Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, August 31, 2017

AGENDA
August 31, 2017

12 Noon
City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
 
  1. Utility Billing System
     
  2. Transitional Housing/Warming Shelter Text Amendment
MINUTES
August 31, 2017

12 Noon
City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of the Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
 
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks (arrived at 12:10 p.m.), Tim D’Alessandro, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Kevin Stine, Kim Wallan, and Michael Zarosinski
 
City Manager Brian Sjothun; Deputy City Manager Kelly Madding; City Attorney Lori Cooper; Planning Director Matt Brinkley; Public Works Business Director Lorraine Peterson, Planner II Kyle Kearns; Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard
 
Utility Billing System
Public Works Business Manager Lorraine Peterson provided background information on the City utility billing process and noted:
  • Water Commission was billing for our utility fees because the first service charged was sewer
  • Engineering manually added utility fees to bills for more than 300 customers without City water
  • Fees are extremely difficult to determine for each person; software is needed
  • Water Commission charged increases to cover their cost-of-living raises
  • The number of delinquent accounts has significantly reduced since the City began billing
    • Outlined the current and previous past-due collection procedures
    • Working with Jackson County to attach past-due billings to property tax billings
    • Partnering with title companies since November 2015; collected $199,000 in past-due fees through escrow
  • New software will help recover more outstanding debt
    • Current billing system is obsolete
    • Replacement cost is in the budget
    • New billing system will automate many aspects, especially collection
    • Electronic billing format will match paper billing and provides an app
 
      Council discussion:
  • This software is compatible with the Water Commission’s software if billings are combined again
  • ONESolution does not have a utility billing module, but the information can be imported into ONESolution
  • No past-due fees have been written off by the City. However, some will be written off with the transfer to the new system
  • Collection agencies charge the customers interest; City doesn’t pay fees
 
Transitional Housing/Warming Shelter Text Amendment
Planning Director Matt Brinkley noted work on this amendment began over a year ago to revise Code for housing “villages” and will be reviewed by the Planning Commission on September 11, 2017 and will come back to Council again at the beginning of November.
 
Planner II Kyle Kearns noted:
  • Proposed new Code:
    • Defines Housing villages and warming/cooling shelters
    • Emergency housing allowed only during a “declared” emergency
    • Interim Housing village allowed for max of 180 days; only 4 locations allowed
    • Transitional housing villages (like Hope Village)
      • More permanent
      • Designed to transition people into housing
      • Limited to 40 people
  • Outlined various standards and differences of Interim Housing/Transitional Housing Villages
  • Code amendment will be reviewed by Housing and Planning Commissions before presenting to the City Council at the November 2, 2017 meeting
 
Council discussion:
  • In a “declared emergency” no permit will be required
  • Some Councilmembers did not remember requesting anything outside of new Code for transitional housing villages; any revisions should be done slowly and incrementally
  • Warming/cooling shelters
    • 90-day limitation: consecutive days or various weeks within a calendar year
    • Could use forecasted temperature requirements for opening versus number of days
    • If people are dying from weather, the ADA requirements shouldn’t be a priority
    • Last year’s warming shelter location doesn’t comply with proposed revisions
      • Deputy City Manager Kelly Madding noted a meeting will be held next week with the church that hosted last year’s warming shelter
      • Church does not appear to be willing to offer a solution this year
      • Church needs upgrades to comply with Fire Code’s sprinkler requirement
      • Expected to receive concerns from neighboring businesses/residence as we did last year
  • Need control over transitional housing and a plan; if it’s not a CUP, we need a contract that can be revoked
  • Community meetings/neighborhood meetings should be managed by City staff
  • Hope Village was approved as an urban campground; proposed Code revisions require electricity, water and restrooms for transitional housing
    • Discussion regarding how to implement new Building Code
 
City Manager Brian Sjothun noted staff did meet with Rogue Retreat and the warming shelter church management at the end of the winter season regarding the pros and cons.
 
He further confirmed Council preferred to move forward with the cooling/warming shelter code revisions at this time.
 
The meeting adjourned at 1:40 p.m.
 
 
 
 
Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder
 

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