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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 31, 2018

6:00 p.m.
City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
  1. Pacific Power Smart Readers
  2. Utility Fees
  3. City Logo
May 31, 2018

6:00 p.m.
City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Kay Brooks, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Kevin Stine, Kim Wallan and Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Brian Sjothun; Deputy City Manager Kelly Madding; City Attorney Lori Cooper; Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard
Councilmembers Clay Bearnson and Tim D’Alessandro were absent.
Pacific Power Smart Readers
Mike Cochran, Cory Estlund, Melissa Nottingham, Christina Kruger and Nicole Casta from Pacific Power were in attendance.  Christina Kruger presented information regarding new smart readers:
  • 88,000 new meters in Jackson County
  • Meters send information wirelessly
  • Users can review information online
  • Meters will automatically notify Pacific Power of outages
  • Use low-watt frequency that is less than cell phone
  • Information is private and not accessible to neighbors
  • Can opt out of receiving a new meter
    • One-time fee of $137
    • Monthly meter reading fee of $36
    • Fees cover actual expense
  • Will continue with public outreach
Council comment:
  • No fire hazard with the meters; more than 70 million meters installed nationwide
  • The opt out fees are high; will be revisited in a year to determine actual expense
  • 103 employees will be laid off throughout the state, approximately 15 in Jackson County; voluntarily created a severance package, apprenticeships, and provided two-year notice of the pending layoffs
  • Accuracy tests are performed if errors are reported; meters were tested at the factory, the engineering lab and by a third party
  • Meters have two-way communication and only measure whole house use
    • Sends information to Pacific Power periodically throughout each day
    • Worked with a cyber-security expert to ensure privacy
    • Can remotely turn power off and on
  • If new meters reduce expenses, savings will be passed onto customers in 2021
 Utility Fees
Public Works Director Cory Crebbin spoke regarding the street, sewer collection and storm drain fees:                                                                 
  • Reviewed the ending fund balances for utility fees the past few years
  • Presented wage, asphalt, utility fees comparisons
  • ADA expense increased by 2,160%
    • Changes to the laws requires upgrades with asphalt overlay
    • Legislative representatives were contacted when new requirement went into effect
  • Sewer fees for residential are set; commercial rates vary
  • Storm drain utility have increased 111% since 2008
  • FCS Group recommends larger increases up front to prevent increased fees later
 Council comment:
  • Discussed the condition index, the street depreciation/repair expenses
  • Department doesn’t have the staff to complete the current projects
  • Increased fees are passed onto the homeowners and renters
  • Should determine TSP projects first
  • Pay now or pay a lot later
  • Should look for other funding sources
  • Maintenance is more important than decorative planter strips
  • Possibly create a gas tax; needs voter approval
  • Utility billings should provide a breakdown of the various funds
  • Council requested an email of the chart with the proposed adjustments
    • Include increases to the other fees on the utility billings
  • No objections to bring it forward on June 7
 City Logo
Community Relations Coordinator Kristina Johnsen presented various logo options.
  • Focus group meetings
    • Colors
    • What Medford offered
    • Key words to describe Medford
    • Inspirations
  • Ideas sent to graphic designer for creation
  • Valley View option
    • Committee recommendation
  • Building block
    • Staff recommendation
 Council comment:
  • Doesn’t really tell anyone about Medford
  • Valley View
    • Wasn’t “serious” enough; appeared to be “playful” on vehicles
    • Valley View banners look good
    • Green can be difficult to read
    • More pointed “M” looks better
  • Building Block
    • Looks like “Lego” company
  • Both options are mediocre; we should start over
  • Previously it was estimated to be $50,000 to change the logo with paper, banners, vehicles, etc.; shouldn’t cost that much as many revisions can be made in-house
  • Any iconic ideas that are particularly Medford should be given to Kristina
    • Roxy Anne
    • Bear Creek
    • Pear trees
  • Could work with other businesses and/or Travel Medford
  • Should be completed by the end of the year
The meeting adjourned at 8:26  p.m.
Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder


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