Ski area work is behind schedule

Ashland City Council will hear an update on improvements being made inside the Mt. Ashland Ski Area and decide whether to allow city residents to vote on a proposed Jackson County Library Service District.

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

The Mt. Ashland Ski Area carried out run-widening and restoration projects over the summer and is continuing to work on a parking lot expansion and re-contouring of the beginners' Sonnet and Blossom ski runs.

The Ashland Public Works Department and a city consultant have been monitoring the parking lot expansion and contouring projects, along with the U.S. Forest Service.

While the parking lot project is on the far side of Mount Ashland in the Cottonwood Creek watershed, the contouring project — which is creating a more gentle, even slope for beginners — is at the top of the Ashland Creek watershed.

Erosion and sediment-control measures have been implemented appropriately throughout the course of the contouring project, according to a city staff memo to councilors.

The Mt. Ashland Association had hoped to finish the run contouring and parking lot projects before the start of the winter ski season.

The contouring is nearly complete, with grass seeding planned soon as a final step in stabilization, the memo said.

However, the parking lot expansion will not be finished this year due to inclement weather. It will resume in the spring, the memo said.

In other business Tuesday night, the council will decide whether to allow residents to vote in May 2014 on a proposed Jackson County Library Service District that would cost 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

If Ashland voters do not vote on the issue, Ashland will not be included in the district.

The owner of an Ashland property assessed at $250,000 — approximately the median house price in Ashland — would see a property tax increase of $102.50 if the district is approved.

Normally, the $0.60 per $1,000 charge would cost that owner an extra $150 per year, but the owner is already paying $47.50 annually on a levy previously approved by Ashland voters to supplement library services in town.

If the county-wide library district is approved, Ashland will discontinue its supplemental library levy, City Administrator Dave Kanner said.

Jackson County is suffering from a loss of federal payments and its regular tax rate alone cannot fully fund services. It may discontinue its financial support of libraries in the county.

For a list of agenda items and details on each, see

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

Share This Story