Utility fees could rise

The Ashland City Council will hold a public hearing about proposed increases to water, sewage, transportation and storm drain utility fees.

The hearing will be held during the council's regular meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, located at 1175 E. Main St.

If all the utility fee increases are adopted, a typical ratepayer with a 1,500-square-foot home would see a monthly utility bill increase of $6.01, according to a city staff memo to the council.

Utility services are heavily dependent on petroleum products and personnel. Current revenues are not keeping pace with rising costs, the memo said.

The council will also hold a public hearing about a proposed ordinance that uses a sliding scale method to control the conversion of for-rent apartments into for-sale condominiums.

For small apartment buildings with four units or less, all could be converted into condominiums. For apartment buildings with five to 12 units, 75 percent could be converted into condos. As buildings grow larger, the percentage of units that can be converted drops. If a building has more than 49 apartments, none could be converted into condos.

Earlier this month, the Ashland Planning Commission voted 5-2 to recommend that the council not adopt the proposed ordinance, citing its complexity and the possible disincentive it creates for developers to build apartments in the future.

Other agenda items Tuesday night include a discussion of the city of Ashland's subsidy of the Rogue Valley Transportation District, adoption of the city budget for the coming fiscal year and consideration of draft language for a September ballot measure to fund the Ashland Public Library.

For a complete list of agenda items and for more information on each item, visit /Page.asp?NavID=10262.

The council will hold an executive session, which is closed to the public, at 6 p.m. to discuss pending litigation, a real estate transaction and an employment issue.

Staff writer can be reached at 479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.

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