Parks and Recreation Board
Regular Meeting Minutes
October 18, 2010
The meeting began at 7:00 p.m. at Borough Hall. Present were Mike Mills, Dawn Haussler, Jack Kelly, Khalil Shearlds, Jeannette Reinhart, Eugene Dixon and Jim Simmons. Also present: Barbara Silzle, Lansdowne Borough Council Environmental Committee, Erica Sollberger, Director of Parks and Recreation, and Bill Johnson, Lansdowne Public Works Department.
2. Minutes from September – September 2010 Meeting Minutes approved.
3. Borough Council Business
- 3.1 Firearms compliance on park signage – Ms. Silzle noted that a member of the community had attended a recent Council meeting and pointed out that our park signage noting that firearms are banned in the parks is unconstitutional (it is lawful to carry firearms, but not discharge them). Currently Council is advertising to change the ordinance so that the Borough is in compliance with the state constitution. The signs may be changed to read that ‘firearms may not be discharged in the parks.’
- 3.1.1 Additional changes to park signs to consider – ‘Fires are prohibited’ (Hoffman may be the exception if barbeque grills are allowed. Currently there is no ban on barbeque grills and there has been evidence this summer of Hoffman Park visitors using charcoal briquettes.)
4. Recreation and Park Budget Review
- 4.1 2010 Remaining budget allocation –
- 4.1.1 Reservoir Park railing – Ms. Sollberger noted that since there would be heavy equipment in Reservoir next year for the stream bank stabilization, it would be best to hold off on installing a railing along the path, even though the footing is unstable due to the large river stones that were installed to keep the path from washing out.
- 4.1.2 Hoffman bleachers – Board discussed the purchase of two three-seat bleachers for Hoffman to replace the existing bleachers that are in need of repair. Further discussion and vote to be held at November meeting.
- 4.1.3 Tree work in all parks – Ms. Sollberger met with the Tree Advisory Board and will be looking at the trees that the Board has noted need work.
- Action item: Ms. Sollberger to bring list of trees that need work to November meeting.
- 4.2 Court resurfacing – Court resurfacing for Hays and Interboro has been completed, but the white court boundary lines still need to be painted, which is weather dependent. Belmont Park’s basketball court is to be resurfaced for free from the contractor that did Hays last year, due to the fact that the surface did not hold up at Hays (different contractor completed Hays and Interboro).
- 4.3 2011 Budget – Ms. Sollberger presented the 2011 proposed Recreation and Parks budget to Council this past month. The total budget requested was approximately $92,000 including capital expenses.
- Some of the items discussed:
- 4.3.1 Budget line items discussed:
- Tree maintenance line item (possible restoration of separate line item)
- Standardized park benches and trash receptacles to present unified look within parks in Borough
- 4.3.2 Budget preparation – Ms. Reinhart noted that she objected to the way that the 2011 proposed budget was handled in that the Board had not reviewed the content of the requested budget before the budget meeting and she requested clarification of how the preparation of the budget should occur and what Board members’ roles are in determining budget.
- 4.3.3 Grants as portion of budget funding – Ms. Silzle complemented Ms. Sollberger on her budget presentation to Council and noted that she was excited to hear that approximately $15,000 in grant funding was being considered as a portion of the funds that might be available.
- 4.3.4 Recreation – Board discussed recreation needs of community, and how current programs may not be meeting community needs. The fact that there is no designated Recreation department building that is set to handle various programs that might be offered is a drawback. Ms. Sollberger noted that the café space in the 20th Century Club could be utilized in late afternoons for some after school programs. Building at 20 Lansdowne Court might also house rec center in combination with other purposes. Ms. Silzle noted that it would be a good idea to approach the School Board about possible use of gym space for sports programs. The Recreation department could also collaborate with the new Arts Board or Library to create new programs. Possible programs that were discussed:
- Remote control car races
- Scrabble tournament
- Board game night
- Chess tournament in a park
- Battle of the bands (previously held, but cancelled due to rowdiness)
- Friday/Saturday night dances (ex: Halloween Party dance)
- Play Station tournament (as lead-in to other programs)
5. Community Business – No community business at this time
6. Special Project Reports 2010 – One-Time or Reoccurring
- 6.1 Park Day 2010 – Park Day was a success, with new additions of the magician and cotton candy. Cotton candy was given to attendees who filled out surveys. Approximately 75 surveys were completed. It is estimated that approximately 250-300 people attended. LBGC reported that they had done well and sold 200 hot dogs.
- 6.2 Park usage – policy revision – Review in consideration of possible changes to park signage (see 3.1)
- 6.3 Park permit policy – tabled
- 6.4 Survey results – Mr. Simmons provided a summary of the 11 responses received before Park Day. Five of the eleven did not use the parks and some noted that there were not enough activities for kids. Survey responders did like Park Day and Movie Night. Mr. Kelly noted that the next survey the Board generates should only use check boxes, rather than requiring written answers, for ease of completion.
- Action item: Mr. Simmons to compile Park Day surveys.
- 6.5 Hoffman Park site plan grant – Mr. Dixon reported that the LBGC is working on two grant applications (one for $19,000, and one for $31,000), but that the LBGC was working on updating accounting and tax records as info is required for applications.
- 6.6 Hoffman Park mural project – tabled
- 6.7 2011 calendar – Board reviewed proposed 2011 calendar and discussed the following:
- 6.7.1 March event added – Kite building and flying was proposed
- 6.7.2 Board meetings in parks during summer (May, June, July) – reinstated
- 6.7.3 Movie Night – Saturday, May 21 was decided
- 6.7.4 Park Appreciation / Clean-up days – Ms. Sollberger suggested reinstating Park Appreciation days as a way to increase community involvement. These may not necessarily be ‘clean-up’ days, but events just to draw people together and increase sense of community.
7. Recreation Department Park Management
- 7.1 Reservoir Park drain cleaned – Ms. Sollberger noted that the large blockage at the mouth of the storm drain exit was removed.
- 7.2 Hoffman Park tennis courts cleaned – Ms. Sollberger noted that several tennis players had commented to her that it was great how quickly the tennis courts were cleaned after the last major rain storm which flooded the tennis courts.
- Action item: Ms. Sollberger to send reminder e-mails to Board members to remind them to check parks for hazardous conditions after large storms.
- 7.3 Additional ‘eyes’ on parks – Mr. Johnson reported that he now visits the parks more often so that he can address park related-issues.
- 7.4 Lansdowne Swim Club meeting – Ms. Sollberger reported that she would be meeting with the swim club regarding the undercutting of the swim club’s parking lot by the creek.
- 7.5 Marlyn Park sewer line – Ms. Sollberger reported that a new sewer line would be installed this fall through Marlyn Park. The extensions that stick out of the ground must stay as they rest above the flood line. Ms. Sollberger noted that it would be nice to plant screen plantings around each extension after the new sewer line is installed to hide them as best as possible.
- 7.6 Marlyn Park sitting wall – Questions remain about the height and style of the proposed sitting wall that the Borough intends to install utilizing the liquid fuels fund at the left of the park entry.
- Action item: Ms. Sollberger to review the Marlyn Park Master Site plan to be sure that the proposed wall will follow the plan.
- 7.7 Goals/Priorities for next 3-5 years – tabled
- 7.8 ADA compliance – tabled
- 7.9 Event assessments – tabled
- 7.10 Interboro, Belmont site plans – tabled
- 7.11 Document management – Ms. Sollberger reported that she had set up a retention system on Google Docs and had started saving some of the plans and documents to the site. This system will allow all Board members access to all documents in a centralized location and will be easy to update.
- Action item: Ms. Spinnraker and Ms. Haussler to work on forwarding documents to Ms. Sollberger for retention.
8. Task List – no updates at this time
9. Calendar of Events
- 9.1 Tree Planting – November 20. Bare root trees to be planted along East Lansdowne portion of Baltimore Pike.
10. Next Board Meeting – Monday, November 15, 7:00 p.m. at Borough Hall.