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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Parks and Recreation Board 
Regular Meeting Minutes

May 17, 2010

The meeting began at 7:05 p.m. at Borough Hall (location changed from Sycamore Park due to weather).  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, Ellen Lustgarten, Lansdowne Borough Council Finance Committee, and Jeri Staiber, Recreation Director. 

1. Opening 

2. Minutes from April: approved with one dissenting vote, pending revisions to 3.2.2a and 3.2.2d, Marlyn Park Master Site Plan Update.

3. Borough Council Business

  • 3.1 Jeri Staiber, Recreation Director retirement – Ms. Staiber announced that after 20 years as Recreation Director, she would be retiring in mid-June.  The Board thanked her for her dedicated service.  
  • 3.2 Finance information – Ellen Lustgarten presented financial overview of Borough finances to Board including breakdown of the 6 funds and the differences between capital reserves purchases and general funds purchases.
    • 3.2.1 6 funds include:
      • a.  General operating fund – most of Park and Rec spending is from this fund
      • b.  Liquid fuels fund (funded by gas tax)
      • c.  Pension fund – Borough police
      • d.  Pension fund –  non-uniformed Borough workers
      • e.  Capital reserves funds (one time capital purchases, such as a trash truck.  There is only $100,000 left in this fund.
      • f. Sewer fund
    • 3.2.2 74% of the Parks and Recreation budget – Is generated via tax revenue, and tax revenue has been dwindling in the past few years.  Normal tax collection rate is between 95-96%, but for the last couple of years it has been around 90% (down approx. $120,000).  Borough also receives funds from property transfer taxes (½ goes to the School Board and ½ goes to the Borough).  The Borough’s debt is paid by taxes and currently the Borough holds approximately $200,000 in debt.  In 2009, taxes were raised by 3.5% and in 2010, 4%.  
    • 3.2.3 Capital reserves purchases are one-time purchases – Can be anything from a fence (Hays Park), to a play structure.  Parks and Recreation only has $15,000 to $20,000 left in capital reserves.  (The $25,000 of Parks and Recreation funding from 2009 approved for Phase I of Reservoir Park’s stream bank restoration was rolled over to the Capital Reserves fund to hold it for that purpose, but was not Capital Reserves funding.)
    • 3.2.4 Proper procedure in use of funds –  
      • a.  Maintenance and Repairs –  for work over $4,000, three quotes must be obtained and for work over $10,000, specifications must be drawn up, bids obtained and reviewed by the Codes Department and Borough Manager.  The Borough Solicitor makes the decision as to whether to bid multi-unit projects like the tennis/basket ball court resurfacing as separate or one project.  
      • b. Capital funds expenditures – All cap expenses must be approved by Council.
    • 3.2.5 Recreation Consultant Funds – The $10,000 that was saved to be used to hire a Recreation Consultant is still in the General Fund, but if it does not get spent, it will remain in General Funds.
    • 3.2.6 Grants – Borough is proactively and aggressively applying for grants.  A grant has been received for upgrading the traffic lights and street lights.
  • 3.3 Environmental Committee activities – 
    • 3.3.2 Marlyn Park Master Site Plan Update – 
    • a.  Park & Recreation Board review – Board members to review for discussion at next meeting and to give comments to Ms. Silzle to relay to Council. 
    • 3.3.3 Gladstone Manor issues – 
      • a.  2 donated benches – Melissa Englund, President of the Greater Gladstone Civic Association, presented the request to the Environmental Committee to locate the two park benches donated through a ‘bags-to-benches’ recycling program held by Giant/Lowes (previously approved by Rec & Parks Board). The Environmental Committee approved the placement of the benches per the provided drawing, on condition that the Giant plaques on the benches be replaced by plaques that are not as intrusive.  
      • b.  Gladstone Manor Island Long Range Plan –  Plan approved by Rec & Parks Board, presented to Environmental Committee, Environmental Committee to take plan to Council for approval.
    • 3.3.4 Recycling in Parks – Board discussed recycling containers in parks and decided to order one for Interboro Park.
      • Action item:  Ms. Staiber to check to see where the Borough obtained their recycling containers.

 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 – Mike Jozwiak, Director of Zoning and Code Enforcement, is preparing a bid package for the court resurfacing projects as they are being bid as one package, which exceeds our $10,000 max for work that can be completed without a bid process.
      • Action item:  Ms. Spinnraker to follow up with Mr. Jozwiak on the bid package.

5. Recreation Director Report 

  • 5.1 Correspondence / community concerns
    • 5.1.1 LBGC shed request at Hoffman Park – LBGC does not have the budget to install a second shed at the moment.
  • 5.2 Park usage requests – Park usage requests are currently processed using the new fee structure passed by the Board ($50 flat fee, plus $1 per person after 50 people). 

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

  • 6.1 Parks permit policy – 
    • 6.1.1 Policy per park – Board further discussed permit policies being tailored to each park.  Ms. Baranakie suggested that we use the data from past permits to gauge how many people should be allowed at each park’s events.
      • Action item:  Ms. Staiber to provide Ms. Baranakie with 3 years of permits so that data can be compiled.  Ms. Baranakie and Ms. Reinhart to review the average usage based on the permits.
    • 6.1.2 Consideration of security deposits – It was suggested that security deposits be taken, but there would have to be a system for oversight and checking the park after each event in order for the security deposit to be returned.
    • 6.1.3 Further issues to be discussed:
      • Lansdowne resident vs non-resident permits
      • Consistency with state requirements
      • Review of park guidelines (include ‘no amplified music’ if appropriate)
      • Limit on number of people allowed per park, depending on space/parking 
      • Certificates of insurance required for certain events
    • 6.1.4 Current permit issue – ‘Step by Step’ daycare near Belmont Park continually brings large groups of children (approx. 40) without applying for a permit.  As the group is a school, they would not be charged a permit fee, but the permit should still be obtained.  Ms. Staiber noted that she has approached the daycare owner, but with not much continued success.  Ms. Spinnraker noted that this could be a liability issue should a child be hurt at a park.  It was mentioned that there may need to be an ordinance change for repetitive use by businesses of the parks.  Ms. Staiber noted that the Police do get a copy of all permits so that they are aware of the events in the parks.
      • Action item:  Ms. Spinnraker to coordinate with Craig Totaro to come up with the next step in this situation.

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 Hoffman Park Pavilion – Ms. Spinnraker noted that she had spoken to an environmental architect about plans for a new pavilion.  A sketch plan would cost several thousand dollars and would include suggestions for funding.  She has also approached the LBGC about partnering for the project. 
  • 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 Mr. Kelly compared Phase I of the approved Reservoir Park Master Site Plan with the proposal from Dave Williams.  He noted that the proposal and the recommendations in the Site Plan were similar but that William’s proposal cost was $38,000 whereas the approved amount from 2009 for Phase I was $25,000.
    • Action item:  Ms. Spinnraker to e-mail Board members update from Craig Totaro.
  • 7.6 Police monitoring of parks  – Ms. Reinhart asked how the Police monitor the parks during the summer. 
    • Action item:  Ms. Silzle to ask the Police Chief about the frequency of visits to the parks during the summer
  • 7.7 Interboro Park bench – The top of the aluminum bench is missing and the posts that support it are dangerous and should be removed.
    • Action item:  Ms. Spinnraker to contact Craig Totaro to have posts removed.
  • 7.8 Hoffman Park play structure painting – It was suggested that the sewer pipe play structure could use painting and that a artistic mural could be a way to involve kids in the park.  Board agreed that ‘Your Park’ would be the theme of the project.
    • Action item:  Ms. Baranakie to draw up project guidelines for review by Board and Council. 

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, 9:00am to 1:00pm 

10. Next Board Meeting – Monday, June 21, 7:00 p.m. at Twentieth Century Club.

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