Study Session
October 28, 2009
CALL TO ORDER - at 6:00 p.m.


Paul Loomis, Mayor
K.C. Carter, Vice Mayor
Bill Garner, Council Member
Barry Gillaspie, Council Member
Al Kunisch, Council Member
Salette Latas, Council Memmber

EXCUSED: Paula Abbott, Council Member

Council Member Latas participated via telephone.


Discussion regarding Steam Pump Village Development Concepts

Click here for Item 1

Acting Planning and Zoning Director Paul Popelka presented the background on the site. He reviewed the General Plan Amendment Process noting that the submittal could take place in January and February 2010. He stated that public hearings could take place as early as summer 2010 along with a public hearing before Council in October 2010.

He stated that the Planned Area Development (PAD) Amendment process could have public hearings conducted by the Planning and Zoning Commission as early as August 2010. 

Gregg Alpert representing Evergreen Development and Diamond Ventures presented the proposal for Steam Pump Village. He stated that the vision was a 41 acre mixed use development. He noted that millions had been invested upfront for infrastructure:
~Master retention system
~Park improvement
~Public art
~A pedestrian pathway
~Utility extensions

He explained that businesses have pulled out of the project and other difficulties were present due to the economy. He noted that 2,310 square feet of commercial space had remained vacant for 1,187 days; more than three years.

He stated that high paying jobs could be attracted to Steam Pump Village due to the location on Oracle Road and the mountain views.

He explained that a gas station could be added and gave examples of gas stations with architecture that would blend well in Oro Valley.

Mr. Alpert noted the issues with the current PAD:
~Height limited to two stories and a maximum of 30 feet.
  *This restriction was confining when attracting corporate businesses.
~This area was not zoned for Residential use
~Convenience uses
  *Gas stations could have tasteful designs
    -Could generate $150,000-$200,000 per year in tax revenues for the Town.

Mr. Alpert noted that there was one gas pump for every 1,500 residents in Oro Valley

He stated that Oro Valley has a reputation for aesthetically pleasing architecture as well as a lengthy process for businesses to adhere to from plan approval to building. He explained that presently there was an opportunity to change the Town's reputation for a slow building process.

Discussion noted the following:
~The process for businesses should be streamlined.
~The competition should be analyzed. 
~Council members wanted to work with the developer and move forward.
~The potential revenues were researched by a potential gas retailer and provided to Evergreen Development. The numbers presented were as follows:
  *$73,000 in convenience store revenues from Town sales tax
  *$110,000 for Oro Valley’s share of the Gas tax
  *One time revenue of $20,000-$30,000 in Construction sales tax 
  *Various revenues from Impact fees 

Mayor Loomis stated that $ .18 was the Gas tax figure rather than the $.40 that Mr. Alpert had quoted. Mr. Alpert replied that the revenue figures were correct though the figure of $ .40 may be incorrect.

Oro Valley resident Bill Adler stated that, in the past, expectations for the Town were high; however much had changed. He explained that flexibility was needed to accommodate these fresh ideas. He noted that he objected to convenience uses in the past, because he was unaware of attractive designs for convenience stores and gas stations.


Discussion on the future of the Naranja Town Site

Click here for Item 2

Parks and Recreation Director Ainsley Legner requested direction from Council regarding the Naranja Town site.

Mayor Loomis stated that the upcoming budget was projected to be worse than the current budget. He explained that it would be difficult to support plans for the site without resources. He noted that he would like the item to be kept "on the radar."

Vice Mayor Carter stated that forming a committee would not help at this time. He explained that the economy would need to improve first.

Council Member Latas stated that the online survey regarding the site needed a system to validate participants of the survey as Town residents and registered voters. She recommended the use of a survey tool to validate poll takers.

Council Member Kunisch recommended bringing the item back in six months to review.

Council Member Gillaspie requested that the item be reviewed in a year. 

Oro Valley resident John Musolf stated that $3.5M had been spent on the property. He noted that the property was an asset. He stated that it was wise to table the item until summer 2010. He remarked that the dynamics of the Council could change after the upcoming election.


Discussion regarding the Parks & Recreation Facility Usage Fees

Click here for Item 3

Parks and Recreation Director Ainsley Legner thanked Finance Analyst Art Cuaron for his assistance preparing the material.

She stated that the facilities fees under consideration were:
~Ball field rentals
~Ramada rentals
~Riverfront Park Amphitheater rentals
~Open lap/swim and pool lane rentals

She presented the reasons to consider the fee increases:
~Last fee increases were in 2003
~Increase cost recovery
~Compliance with Revenue and Fee policy

She explained the new types of fees:
~Resident fees
~Non-resident fees
~Non-profit fees
~For-profit fees
~Peak time ball field rental 

Ms. Legner explained the restrictions regarding fees with Canada del Oro Riverfront Park:
~Partially funded with Pima County Bond funds
  *As a result, Non-resident fees were not allowable at this site
~Fees must be aligned with Pima County park fees

She reviewed the current and proposed ball field rental fees during off peak hours (6 a.m. - 5 p.m.):
~Currently $2.00 per hour for field usage equating to $18,000 per year
  *$4.00 per hour for non-profit groups and residents
  *$10.00 per hour for For profit groups and non-residents
  *Projecting $38,000 per year with a cost recovery of 34%

She reviewed the ball field rental during peak hours (5 p.m. - 10 p.m.):
~Currently $7.00 per hour
  *$9.00 per hour for non-profit groups and residents
  *$17.50 per hour for For profit groups and non-residents

Ms. Legner noted that non-profit groups offered the community, youth services which the Town did not.

Ramada rentals:
~Currently $25.00 per day earning $9,000 per year
  *35% self supporting
  *CDO Riverfront Park
    -$25.00 per 4 hour block
  *James D. Kriegh (JDK) Park
    -$25.00 per 4 hour block for Non-Profits and residents
    -$35.00 per 4 hour block for Non-residents
    -$50.00 per 4 hour block for For-Profits

She noted that if approved revenues would increase to $11,500 per year. She stated that the goal was to increase the cost recovery from non-residents for JDK Park. 

Amphitheater rental at Riverfront Park:
~Currently $25.00 per day + extras (upgraded electrical service for lighting and sound)
  *$25.00 per hour + extras for Non-Profits
  *$50.00 per hour + extras for For-Profits

Pool Admission fees:
Adults $2.00 $2.50/$3.00
Seniors $1.00 $1.25/$1.75
Teens $1.00 $1.25/$1.75
Children $  .50 $  .75/$1.25

Ms. Legner noted that the targeted cost recovery for pool admission was 10% - 35%, according to Town policy. She stated that currently, the cost recovery was 3%. She explained that it was important to avoid rate shock and any negative impacts associated with raising the fees.  

Ms. Legner reviewed the Pool Lane Rental fees:
~16 short lanes - 25 yards
~Eight 50 meter lanes
~Targeted cost recovery for non-profits for lane rental was 35% - 60% and non-resident and For Profits 85% - 100%
~Current cost recovery was 9%
Short Course $2.00 $4.00 $20.00
Long Course $4.00 $8.00 $40.00

She recommended $40.00 per hour for and non-residents and For-profits for 100% cost recovery.

Tennis and Racquetball Court fees:
~No charge for daytime use
~$2.00 per hour with lights 
  *Fees collected using the honor system
  *Cost ineffective to collect the fees in person
~No changes recommended

It was noted that when the department converts the court reservation process to an online system, Council approval would be sought for an increase in fees. 

Ms. Legner stated that:
~The fiscal impact would be $88,000 annually based on the assumption of existing usage.
~Annual incremental increases were recommended.
~The Town could justify the mid-range of the fees that Pima County charged.
  *$17.50 was the maximum amount charged to non-profits for ball fields.
~A pool pass was usually permissible for an 8-12 week season.
  *She would verify how long a pool pass was permissible and what the difference was between an annual swim pass and a pool pass and forward the information to Council Member Kunisch.

Council Member Gillaspie stated that he would support the fee increases and suggested that a cost break point study should be conducted to determine when a point will be reached for diminishing returns on fee increases. He urged that this would need to transpire quickly in order to meet the recommended policy level.

Ms. Legner explained that this would be the first time that fees would be categorized by residency and facility usage fees. She noted the elements to consider:
~Ball fields
  *97% of users were non-profits
  *Fee increase was explained and customers expect the increase.
~Swim team leagues 
  *Non-profit users
  *Fee increase was explained and customers expect the increase.
~Recreational Swimmers
 *$ .25 to $ .75 increase in fees was considered to be acceptable to the general public.

Council Member Garner stated that the a la carte fees should be higher and the swim pass should be discounted since the fees were collected upfront. He also inquired why it had been observed that an employee was not at the gate to ensure that fees were collected. Ms. Legner informed him that the gate was manned during open swim times. She noted that when all lanes were taken by swim teams it was not necessary to have a gate attendant. She explained that parents and others associated with the team come and go freely during those times.

It was noted that:
~Drivers' licenses must be provided to show proof of residency, otherwise the customer must pay the non-resident fee.
~The ability to track resident versus non-resident users was 60% complete
  *Difficulties with implementation had delayed progress

In response to Council Member Kunisch’s question, Ms. Legner stated that the three pools in Tucson were open to the public twelve months out of the year. She stated that she would obtain schedules for those pools for Council Member Kunisch. Council Member Kunisch stated that it was time to raise the pool rates.

Discussion clarified the following:
~Little leagues were non-profit organizations.
~The amphitheater had been rented primarily to churches, SAACA and Town sponsored events
~Tennis courts were dominated by lessons.
~Tennis court lights had a timer that could be set for one hour at a time.
~Racquetball courts stay lit until 10:00 p.m.
~Ms. Legner will provide Council Member Garner with statistics regarding the usage of the raquetball courts
~The cost to put a timer on the racquetball courts would need to be researched.
~The cost to operate the pool was approximately $400,000 for operations and staffing
  *The anticipated revenue would be $81,000 with the fee increases; reducing the cost to $320,000.

Council Member Garner commented that efficiencies should be identified in the Parks and Recreation structure and built in. He stated that cost benefits should be examined to add items such as an additional tennis court. He recommended reviewing 5-10 year projections to improve usage and amenities. 

Mayor Loomis recommended researching how to incorporate automatic inflation factors for the rates with the Legal department.

Mayor Loomis called for a recess at 7:27 p.m. The meeting resumed at 7:35 p.m. 


Oro Valley Fourth of July Celebration

Click here for Item 4

Communications Administrator Mary Davis presented the item. She stated that she had garnered proposals from Kate Marquez of the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA).

Ms. Davis noted that other events happening in the Town on the Fourth of July had not been mentioned to date. She explained that James D. Kriegh (JDK) Park hosted family events during the day and that this needed to be communicated to the public. She stated that the pool had the capacity for greater use and the park could accommodate citizens that wished to view the fireworks. She noted that numerous families took advantage of the park and ramadas and that this was not at an additional expense to the Town other than providing traffic control.

Ms. Davis reviewed the proposed scenarios:
~Promote the July 4th Spectacular at JDK park
~A down home community event with an All-American theme
  *SAACA Proposal no. 1
~Bring back the symphony with a Music Under the Stars theme
  *SAACA Proposal no. 2
  *This would be an unique event as no other town offers this
  *The symphony would like to return to Oro Valley and offered a reduced rate of $19,000

Ms. Davis explained some cost considerations:
~Scenario A
  *No financial impact 
  *A unit would be assigned by the police department for traffic control
    -Standard practice to add additional resources on holidays
~Scenario B
  *Payment to SAACA
  *Traffic Management and security
  *Parks and Recreation
  *Public Works
  *Cost $56,000
~Scenario C
  *Payment to SAACA
  *Traffic Management and security
  *Parks and Recreation
  *Public Works
  *Cost $81,000

Discussion noted the following:
~It would cost more for the Town to hire the Police Department than it would for a non-profit organization to hire them.
~The Town could not afford to host the event.
~Would like to see the symphony return at some point in the future.
~The Town was prohibited from using Coyote Run vehicles to shuttle people to and from the park as Coyote Run was federally funded and must be used for transportation on fixed routes only.
  *Cannot be used for private purposes
  *Would need to conduct a competitive bidding process.
~Consideration as to whether the event should be categorized under Community funding or another category.
~The event, historically, had been a financial problem due to the timing of the Town’s fiscal year making Community Funding a more feasible option. 

Mayor Loomis stated that he was in favor of having the symphony return to this event; however due to the Town’s financial circumstances it would have to wait until some point in the future. He noted that he was not in favor of spending money on one day events. He stated that SAACA was geared to manage these events whereas the Town was not.

Vice Mayor Carter requested a monthly statement detailing revenues and expenditures. He noted that the Town’s financial outlook did not look good and that he could not support spending funds on this event.

Discussion regarding the use of Canyon del Oro High School’s parking lot was suggested for consideration. Oro Valley Police Chief Danny Sharp stated that it would depend on traffic management. 

Mayor Loomis noted that festivities were held at JDK Park in the past and that the fireworks were not visible.

SAACA President Kate Marquez explained that when the celebration was held at JKD Park, the event was a disaster. She explained that the football field was damaged and the fireworks were not visible. She noted that the location was not set up well for getting people in and out. She stated that it was voted unanimously by SAACA (then the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council) to not use JDK Park again.

Council Member Gillaspie stated that he supported having this event at JDK Park. He supported Scenario A for families.

Council Member Garner stated that it was a community event and that the funds needed to be found to support it. He explained that the police department had to be there regardless of whether the Town sponsored the event. He supported Scenario A for a family day.

Ms. Davis stated that JDK Park would host activities regardless of the scenario chosen. She noted that the Town needed to better communicate the activities JDK Park had to offer to the community on the Fourth of July.


Future Agenda Items - No items.


MOTION: A motion was made by Vice Mayor Carter and seconded by Council Member Kunisch to adjourn at 8:01 p.m.

MOTION carried, 6-0.