Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


October 18, 2016
Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present.
Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies on the Public Arts Commission, the Citizens Budget Committee, and the Municipal Audit Commission. Deadline for applications on the Citizens Budget Committee and the Municipal Audit Commission was November 11, 2016.
Mayor Stromberg commented on the prior week’s storm warning and the City’s response by opening Pioneer Hall as an inclement weather shelter for the homeless.  He acknowledged Housing and Human Services Commission member Heidi Parker and her efforts regarding the shelter and assisting the homeless community as well as City Administrator Dave Kanner for coordinating with Ms. Parker.  He went on to thank the individual volunteers who participated in the weekend shelter.  Ms. Parker added it took almost two days to schedule volunteers and described the community effort.  She suggested Council hire a non-volunteer agency to coordinate emergency shelters.  She announced a volunteer training Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church.
Councilor Marsh/Rosenthal m/s to continue the discussion of the Lithia Way and Pioneer Street beautification project to the December 20, 2016 Council agenda or earlier if determined by the City Administrator.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed.
Councilor Voisin/Marsh m/s to move the discussion of removing Public Art review and approval requirements from Chapter 18 of the Ashland Municipal Code to the November 15, 2016 Council meeting or earlier based on the City Administrator’s schedule. Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed.
Councilor Lemhouse/Seffinger m/s to add to tonight’s agenda under New and Miscellaneous Business a consideration of a settlement proposal in the matter of the October 2015 sewer backup at 288 Morton Street.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed.
Councilor Rosenthal/Lemhouse m/s to place the ex-officio appointment of Claire Pryor to the Climate Energy Action Plan ad hoc Committee on the agenda as topic #3 under New and Miscellaneous Business.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed.
The minutes of the Study Session of October 3, 2016 and Business Meeting of October 4, 2016 were approved as presented.
1.   Annual presentation by the Public Art Commission
Public Arts Commission Chair Sandra Friend commented on the art selection process for the Gateway Island Project and some community response suggesting a public vote to select public art.  The Commission followed the process as stated in Ashland Municipal Code (AMC) 2.29.  The Commission asked Council to confirm they wanted the Commission to follow the process as described in the code and support the process when the recommendation for the Theatre Corridor art project came before Council in 2017.  She went on to provide updates on the following projects:
  • City Entry signs
  • Calle Guanajuato Mural
  • Proposed changes to City Ordinance that affects the Public Arts Commission
  • Finalized the Mural Guidelines and Process
  • Art in the watershed
  • 2017-2020 Public Arts Commission Strategic Plan
Councilor Rosenthal thanked the Commission for their efforts, and commented on the unnecessary negative commentaries by those that did not participate in the public process.  Councilor Lemhouse also commented on the process and thanked the Commission.  Councilor Seffinger voiced her appreciation as well.
2.   Presentation regarding municipal stormwater discharge permit update
Water Conversation Specialist Julie Smitherman explained the City’s current stormwater discharge permit (MS4) had expired.  The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was in the process of drafting new MS4 permit rules for the next five-year permit period.  Presently the process was on hold to allow input from the Homebuilders Association.  The new rules will increase municipalities’ responsibilities through over counter discussion, public outreach and education, reporting, monitoring, and ongoing maintenance.
City staff was working with several regional entities including Stormwater Advisory Team (SWAT) and the Association of Clean Water Agencies.  New rules included inspecting, mapping, and cleaning 20% of the City’s stormwater conveyance system within the five-year permit period.  Other rules required the City to implement a construction inspection program to inspect any site over 5,000 square feet.  Another requirement was annually testing all outfalls, catch basins, bio swales, and infiltration basins.
The Rogue Valley Council of Governments would help with outreach and education efforts.  SWAT would revise a Local Improvement District (LID) template to make it specific to the Rogue Valley.  Staff projected a budget increase of approximately $205,000 annually with a one-time $23,000 expense. 
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained they had not discussed recapturing costs at this point and clarified grants may not be an option.  This was the early stage with projections based on impacts to the City.  Regional assistance could not be determined at this time.
Louise Shawkat/870 Cambridge Street/Submitted a document into the record and spoke regarding her concern for the climate and the risk of ecological, economic and social collapse due to CO2 concentration.
Jeff Sharpe/557 Fordyce Street/Submitted a document into the record and shared clarifications on the petitioners’ intent to the questions staff delivered to the Climate Energy Action Plan ad Hoc Committee on October 15, 2016 concerning the 10x2020 ordinance.  He requested Council add a discussion at this meeting to clarify their intent accepting the 10x2020 as written by the petitioners.
1.   Minutes of boards, commissions, and committees
2.   Appointment of Nathan Lewis to the Forest Lands Commission
3.   Appointment of Asa Cates to the Tree Commission
4.   Approval of a public contract exceeding $75,000 for Hosted Credit Card Payment System (interfaced to Tyler Technologies – MUNIS)
5.   Liquor license application for Stoel Rives, LLP dba ARCO AM/PM
6.   Approval of a change order in excess of 25% for reservoir sediment removal
Councilor Voisin pulled Consent Agenda item #6 for discussion.  Engineering Services Manager Scott Fleury explained the City instigated the change order.  The request to use biodegradable oil was not in the original agreement.  Project Manager Kaylea Kathol further explained it was an oversight.  She went on to clarify accurate sediment estimations under water were inherently difficult to achieve and that was part of the change order.
Councilor Seffinger/Rosenthal m/s to approve the Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed.
1.   Continued discussion of Lithia Way/Pioneer Street beautification project
Postponed until the December 20, 2016 Council meeting or earlier.
1.   Remove public art from Chapter 18
Postponed until the November 15, 2016 Council meeting or earlier.
2.   Consideration of a settlement proposal in the matter of the October 2015 sewer backup at 288 Morton Street 
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the City had been trying to reach accord with Mrs. Shaffer, Mr. Behncke, and Mr. Elmore on appropriate compensation related to the sewer back up at 288 Morton Street.  They now had a settlement on the table.  It was a compromise and no one was completely satisfied but it avoided the costs, risks, and rancor of a trial.  The settlement proposal was $341,000, the bulk provided by the City’s insurer and the rest coming from the Wastewater Fund.  Subject to reaching a consensus on the final wording of the settlement agreement, he recommended Council approve settling at this amount.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s Council approval to accept a settlement offer in the amount of $341,000 to resolve threatened litigation over the October 2015 sewer backup at 288 Morton Street, subject to staff’s ability to attain consensus on final wording of a written settlement agreement.
DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse explained Council had discussed the matter extensively in an Executive Session.  This was an appropriate settlement offer and he appreciated the efforts of Mr. Lohman and his staff.  Councilor Marsh agreed with Councilor Lemhouse.  Mayor Stromberg commented further on Mr. Lohman’s work and expertise in general.  Mr. Lohman responded the matter was hard work on all sides.  It was difficult to compromise, again not satisfactory to everyone but he appreciated reaching this point in the process.  Councilor Seffinger explained due to litigation, Council was advised not to make any public comments.  She now offered words of comfort and support to the Shaffer’s as a survivor of an event that ruined her house.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Seffinger, Marsh, Voisin, Lemhouse, Rosenthal, and Morris, YES. Motion approved.
3.   Ex-officio appointment of Claire Pryor to the Climate Energy Action Plan ad hoc Committee
Councilor Rosenthal explained the Climate Energy Action Plan ad hoc Committee had two Ashland High School student members, Sara Lasoff and Isaac Bevers.  Ms. Lasoff recently moved on to college.  Claire Pryor, a junior at Ashland High School would fill Ms. Lasoff’s vacancy.  Mayor Stromberg asked for a motion to confirm his appointment of Ms. Pryor. 
Rosenthal/Lemhouse m/s to approve the Mayor’s appointment of Claire Pryor to the Climate Energy Action Plan ad hoc Committee as an ex-officio member. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion approved.
1.   First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance repealing and replacing AMC Chapter 6.40 by adoption of state and county regulation” and move to second reading
Deputy Fire Chief Dave Shepard explained Oregon Revised Statute 682 required local governments to comply with their county plan regarding ambulance services.  Ashland Fire & Rescue found that Ashland Municipal Code Chapter 6.40 was redundant and in several places did not comply with the county plan.  Staff recommended repealing outdated wording and replacing it with language that complied with current county and state regulations.
Councilor Seffinger/Voisin m/s to approve first reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Repealing and Replacing AMC Chapter 6.40 by Adoption of State and County Regulations” and move the ordinance on to second reading.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Voisin, Marsh, Seffinger, Morris, Lemhouse, and Rosenthal, YES. Motion approved.
2.   Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution authorizing the City of Ashland to provide a city building for a winter shelter two nights per week through April 2017”
City Administrator Dave Kanner spoke to a request to find a non-profit agency to provide shelter staffing for the winter shelter.  He distributed a solicitation to local non-profit agencies that provided services to the homeless.  The only agency expressing interest at this point was Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland (OHRA).
Changes to the resolution included increasing occupancy to 42 guests under Section 2(e).  Section 4 removed two provisions regarding dogs, the requests for crates and thick plastic on the floor under the dogs.  Mr. Kanner noted a correction that removed language regarding children under Section 2(g).  He also added language regarding the one male, one female volunteer requirement to notify the City Administrator if a female volunteer was unavailable and there would be two male volunteers instead.
Council suggested removing language in Section 3(d) regarding kitchen usage and retain “no cooking” instead.  Council expressed concern regarding dogs biting guests.  Mr. Kanner suggested the following language change to Section 4(e), “In the event of a dog bite that breaks the skin of an emergency shelter guest, or volunteer, shelter volunteers must notify Jackson County Animal Control and the dog must be quarantined on site until Jackson County Animal Control responds.”
Councilor Seffinger/Lemhouse m/s to amend Section 4(e) to, “In the event a dog bite breaks the skin of an emergency shelter guest or volunteer, if the dog does not have a rabies vaccination,  the dog must be contained in the shelter until Jackson County Animal Control can take the dog.”
DISCUSSION:  Councilor Lemhouse thought shelter volunteers should notify the police if a dog bites a guest or volunteer and let them handle the situation.  The Police Department had resources they could use in that situation.  Councilor Seffinger agreed with the amendment.
Councilor Seffinger withdrew her motion.
Councilor Marsh/Seffinger m/s to approve Resolution #2016-18 with noted amendments that include deleting the sentence in Section 2(g) signage regarding children, deleting part of the sentence in Section 3(d) regarding kitchen facilities leaving “no cooking,” and in Section 4(e) to read, “Shelter volunteers must notify the Ashland Police Department in the event a dog bite breaks the skin of an emergency shelter guest or volunteer.”  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Marsh appreciated the volunteers and their efforts.  Councilor Seffinger was more comfortable having a clear policy on what happens in the event of a dog bite.  Councilor Lemhouse noted the present Council established the winter shelter due to input from the community and the Homeless Steering Committee.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Marsh, Seffinger, Morris, Voisin, and Lemhouse, YES. Motion approved.
Councilor Marsh explained the Housing and Human Services Commission would discuss the Housing Trust Fund next week and asked Council for their input. 
Councilor Lemhouse noted an article in the Daily Tidings on innovative infill strategies from John Fregonese that could help address affordable housing issues.  Planning Director Bill Molnar noted a correction in the article that this process has not yet gone to the Planning Commission but would and eventually to Council.  Councilor Lemhouse encouraged everyone to attend the last Ashland High School home football game.
Councilor Seffinger suggested the Housing and Human Services Commission determine if the Affordable Housing Trust Fund had any ability to decrease land costs.
Councilor Voisin noted volunteer training Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church.  She went on to explain the Tree Commission was recommending Council plant a large diameter tree in the Plaza paid for by private donations. 
Meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m.  
__________________________________                _______________________________
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder                             John Stromberg, Mayor

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