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City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes
Thursday, February 13, 2020
February 13, 2020
Medford Room, City Hall
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
The City Council Study Session was called to order at 6:00 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, Dick Gordon, Alex Poythress, Eric Stark, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski (arrived at 6:11 p.m.; left at 7:15 p.m.); City Manager Brian Sjothun, Deputy City Attorney Eric Mitton, Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard; Chief Financial Officer/Deputy City Manager Ryan Martin, Parks, Recreation & Facilities Director Rich Rosenthal, Planning Director Matt Brinkley and Principal Planner Carla Paladino
Councilmember Tim D’Alessandro was absent.
Aquatic/Event Debt Service Plan
Chief Financial Officer/Deputy City Manager presented a history of the aquatics and event center and outlined the funding timeline. (See PowerPoint 1.)
Members of the Political Action Committee have contacted multiple local agencies to gain support for the event center and they expect to raise an estimated $30,000 to $35,000.
Parks, Recreation & Facilities Director Rich Rosenthal explained that Parks receives most of its funding from SDC fees and the general fund. (See PowerPoint 1.) The artificial turf replacement will require 44% of the funding anticipated. Parkland acquisition funds are used to purchase properties for future parks.
Mr. Martin outlined potential revisions to storm drain and parks utility fees to fund the proposed event center. He noted that the Parks SDC fees were analyzed by the FCS Group in 2016 as part of the Leisure Services Plan.
Council discussed potential funding options, including requiring car rental tax for all car rentals within Medford, increasing SDC fees and diverting current funding.
After discussion, Mayor Wheeler stated that Council would like staff to move forward with the event center project, with funding options to be determined. There were no objections. Mr. Martin clarified that Council would like staff to bring back information on park acquisition funding and potential revisions of SDC fees.
Mr. Sjothun noted if the voters approved the 2% increase in Transient Lodgings Tax (TLT) in May, the estimated revenue of $300k could be used for debt services. That funding was not included in the calculations presented.
Mayor Wheeler reiterated that Council unanimously approved the project and staff will bring back a variety of funding options for consideration. There were no objections.
Mr. Martin clarified Council would like staff to look at increasing the parks SDC fees, decreasing the storm drain fees, while also looking at parkland acquisition funds. There were no objections.
Downtown Design Standards
Principal Planner Carla Paladino presented a PowerPoint outlining proposed design standards for inclusion in the Municipal Code which would enable the City to require/request building plans to match neighboring structures and improve aesthetics to change the look and feel of downtown Medford. (See PowerPoint 2.)
Council had no objections to staff moving forward with creating design standards for new commercial development within the downtown area. Councilmember Stark recommended design standards for all housing within the downtown area as well.
Climate Adaptation Plan
Planning Director Matt Brinkley explained that a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CARP) could help mitigate the severity and rate of climate change. (See PowerPoint 3.)
Climate change has led to drought, fires and severe temperatures which increase energy consumption to provide air conditioning. Communities which were unable to support the increased energy, suffered extended power outages or reductions. Climate change could potentially cause population changes in the Rogue Valley if people are forced into/out of our area.
Mr. Brinkley presented a rough timeline for creating a CARP; Mr. Sjothun added that a plan would allow the City to receive legislative funding.
Council Officers Review
Councilmember Stine reported on the topics discussed at the Council Officers meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.
Winnie Shepard, CMC
Deputy City Recorder