Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Minutes
Monday, October 17, 2016

MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
Monday October 17, 2016
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
                                                                                                                                            
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room. 
 
Councilor Rosenthal, Morris, Marsh, Seffinger, and Voisin were present.  Councilor Lemhouse was absent.
 
1.   Public Input 
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Highway 99/Spoke on financing solar panels and timeliness for panel installation.
 
2.   Look Ahead review
City Administrator Dave Kanner reviewed items on the Look Ahead.
 
3.   Status update on the feasibility study for the replacement of city hall
Public Works Project Manager Kaylea Kathol introduced Dana Ing-Crawford from Ogden Roemer Wilkerson Architecture (ORW) who provided a feasibility study on replacing City Hall.  ORW looked at three sites, the current location of City Hall, the Community Development Building, and the parking lot on Lithia Way and North Pioneer Street.  They created five design options, gathered public input and developed cost models.  A presentation included:
Space Needs for City Hall and Community Development:
  • Year 2021:  23,017 square feet
  • Year 2031:  23,472 square feet
Option 1:  City Hall Expansion:  New Construction – DETERMINED NOT FEASIBLE
  • Consolidate functions of City Hall and Community Development at City Hill site, all new construction
Option 2:  City Hall Expansion: Preserving Historic Features – DETERMINED NOT FEASIBLE
  • Consolidate functions of City Hall and Community Development at City Hall site, mostly new construction and preserve majority of north and west historic walls
Option 3:  Community Development Expansion - FEASIBLE
  • Consolidate functions of City Hall and Community Development at Community Development site, 2 level vertical expansion on top of original Hillah Temple structure
  • Considerations:
  • Area needed: approx. 23,500 SF
  • Area available: approx. 22,070 SF
  • Maintain existing first floor plus 2 new levels
  • Consolidation enhances public convenience & governmental efficiency
  • Larger floor plate increases usable space & flexibility
  • Maintain location of Community Development functions
  • Maintain existing off-street parking & recycling area
  • Maintain existing public access to Alice Peil Walkway & public restrooms
  • Move City Hall functions to Community Development site
  • Relinquish City Hall Building to original owners or maintain for alternate City use
  • Requires temporary staff relocation during construction
  • Community Development within Hosler Dam inundation zone
  • Inadequate parking for public visitors and staff
Option 4(a):  City Hall Expansion + Community Development Reconfiguration - FEASIBLE
  • Maintain majority of city hall functions at City hall in an expanded 3 story building + moderate reconfiguration of Community Development Building
  • Considerations:
  • Area needed: approx. 23,500 SF
  • Area available: approx. 24,500 SF
  • At City Hall provide basement plus 3 levels, can be new construction or preserve historic walls
  • Provide minor reconfiguration of Community Development for future growth
  • Maintains dispersed city services, not as efficient for staff productivity
  • Maintains ownership of both buildings
  • Maintains location of City Hall & Community Development functions
  • Relocate large meeting room, leased storage spaces, and Community Development archives to City Hall
  • Only City Hall requires temporary staff relocation during construction
  • Downtown construction may impact tourism and traffic flow
  • City Hall and Community Development are within Hosler Dam inundation zone
  • Inadequate parking for public visitors & staff
Option 4(b):  City hall Expansion + Community Development Reconfiguration - FEASIBLE
  • Maintain majority of City Hall functions at City hall in an expanded 3 story building + moderate reconfiguration of Community Development Building
  • Considerations:
  • Area needed: approx. 23,500 SF
  • Area available: approx. 24,500 SF
  • At City Hall provide basement plus 3 levels, can be new construction or preserve historic walls
  • Provide minor reconfiguration of Community Development for future growth
  • Maintains dispersed city services, not as efficient for staff productivity
  • Maintains ownership of both buildings
  • Maintains location of City Hall & Community Development functions
  • Relocate large meeting room, leased storage spaces, and Community Development archives to City Hall
  • Only City Hall requires temporary staff relocation during construction
  • Downtown construction may impact tourism and traffic flow
  • City Hall and Community Development are within Hosler Dam inundation zone
  • Inadequate parking for public visitors & staff
Option 5:  New Construction at Lithia Way & North Pioneer - FEASIBLE
  • Consolidate functions of City Hall and Community Development at Lithia Way and North Pioneer parking lot
  • Considerations:
  • Area needed: approx. 23,500 SF
  • Area available: approx. 26,135 SF
  • New 2 level building w/ 2 levels of underground parking
  • Consolidation enhances public convenience & governmental efficiency
  • Largest floorplate increases useable space & flexibility
  • Maintains existing public parking
  • Reduces downtown parking demand by providing code required parking for new building
  • Access easement to adjacent property
  • Relinquish City Hall Building to original owners or maintain for alternate City use
  • Sell Community Development Building to offset project costs
  • Eliminates temporary staff relocation during construction
  • Site outside of Hosler Dam inundation zone
Public Involvement – Process
Advertising:
  • City Council Announcements
  • JPR spots
  • Open City Hall (City of Ashland Website)
  • Flyers at City Hall, Plaza kiosk, Community Development, Ashland Co-op
Open City Hall Input:
  • 140 visitors, 28 responses
  • Major issues presented include:
  • Building Safety (seismic upgrades)
  • Some feel a new building is unnecessary
  • Energy Efficiency
Open House Input:
  • 65 participants
  • Presentation and dot exercise on priorities and cost
  • Major issues presented include:
  • Location (inside or outside of downtown)
  • Parking
  • Sustainability
  • Address other City priorities
Public Involvement – Priority Input
  • Building Safety –City Hall will be designed to comply with current structural codes to safeguard staff and the public
  • Public Access –The design will provide convenient, universal access to core customer services for the public
  • Centralized Services –The design will consolidate the numerous departments customers access most frequently for public convenience and staff efficiency
  • Parking Availability –City Hall will incorporate some timed parking spaces to accommodate public customers
  • Energy Efficient –The design will meet the industry standard for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and consider additional green building measures
  • Historic Preservation –Reconstruction of the current City Hall will preserve and/or restore historically significant architectural features
  • Workplace Efficiency –City Hall workspace will be designed for staff productivity, flexibility and customer service
  • Aesthetically Pleasing –The design of City Hall will make a positive contribution to the streetscape and maintain the sense of place that is distinctly Ashland
Priority Boards & Dot Summary
  • Energy Efficiency - 14
  • Locate Downtown - 12.5
  • Locate Out of Downtown - 12.5
  • Public Access - 12
  • Aesthetically Pleasing - 9
  • Historic Preservation - 8
  • Not a Priority - 7
  • Centralized Services - 5
  • Building Safety - 4
  • Parking Availability - 4
  • Workplace Efficiency - 3
Priority Ranking – Cost Boards & Dot Summary
  1. My priority ranking would not change due to costs – 15
  2. My priority ranking should be balanced based on cost - 4
  3. Cost should trump my rankings - 3
Cost Model – Design Assumptions
  1. Exterior materials of brick veneer, some storefront and curtain wall, moderate civic features (e.g. wood soffit), solar panels on roof
  2. Structure for standard options is steel, complying with OSSC standard building code (not Essential Facility). Structural alternate includes surcharge for upgrading to essential facility
  3. Interior materials similar to class A office space
  4. For option 5 underground parking, can be fireproofed steel or concrete, and ventilated
  5. Assume 2000 SF of compact storage
 
Council was interested in the cost on reinforcing the Community Development building seismically and reinforcement costs to add a floor.  Ms. Ing-Crawford would find out if Community Development employees needed to relocate during construction.  Other Council comment thought Council should determine how much they wanted to combine staff functions first then design the projects.
 
City Administrator Dave Kanner initially understood tearing down City Hall and rebuilding would cost less than a seismic retrofit, and the study proved that was not the case.  Council needed to think about the options and resume discussion in the future on next steps.  The seismic retrofit was less expensive at $4,500,000 to $5,000,000 but did not improve efficiencies.
 
Mr. Kanner went on to address objections received from Council members regarding his recruitment of an Assistant City Administrator/Finance Director instead of an Administrative Services Director/Finance Director.  He noted an email he had received from former Council member Dennis Slattery and of which had been sent to Council, which adamantly stated hiring an Assistant City Administrator (ACA) should be a Council decision.  Mr. Kanner explained City code made it clear the City Administrator had the authority to create and classify positions as an administrative function.  However, he had no desire to engage in an argument if Council majority disagreed with this authority.
 
Mr. Kanner clarified he was not implementing the reorganization plan he had presented to Council earlier this year during the Council Goal Session.
 
Council commented that having the authority to make unilateral decisions did not necessarily mean the City Administrator should make them without discussing the matter first with Council.  Other comments included questions on hiring an ACA when the City currently had the knowledge and expertise in other department heads. It was said that it would be problematic from an organizational and cultural point of view. Majority of council voiced their desire to keep the Finance Director and ACA positions separate. 
 
Council directed staff to keep to the recruitment of hiring an Administrative Services Director/Finance Director instead of Assistant City Administrator/Finance Director.
 
Meeting adjourned at 7:19 p.m.
 
Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                          
Dana Smith
Assistant to the City Recorder 
 

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