Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekly Update, April 5 - 9, 2010

Council - It has been a few weeks since I have sent an update on the "miscellaneous" things that are going on. Here are some:

Ashland Independent Film Festival. AIFF is this weekend, and activity already seems likely around town for the weekend. Many of their showings are sold out, but if you're interested in attending, you can find the schedule here.

Proposed Budget. Budget Committee members should be receiving the paper copy of the Proposed Budget for FY 2010-2011 today. Finance staff will be bringing the document up on the website, so it should be available electronically very soon. The first meeting of the Budget Committee is April 19, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, and Lee Tuneberg and I will deliver the Budget Message. Please remember that until that meeting, members of the Budget Committee cannot talk to each other about the Proposed Budget. If you have questions, please let Lee know. Getting this document out every year is a huge amount of work by the Administrative Services staff and by all City Departments. Thank you to Lee, Bryn, and Melissa in particular for pulling the document together.

AFR Tour. Fire Department staff will be conducting a couple of tours of the first areas that will be treated as part of Ashland Forest Resiliency. One of the tours is already full, and the other is tentatively planned for May 8. I am wondering how many of Councilors might be interested in going along so that we can either notice the tour as a public meeting or schedule an additional tour. Can you please email John Karns if you would like to go on May 8. Also, this is a tentative date, and it may be rescheduled. John would like to hear from the public as well as Councilors, so for any blog readers, if you are interested, please email Chief Karns.

Land Use Permit for Calle and Comm. Dev. Parking Lot. The Parks Dept and the City have been working with merchants , the artisans, and restaurants on the Calle to allow additional sidewalk/Calle dining for the Sesame Kitchen. Last year's initial layout for Sesame caused some access issues for several businesses and also conflicted with the weekend Saturday Market booth space layout. The City and Parks offered a solution of extending the Saturday Market booth area into the existing parking lot of the City's Community Development building immediately west of the Calle on the opposite side of the creek. The proposed space in the Community Development parking lot replaces those lost to the Calle dining and adds 5 to 6 additional booth spaces for the weekend operations that happen each year from May through October. To do this, Parks and the City is submitting a joint application to the Planning Department for a modification to the existing conditional use permit that the Market currently operates under. Please contact Adam Hanks in Administration or Rachel Dials in Parks if you have any questions about this application.

Evening Event related to Sexual Assault and Abductions. On April 19 at 6:30 p.m., the Ashland Police Department and Southern Oregon University will host an evening presentation highlighting the importance that community involvement plays in stopping predators. The event will be in the Rogue River Room, and tickets are needed. I am sorry that this is the same evening as the Budget Committee. APD will also be hosting an officer training that afternoon. For those who aren't familiar with this topic, 19 yr old Brooke Wilberger was abducted on May 24th, 2004, in Corvallis, Oregon. In the first 7 days 1,139 tips were received by a task force that included Corvallis PD, Benton County SO, OSP, FBI, US Marshals and numerous other law enforcement agencies. This is a unique opportunity to hear from Brook's parents, Greg and Cammy Wilberger, as well as those who investigated and prosecuted this case. If you have any questions, please contact Chief Holderness.

Chamber Board Meeting. The Chamber of Commerce Board met Thursday. The Board asked a task force to send comments to the City Council for the record for the Croman Mill Master Plan. The Chamber Board also discussed issues related to the Fourth of July Parade, an upcoming seminar they are hosting for new businesses, and a beautification project that they are working with City staff on for their offices. The Chamber will be hosting a series of events the week of May 10 for Tourism Promotion Week, and they are coordinating their programs with the City as this is also Historic Preservation Week. For example, we will have a series of tours of historic houses that are now Bed & Breakfast Inns. Lastly, the Chamber just released the new "Living and Doing Business" guide, which is the publication they use for talking with new businesses and potential new residents. If you'd like a copy of that publication, please let Diana Shiplet know and we will request a few extra from the Chamber.

Oregon Business Development Commission. The Business Development Commission will hold their regular business meeting in Ashland. This Commission oversees the Oregon Business Development Department's activities. This state agency provides a variety of economic development support programs. The meeting will take place on the SOU campus, and I will get more details to you as we have them.

ODOT Open House. CLICK HERE for the flyer that ODOT recently sent to all Ashland addresses about the status of the Exit 14 and 19 bridge replacement projects. In the center of the flyer, you'll see how they are talking about the bicycle signal on the eastbound lane of Exit 14. They also had an open house Thursday evening.

Weekly Project Report. For many other City projects, the weekly project update can be found if you CLICK HERE.

I hope all of you are well, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Martha Bennett, City Administrator

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