends up being more than what was estimated then that could be a problem.  
Slattery questioned the importance of the May election or if this can wait until November.  He suggested to go through the design process first.  He spoke that if this goes to the voters it is important to have the best projections possible.  Akins agreed with Slattery. 
Cathy Shaw who served on the Ad-Hoc Committee spoke that it is important to know if the people will approve it first and to find out what they want. She spoke that it is important to get this on the May ballot before the November race.

Crawford proposed bringing a historic consultant on board to come up with a plan for the new building that would satisfy the Historic Commission concerns.

Public Forum:
Ted Hall – Ashland – Spoke regarding the cost estimates.  He spoke to the importance of maintaining the architecture.   He recommended the City manage the risk and have a demolition contract first. He explained that this can be done for $5 million instead of $7 million. He suggested to set a target for $4 million and have a $1 million risk control fund. 

Shaun Moran – Ashland – He spoke that Ashlanders are unaware that the 2017-19 budget became balanced only because $1.7 million was transferred from the Facilities Fund to the Central Service Fund. He spoke that this transfer depleted reserves.  He spoke that funds were set aside in the Facilities Fund for repairs.  He spoke that asking taxpayers to pay more is inexplicable. He spoke that the City Government needs to be more cost efficient instead of asking citizens to pay more.   He suggested to restore the $1.7 million to the facilities fund instead of asking the Citizens to pay with their hard-earned money.

Tom Marr – Ashland – Spoke against the bond and spoke in agreement with Shaun Moran. He spoke that add on items should be in the regular budget.  He spoke in frustration about utility bills being higher.  He spoke in support of a safe building for employees but explained it could be done for less.
George Kramer – Ashland – Spoke suggesting a second opinion.  He spoke that it seems the cart is before the horse on this project.  He spoke to the importance of historic buildings.  He spoke to not go forward with this bond and get all correct information.  He spoke that if there is a second opinion the worst thing that can happen is you have all the right information.
Cathy Shaw – Ashland – Spoke that government has long used money for maintenance of buildings and there comes a point that you run out of money.  Even if you maintain as you go there comes a time where the buildings need more than maintenance. She spoke that she likes the idea of saving walls, but it is important to know what the citizens want. She explained the City does not need to spend all the money and the bond is just asking for authorization.  She spoke that this project needs to be executed for safety before it creates a problem.

Slattery asked for the City Recorder to look into the $1.7 million transfer referenced in public forum.

Slattery/Rosenthal moved to table this item for Ordinances, Resolutions and Contracts.  Discussion: None. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.    
    1. Second Reading of the Trails Master Plan
City Attorney David Lohman gave a staff report.
Rosenthal/Jensen moved to approve second reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to adopt the Trails Master Plan as a supporting document to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan. Discussion: Seffinger spoke that she went and looked at the trails. Roll Call Vote: Slattery, Akins, Graham, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES.  Motion passed unanimously.
  1. Resolution 2020-02 Amending a Miscellaneous Fees and Charges Schedule and Repealing Resolution 2019-35
Madding gave a brief Staff report.
Rosenthal questioned why the recreation list was so long and why they couldn’t be bundled together.  Madding explained the fees must be detailed.  Rosenthal questioned if the Parks and Recreation Commission could change this in the Ordinance.  Rosenthal suggested Staff look into this and bring forward with potential modification to allow the Parks and Recreation Commission to approve fees and charges that pertain to recreation programs and services. 
Jensen/Rosenthal moved to approve Resolution 2020-02, a Resolution amending a Miscellaneous Fees and Charges Schedule and repealing Resolution No. 2019-35. Discussion:  Jensen spoke that Staff had done their due diligence.  Roll Call Vote:  Akins, Rosenthal, – All Ayes.
  1. Transient Occupancy Tax Resolution and Committee Formation
Assistant City Administrator Adam Hanks gave a Staff report.  
Jensen/Slattery move to direct staff to appropriate $150,000 to the ECTS Grants program from the Ending Fund Balance of the General Fund. Discussion: Graham questioned since this is outside of the budget process is there another discussion that needs to be had about the amount. Slattery explained the next discussion will be whether to continue after this cycle. Akins spoke that she is torn on this because we are in a situation where the City is tight on money but also in a situation that having cuts on a federal level to people who need the money.  Graham suggested to tier the grants to strategic planning. Slattery explained these groups are funded by tourism dollar in hope to return more tourism dollars. Rosenthal spoke that this is a great investment in the community.
Jensen/Slattery moved to recommend that Mayor Stromberg forms an Ad-Hoc Grants Review Committee comprised of interested Citizen’s Budget Committee members to review applications and presentations and forward an award recommendation to Council.   Discussion:  None. Voice Vote.  All Ayes. A
Hanks gave a brief Staff report. 
Slattery/Graham moved direct staff to develop a draft Resolution increasing the level of funding for Public Art from three percent to five percent. Slattery, Graham, Seffinger, Rosenthal and Jensen: YES.  Akins: NO. Motion passed 5-1.
    1. Mayor Presentation Capital Needs and Financing Bond Proposal
Akins questioned if this could be done with $5 million.   Crawford explained that the cost happens in 2 phases; what you pay a contractor is hard cost and everything else is soft cost. You can but it’s when you add on the soft costs.  She spoke she does not think this can be done for $5 million. Jensen questioned if the $7 million estimate includes moving Staff to a different location.  Crawford answered yes.   Jensen suggested to talk to downtown merchants and see the time of year and cost affect this will have on them.   Wilkerson explained they could have a listening session and the importance of minimizing disruption of the downtown.  
Council discussed the possibility of expediting the initial part of the project, so it is less disruptive downtown. 
Council discussed the time and money in comparison of demolition verses saving the 3 walls.   
City Attorney David Lohman discussed risk and liability of not doing anything to the building.  He explained the importance of doing something to limit risk and liability.  Slattery questioned is there is risk why we aren’t moving Staff out tomorrow. He explained it could be a year before breaking ground.  Lohman explained the longer we wait the more of a problem there could be.
Council discussed liability. Akins spoke that not only City Hall is at risk many of the buildings and sidewalks are at risk.  She spoke that she would like to continue talking about other elements of the bond.
Madding suggested for Council to send any other questions regarding City Hall to send them to Staff.

Pioneer Hall and Community Center
Madding gave a Staff report. 

Akins spoke that there was money set aside for Pioneer Hall and Community Center and questioned if this needs to go in the package.  Madding explained the City does not have a million dollars for these buildings, $200,000 is not enough to fix either one.  She spoke that there has been a has been a proposal to use the $400,000 we set aside for design to fix one of these buildings. Akins spoke in concern of the high cost estimate.  Madding explained the structural issues are expensive.  She explained that routine maintenance has been done but at some point, there is no more maintenance that can be done.  

Graham spoke that at the Town Hall there were citizen’s there from the Community Theater and asked for some improvements to be made for them.  Graham questioned if this is something Staff could look into.  Madding spoke that this could be looked at collaboratively with Parks. Seffinger spoke in concern with the sidewalk on Lithia.  She spoke that it is an item in the Capital Improvement Plan and the importance to get this fixed.
The Business Meeting was adjourned at 9:35 PM
Respectfully submitted by:
City Recorder Melissa Huhtala
Mayor Stromberg

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the City Administrator's office at (541) 488-6002 (TTY phone number 1-800-735-2900).  Notification 72 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangeme
nts to ensure accessibility to the meeting (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title I).

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