Jackson County will return to the High Risk category for COVID-19 on May 7. Visit the Governor's website for information on what is allowed during this time. Get general updates, vaccine information, and resources related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic here.
 

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May 4, 2021 City Manager's Report
Posted: Tuesday, May 04, 2021

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May 4, 2021
The City Manager’s Report showcases current events facing the City externally and internally since the last Council meeting, while highlighting City accomplishments. 

2021 Water Supply Update
 
Public Works Director Scott Fleury provided a presentation to Council at yesterday's (May 3) Council Study Session regarding the current local water supply status and the City's water supply management plan for 2021.

While the Talent Irrigation District (TID) water supply from Howard Prairie, Hyatt and Emigrant Lakes are extremely low and will create water supply issues for the mostly agricultural users of the system regionally, the City's primary source of water, the Mt Ashland watershed, is in much better condition.

The combination of improved supply compared to last year, along with the availability and planned use of the Talent Ashland Phoenix (TAP) supplemental water supply and the community's outstanding history of proactive water conservation makes staff optimistic that water conditions are adequate to serve the needs of the community throughout the summer/fall peak water use season.

A newly developed water supply dashboard was also introduced to Council and will soon be active on the City's website providing real-time visual display of all key water supply data.

The powerpoint presentation is available HERE to view
Move Back Into Extreme Risk and Business Assistance Available
Jackson County, along with 14 other Oregon counties, moved into the Extreme Risk category for COVID-19 on Friday, April 30. The move back into the Extreme Risk category is due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Each county's health and safety restrictions will be evaluated on a weekly basis with Extreme Risk counties potentially remaining there for a maximum of three weeks. For more information, on what will be available as we move back into Extreme Risk visit the Governor's website.
 
City offices will continue to be closed to walk-ins during this time, but staff are available via the phone and email for assistance. Please visit our directory to contact our offices. 

The Oregon legislature at the request of Governor Brown has allocated $20 million for businesses in counties that are at extreme risk as of April 30, 2021. Jackson County has been allocated approximately $1.5 million.
 
The Small Business Administration has also begun accepting applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. This fund will provide help to restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses. Businesses who receive funding will not have to repay any amount as long as the funds are used for eligible expenses before March 11, 2023. Go to www.sba.gov/restaurants for more information and to apply.
 
The State is offering training opportunities on how to apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Eligible businesses can register for the free webinar on May 6 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. here. 

Land Use Code Amendment - Duplexes
The Planning Commission reviewed draft land use code amendments to meet new state law and administrative rules regarding duplexes and accessory residential units (ARUs) at their April 27, 2021 Study Session. The Oregon State Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 2001 in the 2019 legislative session which requires “medium” cities such as Ashland to amend codes by June 30, 2021 to allow duplexes on residentially zoned lots that allow the development of detached single-family homes. In addition, HB 2001 includes a provision that prohibits jurisdictions from requiring on-site parking and owner-occupancy requirements for ARUs.

The Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) adopted the administrative rules for implementing House Bill 2001 in August 2020 and the Planning Commission subsequently held study sessions on October 13, 2020, December 22, 2020, February 23, 2021 and the most recent meeting on April 27, 2021. A development roundtable was held on April 21, 2021 and the materials were presented to the Housing and Human Services Commission and Historic Commission at their meetings on April 22, 2021 and May 5, 2021 respectively. The item is scheduled for a public hearing at the Planning Commission on May 11 and study session at the City Council on May 17.
Recent Residential Roadway Work
A number of neighborhoods have recently been impacted due to roadway improvement projects called “Slurry Sealing”.  The City is appreciative of everyone’s efforts to park down the street for a day or two and use different streets than normal to access their home.  Many different comments and theories have popped into local social media about the use of slurry sealing.  Our Public Works Department has put together some background on the topic that might help answer some of those questions, curiosities and concerns.  

When is slurry seal the preferred choice?
Slurry seals are part of the City’s pavement maintenance program that also includes asphalt overlays and complete rehabilitations. Staff performs inspections of the roadways throughout the City and uses the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) ranking system to rate the condition of the roadways. This PCI ranking is used to select roadways for the slurry seal project with the intent to extend the useful life of the roadway and provide a re-invigorated driving surface. 

Slurry seal is a cost-effective maintenance strategy that is used on residential roadways throughout the community to extend roadway life. Prior to the actual application of the slurry seal, Street Department staff perform minor maintenance work on the roadways that include patching and crack sealing. Once this maintenance work is completed a contractor then applies the slurry seal product that seals the roadway and prevents water from infiltrating the subsurface and damaging the pavement system. 

Public Works completes one large scale slurry seal project each biennium and has employed this pavement maintenance strategy for decades as part of the total pavement maintenance program. The current slurry seal project was awarded by the City Council at the June 16, 2020 Business Meeting, Staff Report

What actually is slurry seal?
A slurry seal is the application of a mixture of water, asphalt emulsion, aggregate (very small crushed rock), and additives to an existing asphalt pavement surface. A slurry seal is similar to a fog seal except the slurry seal has aggregates as part of the mixture. This combined mixture of the emulsion and aggregates represents “slurry.” Polymer is commonly added to the asphalt emulsion to provide better mixture properties. The placement of this mixture on existing pavement is the “seal” as it is intended to seal the pavement surface. Slurry seals are generally used on residential streets.

How does it work?
Slurry seal is applied in order to help preserve and protect the underlying pavement structure and provide a new driving surface. Roads chosen for slurry seal applications generally have low to moderate distress and narrow crack width. Slurry seal applications serve to seal the cracks, restore lost flexibility to the pavement surface, provide a deep, rich black pavement surface color, and help preserve the underlying pavement structure.

What roads get slurry seal applied and how often?
Slurry seal is typically applied on either an intermittent or cyclical basis. Location, weather, traffic loading, and pavement conditions are factors used to determine if a slurry seal application is appropriate. Roadways selected for slurry seal treatment are commonly those which have slight to moderate distress, no rutting, and generally narrow crack widths, and where a slurry seal treatment would help extend the pavement life until resurfacing becomes necessary.
Roadways chosen for cyclical slurry seal applications would typically be treated every five to seven years.

Looking Ahead
This is a draft of the next Council meetings agenda and is subject to change.
 
May 17 - Study Session
  • Review Housing Capacity Analysis
  • Discussion of Proposed Land Use Code Amendment - Duplexes on Single Family Lots
May 18 - Executive Session 5 PM
Executive Session will be held by the Ashland City Council to conduct deliberations with persons you have designated to carry on labor negotiations, pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d). Executive Sessions are closed to the public.

May 18 - Business Meeting
  • Presentation of Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Single Audit & Introduction to Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Audit Process
  • Police Annual Report to Council (Formerly Use of Force Report)
  • COVID-19 Emergency Declaration
  • Purchase of Land/Easement for 2290 E. Main Street
  • A Resolution Establishing the Energy Retrofit Loan Program
  • Social Equity and Racial Justice Resolution Council Discussion and Action Identification
  • Utility Rate Review
  • Recology Solid Waste and Recycling Rate Resolution
  • Approval of a Reimbursement Resolution for Capital Improvement Projects for the 2021-23 Budget Biennium
  • First Reading of Wildfire Mitigation Construction Standards Code (R-327)
  • Second Reading of an Ordinance relating to Chronic Nuisance Properties; Amending AMC 9.18.020
For the full look ahead and descriptions of each item, go to ashland.or.us/lookahead.

May City Source
The May City Source covers a reminder about living with wildlife as we enter fawning season and to abate weeds and other vegetation by the June 5 deadline. Events for June are listed along with a request for Climate Action Stories and the City Calendar for public meetings. 

Go to ashland.or.us/citysource for the latest and past editions. 

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