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Council to consider homeless proposals

The Ashland City Council is scheduled to decide which Homelessness Steering Committee recommendations, if any, should be put in place to deal with homelessness issues.

The council meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

Councilors already took public input on the recommendations at an Oct. 4 meeting, but ran out of time to make decisions on the recommendations.

Most significantly, the homelessness committee recommended Ashland install three portable toilets that would remain open all night, set up donation boxes for people to give in lieu of donating directly to panhandlers and work with a nonprofit group to open a day-use center to help homeless people.

Senior city staff members are recommending installation of one portable toilet on a trial basis and one donation box, and further investigation of the idea to open a day-use center.

Also on Tuesday, the City Council will continue discussions of the conditions under which the city of Ashland would give up its Mt. Ashland Ski Area permit.

The Mt. Ashland Association, a nonprofit that runs the ski area, would be able to apply to the U.S. Forest Service to become the new permit holder if the city of Ashland relinquishes the permit.

Public hearings on the permit have been completed and the council is not accepting further public testimony on the issue.

On another agenda item, the City Council will consider appointing Larry Patterson as interim city administrator to replace outgoing Ashland City Administrator Martha Bennett, who is leaving at the end of this month to accept the position of chief operating officer for Portland Metro.

Patterson worked as Bend's city manager and later as Oregon City's city manager before retiring in 2010. He is not interested in the Ashland city administrator post as a permanent job, but could help during the transition as Ashland hunts for a new city administrator, according to a memo to the City Council from Mayor John Stromberg and Bennett.

For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=14398.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.