The city of Ashland City Council will continue to discuss potential decisions regarding City Hall at the study session on Monday, Dec. 4.
The ad hoc committee, which last met on Oct. 4, agreed that the current building located in Ashland downtown is due for a significant overhaul as it would not survive a serious seismic event. But the group couldn't come to a unanimous recommendation for the workplace of 27 city officials.
Three options considered included rebuilding City Hall on the current site; acquiring the old Briscoe School from the school district; and building a brand new City Hall at the Civic Center (where Ashland Police Department and the Council Chambers are).
City staff, at the study session Monday, will ask the council to consider a "Request for Qualifications" proposal for the next step, in which the city will hire a firm to evaluate each site on its pros and cons. The RFQ will outline four phases of the project and allow the city to negotiate for cost, scope and time separately. The study, estimated to cost $80,000, will include a rendering, cost estimates, options for energy efficiencies and a general assessment of “green building” standards, costs, timeline and construction staging. Each contract will require the council's approval.
Public Works Director Paula Brown will also brief the council on the Public Works Master Plan, which included plans for storm water, drainage, airport, transit feasibility, water and wastewater.
Items on the agenda for the business meeting on Tuesday include considering naming John Karns, who has served in the position for about a year after the dismissal of Dave Kanner, to officially be the city administrator, while also initiating a search to hire someone to succeed Karns.
The city will also vote on imposing a recycling surcharge to ensure the recycled materials collected in Ashland don't end up in landfill. City staff recommends a monthly surcharge somewhere between $1.95 and $2.10 per customer per month, with a maximum cap of $3.50. The surcharge is needed to cover extra costs to recycle materials after China, the primary market for recycled mixed paper and plastic from Oregon, changed its import policy recently, creating a bottleneck in towns such as Ashland.
The meeting will also feature a public hearing for Ashland Parks & Recreation's proposal to purchase a property at 345 Clinton St. to extend the trail network and open space along Bear Creek; a vote to approve the ad hoc Climate and Energy Committee; and a financial report of the first quarter of the 2017-19 biennium.
Monday’s study session begins at 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday’s regular meeting at 7 p.m. Both are in the Council Chambers at 1175 East Main St., and are cablecast and webcast live via RVTV, and posted online at bit.ly/coavideos the day after the meeting.
— Reach Ashland Daily Tidings reporter Tran Nguyen at 541-776-4485 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter at @nguyenntrann.
(Dec. 5: Story updated with an edited version with mostly minor changes. The only substantive change is a change in the characterization of the ad hoc City Hall committee's conclusion. It voted 8-2-1 to keep City Hall in its current location. The original story said it "couldn't come to a mutual conclusion." Dissenting votes were for the Municipal Center (2) and Briscoe School (1).)