Medford City Council Study Session
February 12, 2015
The meeting was called to order at noon in the Carnegie Building, W. Main St. Medford with the following members present.
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Eli Matthews, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Michael Zarosinski, Kevin Stine and Clay Bearnson.
Mayor Wheeler noted that there were members of the Planning commission in attendance.
1. RVACT Transportation Goals: Mike Montero addressed the Council and provided an update on the RVACT transportation goals. He spoke to the Transportation Options Plan (TOP) that was developed by the State over the last several years. He spoke regarding the plan and its context with the UGB Boundary amendment currently underway by the City. He noted that in the future any growth of "buildings" will have to demonstrate that the transportation system can be maintained and developed to meet the future demands. He spoke to the state funding that is passed out on regional basis. He stated that the Transportation Options Plan is not a mandate but an opportunity.
He encouraged the Council to review the TOP in conjunction with City plans as the Council considers future development.
2. ODOT Projects Update: Mike Baker, Art Anderson and Gary Leaming from ODOT were presenting. Mr. Baker addressed the Council regarding the I5 Viaduct study. The project has been started and they received $4 million in the last STIP cycle to begin the study of the issues and plan for solutions. They have selected a consultant to work on the study for ODOT and are developing scope of work with consultant to provide direction for moving forward. Currently this is a three phase process; contract finalized in May, develop anchoring activities to focus the efforts for the study; and then rebuild/relocation or retrofit facility.
Councilmembers questioned if the viaduct will last until final solution and fix is in place. Mr. Baker noted it will but will need to have a deck replacement during that time.
Gary Leaming addressed the Council regarding the Fern Valley Interchange project. Work is underway and will take approximately 1 ½ years to finish. The bridge deck is being poured and described the upcoming transitions for freeway ingress/egress.
Art Anderson addressed the Council regarding the Highway 62 corridor improvement project. The project is scheduled to begin this summer with work on the Upton Creek to begin in May/June. ODFOT will bid the larger project in July and the first phase of the project should not impact Highway 62 as it will be primarily along the old Medco Road and open fields.
*Councilmember Corcoran left the meeting.
Mr. Anderson spoke to the I5 Welcome Center/Rest Area project and meeting with Ashland City Council. He noted ODOT is working to water from the City of Ashland. This has been a problem given that the project has been tied up in land use appeals and they have now finally gotten the land use issue resolved. He noted this is a contentious issue with Ashland and some residents but all ODOT is asking for is to remove the completion date on the agreement and to give them water. ODOT is working on answers from Ashland Councilmembers and will be presenting the answers at next Tuesday’s Ashland Council meeting. Mr. Anderson noted he would like to have representatives from the City of Medford and Medford Chamber to testify regarding the project.
Mr. Swanson questioned the requirement by the Federal Transportation Department, who regulates the distance between rest areas that a new rest area be built to meet their distance standards. He noted that he understands that the “rest area” will be built regardless and that the Welcome Center is what is requiring the additional water. He spoke to questions that need to be addressed by Travel Oregon and the need for the face to face interactions with travelers to promote tourism in our valley.
Rich Rosenthal, Ashland Councilor, spoke regarding the Ashland Council meeting and the need for advocates for the Welcome Center.
The meeting adjourned at 1:36 p.m.