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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 Bamsai (Absent), Burke (Absent), Enright (Absent), Schwarzlose (Present), Staab (Absent), Staudt (Present), Wagner (Present), Wingfield (Present), Zyczynski (Present).
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Moved by Wingfield, seconded by Schwarzlose to approve the agenda.
Voice Vote CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: None.
COMMISSION COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. Strategic Planning Committee – Commissioner Schwarzlose
1. Community Recreation Plan Amendment
a. Designation of parkland, update Action Strategies and the Capital Improvement Program
Commissioner Schwarzlose reported that the Strategic Planning Commission met on March 28, 2006 and discussed the re-writing of the Community Recreation Plan. Some of the highlights of the department are accessibility, ADA improvements, removal of ash trees, replacement of trees, creation of the Parks Foundation, increase parkland acreage by 35% from 234 acres to 907 acres, upgraded the registration system, enhanced partnerships resulting in significant capital improvements to the park system, generated in excess of 1.2 million dollars in grants and sponsorship funds, improved general quality of the recreation services and park maintenance and was awarded a grant under the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund in the amount of $846,000, also established the vision, mission and value statement.
We are working with the Parks Department to re-write each section and each division within the department will review their sections and will have an actual section within the Recreation Plan itself.
Commissioner Staudt asked about the timeline for approval by the Commission.
Commissioner Schwarzlose replied the timeline would be determined.
Deptuy Director Lewis stated the target date is scheduled for May 1st. He also stated that at the last staff meeting each administrative staff person will be working on their own area such as recreation, the parks division, the forestry division, compiling their goals and objectives and their vision. We will bring that together with the strategic planning committee, then on to the Commission and then on to City Council.
B. Park Development Committee – Commissioner Zyczynski
Commissioner Zyczynski reported that they are considering applying for a grant application for sixteen acres of property adjacent to the Singh Trail. The second property is the Shepardson property and that is the current grant application that is in process. The last property, the Baer property, is adjacent to Lakeshore Park, which consists of five acres. Jack Lewis will be responsible for the grant writing of these properties. Randy Auler will continue working on the current grant that is in process.
Commissioner Staudt asked if we will require any official action on the Commission’s part it would probably be worthwhile for the Commission to take an advisory position on pursuing the grants.
A motion was moved by Commissioner Zyczynski for Commission support to pursue grants for the property adjacent to the Singh Trail, the Shepardson property and the Baer property. Seconded by Commissioner Wingfield.
Commissioner Wingfield stated there was concern regarding the time and effort needed for these three proposals for grants, and suggested that we should develop a plan for the future on how to handle future property proposals.
Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that the changes in the new Community Recreation Plan will include a vision on what type of parcels we would entertain and also a timeline for these grants with a policy of when these need to be submitted.
Commissioner Zyczynski stated that in discussions it was questioned if we really need more active parkland than we have currently. We need to address our goals regarding that issue.
Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that the issue of active parkland will be addressed in the new Community Recreation Plan and the vision for the future.
Commissioner Wingfield stated the active parkland was one of the issues for amending the Recreation Plan.
Commissioner Staudt said he would like to have written into the Community Recreation Plan that we always keep the options open to acquire any available parkland. We will have fewer and fewer parcels available to acquire. This will be an extremely difficult challenge for us. I appreciate the efforts of both the Strategic Planning Committee and the Park Development Committee.
Commissioner Staudt also asked about the progress on the Singh Trail.
Deputy Director Lewis called roll on the motion for Commission support to pursue grants for the property adjacent to the Singh Trail, the Shepardson property and the Baer property:
Commissioner Schwarzlose – yes
Commissioner Staudt – yes
Commissioner Wingfield – yes
Commissioner Zyczynski – yes
Deputy Director Lewis stated that there was nothing new to report on the Singh Trail. The plans are to get the work done this summer.
Commissioner Staudt acknowledged the expense of the project.
C. Novi Parks Foundation – Commissioner Staudt
Commissioner Staudt stated that they have final drafts of the Naming Rights Program will be making a presentation to City Council in the next few weeks.
The Foundation has begun soliciting corporate sponsors for the golf outing. A new board member has been added to the Foundation.
A. Administration – Deputy Director Lewis
The 2006/2007 budget was submitted and the City Council met this past Saturday and discussion was held on the CIP issues and repairs for the Civic Center and miscellaneous maintenance items that need to be addressed. Some issues out at Community Sports Park were discussed as well as Power Park. This was the first preliminary meeting; the next budget meeting will be Sunday, April 30th, at 10 AM.
We did receive three ice arena management proposals. One of those was from Suburban. The proposals are being reviewed by our staff, as well as the Finance Department and we will be making our recommendations in May.
B. Park and Forestry Operations – Deputy Director Lewis
Street tree planting update – Steve Printz has said that so far we have planted 350 trees of the 2000 scheduled for this spring. The contractor is planting approximately 50 trees a day with good weather conditions.
Street tree inventory update – Deputy Director Lewis stated that Steve Printz plans on waiting until the end of May so that the trees will be leafed out.
C. Recreation Services – Deputy Director Lewis
We have 12 bands that have signed up for the "Out of the Basement – Into the Day Concert" on Saturday, June 3, 2006 from noon until about 7 PM to accommodate all of the bands.
Tracie Ringle has been working on the Memorial Day Parade.
Wendy Duvall-Angelocci’s soccer program has started up with practices these past few weeks and games for travel begin April 22nd, and house games start Saturday, April 29th. T-ball, coach pitch registration is underway.
The adult softball league begins on Monday, April 24th. Derek did indicate that most of the leagues are full and we have had to turn away a few teams this year.
At the Senior Center, Rachel had her Super Saturday Spaghetti Dinner, which was very well attended, and the performance rating was a 4.82. Things went very well there at Meadowbrook Commons.
Sheri Sansom had auditions for the Wizard of Oz and had 122 people trying out for various parts. Also registrations for Kids on Broadway Summer Camp is in the process right now.
Youth Commissioner Wagner asked about the March Out of the Basement Concert.
Deputy Director Lewis replied that it went well.
Youth Commissioner Wagner asked about high school sports for the spring season.
Deputy Director Lewis replied that Wendy was working on a softball program and the Lacrosse.
Commissioner Schwarzlose asked about the committee recommendation on the capital improvements regarding Community Sports Park, he thought it was to be a partnership potential which would bring it under the $25,000 for a CIP allotment. He was surprised to see it listed on the budget for a CIP item and it’s priority.
Deputy Director Lewis stated he thought it was discussed with partnerships, that we would utilize Novi Youth Baseball and the Jaguars and maybe even the Bobcats.
Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that the $34,000 was the full amount as opposed to Novi Youth Baseball contributing to that amount which would make it under $25,000.
Deputy Director Lewis stated he thought our portion was $25,000 and then the partnerships would contribute the remaining amount.
Commissioner Wingfield asked about the ranking of capital improvements for Parks, Recreation and Forestry.
Deputy Director Lewis stated that items at the Budget Meeting were not necessarily discussed in that order; they may come back on the 30th to make a determination which three of the five that we want to go with. When we get to that step it will be prioritized.
Commissioner Wingfield asked about the wide area lawn mower.
Deputy Director Lewis replied that the wide area lawn mower is listed under the CIP.
Commissioner Wingfield asked about the other two ice arena management proposals.
Deputy Director Lewis replied that one of the proposals was from Advanced Arenas. We will be reviewing those proposals and doing background checks on all of the companies.
Commissioner Staudt had questions about the Budget Meeting. He stated that a Councilperson stated the Lions pavilion was in poor condition at Lakeshore Park and that has been resolved. Are the budget dollars that were discussed to build a new shelter totally unrelated?
Deputy Director Lewis replied that a new shelter is proposed, that would be located in the middle of the park.
Commissioner Staudt asked about the purchase of the old fire station from a homeowner and how that would affect our operations.
Deputy Director Lewis stated that they did meet with individuals that are interested in purchasing the fire station. If we were to sell it, we could take that money and perhaps build a storage shelter at Community Sports Park and build some storage areas down at the maintenance garage. From our standpoint, it could be beneficial if we did sell it. We will have to wait and see what happens with that.
Commissioner Staudt asked what the $152,000 structure at Community Sports Park is going to be. What is proposed there?
Deputy Director Lewis replied that most recently, Matt Wiktorowski, the Parks Superintendent, did another study and we would like to add on to the existing restroom/picnic shelter that is there. The utilities are already there and that would cut down on the cost. Basically, it would be a cinder block type building to have a place to put the mowers and tractors. We would utilize that area with our partners, the Jaguars and Novi Youth Baseball. We would look to partnership with them to build that facility.
Commissioner Staudt asked if the Jaguars and Novi Youth Baseball would have separate access to their own areas in that facility?
Deputy Director Lewis replied yes.
Commissioner Staudt asked about taking one of the ball fields at Power Park for expansion of the Police Station. He did not think that the deed would allow us to take any part of that park for anything other than parkland. He asked what is our position relative to taking one of our ball fields for renovations.
Deputy Director Lewis stated that Councilmember Capello did mention that but as the meeting went along, they did agree that the firing range could be developed and not affect one of the fields.
Commissioner Staudt stated he supported what has been brought forward and encourages City Council to move forward. If they have an options for the sound system such as leasing the system versus purchasing the system. A truck for the forester would be welcomed also.
MATTERS FOR COMMISSION ACTION/DISCUSSION:
A. Approval of March 9, 2006 regular meeting minutes.
Voice Vote Unanimous
B. Commissioner Comments Carried Unanimously
Commissioner Zyczynski – none
Commissioner Wingfield – none
Youth Commissioner Wagner – The high school basketball league finished up last week and went well.
Commissioner Schwarzlose – none
Commissioner Staudt – Prepare for a full agenda next meeting.
Deputy Director Lewis stated that the sound system for the Theatre has been rented for the last few years and we do have some proposals in right now. Kathy Smith-Roy is working to see if we can purchase that sound equipment in this year’s budget.
Commissioner Staudt asked about the condition of the fences at Power Park. Last year we had significant gaps.
Commissioner Wingfield said he thought maintenance should look at the fences.
Deputy Director Lewis stated that he would mention the fences to Matt.
A motion was made by Commissioner Zyczynski and seconded by Commissioner Wingfield.
Voice Vote CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
The meeting adjourned at 8:13 p.m.
_____________________________________ Signed, David Staudt, Chairperson
Signed, Harold L. Wingfield, Vice Chairperson