View Agenda for this meeting

PARKS, RECREATION AND FORESTRY COMMISSION
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2006 Ė 7:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė COUNCIL CHAMBERS

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM with Commissioner Staudt presiding.

ROLL CALL: Commissioner Bamsai (Present), Burke (Present), Enright (Present) arrived 7:32 PM, Schwarzlose (Present), Staab (Present) arrived 7:40 PM, Staudt (Present), Wagner (Present), Wingfield (Present) arrived 7:33 PM, Zyczynski (Present).

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

Moved by Staudt, seconded by Burke to approve the agenda with the removal of "Approval of December 8, 2005 minutes".

Voice Vote CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: None.

PRESENTATION:

A. Overview of the Performing Arts program Ė Sheri Sansom, Cultural Arts Coordinator

Mrs. Sansom stated that the Novi Theatres has grown greatly in the last fifteen years. In 2005, 7 full-scale productions were produced and currently we are rehearsing for "Guys and Dolls". Last year over 6000 people attended the shows. Our vision now is to expand through the addition of theatre-dance and vocal components. We again will offer "Kids on Broadway" our summer theatre camp experience. Also "Kidsing" a vocal class for grades 5-8. New classes are also being offered for pre-school children, school age and adults.

We are proud to be a part of The Novi Parks Department team. We believe in the missionÖÖ..enriching lives, building community. This is what we are about and this is what we seek to do even better.

Thank you again for giving me this time to share the vision, the passion and the growth opportunities here in our very own city. I hope that the excitement of what is happening at the theatre is contagious. There is place for everyone to get involved!

Commissioner Zycynski stated she attended the theatre open house and was really impressed. She also attended Christmas Carol and was impressed with the production and the quality of performance.

Commissioner Burke asked what ideas they had to increase the numbers.

Mrs. Sansom replied that they were working on that in the marketing plan.

Commissioner Schwarzlose asked about the marketing for the theatre open house.

Mrs. Sansom replied that the marketing for the theatre open house was done through the Recreation Reminders distributed to the schools and local paper news articles.

Commissioner Wingfield asked how new students can get involved in the theatre program.

Mrs. Sansom replied that the new classes are a wonderful way to get involved, also a number of children work behind the scenes and are involved that way.

Commissioner Enright asked about the sound system.

Mrs. Sansom commented that we did not have a sound system that can handle a production and we are using a rented system right now and are trying to see what is needed for a new system.

Commissioner Staudt asked if the department has plans to own the sound system.

Director Auler stated that there are challenges with owning our own sound equipment and training techs to run that equipment. We will look into that over the next three or four months, also look into contractual services if we choose to go that route. We are putting together a strategy and will keep you updated.

Commissioner Staudt asked if they knew of an amount for the sound system.

Director Auler replied that the current contract with an independent contractor bringing in his equipment and providing labor for the show and one practice night during the week is about $24,000 - $25,000 for the season. We do nine shows and we would like to expand that to include rehearsals. In terms of purchasing, we explored a potential option last summer that was about $15,000 - $20,000. I would say about $20,000 - $25,000 in terms of a purchase and then we would need a contract person to operate that equipment.

Commissioner Staudt asked if this would be considered a capital improvement item?

Director Auler stated that depending on the price, a capital improvement item is $25,000 or more and a lifespan of five years or more. If the Commission desires us to explore this I can do that. We could add that cost to the capital improvement sheet for consideration.

Commissioner Staab commented that the Foundation would be willing to look at opportunities and asked about the space issues.

Mrs. Sansom replied that the theatre is using all four quarters and the activity room for a production like "Kids on Broadway" and another room for the musicals. The classes are also creating space issues and I expect to be maxed out for space for this fall. The audience numbers are also affected by this space.

Director Auler stated that it has been wonderful to have Sheri on the team. She brings an energy, vision and a passion and I really appreciate that. Secondly, I would like to comment that Kim Tice is in the audience this evening. She is with the Friends of Novi Theatres and without Kimís leadership, many of the things with the theatre program would not be possible. They have helped fund the purchase of microphones, sound, risers and seating and helped with the open house. It is truly a partnership.

Commissioner Staudt commented on naming rights for the theatreĖ that possibly we could earmark that to a sound system.

COMMISSION COMMITTEE REPORTS:

A. Novi Parks Foundation Ė Commissioner Staab

December 7,2005 we had a session on naming rights. December 20, 2005, we had our first annual meeting with approximately 25-30 people at Gus OíConnors. It was a good meeting and we have raised about $37,000.

On January 9th, 2006, we met as an Executive Committee and focused on naming rights. We decided that we will meet on alternating months as the Foundation and the Executive Committee with members from the regular Foundation Board which includes Chairman Staudt, myself, Kathy Cosentino our Secretary and Sue Engebretson our Treasurer. Our next meeting will be on January 31, 2006.

Commissioner Enright asked what is the status of the naming rights plan.

Commissioner Staab replied that the plan will come out in February or early March. Commissioner Staab also asked Commissioner Staudt if he and member Blair had a date on their marketing plan.

Commissioner Staudt stated that after numerous committee meetings we have put a marketing plan together and should be targeting some businesses next month. We would like to earmark funds early on to get underway with the process of how City Council will work with the Park Foundation in allocating those funds. It would be a lot easier with $25,000 - $30,000 to start the process as opposed to when it becomes $150,000 and we have never gone through the process.

Commissioner Staab stated that the Golf Outing will be August 3, 2006, at the Links of Novi. Brian Burke and Kathy Cosentino will be our co-chairs again this year.

Commissioner Staudt stated they will be looking for sponsors in March. He stated that several people were recognized for helping the Foundation during the year at the annual meeting.

 

B. Park Development Committee Ė Commissioner Zyczynski

Commissioner Zyczynski stated they did meet last week. Director Auler provided packets for our consideration for the C.I.P. budget. We narrowed down our recommendations to 5 or 6 items and will discuss this later in the agenda.

C. Strategic Planning Committee Ė Commissioner Schwarzlose

The Strategic Planning Committee met and reviewed the actual departmentís achievements for the year, along with working through the CIP budget. We worked through the partnership development process whereby we will be working with public and private companies and setting up a process for meeting and setting up agreements for land, and existing and new facilities.

Commissioner Staudt asked what the long-term schedule is for the revision of the Community Recreation Plan.

Commissioner Schwarzlose replied that it will be addressed at the next Committee meeting which is yet to be scheduled.

Commissioner Staab asked about a report on the Youth Council activities.

Commissioner Staudt replied that nothing has been done on that yet. The first Out of the Basement Concert is set for January 13, 2006.

STAFF REPORTS:

A. Administration - Director Auler

Over the past four years, we have utilized these two questions as a guiding principle in our planning, decision-making, implementation and evaluation services which has enabled us to accomplish many improvements for the community. Recently, I reflected upon the departmentsí achievements for 2001 to the present. These achievements include:

  • The creation and adoption of the 5 Year Community Recreation Plan.
  • The completion of needed accessibility improvements.
  • The removal and replacement of 3,000 street trees (to be completed in spring 2006).
  • Generated over $1.2 million in grants and sponsorships.
  • Received 215 acres of park land through land donations and grant funds.
  • Completed capital improvements in the park system.
  • Improved the quality of park maintenance.
  • Achieved a customer satisfaction rating of 4.8 on a 5.0 scale.
  • Created and enhanced partnerships with the private sector which has or will result in the following:
    1. Construction of the Singh Trail, a cost savings of $1.5 million for citizens.
    2. Wildlife Woods Park improvements at no cost to the citizens (park signage, asphalt pathway, park benches, resurfacing of sports fields, installation of irrigation system.
    3. Parkland donations totaling 134 acres.
  • Enhanced partnerships with not-for-profit and the public sector which resulted in:
    1. Increased facility space with the Novi School District
    2. Increased tournament offerings for soccer and baseball
    3. Enhanced mountain bike trail system and trail events
    4. Increased recreation program offerings

I believe it is important to communicate the achievements of these key results to the citizens, our partners, and the City Council. It is also important to communicate the results we are striving to achieve. It is through this process that commitment and community support will occur to assist us in achieving more.

The Second Quarterly Report is also provided this evening. We will discuss this at the Committee meetings and then at the next meeting provide highlights.

2006/2007 Capital Improvement Budget

We have included all of our worksheets on the Capital Improvement Budget so that we can submit information to the Finance Department once we have this discussion. The project lists for 2006-2007 budget include seven or eight items that will fix the items that remain in our system regarding renovations. I would recommend that four of those items be considered for submittal as a priority and the other items be re-allocated to a different year and priority level. The four items that I would recommend would be:

Item #1: Wide Area Lawn Mower, it would enable the staff to mow three times he grass that we currently mow which will result in available manpower hours of additional 650 hours per year. We really have three full time staff members that take care of all the parks, about 894 acres of park land. The cost is $56,000.

Item #2: Village Oaks/Orchard Hills West Park Development and Master Plan.

We have been recommended to receive a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The bill has not been introduced to the Legislature, the process can take up to six months. Once that is approved and appropriates the funding we can then execute a project agreement with the Department of Natural Resources. We cannot do that until the money has been appropriated with the State Legislature. Once approved, we have twelve (12) months to close on the property. We are looking for a 0 Ė 18 months timeframe for acquisition, moving forward, we are sometime in 2007, it could be within this proposed fiscal year or the following fiscal year. Within ninety (90) days of acquiring the property, we must provide an access road, parking area and signage to the park, utilizing City staff that will take $30,000 to accomplish. We have a commitment, once we close within 90 days, to have that park completed to maintain our status with our grant application. The additional money is for developing a Master Plan for the park. Generally, you want to have a site plan or Master Plan for that park based on the communityís needs as a whole for what recreation opportunities the site may provide. Using outside sources you are looking at $20,000 - $25,000. That will set the stage for any future grant opportunities such as a development grant through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. Once we complete the acquisition, we will have plan in place and I anticipate submitting a grant application for development such as fishing piers or nature education opportunities for the property. That could be deferred to a future year. At a minimum that $30,000 needs to be available for when that property is closed.

Item #3: Power Park Renovation Ė we are still completing an analysis on the condition of Power Park which is a 20+ years old softball complex that is severely outdated and in need of capital investment. A brief overview Ė the fences are leaning over and not of sufficient height, there has been no additional capital money put in the facility. The lighting system is the original lighting system. New lighting systems today do not have any spill-over. An example would be the lighting at Catholic Central football field. The light is contained within that field and does not spill over to adjoining properties. We could expect a 50% decrease in our electric bills with a new system. Additional things that need to be done would be irrigation, infield surfacing, concession stands, restroom/scorekeeping building and pathways. I would indicate that in terms of Phase I being recommended.

The last item that I would recommend would be the storage facility at Community Sports Park. Community Sports Park receives a lot of usage and we transport all of our equipment out there on a daily basis. If we had a facility on site, the operation would be more effective. We would save a minimum of twelve hours a week in labor and transporting time.

B. Recreation Services Ė Director Auler

The Out of the Basement Concert Series will begin on January 13, 2006, we will have three bands performing. We have two more shows scheduled after that and will culminate in a musicpalooza at the end of the year.

Our Recreation Guide is not out yet and I wanted to give a few highlights:

Daddy Daughter tickets are now on sale, we still have tickets available.

We have expanded the numbers as far as participants.

We have 34 students signed up for the high school basketball program and that will get started this month. They will play on Saturday.

Student Commissioner Wagner asked where the Out of the Basement bands would be located.

Director Auler replied that it will be held at the Civic Center.

Student Commissioner Wagner stated that at the high school right now they are publicizing a "Battle of the Bands" and if we could advertise through the high school, the students could really be made more aware.

Director Auler stated that we could explore that opportunity if the school would be willing to do that. Information has been sent to the student body from the various bands that are participating as well as the school newspaper and on the website.

Student Commissioner Wagner asked if there are any other sports offered other than high school boys basketball.

Director Auler stated that he thought soccer, volleyball and softball would be offered.

Student Commissioner Wagner asked if girls basketball and volleyball would be offered.

Director Auler replied that he was not sure of the number of girls that signed up and that volleyball would follow the basketball season.

Student Commissioner Wagner asked how the 34 participants would be allocated to teams.

Director Auler replied that Wendy Duvall-Angelocci indicated that they would talk about that at the scheduled meeting. It could be 5 on 5 or could be a pick-up game with the officials. She will get the input from the students on how they would like the league to be administered.

Commissioner Enright added that it also could be half court.

Commissioner Staudt commented that he read the report by Derek Smith. He suggested a softball pre-season meeting with Brian and Derek to eliminate issues on the formats and get a sense of where it is going this year.

Commissioner Wingfield added that he would also recommend another meeting be held before the season gets started.

Commissioner Staudt commented that sponsorship is getting thinner in menís softball.

C. Parks and Forestry Operations Ė Deputy Director Lewis

The maintenance staff plowed snow at City parks and facilities and also assisted the Department of Public Works with streets. They also have been working on the park entry signs and working on the maintenance of the tractors and mowers, preparing them for spring, as well as painting picnic tables.

The forestry division has trimmed over 200 trees, removed five (5) trees and presently has been working in the subdivisions trimming back trees from the pedestrian signs and street signs.

Commissioner Staudt asked about garbage cans put out on the Walled Lake property.

Deputy Director Lewis replied that we should be able to do that.

Director Auler added that tree planting bids are due at the end of the month and we look to have a recommendation for City Council consideration at the February 6th meeting. Also the tree inventory program specifications are going out to bid and look to have that bid awarded in March.

 

MATTERS FOR COMMISSION ACTION/DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Staudt stated that last year we had a good feel for how much money was available for CIP items. This year we are in the dark on the budget. The wide area mower was the only thing that didnít make the cut last year and we have to make sure that Council understands this is a staffing issue. I also have some considerations about the Village Oaks/Orchard Hills property. I understand that it is a necessity, but to allocate $50,000 right now for something that we donít know when it will come down the road. There is a reason the Council has a rainy day fund. We can find $30,000 for the parking lot when that time comes. I would not list that as one of my high priorities as a CIP item. Power Park renovation is big. We need to make them aware and talk about it during our joint meeting and prepare them for something long term in the range of a million to 1.5 million dollars. Our park and recreation resources have been long neglected from a large-scale capital improvement side. To deal with it superficially by saying we are going to irrigate the ball fields and then two years from now have a much larger renovation of the fields is not something that I would support. Community Sports Park storage facility has always been a high priority and I think that is a real candidate for future naming rights funds. This is exactly why we developed the policy. I think we need to play out naming rights for another year to look at these major acquisitions.

The Community Sports Park ball field improvements, I donít think it is this Commissionís primary focus. One of the opportunities might be the sound system for Novi Theatres, and I donít know if there is a great amount of support from City Council.

This year it is great not to see emerald ash borer, A.D.A. improvements, the chipper, stump grinder, they are all gone. Commissioner Staudt asked if there is a capital improvement item for the seniors.

Director Auler replied that the fleet for our senior transportation program (3 or 4 of the vehicles are in excess of 90,000 miles) so in terms of our fleet for senior transportation which is continuing to grow, that is where our priority would be. The capital improvement program does not include vehicles. Vehicles would be a separate category that is included later in the budget discussion.

Commissioner Staudt asked where the senior programs fall in Parks and Recreation.

Director Auler replied that capital items (which are $25,000 or more) are not an issue there. It is more space and partnership opportunities, more operational types of things. One of the things we are going to evaluate doing is the Super Saturday, and we want to begin extending hours at the senior center. One of the City Council goals is the stand alone senior center. We really donít have any input on that at this point but we are seeing our numbers continue to grow. Our focus now is improving our fleet and improving our senior transportation services, extending hours and trying to reach out to the younger senior population as well and enhancing partnerships.

Commissioner Staudt stated that he thought there will be a serious discussion about a stand alone senior center.

Commissioner Staudt stated that he would be very hesitant to symbolically support the Power Park renovation.

Commissioner Staudt stated that City Council needs to find their own money when putting up the parking lot at Village Oaks/Orchard Hills West Park. There are still issues that need to be worked out.

Commissioner Staudt asked Director Auler if everyone was going to prioritize the CIP items tonight?

Director Auler replied that that he would like recommendations tonight for the Finance Department or the Commission could meet again.

Commissioner Zyczynski commented that she agreed with the wide area mower and thought the Community Sports Park shelter would save man hours also.

She agreed with Commissioner Staudt on the Power Park renovation, maybe we need to put that on the City Councilís radar since this will be a huge undertaking. I understand why Director Auler is asking for the money for Village Oaks/Orchard Hills West Park Development. The asphalt paving at Lakeshore Park could be included.

Commissioner Enright agreed the wide area lawnmower was at the top of the list. The Village Oaks/Orchard Hills West Park Development is not an issue yet and until it becomes one we wonít make it one. Weíve had tremendous improvement at Lakeshore Park and the new shelter at Lakeshore would lead to additional revenue and also the asphalt paving would complete the renovations. There are things we can do to improve the fields at Community Sports Park. Power Park should be a top priority, this could bring in more revenue.

Commissioner Wingfield reviewed the list and stated he agreed the lawn mower for $56,000 would be a priority. Commissioner Wingfield thought the Village Oaks/Orchard Hills West Park Development should be put on the back burner. Power Park is extremely important and if we can attack it in three legitimate phases good, but not realistic. Community Sports Park storage facility is very important and I would continue to upgrade the ball fields. I would like to add a field next year and two more later. Maybe we could lower the cost to $15,000 - $20,000 with help from Novi Youth Baseball or the Foundation. We cannot drop the ball to continue to improve that facility. The department has done a great job with Lakeshore Park and the asphalt paving would almost make that project complete. I would say the lawn mower, the storage facility, upgrade one field a year at Community Sports Park, and asphalt paving at Lakeshore Park and move the shelter at Lakeshore Park to 2007-2008.

Commissioner Staudt stated that regarding the Community Sports Park ball field improvements - $34,000. A $10,000 donation from any party removes that from CIP and I think are the classic types of things where a partnership between Novi Youth Baseball, the Foundation and the City gets things done. I think that it is one of the items we should target for effort Ė not put it in as a CIP but put it on our radar as something we want to get done, and letís bring the Foundation and Novi Youth Baseball to the table and this is a perfect example of what we can do.

Commissioner Burke suggested the Community Sports Park ball field improvements and the new shelter at Lakeshore Park would be candidates to fall under the naming rights category to free up some money. The lawn mower is a given. Focus on Power Park as the next project, to address this in increments would be a feasible way to do it. He asked Director Auler how would improvements be made without taking them out of play.

Director Auler replied that Phase I would occur in the fall.

Commissioner Burke stated improving Power Park would increase our revenue. Tournaments are not being played now based on our current fields.

Commissioner Staudt asked Director Auler the cost of one set of lights at the fields.

Director Auler replied the cost would be approximately $80,000 - $90,000.

Commissioner Staudt asked how the fences would be moved back without replacing the lighting.

Director Auler stated that moving the fences would be a big investment because of the design. Without doing a lot of earthwork and re-design of the total facility we would need the fences go higher to accomplish the same result. To move them back would affect the drainage fields. Two of the fields would be possible but on the two fields closest to the Civic Center parking lot and access road would be more challenging.

Commissioner Staudt stated he was concerned about irrigation. The problem we have with tournaments is not the lights, it is the size of the fields.

Commissioner Burke stated that would have to be the first thing we address on Power Park if we want to host more tournaments.

Commissioner Staudt stated we would need to move the lights first since the fences are directly against the lights.

Director Auler replied that with the fence distances we are not able to host adult menís upper division tournaments. We would be able to host fast pitch tournaments for girls with improvements, which would bring in a lot of teams. But in terms of expanding the opportunity for adult menís softball, we would need to extend the fence to 300í Ė310í.

Commissioner Burke stated that we should earmark some funds for the road and parking lot at Village Oaks/Orchard Hills West Park, and was concerned about the deadline.

Director Auler replied that putting in the parking lot is a condition of accepting the grant. Until we get the new booklet on procedures we are in limbo.

Commissioner Burke stated that the Community Sports Park storage facility is a priority. He stated that the naming rights program might not be ready in time for the building but we could sell the name later. He would like to see the lawn mower, the Village Oaks/Orchard Hills West Park Development, Power Park and Community Sports Park facility stay on.

Commissioner Schwarzlose commented that he would agree with the mower as a top priority, and Village Oaks/Orchard Hills West Park Development. The Power Park renovations dollar amount is a concern. We are looking at taking the naming rights policy to the community. Whatever the amount is we need to allocate funds and get the work done. A phased approach to this is the way to go. Whether we go to an adult menís tournament or girlís fast pitch, there are avenueís to generate additional revenue for tournament play and bring it back to what it was designed for and developed. The Community Sports Park storage facility given the amount of man-hours certainly building a facility is a must. The mower, the Village Oaks/Orchard Hills West Park, Power Park and Community Sports Park would be my top priority.

Commissioner Staab concurred that his number one priority was the wide area lawn mower. Village Oaks/Orchard Hills West Park Development master plan Ė the $50,500 was allocated back in December, it came out of the special fund that we received as a City in the sale of land at the corner of Novi Road and Grand River. I think the total sale of that land was $110,000 - $113,000, so I think we still have left $65,000, I know that it would have to go through the same process to be allocated, but that money is there and since we had a willingness in the past to allocate money from that area, hopefully City Council would be benevolent enough to attack it on that basis in the future. If not, I agree, we do not want to loose out on this grant, and we donít want to look bad from a DNR standpoint. It needs to be done either via City Council or us putting it on our CIP. I would explore that money availability from that source from the sale of the land.

My number 2 or 3 would be Community Sports Park facility, we need to have a secure storage facility on site. My next priority would be Power Park renovation. I feel that the shelter, ball field can be done through partnerships or through naming rights. Power Park is in dire need, I would make that a priority. We need to start some place. #1 is the mower, #2 Village Oaks, #3 storage facility and #4 being Power Park renovations.

Commissioner Staudt asked for a motion to make the wide area lawn mower the number one priority.

Moved by Staudt seconded by Burke to make the wide area lawn mower the number one priority on the CIP list.

Voice Vote Carried Unanimously

Commissioner Staudt stated the second item that had the greatest consensus was the storage facility at Community Sports Park, which is $152,000.

Commissioner Enright asked if there was a chance that we could partnership with the Novi Jaguars, they need storage out there, or Novi Youth Baseball. This would be an excellent opportunity to partner with those groups.

Commissioner Staudt stated that this was difficult without having a joint meeting with City Council. One of the questions we want to ask is "if we raise the money for naming rights at Community Sports Park, can the money be earmarked for that facility? If we donít have enough money to cover the entire cost for that facility at this point, will you pay the difference? It makes it difficult to make a capital improvement recommendation knowing what will come down the road. The goal would be to have storage facilities for the City and possibly Novi Jaguars and Novi Youth Baseball and Lacrosse and for the people who use those facilities and have secure storage for them. I donít believe it was a high priority for the Jaguars, their priority was more fields. Has anybody other than Charlie, ever gotten a $152,000 capital improvement item approved in the period we have been here?

Deputy Director Lewis replied that the restrooms - $650,000.

Commissioner Staudt asked how did that get done?

Deputy Director Lewis replied that when Mr. Helwig came on board, he looked at some of the parks and he recommended it.

Commissioner Staudt asked "so it wasnít done in one year"?

Deputy Director Lewis replied it was done over a couple of years.

Moved by Commissioner Staab to make Community Sports Park storage facility number 2 on the capital improvement list. Seconded by Enright.

Voice Vote Carried Unanimously

Commissioner Staudt stated that the improvements at Community Sports Park and the Lakeshore Park shelter are very good candidates for doing something with naming rights. This is a perfect time to identify these things. If we get $10,000 and the cost for renovations is $35,000, are we going to come back to Council for the difference? Is this something that we will build up over a period of 2 to 3 years and when we get enough money we will build it?

Commissioner Staab stated we can also look into partnerships too, over and above naming rights but on a grant type basis where you could do half with the Foundation funds and half with a civic organization in the community.

Commissioner Staudt stated that the bottom line is that we are looking into non-government ways to pay for this facility. That would eliminate those two items, the shelter and the ball field improvements. Again, it is something we want to get done, it is not an issue of getting it done, itís how we are going to get it done or pay for it. I think if we come to the table with $15,000 or $20,000 and say to City Council we need another $19,000 to do this, I think weíll get a positive response in most cases. Those two items come off the table. So far we have the wide area mow and the storage facility at Community Sports Park.

Commissioner Staudt asked if there was a consensus on the paving at Lakeshore Park.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that Director Auler thought the paving would give some closure to the improvements at Lakeshore Park and asked if he still thought it was that important?

Director Auler replied that they all are important projects and we are struggling with unknown funds. We have made considerable investment at Lakeshore over the past two years. We have a new playground, shelter repair, park entry booth, day camp/restroom facility, the beach, the entryway into the park has been paved, the mountain bike trail has the signs. In terms of what is completed with asphalt, the entry coming off South Lake Drive into the park is complete, the rear portion of the park by the mountain bike trails has been completed. The section between there and the front main parking lot has not been paved. The price of $70,000 is for the material, our staff and DPW staff doing the labor. That is what we did with the back portion of the park. It will enhance the park, and keep the dust down which will make it look better.

Commissioner Staudt stated that at this point, we are not talking about higher priorities for these other things, we all agree Power Park is a disaster, and the Village Oaks/Orchard Hills is not an issue of whether or not it is a priority, or whether it needs to be done. It is an issue of where are the funds going to come from. I believe City Council has already allocated these funds by approving the grant. The day they approved the money to pay the additional grant money, they asked the question "how much is that going to cost" and someone responded $30,000. To me, they committed $30,000. I donít know that that is an issue that we need to address at this point. I hate to make it a number 2 or 3 item on our agenda.

Commissioner Burke (beginning of tapeÖ) was for materials and we provide the labor Ė help me with that.

Commissioner Staudt stated we rented a paver.

Director Auler suggested that our role is to provide recommendations based on our need regardless of the cost and communicate to the Council what are needs are with the priorities. We want to put in what is realistic.

Commissioner Staudt stated that we have already done that with the $152,000. In the past, we have been very careful with the money, we prioritized based on need not a wish list. The only item that is a need item at this point is the lawn mower. I think the sound system should be considered as one of the capital improvement items. I think the Council will see the benefit of that.

Commissioner Burke stated that he sees the $70,000 as a paved road that we want, not that we need. People drive slower on a gravel road.

Director Auler clarified what needs to be paved, the road along the fields is still gravel and the road that goes to the back of the park.

Commissioner Staudt asked if we could finish the front part.

Director Auler stated that it is not necessarily a need because the road and the parking is there. Maybe that could be deferred to another year.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that he put that as a high priority item based on your recommendation and listening to the analysis agrees that it isnít a need but your are compromising knowing that the Power Park renovation might not be realistic you are guessing that $70,000 is more realistic that $342,000, it is not a need. I think the Power Park renovation is so much more important that the gravel road. Maybe we could put the paving on the back burner.

Commissioner Zyczynski stated we have taken care of the need for the mower. Maybe we should approach this as things that can be done that will help generate more revenue, or save money. I look at the Community Sports Park facility as a way of saving money, saving manpower, so we could use those people somewhere else.

Student Commissioner Wagner commented that everyone agrees that Power Park needs to be done but are not sure if we can get enough money. Is it possible that we donít need to spend $340,000, that we only need "X" amount.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that we need $1.2 - $1.3 to do it right and to say you are going to do one fence this year and two infields is not the way to do it. I think Iím going to put this as the number 1 priority. I donít want it done piecemeal.

Commissioner Staudt stated that there are people who want to superficially address that field this year and Iím afraid that we will put irrigation in and thatís going to be it. When we have our joint meeting with City Council, 50% of that meeting should be spent talking about Power Park and redoing the presentation that we got 2 years ago and saying this is an embarrassment to this community. We need to do something significant. If they say we agree, we have $400,000 then Iíd be the first guy to say great, if they say they donít have the money, we can give you the money for irrigation Ė Iíd say keep the money. That is a signal for getting nothing in the future.

Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that we cannot fix it with a band-aid and we are running into the same thing a few years ago with the emerald ash borer. If you recall, the numbers we came in with was a multi-million dollar process and we got through this in a shortened time frame. In our meeting with Council we need to address the fact that this is not a band-aid project and that a sprinkler system will not take of the issue. This $340,000 is a start and it will have to be a phased process and will bring it back to the level of being a competitive project.

Commissioner Wingfield wanted to say that we need to make it look better, generate more revenue but the number one thing is safety. Those lights down there are horrendous.

Director Auler stated the consensus is Power Park as a priority. The wide area mower is a priority. The storage facility at Community Sports Park, opportunities for naming rights would be the Lakeshore Park additional shelter and the Sports Park ball field opportunity. That really only leaves one item which would be the sound system, it is more than just for the theatre, it is for the events that we have here, State of the City speech and other opportunities, Out of the Basement Concert Series. In summary, our priorities to consider would be Power Park, wide area mower, storage facility, and sound system, then approaching the shelter and ball field upgrades in terms of a naming rights opportunity. Then we ask, where do we put Power Park in that equation, even though it may not be realistic to get those funds, the message is still that it is a priority of the community and of the Commission. The two items that would be realistic to get funded would be the sound system and the wide area mower. That could be a way the Commission could consider prioritizing these in terms of trying to capture the discussion that we have had this evening.

Moved by Commissioner Burke to make Power Park the number three priority and the sound system number four. Seconded by Staudt.

Commissioner Wingfield asked what amount they would put down. $30,000?

Commissioner Enright asked if there was a point in making Power Park number one knowing that we wouldnít get it.

Director Auler stated that one of the components that the administration considers under Community Conditions is major capital improvement projects that need to be invested over time such as: Power Park, the stand alone senior center, maybe we begin to do that through a narrative of big ticket items that need to be thought about over time and our strategies for addressing those needs in the future.

Moved by Staudt to prioritize Power Park as number three and the sound system as number four. No amendments.

Voice Vote Carried Unanimously

Moved by Staudt to add Village Oaks/Orchard Hills development as the fifth priority. Seconded by Staab.

Voice Vote Carried Unanimously

Commissioner Staudt stated the asphalt paving at Lakeshore Park will be moved to next year for consideration.

Director Auler asked for clarification when submitting the information for Lakeshore Park shelter and ball field project improvements, he stated he will list the price and also list that those are opportunities that can be funded through partnerships or naming rights.

Commissioner Enright asked if a joint meeting was scheduled with City Council?

Director Auler replied that it has not been scheduled yet.

Commissioner Burke suggested that maybe the meeting could be held prior to one of their meetings during February.

Commissioner Staudt stated he would like to have the proposal for Power Park before they have the meeting with City Council.

Commissioner Staudt stated that he would like to draft a letter to the Chairman of the Youth Council and to Sheryl Walsh asking for the opportunity to present what Parks and Recreation does at some future youth council meeting and we will invite our student representatives and you and I will go. They should get an idea of what the Commission is working on. I donít know if they have a regular schedule or not.

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS:

Commissioner Staab stated it was a good meeting, thanked Sheri for coming in for the presentation.

Commissioner Schwarzlose thanked Sheri for her presentation. Stated he was excited about the "Out of the Basement Band Series".

Commissioner Burke thanked Sheri and stated that the Foundation Golf Outing will be held August 3, 2006, any questions can be emailed to Bburke@holzerford.com at the Links of Novi.

Commissioner Wingfield thanked Sheri for her presentation and was pleased that a consensus on the priorities for the capital improvements was done. He stated that Power Park was the most important thing, it is something long overdue.

Commissioner Enright thanked Sheri for her presentation and agrees that Power Park is a priority.

Commissioner Zyczynski thanked Sheri for her presentation.

Commissioner Wagner Ė nothing.

Commissioner Bamzai Ė nothing.

Commissioner Staudt thanked the Commissioners who made it to the Foundation annual meeting.

ADJOURNMENT:

Moved by Staudt, seconded by Staab to adjourn the meeting at 10:00 p.m.

Voice Vote CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

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Signed, David Staudt, Chairperson

 

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Signed, Harold L. Wingfield, Vice Chairperson