PARKS, RECREATION AND FORESTRY
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2008 – 7:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER – COUNCIL CHAMBERS
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM with Commissioner Dooley
ROLL CALL: Dooley (Present), Iszler (Present) Policicchio
(Present), Schwarzlose (Absent), Staab (Present), Wingfield (Absent),
Bharadwaj (Present), Venigalla (Present), Blair (Present).
WELCOME: New Commissioner Derek Blair
Commissioner Dooley welcomed Mr. Blair and invited him to tell about
Commissioner Blair stated that he is excited about helping the community.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
It was moved by Commissioner Dooley and seconded by Commissioner
Policicchio to approve the agenda.
Voice Vote Unanimous
AUDIENCE COMMENTS: None
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
It was moved by Commissioner Policicchio and seconded by Commissioner
Staab to approve the October 9, 2008 Commission meeting minutes.
Voice Vote Unanimous
A. Walkable Novi – Commissioners Policicchio & Iszler – Commissioner
Policicchio discusses the difficulty one would have getting from the north
of the freeway to the south of the freeway by foot or bike and also
accessing Grand River Avenue.
B. Park Foundation – Commissioner Dooley – Nothing at this time.
A. Communications & Resource Development Supervisor – Tracie Ringle
Fuerst Park Project Update
Tracie Ringle begins with an update on the Fuerst Park Project. At the
previous meeting the Commission heard public comments and then moved to
take the plan forward to City Council. The public comment was utilized in
the decision to remove the fire pit from the conceptual plan. The plan was
taken to the Council for a review of budget and phasing options for
elements within the park. At Monday’s City Council meeting, different
phasing options were presented that would allow the incorporation of more
elements that would create a more complete park. Council approved three
phases, Phase I, Phase IA, and Phase IB, which will be moved forward for
completion concurrently in July 2009. By moving forward concurrently with
these phases, some costs will be reduced. The elements completed in July
will be the amphitheatre, including its lighting and landscaping, Township
Hall, and Township Hall air conditioning and restrooms. The circle walk,
internal pathways, and their landscaping will also be included as well as
fieldstone walls and about 45 new trees added to the existing orchard.
Phase II and Phase III are future phases for the park and would include
the sculptures, additional wildflower plantings, and the incorporation of
different community groups in plantings that utilize the barn foundation.
Director Randy Auler adds that at Monday’s meeting, Council
appropriated an additional $305,000 toward the development of that
project, following up on a commitment they made at the time of the budget
discussion last year. Tracie Ringle would also like to add in regards to
Engage!, which was well received by the community, that the final details
are being worked out for the January through April 2009 addition.
Publications are anticipated to be received the week of December 8th
and registration for those programs will begin December 15th
and will also be able to be viewed online beginning December 1st.
B. Superintendant of Parks – Matt Wiktorowski
2008/2009 Capital Investment Project (CIP) Update
Matt Wiktorowski begins by drawing attention to the supplement that was
handed out in addition to the packets which outlines a couple of the
projects in particular, Power Park
Phase II Lighting Project and Power Park Phase III. He discusses the
Civic Center lighting and Police Department lighting projects that are
concurrently running. There will be 32 new structures throughout the
complex with marketing capabilities as they will have arms extending from
the pole base for the placement of banners and the ability to power
Christmas and other special event lighting. The supplement demonstrates
images of the two types of lighting structures that will be used. The
Police Station is anticipated to be completed on Monday. The poles for the
sport field lighting fixtures will be twelve feet deep and surrounded by
approximately 48 inches of concrete in circumference. There was also an
IDS consultant ensuring quality and proper coverage and placement. Several
photos of this project are also included in the supplement. November 26th
is the anticipated completion date for this project. Several distributors
have moved up their shipping dates in order to meet with the requirements
and Detroit Edison just received their easement paperwork for the
transformer and they have a six week lead time. This means that the poles
will be up and completed but will not be energized for approximately six
weeks. Power Park Phase III is the concession facility which is
anticipated to begin construction in December and be completed by May 1st.
The concept plans are given in one of the supplements. Concurrent to this
project will be the Grinder Lift Station, a $35,000 project to benefit the
facility and Orchard Ridge subdivision. The Facility Update at Lakeshore
Park is still in the process of researching shelter and maintenance
facility options so completion dates are regrettably unavailable at this
time. Another topic he wishes to discuss this evening is that, as Liaison
to the Beautification Commission, he wants to make the Commission aware
that the Beautification Commission was recently honored with a
Distinguished Service Award for the bio-swale that was implemented at
Rotary Park. This is the second year in a row that the Beautification
Commission has received such an award and he is very proud of them.
Commissioner Policicchio asks a question regarding if there are any
plans for benches or outdoor tables around the concession stand. Mr.
Wiktorowski states that outdoor tables were not incorporated into the plan
as their funds will come from the Park Maintenance funds and later. He
would like to elaborate that the overall thought process is to soften the
area with some trees and shrubs as well, specifically looking to move away
from the present urban hardscaping.
Commissioner Dooley adds that this seems to be an opportunity for local
businesses to take part in the naming rights. He would also like to
inquire if there are any banners currently planned for the new lighting
structures regarding the holiday season.
Mr. Wiktorowski states that work is currently being done in
collaboration with the marketing team members, specifically Tracie Ringle,
on some ideas that could be used.
Commissioner Dooley would also like to ask about the ability of the
sport field light poles to remain stationary in the event of severe
weather and also about the light spill and whether or not it will pose a
disturbance to neighborhoods.
Mr. Wiktorowski states that the movement of the poles is very unlikely
and also that the light spill will focus on the fields and stay that way,
which will be a vast improvement from the current lighting in the complex.
C. Superintendent of Recreation – Nancy Cowan
Upcoming Facility Reservation process
Superintendent Cowan would like to update the Commission on Policy
Process that she has been working on. There has been discussion before
about the class registration system that is used for all of our
registration processes. It also does have a facility module process that
they have been working to update and put into place. They have been
currently utilizing an Excel form type of system to reserve rooms in the
Civic Center, Meadowbrook Commons, and at the fields for all athletics.
This facility reservation process that they have will allow them to
computerize that system basically and she anticipates that that will be
completed and live by January 2nd. It will provide them with
tremendous benefits, linking the sports modules to the facility modules
and making it accessible to people in the office as well as individuals in
the field that take care of those items. It will also allow for different
tracking reports, including financial. It may not impact residents largely
but will definitely make a difference internally.
Kresge Foundation Grant Award
Superintendent Cowan also informs the Commission that the Kresge Arts
Foundation grant was secured by the Novi Theatres. It was applied for in
July and on October 20th we found out that Novi will be a
recipient of that grant for the next two years, July 2008-10. It is a
$24,000 grant, $12,000 each year and goes towards general operations of
theatre and is not earmarked for any specific area or program within the
The soccer and flag football program is pictured in the packet and had
a great fall season overall. The second annual Storybook Stroll was also
hosted at Lakeshore Park and even though it was a bit chilly, many people
still came and took part. Some upcoming events include the theatre
production of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" which will take
place December 12th through 14th. Ringing in the
Holidays will also take place December 5th and will be from
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Main and Market Street area. Additionally all
community groups are welcome to enter a float into the float contest as
Commissioner Dooley inquires as to whether Novi Parks will procure a
float this year.
Nancy Cowan informs him that they do intend to do so.
Commissioner Policicchio asks about what kind of reach out is being
done to the community and businesses regarding participation and floats.
Nancy Cowan states that it was included in the Engage! brochure, a
tri-fold pamphlet that was mailed directly to many restaurants and
neighborhood community groups that invited them to attend and participate.
Individuals from last year were also invited and the information is also
available on the website.
Tracie Ringle adds that they were also able to partner with the Chamber
of Commerce and the information was also included in one of their database
emails as well.
Commissioner Dooley inquires as to whether there is any kind of budget
for some type of entertainment such as singing, etc. that would be similar
to what was done last year.
Nancy Cowan states that there is a general budget for this program, in
which entertainment is included. Work is already taking place with some
community based groups to try to highlight some of our recreation programs
with our Youth Choir, which is new this year and will be singing from "The
Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", while the cast members will be out
doing some small scenes from their production. The Performing Arts Academy
will also attend and perform some dances, etc.
D. Director of Parks, Recreation & Forestry - Randy Auler
Director Auler notes the removal of all of the trees that were located
in the island areas and they have since been re-landscaped with new trees.
The reason for the removal was that the trees that were planted suffered
from girdling root and would have died eventually. The trees were removed
and the new landscaping was performed all by our staff. In response to
inquiry as to why taxes are being used for this project while in recessed
economic times, he states that the funds being used are not tax dollars.
The project was financed by the Tree Fund which is a non-tax source. He
would also like to update the Commission on the anticipation of having in
January a rough draft of a couple of sections of the Community Recreation
Plan for discussion and also an update on the Strategic Plan.
MATTERS FOR COMMISSION DISCUSSION AND/OR ACTION:
A. Approval of FY 2009/2010 Capital Investment Program recommendations
Randy Auler states as a refresher, staff is required to submit, from a
staff perspective, Capital Investment budget that outlines our Capital
needs of $25,000 or more for the next six years. Traditionally, this is
brought to the Commission for review and discussion. It is then asked that
the Commission approve a recommendation that goes along with staff
submittal. This will then go through the process over the next several
months at the administrative level and ultimately end up in a budget
document that is delivered to City Council in late March/late April.
Council will deliberate on the budget in April and will approve the budget
in April or early May. This is for the FY 2009/2010 and begins in July 1st,
2009 and ends June 30th, 2010. There are two items that the
staff will be recommending and will ask the Commission to recommend. These
are the ITC Sports Park Irrigation Pumphouse Renovation, which is
essentially upgrading the pumps and other electrical components associated
with that, and continuing with the renovation of park entryway signs. He
states that he does anticipate a potential reduction in revenue in regards
to the park millage rate, property tax, etc. He states that they have
happily received Council support in terms of recent Capital Investment
over the past several years and have been able to make significant
improvements for the community within the parks systems. He believes that
these two items are good requests for next year.
Commissioner Policicchio asked if there were any plans to put swings in
the Power Park play area or if that several years down the road. Some of
the parents in his subdivision who have children would like to see some
Director Auler stated that is something that can be evaluated as part
of the structure update at the time. The design for that structure would
have to be looked at because safety requirements associated with swing
sets have space requirements. The current play structure does not have a
lot of space available. But if other funds were made available it is
certainly something we could look at in the fiscal year with a donation or
Commissioner Policicchio asked if the price quoted for the Tim Pope
Memorial Play structure renovation is for the structure to be completely
removed and completely replaced.
Director Auler stated an assessment of the playstructure was done last
year and components of the playstructure have been taken out of operation
to try and extend its lifespan. At some time it will need to be replaced.
Commissioner Dooley asked for an explanation of a renovation.
Supervisor Wiktorowski stated that there are service requirements to
any mechanical system. The key component is energy efficiency with the
installation of a variable frequency drive. There are differences the
amount of water in the different zones in a complex. The variable
frequency drive would not only be energy saving but also save the
infrastructure of the system.
Commissioner Staab stated that he strongly supports the items for
2009/2010. He also stated there is $8,000 dollars sitting in a fund for
the Tim Pope Memorial Playstructure. This could be used to hydro wash and
seal the playstructure which is what Northville and Plymouth have done
over the past ten to fifteen years and their structures are beautiful. He
would encourage that it be maintained as best we can for the heritage and
emotion tied to the playstructure. He stated that and assessment was done
on the structure in the spring by an outside service and he requested a
copy of the assessment.
Director Auler stated that is what was going to be done at the meeting
that had been scheduled. While sealing appears to make playstructures look
better it doesn’t solve some of the critical issues. This will be
discussed when they meet.
A motion was made by Commissioner Staab and seconded by Commissioner
Iszler to approve the fiscal year 2009/2010 Capital Investment Program.
Voice Vote Unanimous
B. Annual election of Commission Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.
Commissioner Dooley recommended that Reagan Schwarzlose continue his
role as Chairperson.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dooley and seconded by Commissioner
Policicchio that Commissioner Schwarzlose remain the Chairperson of the
Novi Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission.
Voice Vote Unanimous
A motion was made by Commissioner Policicchio and seconded by
Commissioner Iszler that Commissioner Dooley continues serving as
Voice Vote Unanimous
AUDIENCE COMMENTS: None
Student Commissioner Bharadwaj: No comments.
Student Commissioner Venigalla: No comments.
Commissioner Blair: This is his first meeting and he thought about
how the Commission connects to the community. All of the things being done
with the greenways and the sidewalks, and Engage! show how they connect in
physical sense as well as with activities and ideas.
Commissioner Iszler: She wanted to comment that it was good to see an
update on Fuerst Park and that there are more Phases to be implemented at
the beginning which will make a bigger impact over all. She was happy to see
the softening of the concession area to keep it from getting so hot with a
break in the paving. She was pleased with the Grant for the Theatre to
improve the program.
Commissioner Staab: He also was pleased about the Grant for the
Theatre. He verified that Lauren Sorrentino is the current contact person
for the Theatre and asked what the long term strategy is for the Theatre.
Nancy Cowan stated that as a part of the team process took a look at
Theatre by doing some focus groups and analyzing information. They are
currently working on a report and plan based on recommendations and input
from the community. Within the next two weeks they will be developing a
He also wanted to remind the public of "Ringing in the Holidays" on
December 5th, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" production
on December 12th through 14th, and also the Chorlaires
concerts on December 5th, 6th and 7th.
Commissioner Policicchio: He commended Matt Wiktorowski for not only
for the necessary improvements to our facilities but also for considering
the impact on the community especially since he lives in the subdivision
behind Power Park. For Nancy Cowan and Tracie Ringle he states that the idea
that we continue to have programs that build community spirit is a testament
to why Parks and Recreation are needed in communities. To Director Auler he
states that in these times, the fact that Fuerst Park is going to come to
fruition at a critical time in 2009 is going to show the residents that the
taxes they pay are being used for their benefit. This is a first of its kind
park in Novi.
Commissioner Dooley: He stated that Parks, Recreation and Forestry is
a top notch team. Everyone contributes and this was never more evident than
at the Parks Foundation Gala which was held last Saturday night at Rock
Financial Showplace. There were more than one hundred people who came. There
was so much support for Novi Parks and a great opportunity to network with
not only business leaders but citizens who believe in our mission. We are a
unique community, especially in Oakland County because there are so many
people who want to contribute to our mission and what we value. He thanked
Director Auler and his team.
The meeting was adjourned by Commissioner Dooley at 8:34 PM.
DATE APPROVED: December 11, 2008.
Reagan Schwarzlose, Chairperson
Jay Dooley, Vice Chairperson