Let Curiosity be Your Guide

Curious WomanCurious about something in Ashland? Just Ask, by completing this simple ONLINE FORM

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

Currently, the Nature Center is staffed by one Coordinator who is often out in the field managing outdoor tasks and work parties. The Coordinator also oversees the Community Garden Program in Ashland, which is comprised of four site locations. Parks and Recreation has an Office Assistant who is shared at different Parks and Recreation locations, including the Nature Center on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Long-term plans and partnerships are in the works that will potentially allow the Nature Center to be open more to the public.

Released November 13, 2023 
City staff recently met with the Oregon Health Authority to discuss the currently unregulated Lithia Water System. The State currently believes this system meets the definition of a public water system and thus is requiring regulation of the system. There are different components to how a public water system is defined and regulated by the Oregon Health Authority. Staff will continue to work with the Oregon Health Authority and will discuss this change in decision by the State with the City Council to finalize a path forward. Until that path forward is defined and the system meets the drinking water requirements, the fountains will remain shut-off to the public.

Released November 13, 2023

In late October, Public Works and Parks staff met with ZCS Engineering to walk through the 100%

Pioneer Hall
Archived photo of Pioneer Hall in Lithia Park 

design development documents for both buildings. These design documents include both the civil and architectural (structural/ADA) improvements to both facilities as discussed previously with the Council. City staff will finalize the formal review of the documents and provide comments to ZCS Engineering so they can move forward with completing the construction documents and final plans for bidding the project.

As a reminder the primary components include resolving the roof structural issues, roof and floor live loads and ADA accessibility throughout both facilities. Currently, the buildings are not being utilized. ZCS Engineering expects to finalize the construction documents in January 2024, and the City will bid the project in early February with Council, award in March and construction will begin in April or May 2024.  

Released October 31, 2023 

In 1980, Congress passed the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act. It authorized Northwest states to develop a plan to balance the needs of the environment with energy production. 

BPA (Bonneville Power Administration) is responsible for investments in mitigation through the Act, which is funded by BPA’s power customers. Therefore, with Ashland as a customer of BPA, the City is involved in funding all of the provisions of the Act (in conjunction with all other BPA customers in the region, of course).

More information at nwcouncil.org/reports/columbia-river-history/northwestpoweract.

Released October 20, 2023 
Since the meals were donated and payment was not accepted, the Food & Beverage tax was not collected. 

Released October 17, 2023 
The lights the City installs are in line with industry standards. If there is a particular light that is troublesome, the City does have options to try and accommodate. Some of the lights have adjustable settings for brightness, as a default they are placed on the middle setting when installed. Other lights can have shades installed to focus the light away from a house for example.

Released October 12, 2023 
Currently, there is only one available program with the City of Ashland that may help with the cost of improving defensible space on private property. It is called the Ashland Wildfire Mitigation Project (a FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant), and it provides up to a maximum reimbursement of $2,150 for vegetation mitigation work to improve the defensible space around your home. Only specific types of trees qualify to be removed as part of this grant project (based on species, condition, and distance to a structure that would be assessed by a Risk Reduction Specialist) and other requirements would also need to be met on the property, in order to receive funding. In addition, only a pre-qualified number of homes are able to participate in the grant project to receive reimbursements. This grant was awarded in mid-2021 to target risks around the top 1,000 at-risk homes within Ashland city limits (wildfire risk). 
Please check out our webpage Ashland Wildfire Mitigation Project  for more details on the grant. On that page, there is a link to provide your contact information if you would like further info as to whether your property qualifies for the grant. Thank you for working to reduce wildfire risks around your home. 

Released October 12, 2023 
Yes, there are no restrictions on using a home fireplace. It is recommended to clean the flue at least once a year, or when 1/8th inch of creosote has built up on the inside. Remember to not have a fire burning when you are sleeping or when you leave the house.

Released October 2, 2023 
The City monitors the E. coli levels of Ashland Creek on a weekly basis during the warmer months from May through October. If the water is found to be unsafe, a notice is posted on the City home page, ashland.or.us, and on the Ashland Parks and Recreation home page, AshlandParksandRec.org – The information remains on these home pages until the water is deemed to be safe. The City also pushes this information out to Facebook, @CityofAshlandOregon and X/Twitter, @CityofAshland. Signage is posted at popular sites along Ashland Creek, at the Swim Reservoir and the wading area near the children’s playground in Lithia Park – The signage will indicate, “UNSAFE,” or “SAFE.” Stay up to date year-round by visiting ashland.or.us/ParksWaterQuality.
Additional information:
Water quality in the creek varies, due to many factors in our watershed. E. coli is a bacteria found naturally in the digestive tracts of humans and many other animals. Not all E. coli causes disease; however, high E. coli counts can also be an indicator of other pathogens. Water that exceeds the State’s E. coli standards should not be ingested, and folks will be strongly urged to stay out of the water.

Released October 2, 2023 
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
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
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 
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 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 
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
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.
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.
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
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:
  • Agendas and Minutes
  • City News
  • Projects
  • Calendar
  • Employment
  • RFPs (or requests for proposals)
View our Communicaitons page for newsletters, live streams, sign up for alerts and more at ashland.or.us/Communications
View City of Ashland Financial Documents/Reports
View City of Ashland Budget Information/Reports on OpenGov.com
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

Online City Services

Pay Your Utility Bill
Connect to
Ashland Fiber Network
Request Conservation
Proposals, Bids
& Notifications
Request Building
Building Permit
Apply for Other
Permits & Licenses
Register for
Recreation Programs




twitter facebook Email Share
back to top