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PARKS, RECREATION AND FORESTRY
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM with Commissioner Staudt presiding.
ROLL CALL: Commissioner Burke (Present), Enright (Absent)
Schwarzlose (Present), Staab (Present), Staudt (Present), Wingfield (Late 7:35), Zyczynski (Present).
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Moved by Burke, seconded by Schwarzlose to approve the agenda as written.
Voice Vote CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: None
1. Overview of special events and department marketing-
Tracie Ringle, Event and Marketing Coordinator
Ms. Ringle stated that the department is in summer acceleration with summer activities and events which started when the May through August Recreation Guides was received at homes. The Recreation Guides go out three times a year: May through August, September through December, and January through April. The guide goes to all 23,000 Novi residences.
Ms. Ringle stated that part of her job is to make improvements to the guide. The improvements to this guide were to condense the registration form, and to make additions and changes to the park amenities map to get it up to date.
The Memorial Day parade is one of our major events. This year we had more than fifty Veterans participate. They were all personally invited from previous veteran recognition days hosted by Mayor Clark. The weather was wonderful and we had a good crowd along Ten Mile Road. This year the flag folding was added to the ceremony and done by the Vietnam Veterans of America #133. There were many complements made by the community about the veteran recognition.
Novi Youth Baseball opening day, on June 4th, was coordinated by Derek Smith with the Novi Youth Baseball League. Ms. Ringle showed pictures of this event. The Novi Youth Baseball League invited a barbershop quartet and Paws, the Tiger’s mascot. There was a player’s parade and Mayor Csordas threw out the first pitch for the event.
Ms. Ringle invited the Commissioners to attend Kid’s Fair, which will be Saturday, June 18th, from 11:00am to 3:00pm at Community Sports Park.
This is the second year for this free community event. Some of the attractions will be pony rides, carnival games, crafts and petting farm.
We are always trying to add to our events to meet the expectations of the community so this year a karaoke corner, puppet show and workshop, rhythm and rhymes (for stroller aged children), and the Novi Library will do a Book Nook. She estimates that the attendance will be over 2500 people if the weather cooperates.
The Kid’s Concert Series is another summer event. These start on June 23rd and are held at Lakeshore Park at 7:00pm. There are seven dates.
The major sponsor for these is Providence Hospital. The last concert is at Providence Hospital, which is a Kid’s concert and also a concert by the Novi Concert Band who concludes the series. Providence also offers at that event, free health screenings, games and refreshments to the community.
This year Novi Parks, Recreation and Forestry is participating in the Novi Fifties Festival by representing an active park and a passive park within our two 10’ by 10’ areas. At the representation of the active park, children can purchase chances to win prizes.
The International Festival is the last large summer event. It will be held on August 20th at Fountain Walk. Last year over 12 countries were represented by crafts, art, information, entertainment and games. It is a free event. The only change may be that this year we charge for some of the food. She hopes to add a costume parade a couple of times during the event. The committee meetings for this event start the middle of this month.
Ringing in the Holidays is a large event held in December. This is an event where the City of Novi officially opens for the Holidays. There is a lighting of the tree, electric light parade, the mayor speaks and City Council participates. This year, for the first time, it will be held on a Saturday and will conclude with the electric light parade instead of starting with it. She hopes that by having it on a Saturday it will draw more people.
Some of the smaller events that she is involved in are the Daddy/Daughter Dance, Mother/Son Mad Science, Pumpkinpalooza, Arbor Day, Fall for Novi, Breakfast with the Bunny and River Day.
Commissioner Staudt asked if Ms. Ringle designed her presentation using her software.
Ms. Ringle replied that she did and she also uses it for the Recreational Reminders, which go out to the schools each month.
COMMISSION COMMITTEE REPORT:
A. Resource Development Committee – Commissioner Staudt
Commissioner Staab stated that for the Foundation activity it is the Golf Outing on August 4th. During the Memorial Day Parade, Commissioner Staudt and his family were able to drive the car that the Foundation will be giving away courtesy of Tom Holser Ford. Seven hundred registration forms were passed out to Memorial Day Parade attendees. The Foundation mailing went out last Monday (June 6, 2005). The next Foundation meeting is on June 23rd. He then deferred to Commissioner Burke who is the chairperson for the Golf Outing Event.
Commissioner Burke stated that golfers, hole sponsors and event sponsors are still being solicited. An entry brochure can be picked up at the Novi Parks, Recreation and Forestry counter, the Novi Senior Center and any event where Novi Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commissioners or Foundation members may be present. The event will be limited to 144 golfers. There are 18 holes available for sponsorships and several events on course, which are available for sponsorship. He is fairly certain the event will be sold out.
Commissioner Staudt stated that this Saturday the Foundation will be involved in a Run and Commissioner Zyczynski has volunteered for this event.
Director Auler stated that it is a Running Fit first annual event, which will be held at Lakeshore Park. He is not sure how many to expect but is sure that it will depend on weather. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Novi Parks Foundation.
Commissioner Staudt stated that the Foundation also participated in the Mountain Bike Race last weekend at Lakeshore Park and had a good turn out of both Foundation Board members and Commissioners. He appreciates everyone who came. Everyone had rave reviews for the park and the race.
B. Park Development Committee – Commissioner Wingfield
Commissioner Wingfield stated that after meeting with Deputy Director Lewis before this Commission Meeting, many positive steps have been taken in recent months. At Lakeshore Park, the black vinyl fence has been completed and it looks fantastic. The ADA access pathway from the parking lot through the tunnel to the beach has also been completed. The flowers and shrubs have been added to the landscaping at the front of the park. Signposts have been installed on the walking and bike trails and signage will be put up later. The roof on one of the pavilions is scheduled to be replaced by September. The fencing area around the Tim Pope Memorial Playstructure at Community Sports Park will be completed within the next month with wooden picket fencing. Field number 2 at Community Sports Park had their official opening day on Saturday (June 4, 2005). There were many favorable responses with the new score board, the grass infield and the clay area.
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF REPORTS:
A. Recreation Division – Tracie Ringle, Event and Marketing Coordinator
Ms. Ringle stated that Youth Sports Recreation Coordinator, Wendy DuVall Angelocci reports that soccer will be ending June 11th and that
T-ball, Coach Pitch and Girls Fast Pitch Softball Opening Day will be
June 25th. Wendy is working on being certified by National Youth Alliance for Youth Sports. A Softball pitching and hitting clinic is scheduled for June 18th.
Ms. Ringle also reports that Rachael Zagaroli, Senior Activities Coordinator stated that senior golf is going well. There are three divisions, Men’s, Women’s and Mixed for a total of 148 golfers. At the Mother’s Day event every lady received a rose and a palm at the door. They enjoyed tea, cake and harp music. May transportation had 879 passengers and collected $1,022.00 in fares.
Ms. Ringle stated that Linda Wickert, Novi Theatres Director reports that 2 of the six performances of "Oliver!" were sold out. The play received rave reviews. "Kids on Broadway" is being run as a summer camp. There will be five weeks of rehearsals and the shows will take place in August. Everyone who auditioned will receive a part and the final auditions are June 18th. The Senior Variety Series will be "Kicks on Route 66". Two additional shows will be added year to accommodate the demand. There will be a total of six shows over two weekends.
Ms. Ringle reports that Derek Smith stated that the Beach will operate under shortened hours until the second week of June. From Memorial Day until Friday, June 10th the beach will be open from 10am to 4pm. Starting June 11th the beach will be open from 9am to 7pm.
On Saturday May 14th, Power Park was host to the ISA Senior Softball Tournament. It was a great success bringing in fifteen teams from around the state, which included a few Hall of Fame players. Camp Lakeshore and Road Warrior Camps are looking forward to opening on Monday, June 20th.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if the volleyball season was going to run August through November as originally thought – to be concurrent with the new High School season. Since the High School season will not change will it be kept from late October through January or will it start earlier?
Director Auler stated that volleyball will revert back to how it was last season. When the High School changes next year we will follow that season.
Commissioner Wingfield then asked how the registration was for Camp Lakeshore and the new camp (Road Warriors).
Ms. Ringle replied that Camp Lakeshore had the numbers that they expected, which is a sell out. Road Warriors has had some dates combined. It has been put out in the press and the numbers have climbed.
Director Auler replied that we have at least four weeks of Road Warriors. The Road Warriors Camp is a new program this year to focus on the Middle School, pre-driver’s license age to do some adventure types of activities.
Commissioner Staudt asked Director Auler why there was no 7th and 8th grade girl’s softball this year.
Director Auler replied that there would have been three teams of about eleven on a team. With vacations the numbers would be lower plus they would be playing each other over and over again. We have contacted other communities to see if we could form a league. Howell has a fairly large program at this age. South Lyon expressed and interest as did some other communities for next year but it was too late for this year.
There were just not the numbers to make it go.
Commissioner Staudt asked if Director Auler knew why there were such low numbers?
Director Auler stated that he did not know the reason for the low number of girls interested in softball at that age. He then stated that the number of girls trying out for the 9th grade girls’ softball at the High School was extremely low.
B. Park & Forestry Operations Division – Jack Lewis, Deputy Director
Deputy Director Lewis stated that in the Forestry Division the contractor would be planting 320 street trees from the 2004-2005 Grant money along with planting other street trees through out the neighborhoods. This is to be completed by the end of June. The Owen Tree Service has removed 200 trees in various parks. They will also be removing hazardous trees along major roads.
Deputy Director Lewis stated that in the Parks Division, Commissioner Wingfield earlier mentioned most of the projects that the staff has been working on. Lakeshore Park has been very busy, especially on the weekends; with the weather being so nice there are many shelter and tent rentals.
Deputy Director Lewis wanted to mention the outstanding job the clerical staff has done this past month, registering 1,100 participants in our various programs, on time, while answering the phone, and taking care of people at the counter.
Commissioner Staudt asked whether the number of stumps ground out by the new stump grinder met expectations.
Deputy Director Lewis replied that Steve Printz, the City Forester had planned to be able to grind 50 stumps a week. There are many variables, like the storm damage from this past week that the staff had to work on and other tree issues.
Commissioner Burke stated that he spoke with Steve Printz this past week about the procedure and process of stump removal. A notice is put on the door of the residence a few days before the removal of a tree. The tree is removed and sent through the chipper. The whole process is quick and thorough. The area where they will cut down a tree needs to be clear of vehicles and especially when the stump grinder will be used. Decorative rocks or patio bricks cause a problem and delay for stump grinding.
C. Administration Division – Randy Auler, Director
Director Auler stated that City Council approved the Management Contract for Keystone Management Group for Meadowbrook Commons Senior Housing complex at their last meeting. This is a change from Midwest Management Group. This is not a negative reflection on Midwest. It was felt that Keystone could bring operational service improvements, which will enhance the service at a competitive price. We are in a transition stage now and Keystone Management will begin their contract July 1st.
The Pro Shop contract at the Novi Ice Arena is up and they have indicated that they do not wish to renew their lease. Three proposals have been accepted and we are in the process of reviewing those. The goal is to have a recommendation for City Council for the June 20th meeting.
The Singh Trail construction final permit was received today. There was a meeting last week with Singh in regard to the trail construction and design.
The first thing to happen will be the clearing and grubbing where the trail head and trail location will be. Once a project timeline is received it will be in a packet.
MATTERS FOR COMMISSION ACTION:
A. Approval of May 12, 2005 regular meeting minutes.
Moved by Wingfield, seconded by Zyczynski to approve the May 12, 2005 regular meeting minutes as written
Voice Vote CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
B. Approval of the recreation scholarship program
Director Auler stated that the scholarship program is to provide an opportunity for individuals in financial need to participate in programs if they qualify within certain income guidelines. It is a program which will be initially funded by the Park Foundation. The Park Foundation has allocated monies toward this program. Once the Commission approves the program we will begin to market it with the next Recreation Guide. There is a need in the community of people or families who would participate in our programs but are limited by their financial capability.
To participate, an individual would complete an application that would be confidential and would provide income guidelines for eligibility. Once the application is filed, reviewed and approved then they would be enrolled in the Parks, Recreation and Forestry program that they have an interest in and the money would be allocated from the Park Foundation to the Department.
Commissioner Zyczynski she stated that she appreciated the fact that the form, which asked for a parent of a child receiving a scholarship to volunteer or donate time, was removed.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if the Foundation would reimburse Parks, Recreation and Forestry for any fees the child receiving a scholarship is eligible for. Would the department bill the Foundation and would it be done yearly or as the registrations happen?
Director Auler replied that he was unsure that these details had been discussed but the Foundation has made and allocation and it could be at the time of the registration. There is a maximum limit per individual per year so there will not be an abuse of the system.
At the opening of Community Sports Park Field #2 donations were being taken for used equipment. We have had some equipment donated. One of the thoughts was that not only waiving a fee, but a person in need may not be able to afford equipment they may need and this equipment can be utilized as a loan for the season. This would prevent another barrier from participation.
Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that he also was glad the volunteer requirement was taken from the scholarship application. He would like to have that open for scholarship recipient who might want to volunteer time or services. This would give people a chance to give back who want to.
Commissioner Burke also had misgivings about an adult having something like community service to help compensate for the scholarship. He asked where he, or anyone else who wishes to donate, could take equipment they wish to donate.
Director Auler stated that they can take any equipment to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry counter at the Civic Center or take it to the Senior Center at Meadowbrook Commons.
Commissioner Staab stated that he feels community service should strongly be encouraged to help satisfy the cost of a scholarship. Volunteerism starting at young ages is highly needed in this country and we should provide a way for them to do that.
He wished to thank Danny Enright for coordinating the collection of equipment.
Commissioner Staudt stated that he hopes the equipment donation will be promoted on a regular basis in the Recreation Guide. He also stated that he is uncomfortable with the way retirees may fit into the scholarship policy. Many retirees have a low per household income but have a lot of wealth. He feels that this needs to be addressed perhaps through a net worth consideration. He is also concerned by "applicants must be current on property taxes, water bills and any other monies owed to the City of Novi." How would that be checked and how does that help children enroll in programs? He is concerned about tying things to people’s bills and their ability to pay them.
Deputy Director Lewis stated that is to prove that they are residents of the City of Novi.
Commissioner Staudt stated that he is concerned that the word "current" does not mean that they owe back taxes or behind on their water bill. That is the reason they are coming to the Foundation in the first place.
The Foundation will ask for some kind of reporting on how the funds are being used and how they are allocated. Commissioner Staudt then asked where the Park Foundation sends their check and who is it addressed to.
Director Auler replied it is to be sent to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry department. There will be a request for the funding. If it is a lump sum it will go into a dedicated line restricted within the City Park and Recreation budget, earmarked solely for this purchase.
Commissioner Staudt then asked if it can be drawn from by the department without a City Council vote.
Director Auler stated that was correct.
Moved by Wingfield, seconded by Schwarzlose that the recreation scholarship program be accepted with the understanding that there will be modifications made in the language regarding bill payment (delete work "current"), and provide an opportunity for volunteer community service.
Voice Vote CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that he wanted to commend the staff on the great weekend of activities in the City: River Day, Opening Day at Community Sport Park, the Mountain Bike event. Everything went so well. He commended the up keep of Community Sports Park and Lakeshore Park.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if City Council approved the youth of the City applying for Commissions and Boards.
Director Auler replied that he was not sure of the guidelines or requirements but City Council did approve this and applications are being taken and interviews will be held June 13th. They will be non-voting members.
Commissioner Zyczynski stated that the interviews for the student members for Boards and Commissions was postponed from the 13th. She wanted to thank Tracie Ringle for her overview of Events and Marketing. She was impressed with the events going on in the community last Saturday. She enjoyed being at Lakeshore Park working with the Mountain Bike group.
Commissioner Burke stated thanked Tracie Ringle for producing the Memorial Day Parade. He congratulated Randy Auler and Jack Lewis for a job well done this weekend at Community Sports Park and Lakeshore Park. He was unable to make it to Rotary Park. He requested that starting July 1st that the Commission get a statement at the end of each Theatre production showing gate receipts, fees paid for costumes, etc.
Commissioner Staab stated that he enjoyed the Memorial Day Parade and that it is remarkable how it has grown over the last three or four years from about 20 units to about 50. He was out of town over the June 4th weekend but heard a lot of great things about the events. He stated that as a reminder the Golf Outing is on August 4th.
Commissioner Staudt congratulated Commissioner Schwarzlose for being mentioned in the minutes from the Theatre Department. It is very encouraging that there is so much participation by the Commission in the different events.
He also stated that Commissioners Zyczynlski and Enright are up for reappointment and he encouraged support for them.
Moved by Burke, seconded by Staab to adjourn.
Voice Vote CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
The meeting was adjourned at 8:19p.m.
Signed, Marie Enright, Chairperson
Signed, David Staudt, Vice Chairperson