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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

A link to each application received for the vacant Council Seat Position No. 3, will be available after February 14 at ashland.or.us/CouncilApplication. The Council will appoint an Ashland citizen at the Feb 21 or 22 Council Meeting. 
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
The email for our Legal Division is legal_division@ashland.or.us – Emails to this address will be forwarded to Acting City Attorney, Doug McGeary, and Assistant City Attorney, Carmel Zahran.
The emails for new Councilors Hansen and Kaplan are, eric@council.ashland.or.us and bob@council.ashland.or.us.
 
Since 2015, when the City Council approved the transfer of The Grove to the sites and facilities inventory of APRC, rent has not been paid.  APRC paid rent to the City when the building was managed by the City’s facility management division, which then had responsibility for upkeep and utilities. Once the transfer to APRC took place, the City no longer had the responsibility for the building and those expenses were taken on by APRC. Just as with all of APRC’s other sites and facilities, APRC’s budget is responsible for all expenses, including upkeep and utilities.  
 
APRC does not pay the City to rent the Grove since it is part of our sites and facilities inventory.
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.) 
Budget: 
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.
 
Audit:
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.
 
In the case of the Grand Terrace project, the entirety of the proposed development is a rental apartment complex.  No units are to be bought and sold individually, they are not condos or townhomes. It is designed as ten, 23-unit apartment complexes, totaling 230 units. As such the requisite affordable units are to also be rental housing units that are the exact same size as the market rate rental units, and these affordable units will remain affordable for 30 or more years.

In other projects recently approved such as the 43-unit Beach Creak Subdivision, eight of the units in that development are being developed by Habitat for Humanity and are to be affordable ownership housing.  Four of those new affordable units will include the land and are not part of a land trust model.

The reason many regulated affordable units in Ashland are part of an affordable housing land trust is that such land trusts are specifically designed to provide affordable housing options for low-income individuals and families. To achieve this goal, the land trust owns the land under the housing units and partners with affordable housing developers to build the units, which help subsidize the cost of the housing development. By keeping the housing units affordable by removing the substantial cost of the land from the equation, the land trust can help to reduce the burden on low-income households and provide a more stable and secure housing environment for those in need.
 
The City of Ashland is interested in reopening City Hall to the public and is on working to develop a Facility Plan. One key issue in the planning process will look at how to use City Hall for office space that includes public access. When complete, the Facility Plan will go to City Council for review and implementation approval. 
The Audit Commission, and various City Council advisory bodies, were restructured by the City Manager and approved by the City Council at the October 18, 2022, Council Business meeting. The Audit Commission was eliminated in the restructure. Learn more  
 
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 continues to pride itself on being progressive. In the summer of 2022, the City Council adopted new Vision and Values statements. Our Vision statements for success are:
  • Ashland is a resilient, sustainable community that maintains the distinctive quality of place for which it is known
  • We will continue to be a unique and caring city that stresses environmental conservation, fosters artistic expression, and is open to new ideas and innovation
  • We will plan and direct our efforts to fulfill this Vision for the long term with a constant view toward being an open, welcoming community for all with a positive economic future
Our Value statements support the Vision – 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.
If a public body, its officers, agencies, departments, divisions, bureaus, boards or commissions are using social media or their personal phones and computers to conduct business (not limited to informing citizens, initiating or seeking opinions, interacting with citizens or other public officials, etc.), then they are subject to Oregon public records laws and such interactions could also implicate public meetings law. 
The original intent for The Grove was to serve as a Youth Recreation Center that would be managed by Community Works, a Medford social service agency. The Youth Rec Center was the vision of the late Steve Groveman, an administrator for Community Works who garnered community support for a teen center in Ashland.

In the late 90s, the City offered land for the future youth rec center. This donation assisted in making the low-income teen center viable. Funding for the actual building came from a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) award from the City of Ashland’s HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) funds and private donors. The final construction cost for the building was nearly $900,000, and in March 2000, the 8,000 square foot center was completed.

A requirement of the HUD funding to build and support The Grove, was for Community Works to meet the low-income beneficiary HUD requirements. Sadly, Groveman passed in 1999, and Community Works struggled to attract youth to the center. This combined with budget cuts and a sluggish economy eventually led Community Works to expand the use of the building to activities beyond youth recreation in an effort to offset operational costs for the building.In late 2003, Community Works closed the doors on The Grove and the ownership of the building reverted to the City. HUD then required the City to pay back the CDBG contribution for the building. Once this happened there were no requirements on the use of the building.

The initial CDBG funds granted to Community Works to build The Grove totaled $249,850. In early 2004 the City was able to get credit from HUD for the time that the building was used in accordance with the HUD guidelines as a low-income youth recreation center, and consequently the amount required to pay back had deflated to $214,887. The repaid funds were credited to the City’s HUD line of credit, which were then reused for another CDBG eligible project. Ultimately these funds were used to purchase land for six affordable housing units.

The Grove is located at 1195 E Main St in Ashland.

More information on The Grove…
The Grove is currently used as a Recreation Facility for all ages. Many programs are operated out of the building including Ballroom Dance, Community Folk Dancing, Tai Chi, Line Dancing, Tap Classes, Garden Club meetings, Dog Training classes, AARP Tax Aide, and more to come since folks are feeling more comfortable returning to the inside.

The building also is home to operation “bike program,” refurbishing bikes to be used for the bicycle safety education program in the schools as well as donation of bikes to community members in need. It is also the location for the annual Rogue Valley Bike Swap. 

The Grove front office is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; however, the building is used seven (7) days a week for programs. The Recreation Division staff also have office space at The Grove. The Division houses the Volunteer Program, operates the Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink, North Mountain Park Nature Center, Daniel Meyer Memorial Pool and various other general recreation programming opened up to the entire community. Staff and local community meetings often take place at The Grove. 

The OHRA (Options for Helping Residents of Ashland) shower trailer is temporarily housed behind the Grove on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m until their permanent home at OHRA facility on Washington St is ready.

In the event of a disaster, The Grove will be used as an Emergency Operations Command Center.
Crosswalk striping will be added at the following locations on Siskiyou Ave:
  • West side of Park St
  • West side of Terra Ave
  • West side of Tolman Creek Ave
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
The inspection process for fire hydrants is ongoing and rotates between four (4) zones in the City. Crews focus on one (1) zone at a time to ensure that all hydrants are functioning properly. (All hydrants are inspected at least once during a one-year period.) Hydrants are also reviewed when a request is made for a flow test for a new project, such as a new home.
The City would use a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) as a tool of last resort, only after consultation with Ashland Fire & Rescue and local weather forecasters. The likelihood that a PSPS would be required is minimal.

The Electric Utility completed, and City Council adopted, a Wildfire Mitigation Plan in 2022.The plan emphasizes many of the things the City is already doing to reduce wildfire risk and makes some suggestions for things the City can do to be better prepared. 

 
The Climate Energy Action Plan (CEAP) and water conservation are supported by two (2) City Climate Commissions, the Climate Policy Commission and the Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission. This is in addition to a growing number of residents who volunteer their time to educate other community members on the benefits of water conservation and climate adaptation improvements. The Ashland Climate Collaborative is continuously working to message the community on these subjects. For more information visit AshlandClimate.org.

The Intergovernmental Agreement with the Medford Water Commission for water conservation services is working well and the City does not expect to make any changes in the future.

Currently, the City has a staff position that is functioning parttime, working on the CEAP. This position will be posted as a fulltime position by the end of 2022/first part of 2023.
The Siskiyou Fire in 2009 was investigated by ODF (Oregon Department of Forestry). They can be reached at Oregon.gov/ODF for more information. The Almeda Fire investigation remains open and ongoing with detectives from APD (Ashland Police Department) and JCSO (Jackson County Sheriff’s Office) following new leads, exhausting old ones and remaining dedicated to solving the case – Learn more
The Ashland Japanese Garden design includes a tea house; however, the funding for a tea house is not in place for Phase I, which will be complete in October 2022. An Opening Celebration of the Ashland Japanese Garden will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2022. Stay abreast and find more information at AshlandJapaneseGarden.org.  
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 
Due to the drought, limited TID (Talent Irrigation District) water and budget restraints, it has been necessary to reduce irrigation in many City Parks, and that includes the Oak Knoll Golf Course. The reduction in TID water has had the biggest impact on the Oak Knoll Golf Course. For more information on Irrigation during a Drought, please visit ashland.or.us/irrigation-drought-aprc.
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
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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
The City of Ashland utilizes Nixle to alert you of local emergencies and advisories. Complete information at ashland.or.us/Nixle. It's important to remember that EVERYONE in your family (partner/spouse, young adult, teen, tween) should register in the Nixle system. You can choose how you want to sign up (cell, email, etc.)  

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