City Council (View All)
Monday, April 30, 2012
MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
April 30, 2012
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Council Chair Voisin called the meeting to order at 5:50 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room.
Councilor Silbiger, Chapman, Slattery, and Morris were present. Mayor Stromberg and Councilor Lemhouse were absent.
City Administrator Dave Kanner postponed the landscaping re-design portion of agenda item 3. Discussion of Plaza landscaping re-design, and agenda item 4. Continued discussion: Closing the feedback loop with the City Administrator to a future Study Session when Mayor Stromberg and Councilor Lemhouse were present.
1. Look Ahead Review
City Administrator Dave Kanner reviewed items on the Look Ahead.
2. Discussion of policy on an opt out program for the City’s electric automated meter reading program
Interim City Administrator Lee Tuneberg referenced the following four points requiring Council input:
- Should the City adopt an Opt Out policy?
- Are the fees identified by staff (approximately $60 to change back from an RF meter and $10/month) acceptable if a policy is adopted?
- Should any fees be reduced for customers eligible for low income or senior discounts?
- What other questions does Council have or what other issues are to be considered before the Electric Department proceeds with the program, converting the rest of the eligible meters?
The proposed fees to opt out would cover costs or a reasonable allocation of the costs with fee amounts changing over time. The conversion was 45% complete and Mr. Tuneberg recommended a fee review at the end of the program as well as annually. Staff suggested digital meters without radio transmitters for customers who opted out. The automated meter reading system would reduce costs and potentially eliminate one meter reader position. Currently there were 12 people requesting to opt out of the radio frequency meter.
Council majority supported an Opt Out policy with fees reviewed regularly. Council discussed whether to charge immediately, when a neighborhood converted, or when conversion was complete in 2017. Council did not support fee reductions for low income or senior customers who decided to opt out. Opposing comment thought low income and senior customers should receive a reduced opt out fee.
City Administrator Dave Kanner would write up a policy for Council discussion and public input during a regular meeting where Council could decide whether to charge a fee immediately, as neighborhoods converted or in 2017 when conversion was at 100%.
3. Discussion of Plaza Permitting - Plaza landscape re-design postponed to another meeting.
City Administrator Dave Kanner noted seven issues with the permitting process for the Plaza:
- Criteria for Plaza Use
- Exclusive Use
- Time Limits
- Mass gatherings
- Noise and Amplification on the Plaza
- Electricity Use
The Plaza was zoned C-1 Commercial and that zone did not permit noise louder than a conversation. Staff did not support amplification since it violated City laws. The City issued permits on a first-come first-served basis. Currently two groups wanted to use the Plaza every Friday from May until September from 5:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. and that leaned towards exclusive use. Setting two-hour limits for performers with exceptions for limited events that occur once or twice a year would break up exclusivity and allow more buskers to perform.
Council agreed with time limits and not reserving multiple days at once. Police Chief Terry Holderness explained setting aside a performance venue on the Plaza, with time limits would require an ordinance specifying the space was permanently set aside for that type of use.
Council majority was interested in clarifying criteria for permits, and possibly researching how the library reserved their public rooms. Council comments supporting amplification suggested requiring an amplification permit. Electricity should only be available with a special event permit and fees. Council supported no cooking on the Plaza because of potential fire, health, and sanitation issues.
4. Continued discussion: Closing the feedback loop with the City Administrator
Item moved to future Study Session.
5. Other business from the Council
Item not addressed.
Meeting adjourned at 7:03 p.m.
Assistant to the City Recorder