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May 18, 2021 City Manager's Report
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2021

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May 18, 2021
The City Managerís Report showcases current events facing the City externally and internally since the last Council meeting, while highlighting City accomplishments. 

OHRA to Receive Funding to Help with Rental Assistance and Utility Payments
 
ACCESS has awarded $400,000 to OHRA as part of Oregon's Supporting Tennants Accessing Rental Relief program. The funding will help people pay rent, late fees, and any back rent that incurred after April 1, 2020. This money can also go towards utility payments, hotel and motel vouchers, and moving costs. Anyone who could benefit from this assistance should call OHRA at (541) 631-2235 or visit their center at 611 Siskiyou Boulevard, Unit 4 between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The funds must be used by June 30

While the funds cannot be paid directly to the City for outstanding utility bills, the Utility Billing Division will include this information on any delinquent messages and utility bills to help spread the word to those who might also be struggling with rental payments.
Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals 1511 Highway 99N Ruling

On May 12, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) provided their Final Opinion and Order and reversed the city's annexation approval for two parcels totaling 16.87 acres at 1511 Highway 99N (Applicant: Kendrick Enterprise LLC and Casita Developments).  In reversing the city's approval, LUBA determined that the city's annexation criteria require that Highway 99N, which runs adjacent to the property, be improved to full city street standards with a public sidewalk separated from the travel lane by a seven to eight-foot wide landscaped planting strip.

The city's approval granted an Exception to allow installation of a section of curbside sidewalk to accommodate a bus pull-out lane for a new transit stop and an additional curbside section necessary to adjust to topographical constraints and an existing roadside drainage ditch. LUBA agreed with the Petitioner, finding that the Ashland Municipal Code does not allow the city to approve Exceptions to the annexation approval criteria. Under the Ashland Municipal Code, Exceptions apply to proposals for new development or land divisions, neither of which were proposed as part of the annexation. 

Fire Season Declared
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has declared fire season for southwest Oregon starting May 12th, over two weeks ahead of the more historical June timeline.  Weather elements that contribute to this decision include:
  • Below normal snowpack
  • Early snowmelt
  • Long-term drought conditions
  • Below normal June rainfall
  • Dry July/August forecast
  • Dry lightning episodes (2-3 per summer)
OSF developed a slide presentation that contains additional data and graphics for further details of the upcoming season that will be published to the City website and send out to Council for further reference.
 
Looking Ahead
 
This is a draft of the next Council meetings agenda and is subject to change.
 
No 5/31 Study Session - City Closed in Observance of Memorial Day
 
June 1 - Executive Session 5 PM
Executive Session will be held by the Ashland City Council to conduct deliberations with persons you have designated to carry on labor negotiations, pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d). Executive Sessions are closed to the public.

June 1 - Business Meeting
  • Proclamation for Flag Day
  • Band Board Annual Report
  • Evacuation Study Presentation
  • Sole Source Procurement for Dry Creek Landfill
  • Approval of Professional Services Contract with Pathway Enterprises for Janitorial Services
  • A Resolution Establishing the Energy Retrofit Loan Program
  • Appointments to the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission
  • Public Hearing and First Reading for Land Use Code Amendment: Duplexes on Single Family Lots
  • Public Hearing for the Adoption of FY 2021-2023 Biennial Budget
  • Utility Rate Review
  • Union Pacific Railroad Property Reclamation Update
  • Food and Beverage Tax Wastewater Debt Repayment
  • Discussion of Formal Process for Vetting of Commissions Applicants
  • Recology Solid Waste and Recycling Rate Resolution
  • Second Reading of Wildfire Mitigation Construction Standards Code (R-327)
For the full look ahead and descriptions of each item, go to ashland.or.us/lookahead.

The May City Source covers a reminder about living with wildlife as we enter fawning season and to abate weeds and other vegetation by the June 5 deadline. Events for June are listed along with a request for Climate Action Stories and the City Calendar for public meetings. 

Go to ashland.or.us/citysource for the latest and past editions. 

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