MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
September 3, 2002, 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:
ROLL CALL: Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of August 20, 2002 were approved with amendment to page 1 under "New and Miscellaneous Business" item 1, paragraph 1, to strike the sentence, "The walkway on the westerly side of the Fortmiller Building (between Earthly Goods and Starbucks) would be dedicated also."
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS: The Proclamation of "Always Remember September 11 Day" was read aloud.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's appointments to Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission.
Councilors Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: (None)
Ron Dulaney/2671 Hawaiian Avenue, Medford/Government Relations Intern for Oregon School Employees Association, submitted a letter regarding information on a School Funding Pledge Campaign urging the State legislature to address the lack of long-term sustainable funding for schools by the end of the 2003 regular legislative session. He requested the Council consider supporting this campaign either individually, as an organization, or through resolution. He provided pledge forms for signing.
1. Review of current City owned property and discussion of potential funding options for future land acquisition (continued from August 6).
City Administrator Greg Scoles explained that during the city goal setting process Council requested Staff to prepare an inventory of properties that are committed or uncommitted for certain activities and noted that this information, including size and zoning, was included in the Council packet. He commented that at the July 2nd meeting both the Parks and Housing Commissions expressed desire for land acquisition for various needs and noted that there appears to be a number of competing interests at stake. He explained that while this discussion was not intended to be an exhaustive review of the issue, some funding alternatives are presented for consideration.
Scoles gave brief overviews and the Council discussed the following five properties:
Two Pines Circle (#11) Scoles reported that that as far as Staff had been able to discover, the property is not dedicated to other use. He explained that development of the parcel would require modification to driveway access. The 35-foot wide frontage of the golf course property was discussed and it was noted that many of Ashland's public streets are less than 35 feet wide. It was suggested that Council must weigh the impact of development on the neighborhood with the value of the lot and how the money could be used.
Nevada Street Yard (#15) Scoles explained that the Electric and Telecom Departments are currently using the yard for storage. It was noted that there is potential for subdividing and that currently the property consists of three parcels with one parcel having a house on it. It was suggested that Staff investigate the City's long term need for use of this property. It was noted that there is potential to do a lot-line adjustment or move materials to one lot and sell the others.
Strawberry/Westwood property (#27) Scoles reported that the City is currently a participant in the LID for this area and that there is potential for creating at least three single-family lots. He added that the value of those lots would be significant. It was noted that this property was acquired as part of the reservoir property purchase and is not dedicated for open-space purposes. A suggestion was made for creating parking for the trail system on a portion of the property. Scoles clarified that there is already an area across the street intended for parking and public use.
North Main Street property. Scoles explained that this property has potential for a partition and that proceeds from the sale of the house must to go the open-space fund. The house is currently on the market.
Imperatrice Property (#31) Scoles reported that the property is 840 contiguous acres consisting of 6 parcels with potential for subdividing into 7 lots. He explained that while there has been positive feedback from the county regarding the existing parcels, there are restrictions and it may not be easy to subdivide. Scoles noted that this is the most valuable of the properties under consideration. Council discussed options and direction on how to handle the sale of this property, noting that 80 acres is the minimum parcel size allowed and that each parcel must be buildable. There was a suggestion that a study session, which included county officials, be considered for further discussion. It was also noted that the property might have potential for some City use.
Laws requested that Staff review each of the properties and report to Council on the potential uses by the City, the values, and what the requirements for selling would be. He commented that with this further information, Council would in a better position to continue discussion. Reid suggested including property #16b in the place of the North Main Street property since the North Main one is already in process, and to ask Staff to look at these five properties and to bring information on them back to the Council.
Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to have Staff look at the five properties and report back to Council, and that property #16b replace the North Main Street property as one of the five. DISCUSSION: Council requested that staff look at long-term storage needs for the City and if all the 66 acres of the Lithia Springs property (#1) were under use by the gun club and if it could be subdivided.
Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to amend the motion to include the Lithia Springs Property (#1) DISCUSSION: Council requested a quick review of the properties by department heads in terms of future needs. Scoles clarified that the lease by the gun club of the Lithia Springs property was a long-term lease. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Council Vote on original motion: Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Council discussed various needs for funding within the City and how the sale of city owned property would be handled. It was noted that having the action plans of various committees would help in assessing some of the City's long-term needs. That within this fiscal year the Council would be asked to consider the funding of some of these needs. Difficulties were noted in determining how monies are spent before the monies are actually available. It was suggested moving ahead with investigating property sales first before earmarking the money that these potential sales could bring in. Scoles noted the possibility of Staff bringing the requested report back to Council at the next meeting.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS:
1. Designation of Voting Delegate for National League of Cities (NLOC) Meeting.
Councilors Reid/Morrison m/s to designate Hartzell as Voting Delegate for the NLC meeting, with Jackson as alternate. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
2. Update on remaining Wastewater Treatment Plant Construction Work.
Public Works Director Paula Brown reported that we are coming to the end of the WWTP facilities upgrade, which was started in the 1990's. The final phase is the bio-solids, which currently are hauled to the landfill. She noted that at some time in the future she would speak to the Council about a better use of the bio-solids material.
Brown explained that the agreement for the centrifuge facility, a little over $2 million, had been signed and that Sladen Construction will complete construction by no later than August of next year. The last and final piece of the project is asking for another $500,000 out of the $2.3 or $2.4 million of the final phase. She asked that Council authorize a $500,000 increase in the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) loan. Brown explained that the $500,000 was planned for and that the issue is in the timing of borrowing and that we try not to borrow the money too far ahead.
Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing and Approving an Increase in the amount borrowed from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for the Wastewater Treatment Facilities Project and Repealing Resolution 2002-01."
Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to approve Resolution # 2002-26. Discussion: It was clarified that if repayment is not done through the Meals Tax it would be through increased rates on sewer bills. Also, the term of the loan is 20 years and the life expectancy of the plant is 20 years. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Hearn, Reid, Morrison, Jackson, and Hartzell - All AYES. Motion passed.
Brown noted that the Temperature Management Plan had been approved and the Council would receive more information within the next six months.
Bill Craven/1999 Eagle Hill Road/Spoke regarding the Imperatrice property noting that 20% is currently within the City Limits of Ashland and that the Port of Entry has an easement. He questioned if the City could point out the legal access they have to that property.
DeBoer stated that when the report comes from Staff this information would be available.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS:
1. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending Section 13.16.070 of the Ashland Municipal Code to require property owner to remove or trim trees or shrubs endangering utilities."
Reid commented that the Parks Department is one of the biggest violators for trees in the power lines. She hoped that the City would be as accountable to following the Ordinance as will private individuals.
Councilors Reid/Morrison m/s to adopt Ordinance # 2888. Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Laws, Hartzell, Reid, Hearn, and Jackson - All AYES. Motion passed.
2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution for the Purpose of Urging Amendment of ORS 223.297, et. seq. Relating to Impact Fees and System Development Charges to include Facilities for Police, Fire, Libraries and Schools."
DeBoer voiced concern with leaving police, fire, and libraries in the resolution because it may be asking for too much and we may not get anything for schools. Hartzell expressed support of the resolution as it stands, noting that it encourages our legislators to give us options.
Councilors Morrison/Hearn m/s to adopt Resolution # 2002-27. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Jackson, Reid, Laws, Morrison, and Hartzell - All AYES. Motion passed.
3. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Dedicating a Public Way Behind the Hargadine Parking Facility and Between the OSF New Theater and the Fortmiller Building (Earthly Goods), 142 East Main Street and Starbucks, 120 East Main Street."
Councilors Reid/Jackson m/s to adopt Resolution # 2002-28. DISCUSSION: Hartzell commented on the impact that development of this area would have on existing vegetation and noted concern with view-scape issues. It was asked if it is anticipated that the Starbucks building will expand like the Fortmiller building. It was clarified that while it is not known exactly how Starbucks might eventually develop, they could take up space now used for three spaces of Starbucks' parking. It was noted that this area is committed to mixed use and none of these changes change the actual use of the area, rather it just allows building penetrations vs. no building penetrations. Jackson commented that in adopting this resolution the City gains through the encouragement of pedestrian use and maintenance of landscape. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Hearn, Laws, Jackson, Morrison, and Reid - All AYES. Motion passed.
4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing Agreement No. 707 - Abandonment Agreement for Unit 1 Green Springs Highway No 21 (OR Route 66) (to the City) City of Ashland with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT); MP 0.00 to MP 0.76 (Ashland Street from Siskiyou Boulevard to Faith Avenue)."
Public Works Director Paula Brown reported that the Ashland Street/Siskiyou Boulevard project is becoming a community success story and that a piece of the project is a jurisdictional exchange. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) approved and partially funded the project through an Access Management Grant and as a part of that agreement ODOT and City staff are negotiating an agreement for a jurisdictional transfer of this section of Ashland Street. She explained that the agreement presented to Council is ODOT's draft agreement and there may be a few changes made on the timing of receiving the funding. ODOT is proposing to pay the City of Ashland $748,005 for this exchange. Currently, the agreement is written so that the State provides up to $423,600 after November 1, 2003 and the remaining $324,405 before November 1, 2004. To meet the City's needs, Staff is negotiating with ODOT to ensure that $200,000 of funds are received by December of 2002, when the Ashland Street project is scheduled for completion.
Brown asked for concept approval of the resolution and direction to move forward with project funding negotiations. Hartzell asked if money for the signal would be set aside specifically for that use. Brown clarified that if Council so directed that could be done.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to adopt Resolution # 2002-29 and direct Staff to continue negotiations and, when finalized, have it signed. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison, and Hearn - All AYES. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS:
DeBoer noted that because of the new census, Ashland is being added to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
DeBoer notified the Council that due to a conflict with the Hospital Board, Don Laws will now serve as Liaison to the Hospital Board.
Hearn asked if the Council would consider signing the School Funding Pledge Campaign as a whole considering that many councilors had already signed as individuals. Laws explained that while he had not signed the pledge, it was not because he is opposed to it, but that he would rather have a resolution asking that the legislature develop new financing for all essential needs - including social services, higher education, along with many other needs. He commented that our State financial system of revenue is beginning to fail and that a system earmarked only for education is not adequate.
Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to put this issue of the School Funding Pledge Campaign on the agenda. Voice Vote: Hartzell, Morrison, Hearn, Jackson, and Reid - AYES; Laws, - NO.
Reid commented that a resolution that is not unanimously supported by the council would not be the kind of resolution that the Council would want to send out. Hartzell noted that the choice is to craft a resolution putting the issue in context of a larger system. DeBoer stated that the legislature clearly knows what they are up there for and that we should limit ourselves to City matters. Laws commented that this was not a City government matter and Morrison felt that it was an appropriate response to a critical situation.
DeBoer announced the Study Session tomorrow, with the topics of Youth Liaisons and the City Administrator Recruitment process.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.