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City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes
Thursday, October 24, 2019
October 24, 2019
Prescott Room, Medford Police Station
219 South Ivy Street, Medford, Oregon
The City Council Study Session was called to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Prescott Room of the Medford Police Station on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks, Tim DíAlessandro, Dick Gordon, Alex Poythress, Eric Stark, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski; City Manager Brian Sjothun Deputy City Manager/CFO Ryan Martin, Deputy City Attorney Eric Mitton, Fire Chief Brian Fish, Deputy Fire Marshall Tanner Fairrington, Planner II Kyle Kearns, Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard
Emergency Declaration and Shelter
Deputy Fire Marshall Tanner Farrington advised that he was seeking Council direction regarding proposed code amendments for emergency and temporary as well as a policy.
The draft shelter policy document was created through the combined efforts of the Cityís Fire, Planning, Building, Legal, City Managerís Office together with the Jackson County Continuum of Care (CoC), Jackson County Homeless Task Force, and faith-based organizations.
Currently, temporary shelters require a conditional use permit. The proposed severe event shelters would allow community-based organizations to establish a shelter during a declared severe event without requiring a conditional use permit. The proposed code changes allowing for severe event shelters are intended to fill a gap between temporary shelters and an emergency declaration under Chapter 12 of the Medford Municipal Code.
Using a policy to address specifics (such as the temperatures that trigger the opening of severe event shelters) instead of the Medford Municipal Code allows for the policy to be revised rapidly in response to lessons learned, additional input from stakeholders, or unexpected developments.
Councilmember Gordon voiced concerns that a severe event might last longer than two or three days. Mr. Fairrington explained that the goal was to create flexibility and the ability to provide shelter before an emergency declaration. Deputy City Attorney Eric Mitton clarified that Chapter 12 provisions regarding the declaration of emergency will allow Mayor and Council to take other actions during a true emergency. Fire Chief Brian Fish added that outside agencies, such as Red Cross, that have facilities available for severe events that are longer than a couple days.
The proposed Code amendment added severe event shelters and modified portions of the Code regarding temporary shelters. A temporary shelter policy would be drafted to outline specifics for use of shelters including locations, temperature requirements, length of time the shelter would be open, etc.
Councilmember Brooks requested cost estimates for opening city facilities during severe weather events. Councilmember Gordon requested information regarding the responsibilities and the emergency plan for our local Red Cross.
The proposed Code amendments would be brought forward during the November 7, 2019 Council meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 7:21 p.m.
Winnie Shepard, CMC
Deputy City Recorder