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PARKS, RECREATION AND FORESTRY COMMISSION
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2006 Ė 7:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė COUNCIL CHAMBERS

 

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

ROLL CALL: Dooley (Present), Goyal (Present), Schwarzlose (Present), Staab (Present), Wagner (Present), Wingfield (Present), Zyczynski (Present).

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

It was moved by Commissioner Schwarzlose, seconded by Commissioner Zyczynski to approve the agenda.

Voice Vote Unanimous

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: None.

PRESENTATIONS:

Condition of soccer field sports turf

Director Auler introduced Superintendent of Parks, Matt Wiktorowski.

Mr. Wiktorowski titled his presentation "Revitalization, Renovation and Rejuvenation."

Common goals for the fields are player safety, competitive play, esthetically inviting field and enjoyable park memories.

The current facilities are Brookfarm Park, Novi Meadows, Orchard Hills, Village Oaks, Wildlife Woods Park, Novi Woods and Lakeshore Park. We share facilities with the Novi School District as well as having municipal fields. Some of these complexes have multiple practice facilities. Our one game facility with multiple fields is Community Sports Park.

Some of the practice fields see up to one hundred practices a year from several sports, including football, soccer and lacrosse. These fields are often time left bare for the next season or sport. There are several strategies to combat this problem including increased cutting, fertilization and sometimes watering. Some

of the facilities donít have the resource of water, which make it difficult for fertilization and the proper cutting techniques to take place. The best thing to do is better manage our recreational programs to avoid overuse of the facilities.

Wildlife Woods has the following field user groups: in spring there is lacrosse for both house and school, softball, soccer for school, house and travel leagues, in the summer there is lacrosse and softball, in the fall there is flag football, tackle football, and soccer.

Five years ago the user participation numbers were quite a bit lower. Increased usage creates hazards and the ball play isnít what it should be even for practice let alone games. What we need to do is change some of our cultural practices of maintenance as well as manage our recreational resources, which means limiting the amount of play on the fields or look at some other alternatives for land use.

Some of the cultural practices here are:

  • Mow at least twice a week
  • Maintain cutting height between 1.5 and 2.5 inches
  • Regular fertilization
  • Cultivate (aerify) twice a year
  • Implement an adequate irrigation system
  • Recreational management and limited event use

Inspection reports go to our practice facilities and game facilities. He showed and example of a report and stated that they also include hole and divot locations so the staff can go back and fill in the holes to make the fields safer.

Some of the equipment used to maintain the fields includes a 16í rotary cut mower, which was just acquired a few weeks ago and is a huge asset to the park and the department. We can cut the entire soccer side of Community Sports Park in 2 to 3 hours when the goals and benches are not out. If frees up a huge number of man-hours and allows more maintenance on the fields. We have an aerator, which has both core and slicing tine spindles that are interchangeable.

The topdresser is a valuable piece of equipment for any athletic application. This is a piece of equipment we do not have but have been fortunate enough to borrow one from Northville a couple of times. This is a piece of equipment he has discussed with Director Auler about purchasing in the future. We do have a roller with a gang roller option to cover more ground which helps in the spring with some of the divots and bumps that the frost heaves up every year.

Aeration is a cultural practice. We core aerate in the spring. In the summer when the ground is a little harder we use slicing tines to fracture the soil to let the air get a little deeper into the soil without pulling plugs. Later in the fall we pull cores again. When we get an opportunity to use the topdresser we fill those cores with topdressing material.

Topdressing and slit-seeding is done, when the monies are available, to the bare spots. This past summer fifty tons of black dirt was put down and one thousands yards of sod. It made a large difference this year. The weed control is something that has always been done since he has been here and the soccer fields really show it. At times you can go to Community Sports Park and see a sea of dandelions around the outside of the soccer fields and the playing surface is green with a little patchy clover and we are working on taking care of that.

The watering situation has increased since we have added our two phases of irrigation on the baseball side. Some additions were put in the pump house and the soccer irrigation is working much better this year and it can be seen in the growth of the grass. We try to limit irrigation to an inch a week so that the fields donít get too wet and as long as the rain sensor works accurately we are fine.

Fertilization is another thing we do. It is done infrequently which means that we try to put down a half-pound or a pound a couple of months in the spring. We fertilize heavily in the fall. The reason for this is that in the summer, if the irrigation should break down, we donít end up burning up the grass. When we are laying sod and putting seed down, it gives that seed and sod a chance to germinate and grow and adequate root base.

Mowing is a key maintenance aspect. The grass is mowed twice a week keeping it at about two and a half inches. The first thing in the spring we cut it rather short to keep the rye grass down and give the fescues and the bluegrass a chance to germinate. Once those grasses start to germinate and start to fill in between the ryes we have a much thicker playing surface and over time will develop a thatch layer that will make the surface more playable and safer because of the cushion.

Superintendent Wiktorowski presented graphs showing the effect of fertilization and mowing. The infrequent fertilization saves us quite a bit of money and allows us just under twenty-five games per season. He then presented a second chart showing the number of games per season on a field with mowing twice a week comparing infrequent and frequent fertilization.

How much is too much for our facilities? The answer is field dependent on soil, turf, drainage, maintenance practices and resources, and type and frequency of use.

Natural turf on an average recreational soccer field will recover after 35-40 events. Natural turf on an average recreational soccer field will not recover after 65-70 events. An event is a practice, game, or anything that produces wear on that athletic field.

Superintendent Wiktorowski then presented actual pictures of the fields at Community Sports Park when there had been too much activity on the soccer fields. They were after large rain events and game situations. He feels that the pictures speak for themselves.

Spring field use at Community Sports Park consists of 11 game fields and 22 practice fields, which are used by 120 teams, 1,350 players for an average of 1,770 practice hours and 310 games. Broken down, the house soccer program has 85 teams, 900 players using 1000 practice hours and 33 fields. The Jaguar soccer program has 32 teams, 450 players using 770 practice hours and utilizing 9 fields.

Fall field use consists of 10 game fields, and 18 practice fields used by 120 teams, 1,530 players for an average of 1,940 practice hours and 330 games. Broken down, the house soccer program has 84 teams, 980 players using 1,000 practice hours and 144 games. The Jaguar soccer program has 39 teams, 550 players using 936 practice hours and183 games utilizing 8 fields.

To summarize for the spring there are 11 game fields and the average games per field per season at Community Sports Park are 28.25. The game field event number is 98.18. The reason this number is so much higher than the games is that we factor in the number of Jaguar practices, Jaguar games and house games and divide it by the total number of game fields and we get 98.18 events per field per season.

To summarize for the fall there are 10 game fields. Average games per field per season are 33. The game field event number is 126.5 for Community Sports Park in the fall.

The field wear tolerance summary is for one game facility the average soccer field can recover after 35-40 events. The average soccer field will not recover after 65-70 events. Our spring total event number per game field is 98.18 and the fall total event number per game field is 126.5.

Some of our proposed action strategies are:

  1. Install sports turf on the sports fields. Many high schools, colleges and professional stadiums put it in.
  2. Limit the number of hours or events the sports fields are utilized for weekly. The repercussions of this are that there are increased residents who want to utilize our programs and we have limited facilities.
  3. Acquire and develop additional land for active sports use. This requires a significant investment.
  4. Establish partnerships with public and private sector entities to develop land for sports programs. Some options are:

a) "Bosco" property
b) Property adjacent to Novi Ice Arena
c) Residential or commercial land donations for recreational use

Superintendent Wiktorowski asked if there were any questions.

Commissioner Dooley thanked Superintendent Wiktorowski for his presentation. He stated that he has been coaching soccer since his daughter was in first grade and she is now in seventh grade. He hopes that the people of the City understand the proposal and the solutions offered and that the people and the Parks Foundation step up and work with the practice facilities and make them on par with some of the other towns we compete against. He knows that Superintendent Wiktowrowski is doing everything he can with the resources he has. He is very appreciative of what was done in changing the direction of some of the fields at Community Sports Park because now the fields are in the best condition he has seen them in the seven years he has coached. Commissioner Dooley addressed the Commission and stated that the presentation needed to be heard and there are a lot of things that need to be done and solutions to uncover.

Commissioner Zyczynski stated that we either need more fields available or few teams playing on them. There have been discussions on passive and active park land and an interest needs to be generated in developing some more active areas for children to play soccer.

Commissioner Staab thanked Superintendent Wiktorowski for his presentation and stated that it is one of the best ones he has seen in a long time. It hits the root cause of what we are faced with. He asked if the Jaguar numbers included their tournament.

Superintendent Wiktorowski stated that it did not account for camps or the tournament.

Commissioner Staab then asked where we stand with partnerships.

Director Auler replied that the actions proposed are included in the draft of the Recreation Plan, which the Commission will be receiving in the near future. There are tough decisions. In his opinion, the best way to approach this is through the partnership opportunity. We need to establish and strengthen partnerships with our department. Many of those we have called partners have actually been customers. In the Recreation Plan draft that is coming forward, a partnership is defined as a win-win relationship toward the common vision that is financially equitable. We do not really have that relationship with a lot of our partners. The Jaguars and Novi Youth Baseball League have been customers because they use facility and pay a fee. We now have a partnership with the Mountain Bike Association. They maintain the trail system, invest in the trail system, and help manage the trail system and jointly we make improvements and provide events that benefit the park, the trail and the association. One of the

major strategies is to develop partnerships because the world is changing and businesses have to look at collaborative efforts and partnerships. Our community is changing. There is a higher expectation level and a higher need. We need to look more closely at a common vision.

Director Auler then stated, to that end, he would like to open discussion for a preliminary meeting with the Novi Choralaires to try to begin to have a partnership and move toward a common vision. Tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. we are beginning discussion with the Novi Jaguars to begin cultivating these relationships. We will try to determine the goal and vision instead of us providing fields and the Jaguars using them. If we donít realize that what will ultimately happen is that the turf will become worn down and we will have to limit the number of participants so we will be turning people away. He sees these programs continuing to grow. Our theatre operation is no longer a theatre operation but a drama operation, a dance component, classes and camps. It is the same thing as soccer. Soccer is going to continue to grow not only among the kids but there is a trend toward adult soccer. As the Hispanic population continues to grow, a major cultural activity is Sunday soccer. It is an adult program and it is almost like a major festival event. As children continue to grow up and college students come back home we are going to see a need for adult soccer. The need is going to continue to increase so we need to develop partnerships to address that need.

An alternate route may be to put in sports turf. Everything starts out west and moves its way here. Colorado, Texas, California, a lot of those park systems are putting in sports turf. Catholic Central High Schoolís football field is sports turf. It like that a lot in Indiana and the reason they are doing that are the very reasons that Superintendent Wiktorowski presented tonight. Sports turf pays for itself in nine to ten years maintenance wise. It is a significant investment on the front side. When the Commission receives the Recreation Plan draft, there will be some critical discussion needed to determine which direction or directions go or others may be identified. We will need to be able to convey that to our community and to City Council. We have been successful in doing that recently with the Jaguar Association. They have been very supportive recently in not playing on the fields when they should not be on them because of the turf condition. The general citizen does not understand this because they pay a fee, go out to play soccer, see bare spots and want to know why. Some of this has to be improved communication. The bottom line is that our program is outgrowing our facility. We have to develop a vision, create partnerships, and determine which direction is the best way to go. It will not answer this problem in the short term.

Three years ago with the initial Recreation Plan we were talking about how there was no way that we were going to get 2,000 trees cut down and 2,000 trees replaced at $900,000. Here we are three years later and it is done and it cost $90,000 that was the commitment from City Council.

Commissioner Staab asked Director Auler to confirm that the Commission would have the draft of the Community Recreation Plan early in October so they can look it over before the October Commission meeting.

Director Auler replied that he would be giving an update later in the meeting.

Commissioner Staab stated that he agreed that awareness is key so that taxpayers know where their dollars are going and the usage. We need to keep brainstorming better ways to communicate.

Commissioner Schwarzlose thanked Superintendent Wiktorowski for his great presentation. Having been involved in the community since the inception of the park and seeing where it was when it started and how it is now, it has come light years. It is astounding that you are able to maintain the park with the numbers that use it. We are all in support of improving the facility not only for the soccer program because we also have football and lacrosse, which is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. This is something that has come to the forefront, which we need to address.

Commissioner Wagner stated that the presentation was excellent. He agrees with the other Commissioners. He has been involved with the soccer program for as long as he can remember either as a player or as a referee. It takes a lot of work to maintain the fields but something has to be done so he is glad it is being brought to the forefront. He then asked if it is just a matter of overuse or are there not enough fields to accommodate the programs. If the fields could be used unlimited numbers of times would we have enough?

Superintendent Wiktorowski replied that if all of our fields were potentially made of sport turf and we could use them one after another we could probably make it work with maybe a lighting option. However, they are not and judging by the current field conditions, for example Wildlife Woods could not handle the wear. Half way through the soccer season at Community Sports Park you will begin to see significant wear at the goal mouths, in the center of the fields and especially on the sideline. It will need time to recover in early spring next year before it can handle the next season.

Commissioner Wagner asked if the totals of 65-70 before the field starts wearing down is that based on what Community Sports Park can handle or is it based on what an average field can handle.

Superintendent Wiktorowski replied that the numbers represented average fields. Those numbers were a combination of national averages that came out of Iowa

State University as well as some major sport renovation companies that deal with field renovation on a daily basis.

Commissioner Wagner then asked if there was and advanced irrigation that would raise the number of times a field could be used or can we not get much above 70.

Superintendent Wiktorowski replied that proper irrigation is key component to managing your sport turf, however, once you have stepped on a plant so many times it is just not going to recover no matter how much you fertilize, irrigate or properly mow it. You can increase its resiliency but once something is gone it is gone. That is what happens in front of our goal mouths, they get stepped on so many times it just wonít come back.

Commissioner Goyal stated that she feels the field conditions are improving because eight years ago she used to play soccer and the fields were not as good as they are today. She then asked if we experience snow mold.

Superintendent Wiktorowski stated that we have had a little snow mold but have had no problem getting rid of it before the spring season starts. The largest problem, as far as funguses go, are fairy rings. For these you have to be up in and aerial boom truck to notice the circles on the facilities.

Commissioner Wingfield also commended Superintendent Wiktorowski on his presentation. This is an issue that has been discussed in the community for a long time. The presentation has sound statistics would be worthwhile to show the Jaguars or School District because it is very eye opening. When he sees something like this presentation he starts thinking about the Bosco property and other things. He then asked if the 50-60 event is per year as a desirable level.

Superintendent Wiktorowski stated that you would like to limit your event number to around 35 or 40.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that with the Jaguar tournaments and clinics and other events the number would be about 250 to 300 events.

Superintendent Wiktorowski replied that without their numbers in front of him, he would guess it would be about 200 events.

Commissioner Wingfield asked what kind of numbers communities around us with nicer fields have.

Superintendent Wiktorowski replied that 50-60 is ideal but he does not have their numbers. Northvilleís Community Park on Beck road is used specifically for games and use alternate locations for practices.

Commissioner Wingfield then state that he is involved in the Bobcat football program and they practice at Wildlife Woods Park for two and a half hours a night and they are starting their fifth week. This is starting to take its toll on the field. He then asked what the latest information is on the potential irrigation system that the developer was going to put in there.

Director Auler replied that when the developer begins their development project they will also be doing the improvements to Wildlife Woods Park which include regarding of the fields, irrigating, seeding the fields, installing the pathways, park benches and park signs. That will improve it but we are still facing the situation that Superintendent Wiktorowski described this evening. Even with all of the improvements we need to figure out a solution or it will go back to bare dirt and patchy grass.

Commissioner Wingfield asked that of the sports of soccer, lacrosse and football, which is the hardest on a field.

Superintendent Wiktorowski stated that each sport uses different areas of a field but in general, football is probably the hardest. In the case where and 11 v 11 team takes its practice to a 6 v 6 field it can be much harder on a field than a couple of football practices. With a few exceptions, football is harder on a field.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

A. Strategic Planning Ė Commissioner Schwarzlose

1. Community Recreation Plan

The Strategic Planning Committee did not meet but Commissioner Schwarzlose asked Director Auler to bring the Commission up to date on the Community Recreation Plan.

Director Auler stated that a draft of the Plan is near completion. We are down to the critical or funding component of the plan. The finance director, Kathy Smith-Roy, is working on a fiscal analysis for the City. This is an important piece that he needs to wait for to tie in to funding strategies and recommendations that set the stage for identifying capital improvement priorities and what they are over the next five years. This then ties to the goals and implementation strategies and the performance measures. The final component is community input. Beginning this Monday, City Council is kicking off a process that will develop a vision for the City. In January, they will have a set of goals that will help set the stage for the City Budget and priorities. The timing of the Recreation Plan is at a good point to tie in with those outcomes. A component of that process is going to be a statistically valid random sample

community survey. On that survey will be some questions related to Parks and Recreation. We will be able to get some feedback from the community, which is important. There will be some questions related to Parks and Recreation it is not a comprehensive survey related to Parks, Recreation and Forestry services. Concurrently with that we have developed a six-page survey that relates to Parks, Recreation and Forestry services. He does not have the opportunity or resources to do a statistically valid random sample survey. This will be a non-statistically valid survey but we will get much more detailed information from the community members who fill it out. This survey will be distributed at Fall for Novi, to all of our participants in our programs and on our website.

This will take place over October and November. We anticipate the results from the survey to come in October. We anticipate the fiscal analysis to be completed in the next three to four weeks. The final draft should be to the Commission in mid-October. We hope to have a joint meeting with City Council sometime in January and will share with them the Recreation Plan.

B. Park Development Ė Commissioner Zyczynski

1. 2006/2007 Capital Improvement Projects Progress Report

Commissioner Zyczynski stated that the Committee did not meet this past month but in the packet there is some information on some decisions that were reached well over a year ago that are in the process of being implemented or are to be implemented.

Commissioner Zyczynski asked where the entryway signs at four locations are to go.

Director Auler stated that included in our budget there is a cross-departmental team within the City that is being created that will help identify and over all entryway sign plan. There was some work done on that about a year ago. They are looking to update that and provide that information for or before the decision is made as to which location. It is going to be an inclusive decision between City Council and that team.

Commissioner Zyczynski asked if these were the signs as you enter the City of Novi.

Director Auler stated that this is correct.

Commissioner Zyczynski then asked if the portable sound equipment is for the theatre or something else.

Director Auler stated that is the sound system that will not only take care of our theatre productions but also band productions, etc. The bid has been awarded and came in under budget. The system has been ordered and should be here in the next thirty to sixty days. We will have staff training on that and implementation will begin.

Commissioner Wingfield asked if phase one of Power Park at $342,000, which is out to bid, will include fences in the outfield from foul pole to foul pole going to twelve feet. He knows it costs more but, if you look at the total picture and do things right, it will enhance the field for further development and tournaments and over all play. The green and the red fields are extremely short in the outfield and the twelve-foot fences would keep the ball in the park more. He then asked how much more money is it to have the twelve foot fences. He knows the twelve-foot fences will be on the red and green fields but would it cost that much more to add it to the others.

Superintendent Wiktorowski replied that they had received the bids back today for the fencing at Power Park. The power alleys on the red and green fields will have fencing at fourteen feet. There will be eight-foot fences roughly from foul pole to foul pole with the exception of the fourteen-foot fences in the power alley. What is going to happen when we go to twelve-foot fences is we are going to have to increase the diameter of the pole size. We would go from two and a half inch driven line post up to three inch, possibly concreted line posts. That is something he has to talk to the contractor about. It is potentially possible but it is something that will have to be looked at with the purchasing department, Director Auler and the contractor to see how it will affect his price.

Director Auler stated that when they initially discussed this with the fence contractor, they indicated that the cost would be significantly higher because the higher you go it increases the gauge of the fence and the size of the post. Because it is higher it has to be able to withstand more impact whether it is wind, snow, ice, people running in to it. We have limited funds so something would have to be taken away for that. As far as playability our focus has been irrigation, to soften the impact especially in the summertime and to remove the white chalker dust and put in the red clay mixture to be able to pick up the ball better given our lighting situation. Our lighting situation is OK but there are many shadows on the field sometimes making it difficult to pick up the ball. Our basic clientele are the recreational softball players. We donít have a lot of the

high level A ball teams. We are not going to hold the worldís or the nationalís in an A level or B level ball. We can compete and host tournaments in D, E level ball. We can also do this in fast pitch, and in C and D slow pitch.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that for esthetics an eight-foot fence looks nicer than a twelve-foot fence. He knows that our objective is not to hold open or A or B tournaments but we have trouble getting some C and Ds because the fences are short. He was just curious to know.

C. Parks Foundation Ė Commissioner Staab

a. Naming Rights Program

Commissioner Staab stated that the Foundation took a breather this month but is still active on a couple of initiatives. They had a meeting on August 29th with a presentation from one of our local groups plus the executive committee approved the redesigned of our committee structure. Which will be out to the members along with the agenda for the meeting coming up next Tuesday night, September the 19th.

Commissioner Staab stated that as far as the naming rights program, he has been in constant contact with Mr. Staudt, the facilitator. Seventy packets will be mailed either tomorrow or Monday to pre-identified prospects. The next task will be the allocation of responsibility for follow-up and this will be done in the next week or so.

Commissioner Wingfield asked if the packets were available for the Commissioners.

Commissioner Staab replied that he would get some for him. He stated that there have been discussions with some of the constituents who will be receiving the packets and they are anxious to get them.

D. Greenway/Pathway - Commissioner Zyczynski

Commissioner Zyczynski stated that the Greenway/Pathway Committee have come up with a set of criteria to use in evaluating all of the potential sites around the City so they can prioritize and create a list of maybe the first twenty that should be at the top of the list. This has been done. The plan was to do a presentation at the City Council Meeting on September 25th but has been set back to a later date that is yet to be determined.

 

STAFF REPORTS:

A. Administration - Director Auler

1. 2005 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant

Director Auler stated that we are going forward with the 2005 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant that we were awarded. We are preparing the project agreement to present it to City Council and targeting September 25th for that and for approval. Then that will be forwarded to the State. We have prepared the legal descriptions, the boundary map, the environmental phase one assessment and they have all come back in good condition. We have completed the title search and some of the other things to take us forward. Once City Council approves the project agreement on the 25th the next step will be to move forward with the appraisal process. We are in the process now of identifying appraisers and beginning to set up meetings with those individuals. We have to complete that all by July 31, 2007.

2. CLASS Software Registration

Software registration has begun and we are getting fairly good response to that. We are working through some of the issues coming up but over all it is going very well. One of the challenges we are facing is that some people feel that the convenience fee is a little high. The way the system works is that a hybrid site, so it is hosted of site in California, and they manage the system for us and we donít really spend any tax dollars in the operation and management of the system. The convenience fee is the fee that funds the maintenance and operation of the system and keeps it up to date. Certainly if you get to the end of the option and feel that the convenience fee is not something that you wish to include in your payment you have the option to register the traditional way either at the front counter, by fax or by mail. Over all within the first three days thirteen percent of our registrations were done online. He believes that the number is higher because one of the glitches we are working through right now is that it will measure the number of registrations within our classes but we donít have a reporting system to be able to measure the number of people who are registering through the sports programs (leagues). That is a significant component of our operation. Currently we have basketball registration going on. We are monitoring the numbers and the number of e-mails we get and accounts are being set up and he believes we are getting a high usage rate with that. Probably the most common issue in the negative is the convenience fee and we are trying to explain why the convenience fee is there and their options for registration.

3. 2007 Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission meeting schedule

Director Auler stated that at the October meeting, by City Charter, is when the Commission reorganizes, does the election of officers, appointment of committees, and also schedules the meeting time. He stated that he is asking for direction this evening in terms of Commission Meeting dates

and times for next year because our City Calendar information is due tomorrow at the Community Relations Department. Traditionally, we met the second Thursday of the month at 7:30p.m. The City Council and the Planning Commission have both gone to 7:00p.m. It is the Commissions decision and he is not advocating one way or the other. Keeping it on the second Thursday works well. Time wise is the Commissionís pleasure.

Commissioner Wingfield asked for some discussion and added that he would prefer the time of the meeting change to 7:00.

Commissioner Zyczynski agreed with Commissioner Wingfield.

Commissioner Dooley agreed.

Commissioner Staab stated that there wasnít any way he could make a meeting at 7:00p.m. because he works out of town. He stated that he thinks the second Thursday of the month is a good night. He was concerned that this coming year that Easter week may cause a conflict.

Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that the second Thursday works well and he does not have a preference for time.

Commissioner Dooley suggested that the time for the meeting be left at 7:30 so that Commissioner Staab could make the meetings.

Commissioner Wingfield asked if this was all right with the other Commissioners.

There was a general consent.

4. Re-organization of committees and election of officers

Director Auler stated that at the October the Commission will do the annual election of officers, traditionally it has been the election of a chairperson and a vice-chairperson, but also the organization of committees is done. He asked the commission to think about what types of committees they would like to have for the next year and e-mail them to him and they can be discussed at the next meeting. The committees are determined by priorities and the direction they want to go. In the last couple of year we have had a Park Development Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and a Resource Development Committee. The Resource Development Committee eventually got the Foundation going and turned in to the Foundation report. If there are other committees we need or to restructure he would like some feedback so it can be presented for discussion at the October meeting for reorganization.

Director Auler stated that another item he would like to bring forward for the October Commission meeting is a recommendation we would like to present to the Park Foundation for consideration of the Board of Directors for funding. The Foundation has some unrestricted funds available. The staff is preparing some recommendations to present to the Commission for consideration, discussion and support. Those recommendations would move forward from the staff and the Commission to the Park Foundation.

Director Auler stated that he is meeting tomorrow morning with the Novi Jaguars to kick off a planning meeting working toward a partnership and strengthening that relationship. We will be looking at soccer needs in the future.

Director Auler then stated that this evening he had and initial meeting with the Novi Choralaires along the same lines in terms of how we begin to work more as one toward a common vision serving the community and providing better services. Other partnership discussions in the future will include Novi Youth Baseball, the fast pitch softball organization, and the football organization. One of the challenges with these organizations is that leadership changes frequently. The key is developing a strategic plan of how everything ties together so there is consistency toward the common vision and how we are going to address the needs of the community. We give a lot of services away that impact our department, and our resources. Partnerships share in the outcome and in the process of getting there.

Commissioner Staab stated that as follow up to Director Aulerís statements about the Foundation items, he would like to encourage the staff to address not only immediate needs but also future items. The Foundation is hoping to have sizable unrestricted funds with the Naming Rights.

Commissioner Dooley addressed Director Auler and stated that if he was in need of any Commissioners to attend any of the sports meetings he and his fellow Commissioner would be happy to sit in and be a part of the discussions.

Director Auler thanked Commissioner Dooley.

Commissioner Staab commented that the use of Superintendent Wiktorowskiís presentation for those meetings would go a long way to lay the groundwork for communication.

Commissioner Wingfield asked what the convenience fee is for the online registration.

Director Auler replied that it is a sliding scale fee. That is something that is being work on to better communicate online. The fee depends on how much you spend. It is a sliding percentage. The more you spend, the lower the percent. For one basketball registration it came out to $7.00.

If it is below a certain amount there is an administration fee.

Commissioner Wingfield asked if that fee is for the facilitator that manages the site.

Director Auler replied that it is for the management and maintenance of the site. It makes sure that the all of the information is secure. We do not hold the credit card numbers. The philosophy behind this is not spending taxpayer money on a continuous thing. If you are going to use the service then you would pay for the service.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that he knows that Novi Youth Baseball League implemented a similar service this year. They have the option of using a credit card or sending in a check later. We do not have that option with ours. You either pay with a credit card or you donít use online registration.

Director Auler confirmed this.

B. Park and Forestry Operations Ė Director Auler

1. Tree Inventory and Management Plan

Director Auler stated that the Tree Inventory and Management Plan process has been completed. We received a $20,000 grant from the state.

We contracted that service out. The total report, which is not included in the packets because if its length, is 338 pages. We identified and inventory of 18,000 plus trees that are street trees only. We are now conducting an inventory, using our staff resources, of the park trees. If you add those in we are probably over 25,000 trees within the community, which we manage. The inventory, which tells us the location, the size, the health and the type of tree, helps us to develop a Management Plan with a series of recommendations. In the very near future, perhaps the October meeting, Steve Printz, the City Forester will be here to give a presentation.

He will present the Tree Management Plan and the recommendations that came from that, which we will be implement in the next few years.

2. Fall Tree Planting

Director Auler stated that the bids were awarded at the September 11th City Council meeting. We will be planting 533 trees this fall. Panoramic Landscape, which is the company that did the spring tree planting where we planted nearly 2400 trees and did an outstanding job for us, was the low bidder. We are excited about that. The process will start in the near future.

B. Recreation Services - Director Auler

Director Auler noted that we had the Senior Show theatre production. The performers range in age from 50 to 93. It is an outstanding show. We had almost 400 people here today. We will have nearly 400 people here tomorrow and there is a performance on Sunday. The show ran last week and this week. On a customer satisfaction rating we got about 200 plus customer feedbacks today. 99.9% rated the show a 5. The ones who didnít rate it a 5 rated it a 4 and there were about four of those. One rated it a 3, which is average. It is a phenomenal show and you should see it. Kathy Crawford is the MC. Sheri Sansom, Christine Borrello, Sally Le-Pla-Perry, and Lauren Sorrentino have put a lot of time, energy and effort in to it. The seniors have put a tremendous amount of energy in to it. If you get a chance to come tomorrow the show will start at 1:00, if not you can come on Sunday. It will be standing room only but we can find you a spot.

The opening day of soccer was this past week. By all accounts that went well.

The International Festival happened since our last meeting. Twenty countries were represented and we had approximately 2500 people attend the event. It was held a Main Street over a period of six hours. The staff really did a good job with that event. Customer feedback on that was very positive. From this event we were honored to be contacted, were offered and are taking the opportunity to host the Kokeshi Doll Exhibit. We are the only stop in Michigan. The Kokeshi Dolls are Japanese cultural dolls. They will be here in November and displayed in the atrium. There are a series of events and activities that we will be doing around those and in partnership with many of our citizens. This opportunity came from the great job we have done with the International Festival over the last several years and the relationships we have built. Information on this event will be forwarded in the very near future.

MATTERS FOR COMMISSION ACTION/DISCUSSION:

Approval of August 10, 2006 regular meeting minutes

A motion was made to approve the regular August 10,2006 minutes as written.

Moved by Commissioner Schwarzlose and seconded by Commissioner Dooley.

Voice Vote Unanimous

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS:

Commissioner Goyal:

No Comment

Commissioner Wagner:

No Comment

Commissioner Schwarzlose:

Stated that he wanted to thank Superintendent Wiktorowski for a great presentation. Since the last meeting he had the chance to go to the "Kids on Broadway" production in the middle of August. It was a great production. The power the kids bring is amazing. The production was videoed and will be sent in for some national recognition and hopefully an award.

Commissioner Dooley:

He wanted to single out two individuals from the opening day of soccer last Saturday. He wanted to recognize Theresa McClure who was there first thing in the morning until noon or right before it started to rain. She was there answering questions, and there were a lot of questions the first day. She was so gracious and is a real tribute to the department. She was so good with the parents and children. Wendy DuVall-Angelocci does a fabulous job with the organization and representing the City of Novi for Parks and Recreation and also WSSL soccer.

Commissioner Zyczynski:

Stated that "Kids on Broadway" was great fun and was a delightful program and she enjoyed it immensely. She also attended Family Day at Fuerst Farm and unfortunately it was quite chilly but the people who were there were having a good time.

Commissioner Staab:

Stated that if any of the home viewers did not receive a packet for Naming Rights and would like to receive one and participate they should feel free to call him. His telephone number is 248-348-2919, or call Parks and Recreation at

248-347-0400.

Commissioner Wingfield:

Stated that he wanted to thank Superintendent Wiktorowski for his presentation. He is curious to see the results after showing it to School Board members or someone in the School District.

The Novi Bobcats have been practicing for five weeks, two and a half hours a day, five days a week. They open their season Sunday at the Novi Middle School. The eight and nine year olds are at 11:a.m.; the ten and eleven year olds are at 1:00p.m. and the twelve and thirteen year olds are at 3:00p.m.

The will be playing Livonia.

ADJOURNMENT:

It was moved by Commissioner Schwarzlose and seconded by Commissioner Dooley to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m.

 

 

Voice Vote Unanimous

 

 

_____________________________________ Signed, Harold L. Wingfield, Chairperson

 

_____________________________________

Signed, Reagan Schwarzlose, Vice Chairperson