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You may also reach out to the City of Ashland Communications Officer, Dorinda Cottle, dorinda.cottle@ashland.or.us.

Below, view questions from others in your community. 

Frequently Asked Questions

As of September 18, 2023, the fiscal year has not closed and only an estimate for FY 2023 can be provided. Estimated F&B Tax Revenue for FY23, is $2.4M. For FY22, F&B Revenues were $2,748,555. These are totals, prior to being split out.

Released September 18, 2023 
A citizen can go to public forum or email Council if they want to advocate for something, since Council drives policy decisions. The City and legal can filter through the feasibility/legalities of a policy initiative.

Released August 31, 2023
During the design process for repairing the East Main St bridge and the Ashland St bridge (railroad overpass), ODOT altered the construction dates so that both bridges were not under repair at the same time during fire season. The East Main St bridge project was completed before the 2023 fire season began. Repairing both bridges at the same time would have eliminated the East Main evacuation route, while limiting the Ashland St route.
Due to the type of repair on the Ashland St bridge, which is currently underway, the project must be done during the warmer months. ODOT had initial meetings with the City of Ashland Fire & Rescue, Police and Emergency Management to discuss evacuation routes, communication and decision making. Conversations about evacuation routes have taken place with the contractor for the Ashland St bridge as well, and the contractor is prepared to move equipment and cones on short notice if needed, to open up as many drivable lanes in the construction zone as possible.
In addition, ODOT and the City of Ashland have a plan in place to control the freeway ramps into the city; to open up all lanes for outbound evacuation traffic. The Ashland St bridge project is slated for completion by October 4, 2023.
Currently, another contractor is removing and replacing the ADA sidewalk ramps along Ashland St. Emergency Management is reaching out to the contractors to plan for a way to easily reopen drivable lanes if needed for an evacuation. Paving for this project will take place in early October 2023.

Released August 22, 2023 
Yes, during the summer months, the City will offer an irrigation evaluation and customize a watering schedule at no charge. Learn more in the "Love Your Water," August 2023 newsletter
This meeting was an internal staff meeting, and therefore we do not have public minutes or a video. However, Ashland Fire & Rescue Chief, Ralph Sartain, did speak about it during the August 15, 2023, City Council meeting. View the meeting (start at about 48 min). 

For more information on being better prepared for an emergency, including evacuation routes and signing up for alerts, please visit ashland.or.us/BetterPrepared

Released August 21, 2023 
As of August 2, 2023, the water is shutoff because off the Taxiway Rehabilitation project at the Ashland Airport. Lithia water is pumped from the Ashland Gun Club property to town and a portion of it runs across the airport where Knife River is currently working. The line in their excavation zone needed repair and the appropriate plastic pipe for use with Lithia Water required a special order, thus keeping it off for another one to two weeks. Typically, preventative maintenance at the fountains is done during the offseason, but there are many reasons why the water could be off during peak season, one of which is emergency repair on the thousands of feet of line that deliver the water from the gun club to the Plaza. 

Released August 7, 2023 
The City does not have a citywide inventory of public parking spaces. The focus is on downtown parking. An interactive downtown parking map is available and shows the different methods of parking, from unlimited parking to 2-or-4-hour parking, to a paid parking garage. Users can click on parking lots within the map to see the number of parking spaces at each location – More info at ashland.or.us/parking. Aerial photos of City parks can be found at ashland.or.us/ParksMaps – Parking lots at each park can be zoomed in to see the number of parking spaces.

Released July 27, 2023 
ZCS Engineering is finalizing the construction documents and associated project specifications. The City expects to bid the project for construction at the end of summer and start work in fall, hopefully finishing in early 2024. At that point the Community Center will be reopened and available for rental through the Parks and Recreation Department. See the March 2023 Council Communication on the project.

Released July 24, 2023 
Yes, both Uber and Lyft are authorized to operate in Ashland. Drivers must be registered with the Ashland Police Department by visiting ashland.or.us/TaxiInfo and completing an application – This is for Taxi and Limo Driver applications too.

Released July 24, 2023 
This change occurred because the police department moved out of the contact station, which sits across Main Street from the plaza. When the downtown police presence was housed there, the City had two dedicated spaces behind that building. The police presence downtown has since been transitioned to City Hall, meaning the department parking needs transitioned to needing to be close to City Hall. This will give officers the flexibility to respond in a vehicle if needed. 

Released July 10, 2023
The City will look to open an emergency shelter for extreme heat when the temperature is above 98 degrees F and the UV index is high. The duration of high temperatures is also taken into consideration. If the answer is yes to these factors, then the City looks for a facility to host the shelter and solicits volunteers to staff it. The goal is to support the houseless population in Ashland and those in homes without air conditioning.

Released July 10, 2023 
Yes, wildfire prevention efforts to protect the City, the urban interface and the Ashland Watershed will be fully funded in the upcoming budget. Wildfire prevention strategies will take place throughout the City. Learn more
The Ashland Municipal Code does not distinguish between commercial or residential property owners and requires that adjacent property owners maintain in good repair and remove obstructions from the sidewalk, and explicitly outlines they are liable for injury if they are negligent in these responsibilities. View the Code.

The City Manager also has authority to require adjacent property owners to trim, prune, remove or replace trees and other vegetation in the park row planting strip abutting their property (i.e. between the curb and sidewalk) – View the Code

The current sidewalk work in and around downtown is being done by the Oregon Department of Transportation as Main Street is a state facility and the work being done is part of a statewide effort to address Americans with Disabilities Act compliance on state facilities.  

Released June 15, 2023 
 RVTD (Rogue Valley Transportation District) generally does the full analysis for stop locations and they consider multiple items when locating a stop (spacing, accessibility, ability to merge back into traffic, near intersection, mid-bloc, etc). They do coordinate with the jurisdiction involved if they find issues when they do their own analysis.

RVTD worked in coordination with the City Streets Department to review proposed stop locations for the new Route 17 starting on June 26, 2023. Adjacent property owners have been notified via letter, regarding placement of bus stops.

Released June 15, 2023 

New Bus Route
The pedestrian improvements coming to North Main Street include Americans with Disabilities curb ramp improvements and pedestrian crossing improvements. The City of Ashland has coordinated with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) on crossing improvements along the North Main Corridor to enhance pedestrian safety for crossing at locations outside of the signalized intersections located at Maple Street and Laurel Street. One of the pedestrian safety improvements includes the installation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons or RRFBs at the intersection of North Main Street and Van Ness Avenue and a median refuge island. The RRFBs and median refuge islands are similar to pedestrian safety enhancements installed along Siskiyou Boulevard and Ashland Street. The RRFBs alert drivers that a pedestrian intends to cross the roadway and the median islands provide for crossing protection over multiple lanes of high volume traffic. The installation of the RRFB and median island follows sound design guidance developed by the Federal Highway Administration and ODOT. This improvement also supports the accessibility to the public right of way for the visually impaired community. The RRFBs utilize a homing tone on the push button that allows visually impaired community members to locate the button and activate it as part of using the crossing. The median refuge island allows visually impaired community members to pause and listen to ensure that oncoming traffic has stopped for them to complete the crossing safely. These improvements have been in the works for many years and coordinated through the Transportation Commission and City Council.

In terms of evacuation, there is approximately 18’ between the edge of the median and the curb on either side of the street. This means two vehicles could pass through side-by-side in each direction. Furthermore, if necessary, the accessibility ramp on the Van Ness side of the street would easily allow a larger vehicle to roll over the curb from there to Van Ness Street and continue north out of town.

Released June 15, 2023 
Non-utility services such as ambulance transport, building inspections, recreation, construction services, parking, cemetery services and so on are funded by miscellaneous licenses, permits and other fees and charges.
A good example of Charges for Services are utility fees, which help pay for water, wastewater, electric and high-speed data services. The revenue generated is based on the base-cost to provide the service and normally includes a charge that represents level-of-service used (or consumption). Other Charges for Services include: building permits, cemetery fees, police fees, ambulance transportation, recreation fees and so on.
It is illegal in Ashland to feed deer, raccoon, wild turkeys, bear and cougars. Please do not scatter food or garbage or any other attractant that might lure a wild animal. Want to learn more? Check out the Ashland Municpal Code at ashland.municipal.codes, or reach out to our new Code Compliance Specialist, Lisa Evans, codecompliance@ashland.or.us, 541.552.2424. You may also submit issues via our online form. 

Released April 11, 2023 
Released again on May 5, 2023 
Electric Utility Users Tax is one source that is used to pay for expenses associated with the General Fund, such as police, fire, planning, building, and cemetery programs. The tax generates nearly seventeen percent (17%) of the General Fund revenues. Utility bills include this tax, which is approximately twenty-five percent (25%) of the total electric charges on the bill. 

Released April 6, 2023
Bear carts are once again available at Recology Ashland and generally cost an additional $6/month. More information at recology.com/recology-ashland

Released April 5, 2023
The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) also referred to as the hotel/motel tax, generates approximately $3 million and is used for three purposes: Economic and Cultural Development, tourism promotion and the remainder for general expenses in the General Fund such as police and fire. The hotel/motel rate in Ashland is currently ten percent (10%). The hotel/motel keeps five percent (5%) of the money collected as payment for processing.

Released April 4, 2023
The following items should NOT be flushed down the toilet: cleansing wipes (even if they are marketed as flushable), gloves, masks, feminine products, dental floss, cat litter, paper towels and so on – These items will not breakdown, rather they will trap hair and absorb grease. Flushing these items can clog your toilet, and potentially cause serious problems in the City sewer system (in the street and at City facilities – or worse, the backups can impact homes, rivers or streams). The only thing that should be flushed down the toilet is bathroom waste (human) and toilet paper and nothing else.

Released April 4, 2023
We strive to deliver services essential to the community and enhance quality of life. Ashland revenue is primarily collected from the fees paid for services. Another major source is Property Tax, which generates approximately $24 million for the City. It is used to pay for expenses found in the General Fund such as police and fire, for some of the City’s principal and interest on debt and for expenses in providing parks and recreation. Property owners within the Ashland city limits pay $4.2865 per $1,000 of assessed value for the City’s share of the total property tax assessed. 

Released March 26, 2023
  1. This project involves four private landowners located outside the City limits, though two of those lots have only minor involvement. The Ashland Loop Road crosses two of the properties on the way to the White Rabbit Trailhead and the Alice in Wonderland trail does as well.
  2. This work is not part of our ongoing Ashland Forest Resiliency Project. This is not because the work isn’t valuable, but because there wasn’t ample time for proper engagement of the various partners and public.
  3. Generally, the project is on sound ecological footing. We are experiencing a die-off in our forests and particularly in Douglas-fir trees (though pine as well) that is beyond anything we have experienced in Ashland’s history. Related to the changing climate, recent research from OSU that was derived in part from data on City forestlands we’ve been collecting for decades now, describes a “decline spiral”. This is impacting our municipal and Parks lands as well and is something we need to address further and budget for. Our forests are changing quickly though this isn’t commonly understood and anticipating this change by cutting quite a number of green trees came as a shock to many.
  4. The City does have grant funding for wildfire fuels reduction from the Oregon Department of Forestry. A portion is earmarked for private lands around the City and the lots where work is underway are eligible. The grant can fund 75% of the clean-up costs (limbs, branches, small trees and brush) after the logging should the landowners show they did not make a profit by removing trees. The objective of the funds are financial assistance, not profit enhancement. The project/property will be assessed with the owner(s) after the work is complete to determine their eligibility. The City is not paying for the logging.
  5. Trails and roads will reopen and be brought back to functioning status, or even better than before the work.
  6. This work is not a clear cut. Areas where no viable trees existed to leave behind will be replanted with more drought tolerant species this spring.
  7. The area should stay closed until work is done for public safety. 

See the news release 
Posted March 21, 2023 
Snowplowing is done according to pre-established priority routes. For example, routes to the Ashland Hospital and major arterials will take precedence over collector streets and neighborhoods. (The more traveled roads are the highest priority, followed by less traveled neighborhood street.) View the Snowplow Route Map.
  • Oregon State Law and the Ashland Municipal Code both specify that 72-hours notice be given to those camping in public spaces before relocating/removing campers
  • As a practice, APD (Ashland Police Department) enforces state law and camping ordinances when complaints are made, or a situation becomes unmanageable
    • Some of the individuals engaging in the current camping protest have participated in previous advocacy actions similar in nature to their current camping in public ROW or parks. Their request appears to be that they want to occupy public right of ways for their personal use without interruption
    • APD has been posting the camp sites for 72-hour removal and the occupants have abided by this, moving locations every two to three days
    • Most participants in the protest have been offered housing and have declined services, citing instead their belief that they have a right to exclusively occupy public spaces
  • APD does not believe those currently camping in public spaces pose a public safety issue and will continue posting for 72-hour removal and monitoring the camp sites
  • The City provides an Emergency Warming shelter as needed for those without permanent housing
    • A shelter was authorized last week and another shelter has been authorized this week through the morning of Friday, February 24
    • The shelters are available for anyone to use
    • In December 2022, Council authorized a budget amendment of $100,000 for the severe weather shelter services, for the remaining winter months, January through March
From the City home page, ashland.or.us, click to Subscribe for daily City updates. Subscribers can tailor the information they would like to receive from City; for example, City News, Agendas & Minutes, Calendar and more.

Each evening at approximately 6:15 p.m. subscribers receive an email from the City of Ashland. The email will include items posted for the day that they subscribed to see.

In addition, follow the City on Twitter and Facebook: 
@cityofashlandoregon Facebook
@cityofashland Twitter 
The first 100K collected in Marijuana Tax is dedicated to the Affordable Housing Trust and is offered through a Request for Proposals process every other year. Learn more about the City's Affordable Trust Fund
Once again, FREE e-filing will be available at The Grove in Ashland. Learn more. (Many thanks to the AARP Tax-Aide Foundation for providing this service.) 
The City of Ashland has a biennium budget. The City of Ashland’s municipal budget is the projected financial operating plan for a two-year period. The City’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The budget accounts for expected revenues and allocates resources to particular expenditures. Revenues are projected into the future based on historical revenues and current or projected impacts, such as a pandemic, that are estimated to potentially affect those projections. The same is done for expenditures. Expenditure allocations are based on historical needs but also current and projected impacts, such as high inflation, that may impact needed funds. Oregon State Budget law requires the budget to be balanced. This means that the City’s revenues must be equal or greater than total expenses. The budget is often referred to as a living thing or document as supplemental budgets occur regularly as events unfold during the biennium to align with unforeseen circumstances or changes that were not known when the original budget estimations and planning occurred. The supplemental budgets realign allocated funds to appropriate departments or programs as needed to ensure needed expenditures can occur.
The City of Ashland produces an annual comprehensive financial report, which includes a municipal audit done by an independent audit firm comprised of certified public accountants. Oregon State Law requires local government file annual financial reports and due to the size of our City, the City of Ashland is required to be audited annually. The annual comprehensive financial report is a report of actual revenues collected and expenditures and, unlike the budget, which are estimates and projections, the audit reviews how much revenue was actually collected and how funds were actually spent as well as the condition of the City’s assets. The audit is not of the City budget. The audit is conducted by reviewing actual revenue and expenditure financial statements that provide an overview of how all financial activity. The audit also reviews internal controls to ensure the proper fiduciary care is taken to deter errors or fraud from occurring. The audit also provides a comprehensive look at the City’s assets and liabilities to provide insight to the City’s current financial position in the Management Discussion and Analysis section of the annual comprehensive financial report.
Budget = estimate of needed $
Audit = review of how $ was actually spent

To review current and past budgets and annual financial reports which contain the annual audits by an independent firm please visit: Financial Documents - Finance - City of Ashland, Oregon.
In the case of the Grand Terrace project, the entirety of the proposed development is a rental apartment complex.  No units are to be bought and sold individually, they are not condos or townhomes. It is designed as ten, 23-unit apartment complexes, totaling 230 units. As such the requisite affordable units are to also be rental housing units that are the exact same size as the market rate rental units, and these affordable units will remain affordable for 30 or more years.

In other projects recently approved such as the 43-unit Beach Creak Subdivision, eight of the units in that development are being developed by Habitat for Humanity and are to be affordable ownership housing.  Four of those new affordable units will include the land and are not part of a land trust model.

The reason many regulated affordable units in Ashland are part of an affordable housing land trust is that such land trusts are specifically designed to provide affordable housing options for low-income individuals and families. To achieve this goal, the land trust owns the land under the housing units and partners with affordable housing developers to build the units, which help subsidize the cost of the housing development. By keeping the housing units affordable by removing the substantial cost of the land from the equation, the land trust can help to reduce the burden on low-income households and provide a more stable and secure housing environment for those in need.
The City of Ashland is interested in reopening City Hall to the public and is on working to develop a Facility Plan. One key issue in the planning process will look at how to use City Hall for office space that includes public access. When complete, the Facility Plan will go to City Council for review and implementation approval. 
The Electric User Tax is one of several funding sources for the City’s General Fund. The tax was adopted on April 9, 1976. Learn more 
The City of Ashland follows the guidelines for drones that are set forth by the State of Oregon. Learn more. (Currently, regulations around drones are not part of the Ashland Municipal Code.)
The policy for surplus vehicles states that if a vehicle is valued at less than a $10,000, the City Finance Director and City Manager can approve the donation or sale to another government agency or nonprofit organization. If the value is over $10,000, council approval is required. If a local agency is not identified as benefiting from the donation or sale of a decommissioned vehicle, agencies outside of the area are considered.
The City of Ashland has public charging stations for electric vehicles at the following locations:  
  • Ten chargers at the parking lot at Lithia Way and N Pioneer St - 130 N Pioneer St 
  • Two chargers at the Hargadine St parking garage - 175 Hargadine St 
  • Four chargers at the parking lot at The Grove - 1195 E Main St 
The stations are offered at no cost to the user due to money received through the Oregon Clean Fuels program.
Reeder Reservoir Ashland’s primary water source is Reeder Reservoir, located in the mountains above Lithia Park. Reeder Reservoir receives its water from the Ashland watershed which begin at the peaks of Mt Ashland and Wagner Butte and flow into the East and West Forks of Ashland creek before entering the reservoir.  

In addition to Ashland’s primary water source, the City has two secondary supplies. These include supply from the Talent Irrigation District (TID) delivered through their canal system to the City that can be treated at the water treatment plant, and delivery of treated water from the Medford Water Commission through the Talent-Ashland-Phoenix (TAP) intertie.

Learn more
The City would use a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) as a tool of last resort, only after consultation with Ashland Fire & Rescue and local weather forecasters. The likelihood that a PSPS would be required is minimal.

The Electric Utility completed, and City Council adopted, a Wildfire Mitigation Plan in 2022.The plan emphasizes many of the things the City is already doing to reduce wildfire risk and makes some suggestions for things the City can do to be better prepared. 

A: The current Look Ahead can be found under Council Business, ashland.or.us/CouncilBusiness, or by viewing the City Council page and clicking on Council Business. From here you may view the following:
  • Agendas and Minutes
  • Ordinances
  • Resolutions
  • Proclamations
  • Streaming Video of Council meetings
  • Council Look Ahead 
Subscribe for daily email alerts at ashland.or.us by clicking on SUBSCRIBE (below News & Info). You can customize your subscription to receive only a little information or stay abreast to all that is happening in the City of Ashland. Notification options include:
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View our Communicaitons page for newsletters, live streams, sign up for alerts and more at ashland.or.us/Communications
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Submit a public records request by completing an online form. The time needed to process the request varies from 30 minutes, up to two or more weeks for in-depth requests. For more information, please visit the City Recorder page

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