Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Grove

On May 17, the City Council approved a contract for architectural services for remodeling the Grove for eventual use as a police station. That the Council is even considering relocating the Police Department to the Grove has come as a surprise to a few citizens who enjoy attending contra dance events at the Grove.

A bit of history about that space:

Originally built as a teen center with a combination of funds from the local community and CDBG funds, the Grove stopped operating as a teen center in 2004 when attendance dropped off and Community Works determined it could no longer operate the center.

The City reimbursed HUD for the CDBG funds thus freeing the building for other uses. The City Council asked the Parks and Recreation Department to manage the Grove, on a temporary basis, for community classes and programs until the Council determined the best use of that space.

As a result of the Facilities Master Plan study completed in 2008, the City Council determined that Fire Station No. 2 and the Police Station were the two city-owned facilities with the greatest need.

The City Council appointed the 14-citizen member Public Safety Bond Committee to review both facilities and make a recommendation to the City Council. In May of 2010, the Committee recommended the City seek voter approved General Obligation Bonds to finance a new Fire Station No. 2 and the Committee recommended moving the Police Department to the Grove.

In January of 2011, the City Council adopted a goal to “Complete a feasibility and financing plan regarding renovating the Grove for the Ashland Police station and evaluate the use of the existing police station for other City office needs.”

The City Council needs detailed architectural plans to determine the feasibility of relocating the police station to the Grove and to determine realistic costs to do so. If, after reviewing the plans and the associated costs, the Council decides to move forward and relocate the Police Station to the Grove, it could take as long as two years to secure funding and complete construction.

Parks and Recreation has ably managed the Grove for the past seven years and will continue to manage the space until the Council determines otherwise. Someday, people who participate in community run classes and programs may find themselves in another venue, but there will be time for the Parks, the City, and community groups to plan for the transition if it comes.

But for now, detailed plans are the first step needed to make a final decision. It is unlikely the community will see any changes at the Grove for at least two years.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Minute Minutes from May 17

May 16, 2011 Budget Committee Meeting
The Budget Committee met for the “wrap up” session.

May 17, 2011 Regular Meeting

Special Presentations & Awards
The Council heard a presentation from SOU students on their work studying the Wildfire Zone.

Consent Agenda
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. Appointments to the Firewise Commission
3. Authorized the solicitation of formal bids and proposals for three public works projects
4. A proposal and award of a contract for architectural services to Straus & Seibert Architects in an amount not to exceed $94,020 for architectural services related to remodeling of the Grove to serve as a police station.
5. Appointment of the City Attorney
6. Five of eight proposals to be submitted to the ad hoc Homelessness Task Force (three proposals will not be submitted including limited sidewalk use, free camping and portable toilets)
7. A letter from the Conservation Committee to DEQ supporting minimal financial impact in the permitting process of Grey Water Systems
8. The Police Department applying for a grant from the US Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing for one additional officer to engage in community policing activities.

VIII. 1. Public Hearing on a request to terminate a pedestrian easement in the Oaks subdivision. Council approved terminating a portion of a pedestrian access easement on Lot 9 in the Oaks of Ashland subdivision.

VIII. 2. Public Hearing on two requests for supplemental budget for Water Fund.
Council approved a resolution adopting a supplemental budget establishing appropriations for an inter-fund loan within the 2010-11 budget.

VIII. 3. Public Hearing on appeal of a land use approval for 163 Hitt Road.
Council affirmed the decision of the Planning Commission, rejected the appeal and directed staff to prepare findings for adoption.

X.1.Lease on Imperatrice Property.
This item was delayed to a future meeting.

XI.1. Lease of City property for parking for Caldwell Chiropractic.
Council approved a lease to Caldwell Chiropractic for parking of property the City acquired for the eventual realignment of the Hersey/ Wimer/ North Main intersection.

XI.2. Special Events Permitting and Fees.
Council heard a brief presentation on temporary fee structure for special events. Council directed staff to schedule a public hearing on the proposed temporary fees and to move forward to develop a new Special Events Permit ordinance.

Friday, May 6, 2011

One Minute Minutes from May 3

Mayor’s Announcement
The Mayor acknowledged the passing of Don Makin and his many contributions to the community.

Special Presentations
The Ragland Award was presented in memoriam to Steve Hauck.

Consent Agenda.
Consent items were approved including:
1. Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees
2. A four month extension to the RVTD/City of Ashland Reduced Fare Program Agreement
3. The Quarterly Financial Report At the request of Councilor Slattery, future Quarterly Financial Reports will be placed on the discussion portion of the agenda.
4. A Liquor License Application from Peter Bolton dba “The Playwright” at 258 A Street, #3
5. The Ambulance Operator’s License renewal for Ashland Fire and Rescue
6. A Quick Response Project grant application for the Transportation and Growth Management Program to fund preparation of a redevelopment plan for the area southwest of the intersection of Ashland Street and Tolman Creek Road
7. A request from the Parks Department to submit a grant application to Oregon State Parks for a playgrounds equipment upgrade in Lithia Park in 2011 and a two-year approval to allow Parks staff to apply for a 2012 grant if 2011 grant funds are not secured.

This item was deferred to the next meeting
8. A proposal and award of a contract for architectural services to Straus & Seibert Architects in an amount not to exceed $94,020 for architectural services related to remodeling of the Grove to serve as a police station.

VIII. 1. Public Hearing on two requests for fee waivers for Oak Knoll homeowners.
Council approved waiving the land use application fee for a variance for fence height to allow homeowners to build an 8-foot tall fence.

Council approved waiving the Community Development and Engineering Fees for Oak Knoll homeowners actively rebuilding their properties.

VIII. 2. Public Hearing on two requests for supplemental budget for Water Fund.
This item was deferred to the next regular Council meeting.

VIII. 3. Public Hearing – REOPENING – 85 Winburn Way.
Council re-opened the public hearing to allow testimony related to the issue of a parking in-lieu fee and allowed uses. This item was continued to a special meeting at 4:00 on Wednesday, May 4, 2011. Council made an oral decision to approve the application and development agreement as recommended by the Planning Commission, with the following changes:
• No residential uses allowed
• No medical office uses allowed
• Imposing a $250,000 in lieu of fee for downtown parking development
• Affirming inclusion of the ice rink property
• Affirming the proposed timeline for construction.
The development agreement, ordinance, and findings will return at a future meeting.

XII.1. Ordinance annexing the Caldera Property and Removing it from Fire District #5.
Council approved second reading of the ordinance.

XIII. Resolution Supporting Senior Tax Deferral Program
On May 4, Council authorized the Mayor to send a letter of support for continuation of the Senior Tax Deferral program.