Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Committee (View All)

Conservation Commissiion Monthly Meeting 04/27/11

Wednesday, April 27, 2011




6-8 p.m. –April 27, 2011

Community Development Building




Chairperson McGinnis called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm.


Thomas Beam, Risa Buck, Sheri Cellini, Stuart Corns, Ross Finney, Jim Hartman, Shelley Lotz, Jim McGinnis and David Runkel were present.  


City Council Liaison: Carol Voisin

Staff Representative: Bill Molnar, Robbin Pearce, and Mary McClary




Chairperson McGinnis asked for approval of the minutes for March 30, 2011.


Commissioner Finney made a motion to approve the minutes as presented and Commissioner Hartman seconded the motion.


Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.



Southern Oregon Sustainable Business Network (SOSBN)

John Lamy and Lynn Blanche, Co-Executive Directors for SOSBN, introduced themselves to the Commission and presented an outline of their non-profit organization.  Highlighting their purpose, sustainability based on the triple bottom line, planet, prosperity, and people, their primary program The Green Biz Challenge, is designed to make businesses aware of measures, steps and changes they can make to their businesses for conserving energy.


The membership is made up of different financial levels receiving different benefits including a newsletter, bi-monthly gatherings, guest speakers, a web site and door badges.  The organizational future plans include conservation of all types, social awareness and responsibility’s, and putting into place measures and policies that businesses will incorporate into their infrastructure.. 


SOSBN has solicited and received support from Avista, Energy Trust, and Pacific Power.  They asked the Commission for $500.00 to help supplement their advertising costs.


The Commissioners asked some questions and discussed the organizational plans, membership and outreach programs. They also discussed briefly the City’s Green Business Program which is in a “floating stage” until the City finishes with the budget process to determine staffing concerns.  Green Business is slated further on the agenda.



Commissioner Cellini made a motion to hold off voting on financial support for SOSBN until the next Commission meeting.

Motion died for lack of second.


The Commissioners decided to wait on this request until they discussed Item:  A. Criteria for Budget Spending under New Business.




  Larry Blake reported to the Commission that SOU will be renovating, Churchill Hall with some funding from State Energy Program Fund resources. SOU has issued a Request for Proposals for Student Housing Development Services to build new student housing facilities with up to 700 beds and a new central dining hall.


Also there will be a new recycling area to sort out co-mingled boxes to better eliminate contamination.  This project was driven by the students in hopes of making permanent changes to the campus.


SOU is working with Ashland Car Share, City of Ashland and RVTV in hopes of encouraging students to utilize the programs and reduce their need to bring cars to the university.



None present



The next Commission meeting will be May 25, 2011.


Commissioner Buck announced Plastic Round Up will be held on October 14-15.   April 30, Saturday in Medford there will be another prescription turn in event.  Coming soon the Ashland and Talent Police Departments will have sites where people will be able to bring their unused prescription drugs on a permanent basis.


Chairperson McGinnis asked the members to continue letting citizens know about the vacancies on the Commission.



Criteria for Budget Spending

Commissioner Runkel relayed a plan to the Commission that would look at budget items in June and July to outline the budget spending.  The members discussed benchmarking some items and leaving other items for nomination.  Commissioner Beam asked if some of the funds could be used to hire a professional grant writer, and Bill Molnar will research and get back to them at the next meeting.


Commissioner Beam wondered if this Commission could apply for a grant to help support the City of Ashland’s Green Business Program.  Bill Molnar explained the Administrative Add Package to the budget will include a new Conservation Manager and the budget committee will decide on all the Add Packages mid-May.


This item was set aside for next month’s agenda.



Rain Water Harvesting Policy Update

A draft policy is becoming finalized within the next few months from the plumbing inspector, for review from city staff, SEA TAG and the Conservation Commission.  Once the policy is in place, the procedures will tehn be drafted as the next step in the process. 


The discussion turned to Grey Water and the letter Commissioner Runkel outlined for the review of the Commission.  The members discussed the pros and cons of the proposed fees for this project.  It was determined to review the letter for revisions and to submit the letter for Council endorsement.


Commissioner Beam made a  motion to approve Commissioner Runkel’s letter with any amendments and to be submitted to the City Council consent agenda for May 17th, 2011.

Commissioner Lotz seconded the motion.

Commissioner Beam amended the motion to include the City Council send the letter to the DEQ if approved.


Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.



Green Business Report

Robbin Pearce reported the Green Business Program is on hold due to budget and staffing constraints.  Robbin still receives applications on a regular basis for businesses applying to the program. The existing certified businesses are still being trained on a tracking spread sheet. Also, Robbin is working to develop an E-newsletter for Green Business that would go out on a quarterly basis, and may be interactive. 


She hopes the program will continue in the next physical year.


The Commission wondered if they should write a letter of support for the Conservation Manager position, and Councilor Voisin expressed the importance of attending and speaking in person. 


Commissioner Cellini made a motion that the Conservation Commission either/or draft a speech and be present at the budget committee meeting May 16 in support of the City Administrator’s Add Package specifically with regard for a Conservation Manager.

Commissioner Buck seconded the motion.



Voice Vote: All Ayes.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote.


            The Commissioners decided to use the email system of communication towards the May 16th meeting.


Sustainability Report

            Set aside for the next meeting.




 Earth Day Report

            Set Aside


Timeline of Goals

Set aside




Chairperson McGinnis presented Commissioner Finney and Lotz with Certificates of Appreciation for their

Dedicated work with the Commission and wished them well in their future endeavors.



Chairperson Mcginnis adjourned the meeting at 8:05pm.






































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