ASHLAND, Ore.– The Ashland City Council is considering a bond measure to fund several major improvements within the city.
The bond, estimated to be about $10.65 million, is still in the earliest stages with the city council beginning discussions and public hearings over the next couple weeks.
At this point, there are four major areas of improvement built into the bond. Those areas consist of replacing the city hall to be more earthquake safe, rehabilitating the community center and Pioneer Hall, repairing the Butler-Perozzi Fountain in Lithia Park, and installing solar panels at the Service Center which includes the Emergency Operations Center, center of operations for Public Works and the Energy Department.
The plan for replacing the city hall is the highest cost to the bond at about $7.2 million. The lowest is fixing the Butler-Perozzi Fountain at $350,000.
It’s unclear what plan the council will decide on but it could go one of three ways.
“They’ll either leave the bond the way it is, the way that this group has proposed it,” said Kelly Madding, Ashland city administrator. “They’ll winnow it down or maybe they’ll break it up. I don’t know at this point because we’re still in the infancy.”
The council is set to make a decision on the bond measure by the end of February in order to put it on the May ballot. That’s when the county hopes to put a new jail proposal before voters too.
If they don’t make a decision by that time, it could be placed on the November ballot.
The city wants to make sure the public is involved in this discussion. A town meeting on the Ashland bond proposal is scheduled for next Wednesday, January 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers. There will be a presentation, an opportunity for questions, and one-on-one time with councilors to address any concerns.