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PARKS, RECREATION AND FORESTRY
The meeting was called to order at 7:31 PM with Commissioner Schwarzlose presiding.
ROLL CALL: Dooley (Present), Goyal (Present), Policicchio (Present), Radcliffe (Present), Schwarzlose (Present), Staab (Absent), 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 COMMENTS- None.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of February 14, 2008 meeting minutes.
Moved by Commissioner Radcliffe, seconded by Commissioner Dooley.
Voice Vote Unanimous
A. Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Park Development Grant application requesting funding for the development of a barrier free play structure in the ITC Community Sports Park.
Director Auler spoke as a matter of introduction before the public hearing portion of the meeting. He explained that there are two types of grants; one for acquisition and one for development. He reported that the Department will submit their first development grant application, a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Park Development Grant in the amount of $200,000. He added that City Council needs to appropriate $50,000 towards the commitment. If awarded, it would enable the Department to build a universally accessible playground with a poured-in-place rubber surface. Mr. Auler said that this would be an enhancement to the existing Tim Pope Memorial Play structure. In the event that Council allocates funding for the play structure, it could be used toward the grant match and allow us to purchase additional play equipment. He announced that in addition to this meeting’s scheduled public hearing, there is a public hearing scheduled for the March 17, 2008 City Council meeting. The grant application is due prior to April 1, 2008.
Chairperson Schwarzlose opened the public hearing. Due to no public comment, the public hearing was closed.
Commissioner Zyczynski asked if this will be in addition to the Tim Pope Memorial Playstructure or if replaces the playstructure.
Director Auler replied that it was always the Department’s recommendation that the Tim Pope Memorial Play structure be replaced, as discussed at the last commission meeting. In the event that Council allocates additional money, he said it will enable the structure to be much larger than what was originally proposed.
Commissioner Zyczynski asked where this will be located.
Director Auler replied that it would be adjacent to the Tim Pope Memorial Playstructure.
Commissioner Policicchio commented that he thought it was a good use of the funds and enhances the appeal to the younger community.
Commissioner Wingfield commented that he had heard the $300,000 was taken off by the Planning Commission.
Director Auler replied that the Department submitted the amount as a Capital Improvement Program item for the 2008-2009 budget process. City Administration will consider the project when they submit the application. He added that the Planning Commission moved forward, but have requested an audit. The audit is scheduled for Monday, March 17th; conducted by a nationally recognized company that both designs and teaches the course.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if it will be possible to demolish the existing play structure and another one constructed for the $300,000.
Director Auler replied that "we are trying to secure as much funding as we can. In the event that we are successful with this grant and successful with funding from the city budget, and/or other funding opportunities that present themselves, that will become the Tim Pope Memorial Playground and all the donors that time will be recognized as well".
A. ADMINISTRATION – Randy Auler, CPRP, Director of Parks, Recreation & Forestry
City and Park Entryway Signage Design
Director Auler reported that City Council had allocated funds for design and installation of signage at city entrances at key locations. He reported that once the design is approved, it will be tied together with signage for park entries. Mr. Auler reported that the project will begin with ITC Community Sports Park, which will be funded by the Naming Rights Program. The Tom Holzer Field at Power Park would be the next project; followed by the final project to replace and upgrade the Telcom playground sign. He added that the design should be completed by the end of the month, and he anticipates the installation to be completed by early May.
Director Auler said that he also wanted to bring the Commission up to speed on the four public input sessions that were conducted regarding the Fuerst Farm Property. Over 616 city citizens were invited to participate, with 80-110 participants shared inputs. He reported that three themes came out of the sessions
Director Auler added that McKenna and Associates is completing a report; it should be available soon and be published on the city’s website. That plan will be brought to City Council for consideration and review on April 7th. He encouraged the Commission to review the plan and attend that City Council meeting.
B. RECREATION SERVICES – Nancy Cowan, Superintendent of Recreation
Agreement with TIX, Inc. for the purpose of implementing a comprehensive theatre ticketing program, including internet sales
Superintendent Cowan followed up on last month’s meeting and reported that the online registration for leagues and programs continues to hover around 70%, which she reported allows the staff to focus on other things and provide great customer service. The Theatre Department would like to do the same thing with theatre ticketing and proposed that TIX, Inc. would do that. The Department is currently in the contract process and will go before City Council Monday, March 17th with a proposal for their consideration.
Commissioner Schwarzlose asked if the program would be similar to the online recreation registration.
Ms. Cowan replied the customer will get to it right from our website, entering through the same "Pick and Click" site. She added that the customer will actually get to choose their seats.
C. PARK OPERATIONS – Matt Wiktorowski, Superintendent of Parks
Brookfarm Park Pedestrian Bridge Update
Superintendent Wiktorowski reported that before making the temporary bridge repairs, he contacted the consulting firm to determine if any DEQ permits were required. He learned that the original structure was not permitted by the State of Michigan. The project will now have to go through the permitting process for the entire structure, which may require substantial modifications to the bridge. Mr. Wiktorowski reported that AEW is currently working with the city’s engineering department, hoping to be able to make some temporary repairs. After a hydraulic study is completed and permits are applied for, he hopes the project will move forward with permanent repairs.
Commissioner Dooley asked if the repairs would preclude teams from practicing there during the week.
Superintendent Wiktorowski replied that it would not; the structure will be roped off.
Commissioner Wingfield asked when the lighting changes would be completed at Power Park, adding that softball will begin in a month.
Superintendent Wiktorowski replied that the lights went through the planning stages, are in the hands of the consultant, will then go through the Building Department’s electrical division for review, and will be ready to go after that.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if they will be installed during the season or will they have to break during the season.
Superintendent Wiktorowski replied that the preliminary plan is to do the installation with the lights that are currently there, so the season will have no down time. The full transition will take place in July.
D. CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY – Tracie Ringle, Communications and Resource Development Supervisor
Comprehensive Recreation Guide
Ms. Ringle reported that the guide is scheduled to be in homes the first or second week in April. On preliminary inspection, it’s a quality product which includes design changes. A large portion of the guide will be devoted to the library, which will be a positive enhancement
Japanese Pottery Masters of Shigraki-yaki
Ms. Ringle reported that she worked in partnership with the Neighborhood and Business Relations Department to bring the program to Novi. The event went well, with approximately 120 people in attendance.
February Connecting Report & Summer Camp Brochure
Ms. Ringle reported that both publications were included in the packets. The Department is working to distribute the camp brochures to as many places as possible; she invited the Commissioners to do so as well.
Commissioner Zyczynski asked how people are getting the camp brochures.
Ms. Ringle replied that it is on the city website, was sent out to the email data base, community education put a link on their website, the Department is sending out many copies to the public schools, and staff is taking copies to various locations throughout the community.
MATTERS FOR COMMISSION DISCUSSION AND/OR ACTION:
Director Auler apologized for the late delivery of this month’s informational packets, explaining that he would include updates of the key projects the Department is focused on next month in the April packet.
AUDIENCE COMMENTS- None
Commissioner Dooley – said that he thinks the Commission should continue to be very proactive in the community, getting involved, and putting a name and face together with the Commission. He reminded the audience that there was one more weekend left for the Father Bingo production.
Student Commissioner Goyal – said that she was happy to see that changes are actually being done.
Commissioner Radcliffe – said that she’s glad to hear about the online ticketing program. She purchased tickets for Father Bingo and had to fax a form into the office. She thought it would be much more convenient for the customer.
Commissioner Zyczynski – said that she had tickets for Father Bingo for the following weekend and hoped the audience did too.
Commissioner Schwarzlose – thanked the Commission for their participation in the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned by Chairperson Schwarzlose at 7:50 PM.
Signed, Reagan Schwarzlose, Chairperson
Signed, Karen Zyczynski, Vice Chairperson