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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Parks and Recreation Board 
Regular Meeting Minutes

April 19, 2010

The meeting began at 7:05 p.m. at Borough Hall. Present were, Sherry Spinnraker, Mike Mills, Dawn Haussler, Khalil Shearlds, and Jeannette Reinhart, Jack Kelly, Jim Simons, and Kathryn Baranackie. Also present: Barb Silzle, Lansdowne Borough Council Environmental Committee. Visitors: Bob Bartmann, Melissa Englund (President of the Greater Gladstone Civic Association), and Julia Hartnet.

1. Opening 

2. Minutes from March: approved, pending revisions to 7.6, Marlyn Park Master Site Plan.

3. Borough Council Business

  • 3.1 Finance information– Tabled for future meeting when Ellen Lustgarten can be present. 
  • 3.2 Environmental Committee activities– 
    • 3.2.1 ‘Keep Lansdowne Beautiful Day’ (April 17)– Clean-up of downtown area with neighbors and business owners was a success with 30 volunteers.  Ms. Silzle thanked Jim Simons for his help.
    • 3.2.2 Marlyn Park Master Site Plan Update– 
      • a.  Park & Recreation Board review – Borough Council has adopted the Marlyn Park Master Site Plan and requested comments from the Board. 
        • Action item:  S. Spinnraker to forward the final copy of the Master Site Plan to Board Members so that it can be reviewed at the next meeting.
      • b.  The Master Site Plan is approximately $300,000 and consists of 6 Phases, which can either occur within a 3 or 5-year time span.  The 6 Phases are ranked by priority.  Potential funding sources are offered.
      • c.  Eldon entry – Mr. Kelly noted that an entry to the park via Eldon would be important.
      • d.  Resolution of boundary issues – Phase I includes boundary issues from neighboring properties.  Council is addressing these issues and funding will not necessarily come from the Parks & Recreation budget.
      • e. Neighbor involvement – Ms. Reinhart noted that interested neighbors were involved in the process for the Master Site Plan, and that the steering committee was pleased with the outcome of the study.
  • 3.2.3 Recycling in Parks– Board discussed the side-by-side recycling/trash containers that would hopefully encourage recycling in the parks and that it would more consistent if the same/similar cans were used in the parks as downtown.
    • Action item:  Ms. Spinnraker to follow up with Ms. Silzle about recycling cans for Belmont, Hoffman, and Interboro.

 4. Recreation and Park Budget Review

  • 4.1 Review of 2010 budget– To be discussed at future meeting.  Use of budget funds ($43,000) to be determined by fixed expenses and projects already undertaken.
    • 4.1.1 Court resurfacing bids– Jeri Staiber was obtaining three bids to compare pricing.
      • Action item:  Ms. Spinnraker to follow up with Ms. Staiber and Craig Totaro on the bidding process.

5. Recreation Director Report (S. Spinnraker presented)

  • 5.1 Correspondence / community concerns
    • 5.1.1 Egg Hunt feedback– A concerned citizen noted that the youngest egg searchers were not able to compete very well with the older kids in the Egg Hunt.  The Board discussed splitting groups by age and holding the Egg Hunt a little later with the games held first as the actual Egg Hunt is a quick event.  The addition of the games with prizes was a success.
    • 5.1.2 Gladstone Park Benches– Melissa Englund, President of the Greater Gladstone Civic Association, presented a request to the Board to locate two park benches donated through a ‘bags-to-benches’ recycling program held by Giant/Lowes.  The Board motioned and approved the placement of the benches per the provided drawing.  The plan also includes two locations for possible future bench placement.  The GGCA was also requested by Ms. Silzle to provide information on the Gladstone Manor Island Long Range Sketch Plan that was passed by the Parks and Recreation Board and the Planning Commission, but held up in the former Education and Recreation Committee.
    • 5.1.3 LBGC shed request at Hoffman Park– no update at this time.
  • 5.2 Park usage requests– Park usage requests are currently being tabled as Jeri Staiber has not had a chance to review them.  There was a request for Belmont for May 1.  Board to discuss park permit policies (see 6.1, below).

6. Special Project Reports 2010 – One-time or Reoccurring

  • 6.1 Parks permit policy – 
    • 6.1.1 Policy per park – Board discussed permit policies and decided that policies should be tailored to each park, depending on the number of people the park can hold and the amount of parking around the park.
      • Action item:  Each Board member to provide estimate of number of people their park can hold for an event, as well as available parking spaces.
    • 6.1.2 Permit Fees – Board agreed on a $50 flat fee for park permits, plus $1 per person after 50 people.
    • 6.1.3 Hoffman Park permits – For Hoffman permits, there is an additional required $35 porta-john fee that goes to the LBGC to cover the cost of a cleaning as the porta-john is rented by LBGC.
    • 6.1.4 Further issues to be discussed:
      • a. Lansdowne resident vs non-resident permits
      • b. Consistency with state requirements
      • c. Review of park guidelines (include ‘no amplified music’ if appropriate)
      • d. Limit on number of people allowed per park, depending on space/parking 
      • e. Certificates of insurance required for certain events
  • 6.2 Test Meadows –  Bob Bartmann presented reasoning for Borough to try out ‘test meadow’ spaces in various parks.
    • 6.2.1 Possible cost savings – Borough cuts parks between 15-20 times per year and it is possible if certain areas are cut less frequently, it would save time/money.
    • 6.2.2 Discovery of existing natural flora – In cutting less frequently, we will discover what natural flora exists in various parks, such as ‘Spring Beauties’ and buttercups, which would be allowed to grow if not cut early in season.
    • 6.2.3 Management of test meadow program – Bob Bartmann will manage the test meadow program and provide updates to the Board.  There is a volunteer that is being hired for 6 weeks this summer that has some knowledge of ecology and this may prove useful as well.
    • 6.2.4 Test Meadow approval – The Board discussed the test meadow idea and approved test meadow placement, to be marked off with stakes and ribbon, in the following parks:
      • a. Hoffman Park
      • b. Belmont Park
      • c. Interboro Park
  • 6.2.5 Other concerns:
    • a. Signage – We may want to provide signage explaining to the public what the Borough is doing with the test meadows.
    • b. Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes were brought up as a concern.  Bob noted that in order for mosquitoes to breed, a source of standing water is necessary, and the test meadows do not contain standing water.
    • c. Allergy Free New York handout – Mr. Bartmann provided the Board with a handout explaining how public entities can cut down on pollen in their choices of trees that they choose to plant.
    • d. Borough-owned notebooks for Parks & Rec Board members – Mr. Bartmann recommended that the Borough provide all relevant documents to new Board members so that they have the information to make informed decisions.  Ms. Spinnraker noted that she is currently scanning recent documents for archival, but that it is a big job to create notebooks from the volumes of information that has accumulated.
  • 6.3 Marlyn Park Update – please see 3.2.2, above. 

7. Recreation Department Park Management

  • 7.1 Goals/Priorities for next 3-5 years –   Action item: All Board members to provide Ms. Haussler with list of goals/priorities for Board
    • 7.1.1 Current list:
      • a. Resolution of easement issues in all parks
      • b. Determination of whether there should be more recreational activities offered to youth of Borough, and support for organization and funding for these activities.
      • c. New Hoffman Park pavilion structure
      • d. Alternate playing field solutions to take burden off Hoffman fields
      • e. Master Plans for all parks (see 7.3 and 7.4, below)
      • f. ADA compliance for all parks  (Gladstone Island to be considered for testing ground for solutions to ADA issues)
  • 7.2 Event assessments – Paper and electronic (to be addressed at future meeting).
  • 7.3 Interboro sketch plan – Review for commentary and possible adoption (future meeting).
  • 7.4 Belmont sketch plan – Review for commentary and possible adoption (future meeting).
  • 7.5 Reservoir Park updates from Craig Totaro on progress of Phase I of Reservoir Park Master Site Plan as trees have been planted, which were not part of Phase I plans.  Also need update on current standing on usage of funds for Phase I.
    • Action item:  . Spinnraker to follow up with Ms. Silzle/Craig Totaro on current status.

8. Task List – no updates at this time

9. Calendar of Events

  • 9.1 Movie Night – May 22 at 8:30pm
  • 9.2 Earth Day at Lansdowne’s Farmer’s Market – June 5 

10. Next Board Meeting – Monday, May 17, 7:00 p.m. at Sycamore Park.

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