Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

September 20, 2005
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Hardesty, Hartzell, Amarotico, Chapman, Jackson and Silbiger were present.
The Minutes of the Special Meeting of August 30, 2005, Regular Council Meeting of September 06, 2005 and Continued Council Meeting of September 07, 2005 were approved as presented.
Mayor's Proclamation of September 21st as The International Day of Peace, Proclamation of October as Disability Employment Awareness Month and Proclamation of September 22nd as Ashland Car Free Day were read aloud.

Mayor Morrison noted that a Car Free Day Festival would be held on September 22nd from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees
2. Approval of Sole-source Procurement Greater than $75,000 - Sports Lighting
3. Approval of Public Contract Greater than $75,000 - Electric Meters
4. Liquor License Application for Il Giardino Cucina Itliana
5. Liquor License Application for Los Gordos
Councilor Amarotico/Hardesty m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Electric Director Dick Wanderscheid stated that the City has been deploying electric meters containing the ERT Modules for the past three years, however he did not have the exact number.

Parks Superintendent Steve Gies clarified that the sports lighting equipment is more efficient because the fixtures are able to generate more light, therefore fewer are needed.

1. Second Reading by Title only of "An Ordinance of the City of Ashland, Oregon, Granting a Franchise to Avista Corporation for the Construction, Operation, and Maintenance of Natural Gas Facilities Within the City of Ashland, Oregon."
Assistant City Attorney Mike Reeder presented the Staff Report. He stated that the Council may wish to discuss the self-insured aspect and commented on the stipulation that Avista provide a business report.

Suggestion was made for the contract to state that Avista provide their business report to the City on a periodic basis. It was questioned if the Council should also ask Avista to present a copy of their insurance coverage on an annual basis. Finance Director Lee Tuneberg suggested that they combine Sections 3 & 4 of the Ordinance and request that Avista annually provide a report and recertify that they are self insured or provide proof of other insurance.

It was questioned what should be contained in the report. Mayor Morrison stated he was interested in what Avista is doing in the community, what they base their volume on and how many connections they have.

Suggestion was made for the City to be informed of what streets Avista is working on and when. Mr. Tuneberg stated that the City is already made aware of this because Avista is required to obtain Excavation Permits through the City's Public Works Department. Interest was voiced in regards to extending the solar hot water heater program.

Steve Vincent/580 Business Park Dr/Avista Utilities/Stated that the Franchise Agreement pertained to Avista's ability to work in the right-of-ways and their contractual obligation to make sure they keep the streets in good repair when they have to access them for service. He stated that the conservation side is something that is regulated by the Public Utility Commission and any changes made to conservation is something the Commission would need to approve. Mr. Vincent stated that he would speak with his conservation folks about the possibility of rebates for solar systems.

Mayor Morrison requested that the language in Section 3 be amended to read "The city shall be provided with these books and records on an annual basis with respect to all matters covered by this ordinance".

Mr. Vincent stated that they operate in four states and does not know if it would be an easy administrative task to compile the information being requested. He stated that he would have to talk to Avista about the report being requested. Morrison clarified that he was not interested in their other operations, only what is happening in Ashland. Mr. Vincent stated that the City of Ashland would be the only city within their service territory making such a request and he would need to check with his counterparts before agreeing to this change. He stated that Avista produces an annual report as a corporation, but does not believe the revenue is presented in a city by city basis. He stated that they will need to sit down and talk about what the City would like to see in the report and then determine if they can accommodate.

City Administrator Gino Grimaldi suggested that they not do a second reading of the ordinance tonight. Instead, have Staff discuss the suggested changes with Avista and see if they can come up with some language that is agreeable and then bring it back to the Council. Council reached consensus to refer this back to Staff for further negotiations with Avista.

2. Reading by Title only of "A Resolution accepting the Grant Offer of the State of Oregon through the Oregon Department of Aviation in the Maximum Amount of $10,000 to be used under the Financial Aid to Municipalities Program in the Maintenance of Ashland Municipal Airport."
City Administrator Gino Grimaldi stated that this grant would fund a project that is needed in order to clear obstructions in the approach zone for the airport. He stated that there are a number of large trees that need to be trimmed in order to provide planes with a safe approach into the airport. He clarified that this is a requirement of the FAA and stated that there are funds available through the grant program, however the City will be required to match 10% of the $10,000. Mr. Grimaldi stated that the resolution is necessary in order to accept the grant.

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to approve Resolution #2005-38. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Silbiger, Jackson, Chapman, Amarotico, Hartzell and Hardesty, YES. Motion passed.

3. Second Reading by Title only of "An Ordinance Withdrawing an Annexed Area from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 (Pacific Western of Medford, LLC, Annexation, End of Clover Lane)."
Assistant City Attorney Mike Reeder noted that this is the second reading of the ordinance. He stated that the findings were adopted back in October of 2003 and stated that this was the final step in the land use action.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve Ordinance #2920. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger, Hardesty and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.

4. Reading by Title only of "A Resolution Revising Rates for Electric Service Pursuant to Ashland Municipal Code Section 14.16.030 and Repealing Resolution 2004.40."
Electric Director Dick Wanderscheid presented the Staff Report. He stated that the Staff Report updates the Council on the wholesale electric rates from Bonneville Power Administration and contains Staff's recommendation to lower the surcharge from 18.45% to 16.6%.

Mr. Wanderscheid explained that in the FY 05-06 budget, Staff tentatively expected a 3.3% increase in wholesale power cost, however Bonneville ended up with more power than expected and because of their increased revenues have lowered their rates by approximately 1.6%. Staff is recommending that the City reduce the surcharge by 1.85%, which would result in revenue reduction of $95,000 over the remainder of the fiscal year.

Mr. Wanderscheid spoke regarding the technology upgrade plan and stated that the pilot program is providing excellent data. He stated that at the completion of the two year pilot program, Staff will have sufficient data to determine what kind of load shifting they can do and will look at various ways of implementation. He stated that they should have sufficient data collected by next spring and will come to a conclusion within the next two years.

Mr. Wanderscheid briefly commented on the power outage experienced in Ashland today. He also stated that there was a slim chance that they would need to raise the rates back up and voiced his support for lowering the surcharge.

Councilor Amarotico/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2005-39. Roll Call Vote: Councilors Hartzell, Chapman, Amarotico, Hardesty and Jackson, YES. Councilor Silbiger, NO. Motion Passed 5-1.

Councilor Jackson spoke regarding the Regional Problem Solving process and stated that the group has entered its final phase and have hired a consultant. She stated that the consultant will be helping the Policy Committee to put together a regional plan and noted that she had been selected to chair this committee. Jackson clarified that through this process, cities were asked to identify urban reserve and noted that Ashland chose to not add any growth areas. She briefly commented on the impacts of Measure 37 claims and clarified that the State has very specific rules on where cities can expand.
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 8:11 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor

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