MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
June 5, 2002 -12:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 12:05p.m.
Councilors Laws, Reid and Hearn. Councilor Hartzell arrived late. Councilors Jackson and Morrison were absent.
I. Update on Hosler Dam - Early Warning System
Public Works Director Paula Brown explained that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had required the City to install an audible alarm to alert the community in case of potential or catastrophic failure of Hosler Dam. She introduced City Engineer Pieter Smeenk who presented the project background and current status along with visual aids.
The design was completed by Squire and Associates and then reviewed by FERC. Public meetings were held but were low in attendance. The design includes installing an automatic horn/siren system and additional instrumentation for failure detection as part of a new automated emergency warning system. In the future, a camera will also be installed to provide means for instantaneous remote visual verification. Discussion followed regarding the placement of a camera and how sensitive it would be to movement or accessibility.
Smeenk explained that staff is in the process of final design and siting alarm locations. The next phase is to develop and coordinate emergency evacuation routes with Police and Fire.
Councilor Hartzell arrived at 12:25 p.m.
Smeenk explained the two primary classifications for emergency action in the case of Dam Failure: 1) Failure is Imminent or has Occurred and 2) Potential Hazard is Developing. The steps that would be taken in each of these cases were explained. He stated that the most likely failure would be "loss of abutment support" through seepage or mass wasting. He reported that engineering consultants have analyzed the dam over the past 30 years, with a recent inspection for increased earthquake requirements. The dam proved to be in good shape with no known flaws and is inspected often.
Information was provided on alarm level, siren system layout, siren noise level and evacuation plan.
Brown explained that the biggest challenge at this point is preparing a brochure that would inform the public on how to react in the case of a dam failure. Final warning system testing will be in the fall and will be conducted on a quarterly basis.
Council discussed how various area of the community would be affected both by dam failure and earthquakes.
II. Update on the City's Major Street Projects - Siskiyou, the Gresham/Third/E. Main Intersection and Ashland Street.
Public Works Director Paula Brown explained that the project is three weeks behind at this time and is 95-98% complete. She explained that approval for Ashland Street by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is needed and they have indicated to staff that the design submitted would be approved. Brown noted the opposition by the "truck driving" group regarding medians between Sherwood Lane and Faith Avenue. Staff will consider comments from ODOT and address these concerns in design revisions. Safety for all modes of traffic needs to be considered. Council supported leaving the median in at this location if there is no crosswalk. The council noted safety rather than convenience.
Brown explained a contentious area involving a property owner and their unwillingness to remove a driveway. Council stressed treating all property owners equally and to keep in mind what is best for the project and community as a whole and into the future. Council discussed the pros and cons on removal of proposed driveway and how it would affect the business owner. Brown will send a letter to the business owner that will include an explanation on the proposed plan.
Brown proposed three areas for further review: removal of one driveway at Klamath First Bank, Three Harmonics and Advanced Check Cashing on Ashland Street. Staff does not support removal of driveways at Klamath First Bank and will inform the bank of future restrictions to the parking lot access and Three Harmonics, as the median will extend across Lit Way. Brown recommends allowing U-turn at Lit Way. Removing one driveway at the Advanced Check Cashing on Ashland Street would cause no long-term impact. ODOT supports this action and will assist with the notifications to remove this access.
Brown stated that crosswalks should be approved by ODOT within the next couple of weeks. The council briefly discussed what type of species for plants will be used.
Brown pointed out on further concern involving a tree closest to Gresham Street. She explained that in order to get maximum access for this intersection, the tree would need to be removed. Brown has requested that the Tree Commission review the need to save this tree. She proposed that this tree be replaced by two trees that are in better health than the tree that needs removed. Council voiced their desire to hear the direction of the Tree Commission and offered various ideas for landscaping at this location. Suggestion was made that this area be looked at for possible parking. Staff explained that this area may not be large enough for parking, but will review.
Brown stated that the project should begin in July and staff has taken into consideration the influx of visitors for the 4th of July. Sidewalk safety was briefly discussed and it was noted that Washington Mutual will be decreasing the size of the driveway for safety.
Meeting was adjourned at 1:40 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Barbara Christensen, City Recorder