MINUTES FOR THE CONSERVATION AND CLIMATE OUTREACH COMMISSION
Wednesday, June 23, 2021; Held Electronically
1. Call to Order (meeting starts at approximately 0:31 on the video)
Chair Marni Koopman called the meeting to order at 3:01 p.m. Commissioners Risa Buck, Larry Cooper, James McGinnis, Jamie Rosenthal, and Becs Walker were present along with staff member Bridgette Bottinelli. Commissioner Bryan Sohl and Council liaison Tonya Graham arrived shortly after the meeting began. Staff liaison Stu Green was absent.
2. Consent Agenda (00:32)
2.1. May 26, 2021 Meeting Minutes
Buck/Walker moved/seconded to approve the minutes. Ayes: Buck, Cooper, Koopman, McGinnis, Rosenthal, and Walker. Nays: none. Motion passed unanimously.
3.1. Next Regular Meeting: July 28, 2021 (1:31)
Walker will not be able to attend the July meeting and Koopman might also be absent. The City will reopen to the public on July 12 including in-person meetings. McGinnis will only be able to attend the next meeting if the meeting is virtual.
Bryan Sohl arrived at 3:04 p.m. and Tonya Graham arrived at 3:06 p.m.
3.2. Introduction of Possible Student Commissioner (2:59)
Anya Moore introduced herself and talked about her background on climate. She is interested in joining the Commission.
3.3. Other Announcements from Commissioners (10:18)
Buck announced that the bottle and can redemption will restart soon. A bill was presented to the State Legislature regarding increasing producer responsibilities in manufacturing and dispensing of single use plastic items that cannot be recycled. This bill would also expand recycling opportunities in rural communities.
Sohl announced that on June 3 representatives from the Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (CCOC), the Climate Policy Commission (CPC), the Transportation Commission, the Wildfire Safety Commission, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN), City staff and Councilor Graham met about the Climate Resilient Ashland campaign (previously called the coordinated campaign). The group saw CCOC as tasked with outreach to the community. Sohl asked if CCOC would allow the “Conservation Corner” in the Sneak Preview to be used for the campaign throughout the year.
(16:20) Koopman added the Climate Resilient Ashland campaign to the agenda for discussion. Graham described how the Climate Resilient Ashland was developed. The campaign will be eleven months of outreach and one month of planning. Discussion included:
- Sneak Preview articles as a campaign outreach channel - Buck stated that she would be willing to pass the organization of the Sneak Preview articles to someone else. The name would need to be changed from “Conservation Corner.”
- CCOC taking on the leadership role – Walker emphasized that this role would require strong coordination and project management.
There was support for moving forward with the campaign. Koopman volunteered to be the campaign representative until someone else would take the formal role. Sohl suggested using the Sneak Preview for the “Know Your Zone” emergency preparedness campaign. McGinnis suggested that the Sneak Preview could do a feature article in July on “Know Your Zone” instead.
3.4. Reports from Members of Other Commissions
4. Public Forum
5.1. Council Update (35:36)
Graham said that Council passed the on-bill financing resolution that allows for City staff to apply for a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) $10 million no interest loan to create a revolving loan for energy efficiency upgrades to residences.
Tonya Graham left at 3:47 p.m.
5.2. Staff Update (46:08)
Bottinelli made the following announcements:
- The e-bike incentive is now a permanent offering with $200 for class one and two bikes.
- The induction cooking incentive is active for commercial and residential applicants.
- Three portable induction cooktops will be donated to Jackson County’s Library of Things.
- Bottinelli has been tabling at the Rogue Valley Grower’s and Crafter’s Market on Tuesdays. She is using the Market to spread the word about the Climate and Energy Action Plan and City incentive programs.
This will most likely be Bottinelli’s last meeting and the Commission thanked and expressed their gratitude for Bottinelli and her work.
5.3. SOU Update (49:19)
Walker gave an update on the following:
- Water conservation – Southern Oregon University (SOU) is purposely not irrigating some areas and will have signage indicating that these areas are water conservation zones. Transition zones are also being identified to move from lawn space to drought tolerant plants. McGinnis asked about SOU’s future water rights through the Talent Irrigation District (TID) canal. Walker said SOU’s access to TID has been shut off and was uncertain about the future water rights to the canal.
- Expansion of the recycling center – The center has been expanded allowing more space for student projects. A recycling material management area has been moved to one area of the yard. SOU is also focusing on procuring reusable materials and eliminating single use.
- Solar project for the farm – The University received an Oregon Department of Energy grant to install solar at SOU’s farm. This installation will be a third net zero array. McGinnis asked if there were plans to install solar in parking lots. Walker said that the priority is to put solar on rooftops that have infrastructure in place first then explore other options.
- National reporting – SOU has submitted their national report and have maintained their Bee and Tree City USA campus certifications.
5.4. Recology Update (56:39)
Rosenthal provided an update on the following:
- New signage for the recycling center – This is to help educate the public on what can go in recycling bins.
- Presentation on low recycling contamination – Rosenthal has been invited to speak by a Northern California organization regarding what Recology does in Ashland and Talent to keep recycling contamination rates low.
- Lend Me a Plate program – The program is active again and allows reservations of tableware to local events to help reduce waste. The program is run by volunteers, but is located at the recycling center.
- Shift of fleet fueling – The fleet will be using R99 fuel to help reduce the carbon footprint. R stands for renewable. Buck asked what the fuel is made from and Rosenthal will report back on the fuel composition at the next meeting.
- Automation of recycling routes – a few of the recycling routes are being automated. This helps with keeping the operation cost low and reduces greenhouse gas emissions as each truck can pick up more carts.
- Oregon House Bill 2065 – This bill just passed in the Oregon House of Representatives and would require producers to finance system improvements and avoid additional costs on ratepayers. The plan is to decrease public confusion by creating a consistent statewide recycling collection list. The bill also will improve accessibility to recycling and incentivize producers to design better products and packaging for the environment.
6.1. Commission Monthly Column in Sneak Preview (1:07:31)
Koopman had minor edits that she will email to Buck and Walker. Rosenthal asked if details on plastic recycling could be included in the article. Walker suggested having this be a separate article as plastic recycling can be confusing and more details would be needed. Cooper/Walker moved to approve the article with consideration with minor edits that will get taken care of outside of the meeting. Further discussion: none. Ayes: Buck, Cooper, Koopman, McGinnis, Rosenthal, Sohl, and Walker. Nays: none. Motion passed unanimously.
Buck stated that the Electrification steps will be published in September. There are three articles that need to be assigned for either October, November, or December. Those articles are on plastic recycling by Rosenthal, solar cooperative by Koopman and Sohl, and water conservation.
6.2. Update on Different Channels for Articles and Future Outreach (1:33:15)
6.3. CEAP Project Update
- Responsible Consumption and Single Use (1:33:54)
Walker mentioned that Bottinelli posted some information on single use items on the website. The article just approved also included a lot of this information. The group will meet to discuss their next projects.
- Climate Resilience (1:36:23)
The group has been working individually with the solar cooperative.
- Water Use and Conservation (1:38:00)
Cooper expressed concern from the community regarding the drought. Cooper sent along information from Scott Fleury, the Public Works Director, regarding the water supply (see attached
). The information explains that Ashland has a normal supply of water for this time of the year. There are supplementary water sources that can be utilized like the Talent Ashland Phoenix (TAP) Intertie which Ashland will start using next month. Wildfire does threaten the water supply and residents may be asked or mandated to conserve water. Sohl asked if there was a backup pumping system in place for TAP. Cooper answered that there is not currently backups for pump failure along the intertie, but there is a proposal for a consultant to review how to make the intertie more resilient. Public Works plans on using TAP earlier in the year to reserve the water from Reeder Reservoir in case an emergency situation happens again. Irrigation water from TID is not currently available for use.
6.4. Review of Urban, Land Use, and Transportation Draft (1:44:49)
Comments from the Commissioners were sent to CPC for integration into the draft.
6.5. Project Requests Lists (1:46:31)
Walker suggested updating the coordinated climate campaign to the Climate Resilient Ashland campaign and add in the leadership role responsibilities in case CCOC takes that on. The Draft Urban, Land Use, and Transportation review can also be marked as done.
6.6. 20's Plenty Update (1:47:57)
Sohl said that the initiative has been changed to Vision Zero and the Transportation Commission is working a goal of zero deaths in transportation.
7. Wrap Up (1:49:11)
7.1. Items to be added to future agendas
Koopman will add the Climate Resilient Ashland campaign to the next agenda. Cooper wanted to discuss how the Commission could help with outreach on CEAP and Conservation programs now that Bottinelli is leaving. Sohl asked to have the Nuclear Energy Presentation next month and Koopman suggested to discuss the scheduling of the presentation next month.
Chair Koopman adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.