Mayor to give State of City address

Mayor John Stromberg will deliver the annual State of the City address on Tuesday during Ashland City Council's first meeting of 2012.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

Also that night, councilors will proclaim Saturday, Jan. 7, as Christmas Tree Recycle Day in Ashland. Residents are urged to set their Christmas trees near a curb for pick-up by local Boy Scouts and Lions Club members.

Rather than taking up space in a landfill, the trees will be chipped and used on park trails and for mulch.

The Boy Scouts are accepting donations for the tree removal and chipping service.

In other business Tuesday, City Council will consider whether to approve a Homelessness Steering Committee recommendation to allow homeless males to shower at The Grove on East Main Street.

Homeless males outnumber homeless females in Ashland.

The showers would be provided from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays for a six-month trial period.

The First Congregational United Church of Ashland provides showers for male and female homeless people from 9 a.m. until noon on Mondays.

However, the church often has to turn people away because it runs out of time and hot water.

The city's liability insurance company will not increase the cost of insurance if homeless males use the shower at The Grove, according to a city staff memo.

But the insurance company has raised a number of questions about security and other issues. It has recommended that volunteers who staff The Grove shower site be men who are at least 21 years old.

Other agenda items include:

  • A presentation on the importance of emergency preparation and 72-hour survival kits
  • Consideration of a three-year $100,000 contract with a company that performs mail services for the city, including utility billing
  • A proposal to approve $4,000 to cover extra costs to make a city sewer line project comply with new city rules that protect Ashland Creek's riparian area.

For more details on agenda items, see

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

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