|View Agenda for this meeting
PARKS, RECREATION AND FORESTRY
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM with Commissioner Wingfield presiding.
ROLL CALL: Dooley (Absent), Goyal (Absent), Kristock (Absent), Policicchio (Present), Radcliffe (Present), Schwarzlose (Absent), Staab (Present), Wingfield (Present), Zyczynski (Present).
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
It was moved by Commissioner Zyczynski, seconded by Commissioner Policicchio to approve the agenda.
Voice Vote Unanimous
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: None.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of June 14, 2007, meeting minutes.
Moved by Commissioner Zyczynski, seconded by Commissioner Staab.
Voice Vote Unanimous
A. Capital Improvement Projects 2006 – 2008 Update
Director Auler stated that he had included a Capital Improvement Project Update Spreadsheet in the commission packets. He asked the Commission to note that most of the items have been completed, with the remaining projects significantly in progress and near completion.
The maintenance/storage facility at Community Sports Park is one of the primary things currently being focused on. The building drawings have been completed and are being prepared to be submitted to the Plan Review Center, where they will ultimately be forwarded to the Planning Commission.
The focus also includes the shelter at Lakeshore Park. Director Auler stated that the cell phone tower presentation was made to the City Council, they approved the resolution to explore the opportunity, and now it is the cell phone company’s responsibility to provide drawings/documentation and go through the plan review process and Board of Review. As part of that discussion, Director Auler said that we are looking at the possibility of building a shelter that would be one facility which would include the front portion as a shelter and the back part as cell phone tower storage area, which the cell phone company would pay for.
Other upcoming Capital Improvement Project items include seal coating and striping the parking facility at the Civic Center, following up with the lighting at the Civic Center parking lot.
Director Auler noted that regarding the 2007-2008 Capital Improvement Projects there are two primary projects; the lighting at the Power Park softball complex and the renovation of one soccer field at Community Sports Park.
Director Auler reminded the Commission that this weekend the Department is hosting a Class C, ASA State Coed Softball Tournament at Power Park. The tournament includes 18 teams, some of which will be staying at local hotels and patronizing businesses within the community. The tournament begins at 8 AM Saturday and goes through Sunday evening. He noted that we "really got that tournament because of our affiliation with ASA over the last several years and because of the renovations we made to Power Park. Hopefully the tournament will go well and we get positive ratings out of that and are able to submit for higher level tournaments in the future".
Director Auler brought to the Commission’s attention the fact that Rachel Zagaroli with the Senior Center had an opportunity to apply for a grant through the National Research Center. We were pleased to be awarded the grant, which made our Department one of four in the country to survey citizens, focusing on those 55 years of age and up. The survey will be distributed to 1,200 citizens and the information gathered will help us develop our business plan for older adults.
Director Auler said that day’s Novi News included a front page spread on the Fit Novi Series and the editor of the paper wrote an editorial on becoming a healthy Novi and what the Department is doing. He mentioned that 55 participants took part in the first event an Xtri, which is a triathlon that was held at Lakeshore Park. Director Auler also mentioned that Botsford Hospital is running an eight week fitness training class that will train people to take part in our track event scheduled September 8-9. He also mentioned that in August we will be holding a uni-cycle mountain bike race that will draw 100-140 participants. Director Auler noted that this contact came out of our relationship with partners holding mountain bike events and inviting unicyclists into the Memorial Day Parade. He said that he hopes the Detroit TV News will come out for this event and he said he would get the Commission the date and time.
Director Auler announced two new programs for teens, noting that the outgoing student commissioner Scott Wagner often pointed out that the Department lacked teen programs. He announced a fall Cedar Point trip and a teen Flag Football League.
Director Auler reminded everyone of the Park Foundation Golf Outing Thursday, August 2nd at the Links of Novi. The Department is currently taking registrations for foursomes, with the proceeds supporting the Park System and a portion of the money is used to fund Capital Improvement Projects.
Director Auler said that he would be scheduling committee meetings to discuss the things from the last meeting including going forward with partnerships and Capital Improvement Projects (related to active park land, senior center space needs, community center, theatre, the Fuerst Farm). He said "we have many things on our planning agenda that we need to begin to prepare for and lay the foundation for so that we can hit the ground running in the near future".
Commissioner Staab said that he was intrigued by the Older-Adult Study Survey and asked if there was anything further to report.
Rachel Zagaroli reported that all of the 1,200 surveys will go out by the end of July, with the National Research Center compiling the results for the scientific survey. After the initial survey, we will hand the surveys out "to everybody that we can possibly get a hold of to get more results. It wouldn’t be the scientific results; however it will give us more to work on. We will give them out at the Senior Center and at City Hall".
Commissioner Staab congratulated her, noting that Novi is one of only four cities to participate.
Ms. Zagaroli replied that she is very excited. She explained that it’s unique, in that it’s a trial survey and there wasn’t too much that we could add or take away from the five pages of questions. However, she did feel the standard survey would address many of Novi’s issues. She said that it doesn’t replace a long term study, which she feels we need. Ms. Zagaroli added that she just did a TV spot on SWOCC regarding the survey and that it will also be in the paper.
Commissioner Wingfield asked Director Auler where the maintenance building will be located at Community Sports Park.
Director Auler replied that the building will be going east of the basketball courts and north of the shelter.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if the second phase of the Capital Improvement Project at Power Park ($580,000) included only the lights and if phase three would be the walkway and concession building.
Director Auler replied that was correct.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if the Commission would be designating a field at Community Sports Park, going forward with the program of renovating a field a year.
Director Auler said that we have to discuss the plan with our partners. He said that in the previous years the priority was to do fields that the partners use exclusively (Novi Youth Baseball) and to discuss with them contributing to the improvements. Director Auler said that he wasn’t sure "if we should continue with that unless the partner steps up with some cash to make those happen". He concluded saying "this is something we will have to sort through in partnership discussions and through capital improvement project discussions".
Commissioner Wingfield asked if Bobcat Football was approved for their site at Wildlife Woods.
Director Auler replied that we are trying to schedule a meeting to get that done and to negotiate what that price will be, so that the Department is not losing revenue on that. He said he knows they have concerns regarding bare spots on the field, but that can not be avoided. The middle school football team uses the fields; as does lacrosse, soccer and football. The field does not have irrigation.
Commissioner Wingfield replied that he was asked about the arrangement and thought it had been ironed out. He asked if the list passed out to the Commission regarding committees were all new committees.
Director Auler replied that the committees are the same, but the list was priorities that came out of previous discussions. When the Commission reorganizes in the fall committees will be reorganized.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if the grant request was denied concerning the Meadowbrook Road property.
Director Auler replied that was the 2005 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant. He explained that an update was included in the commission packets which were sent to City Council previously. The deadline for having the property closed, acquisition completed and own the property was July, 2007 and since that is not done we requested an extension. He said that they have sent the information in an amendment to the agreement, to extend the deadline to January, 2008. Director Auler explained that the issues are currently the same as they were identified in 2005; essentially the conservation easement on one of the pieces of property is very restrictive. The DEQ originally determined that the only use for the property is passive recreation, basically allowing traffic on already established paths, not constructing any new trails, no maintenance on the trails, with no signage permitted. The DNR has determined that is not true public access, therefore this effects the appraisal, which then affects the City’s match (because one of the stipulations was that the City would not have to put up any money). Director Auler said that he has been working on these issues since that time and that he is hopeful that the DEQ and DNR can reach an agreement with us; allowing use of existing trails and accept the appraisals for a high enough value that the cash donation will meet our local match. They did receive and accept the appraisals on the Roskelly property, but not on the eastern property. That is why the project is not done, but Director Auler said he has been working with the City Attorney trying to "bring the project home and make it a reality".
Commissioner Wingfield said that it sounds more like an issue between the DEQ and DNR, not something that we would have to do.
Director Auler replied that we have to resolve this. He noted that we had a lot of discussion in 2005 regarding the appraised property value and identified it as a potential problem. It is now our challenge to deliver it, of which he is hopeful. The newest challenge is the fact that the DNR says the property must be ADA compliant. We need to get the DEQ to amend a conservation easement and go to the DNR to determine that we would have true public access. If they don’t agree with our position, then we must go the MNRTF Board of Directors, state our case and they need to make a determination.
Commissioner Zyczynski asked if the Tim Pope Memorial play structure at Community Sports Park is scheduled to be renovated. She mentioned she was at the structure today and it clearly needed work.
Director Auler replied that he needs to get with the original committee that built the structure, utilize the $8,000 in the account to so some updating, including ADA compliance.
Commissioner Zyczynski added that the bridge has some separated slats, which need attention.
Commissioner Staab – Reminded everyone that August 2nd is the third annual Park Foundation golf outing at the Links of Novi. He congratulated Scott Wagner on his attainment of the Eagle Scout designation.
Commissioner Zyczynski – Commented that she appreciates the planting of the trees at Nine Mile and Beck.
Commissioner Policicchio – Said that he recently visited family in Naperville, Illinois. He noticed that the city had many sidewalks and pathways. He expounded on the subject (with the knowledge he acquired serving on the Commission) regarding the fact that property values go up with access to pathways. He did notice that their pathways always ended in a commercial or downtown area. Commissioner Policicchio said that he noticed that Novi’s pathways never end in a commercial area; he thought it would be a particularly good idea at the Main Street development. He said that he thought that coffee shops or bars would be willing to contribute to the construction, knowing that they would benefit financially from the construction. He concluding by noting that the construction of such pathways in those areas would be killing three birds with one stone- citizens would get the benefit of exercise, businesses would receive extra revenue, and the added sidewalks would improve the quality of life in the City of Novi.
The meeting was adjourned by Chairperson Wingfield at 8:01 PM.
Signed, Harold L. Wingfield, Chairperson
Signed, Reagan Schwarzlose, Vice Chairperson