PARKS, RECREATION AND CULTURAL SERVICES COMMISSION
THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009 – 7:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER – COUNCIL CHAMBERS
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM with Commissioner Schwarzlose
ROLL CALL: Dooley (Present), Blair (Absent), Iszler (Absent)
Policicchio (Present), Schwarzlose (Present), Staab (Present), Wingfield
(Absent), Bharadwaj (Absent), Venigalla (Absent).
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
It was moved by Commissioner Policicchio and seconded by Commissioner
Staab to approve the agenda as written.
Voice Vote Unanimous
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
It was moved by Commissioner Policicchio and seconded by Commissioner
Dooley to approve the February 12, 2009 minutes as amended.
Voice Vote Unanimous
A. Proposed Signature Park Update
Director Auler stated that City Council authorized a line item to be
placed on the May 5th ballot to propose funding and development for
a portion of the Signature Park project. The City’s role is to
provide information so on the website is a power point presentation,
the feasibility study, the conceptual plan and frequently asked
questions and answers. He has been fielding e-mails and providing
responses. An informational video is being aired on SWOCC, Channel
13, which he, Mayor Landry and Sheryl Walsh taped to inform the
community about the project.
Commissioner Dooley asked if there is any way to track the number of
people who are watching the video on Channel 13.
Director Auler stated that he is not aware of a way to track that.
An informational piece was sent out by e-mail that went out to over
4,000 homes. There were 57 to 60 percent of those e-mails opened.
Commissioner Policicchio asked if a flier with national statistics
on the positive impact of parks and walkways could be made available
so residents could do their own cost benefit analysis of Signature
Park when deciding how to vote.
Director Auler stated that we have information out as relates to the
economic benefit of parks in the life of the community which was
published previously in the "Engage!". Oakland County has done
studies and there are numerous studies and information available on
the internet. It is something we have promoted generally but it is
not something we can use, as a department, specific to this project.
B. Update 2005 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) land
acquisition grant for the Village Wood Lake/Orchard Hills West
Director Auler stated that in 2005 there was an opportunity to
submit a grant application to acquire two parcels of property
located between Nine and Ten Mile Roads on the east and west side of
Meadowbrook Road. One of the parcels is 36 acres and the other is
approximately 15 acres taking the total to 51 acres. There was a
matching grant. The City’s match was in donated land value from the
property owners. We were successful in applying that grant. That
grant is supposed to be closed within a year but we have had many
project extensions for a variety of reasons. As of March 30th
of this year the City now owns both of those parcels. Thirty six of
those acres on the west side of Meadowbrook Road will be preserved
and we have obtained a conservation easement on that property. That
is an important piece of property in terms of quality of the wetland
and woodlands. The other side is now available for the public. We do
not have any improvements at the site yet but will be doing that
through the budgeting and planning process in the future. The next
step is to get all of the information together and submit it to the
State for reimbursement.
Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that he was on the Commission at the
time this started and he appreciates Director Auler’s diligence in
staying with this because it has taken a lot of effort for everyone
C. Update on Capital Investment Projects
1. Power Park Softball Complex
Director Auler stated that the concession stand has been
removed and the new building is currently under
construction. Until the snow we were two days ahead of
schedule but are currently one day behind schedule. The
target is to have it completed by May 29th. A
component of this is to also install a grinder pump. Two or
three weeks beyond May 29th we have some major
softball tournaments coming in.
2. Fuerst Park
This past City Council meeting we presented for
consideration of approval awarding the contract for the
development of the Fuerst Park. That was awarded and we are
now in the process of getting the contractual arrangements
worked out and the bonds in place. That project will be
completed by the middle to the end of July. It will include
all of the walkways originally designed in the concept as
well as landscaping, tree planting, fieldstone walls, the
amphitheater with the lighting system which goes with it,
and park benches. We have money set aside to do the signage
which will be part of a different package because the City
will be going out for a request on signage for that and
other City sites for a cost savings. We are in the process
of getting some information on estimated costs and quotes
for painting Township Hall.
D. Update on the Land Use Study for City-Owned property at South
Lake Drive and Old Novi Road (Landings Property)
Director Auler stated that the City has a venture team which was
created to undertake this process. Nancy Cowan is one of the
chairpersons for that.
Superintendent Cowan stated that currently a RFP (request for
proposal) has gone out already on our MITN (Michigan
Intergovernmental Trade Network) software. We held a pre-proposal
meeting last week for any of those interested in putting in a
proposal. The deadline for that project is next Tuesday. We will
take those proposals and work through a QBS process, then do an
interview process and select the consultant to lead that project. It
will then go through City Council as any RFP. We have a lot of
interest in that project and will be excited to see the proposals
that will be coming back next week. We are expecting to award the
project on May 4th and hopefully complete the project by
the end of the fiscal year, June 30th.
E. 2009/2010 Budget Work Sessions
Director Auler stated that he wanted to make the Commission aware of
City Council’s budget sessions. The first is April 20th
at 6:30pm and the second is April 25th at 9:00am.
Commissioner Staab asked if Director Auler has a presentation during
the Budget sessions or if the agendas have been finalized.
Director Auler stated that the agenda has not been finalized. In
previous years the City Manager has presented the budget. It is then
turned over to City Council for their deliberation and we are on
"stand by" to answer questions and provide information.
F. Correspondence regarding the Pope Play Structure
Director Auler stated that the City received an e-mail regarding the
Pope Memorial Play Structure requesting that it be sealed this
spring. We have plans to seal it this spring. We have $3,350
available to spend. It is going to cost about five to seven thousand
dollars if we contract that out. We have been actively seeking a
volunteer group who would undertake that project. It would probably
take 30 to 35 people a full day to seal all of the wood on the site.
As of today we may have secured that volunteer group. We are
targeting May 14th and he will let the Commission know
once it is finalized. Included in the packet is a memo we sent to
City Council regarding all of the repair work which has been
performed on the playground and the key findings of the study as
well as an article of another community who had one of these
playgrounds. The playground in the article had outlived its lifespan
and the committee raised money to replace it using recycled plastic
which lasts longer and has a lower maintenance cost. We are planning
to reseal it this spring.
G. ITC Community Sports Park Emergency Contact
Every year we seem to have an emergency situation at ITC
Community Sports Park because it gets a lot of usage from youth
sports programs. When an emergency arises everyone calls 911.
Because of the location of the park, when you call 911 there are a
variety of carriers which go to different cell towers which go to
different communities such as Novi, Northville, Washtenaw County or
Oakland County. Once they determine the location they transfer the
call to Novi. The way we have bypassed that so that it goes directly
to Novi dispatch is we publish the 248-348-0911 number. We share
this information with our coaches who share it with their team. We
have 14 different locations in the park with signage informing
people of this number.
Director Auler asked for any questions.
Commissioner Staab stated that in past minutes of November 13, 2008,
we had a balance of $8,000 for the Tim Pope Memorial play structure.
Now there is a balance of $3,300. What did we use the money for?
Director Auler stated that he can get a detailed expenditure list
from the warrant. It has primarily been used for all of the
maintenance work done on the site.
Commissioner Staab then asked if donations could be promoted through
the Parks Foundation so that people can get the proper tax break.
Director Auler stated that he thought so but the Foundation Board
would have to consider a proposal. When asked by Commissioner Staab,
Director Auler stated that he would support it.
Commissioner Staab stated that when they built the structure there
was a "picket" program. He asked if it would be worthwhile to
Director Auler asked how many spaces were left.
Commissioner Staab stated that all of the purchased pickets are up
and that he believes there is still space around the back perimeter.
He also stated that he would like to be kept in mind for the May 14
Director Auler stated that if it works out it will be lead by a
business in town as part of their "National Day of Caring". There
have just been initial discussions but no confirmation yet.
Commissioner Schwarzlose asked what tournaments we have coming to
Director Auler stated that we have a Junior Olympic tournament which
is a major Fast-pitch tournament for girls. There will be between 80
and 100 teams who will be here for four days. We are also hosting a
State tournament but he does not recall the Class level but more
than likely an E or D tournament based on the distance of our
fields. This will also bring people in for three or four days. There
will be between 30 and 50 teams. There are a variety of other
tournaments which we host annually and we have added some others.
The Junior Olympic and State tournaments are a direct result of the
improvements we have made to the complex
Director Auler stated that we have been working on the draft of
the Community Recreation Plan. He has provided a hard copy for each
of the Commission members. He asked Superintendent Cowan to provide
an overview for the process of the plan and stated that he would
then talk about the next steps and Commission input.
Superintendent Cowan stated that this is the five-year plan which is
required by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in
order to be able to apply for funding via grants. The plan is based
on certain requirements which the DNR establishes for each
department. We have added sections which the DNR does not
necessarily require but we felt were appropriate such as items on
pathways. We have also included information on how the City has
worked with Oakland County on green infrastructure and other
projects. We have also included an extra natural resources
inventory. This draft is being presented to the Commission as well
as City Council for feedback. We will go through the established
process which the DNR has as far as holding public hearings and have
a public viewing time for the plan so the community can also give
feedback on the Plan. The target date is to have the Plan to the
MDNR by mid summer. This will allow us to apply for grants this fall
by the August 1st deadline for the next round of grants.
Director Auler stated that he wants to make the Commission aware
that there are two ways to do the five-year plan. They can be
outsourced with a consultant who would have a rate of between
$20,000 and $35,000. It can also be done in house which is what we
have elected to do. He wants to recognize Superintendent Cowan’s
work on the Plan. She has been the lead on pulling all of the
information together, contacting all of the departments and getting
information from them as well as writing the Plan. Many staff hours
go in to this at a significant savings for the City. The purpose of
the Plan is to look at capital improvement items and lay out a guide
for investment in the Park system in the future and then to be
eligible for grant money. It is different from a Strategic Plan
where you get into the operations of the department, your vision
statement, your mission statement, performance measures and how you
are going to align resources to accomplish those. This is more of a
guide for capital needs within the system, how we are going to
reinvest those, the challenges we might face, and how we are going
to position ourselves for grant money. Last time we combined the
two. We have a Strategic Plan in place and will be updating that
later this year. We will update the Community Recreation Plan which
will take us up through 2014 and we will be able to submit for grant
applications. The Commission just received the Plan tonight but he
would like for them to read it. He would like to have input from the
Commission in the form of having several members, who have an
interest and background in this, meet next week with Superintendent
Cowan for input on actions, strategies, changes or amendments. We
are also sending it to City Council and would like to have it back
in by the end of next week because we are on a tight time frame to
have it in place to be eligible for the next grant cycle. If we are
not ready for the next grant cycle that is alright because it is
important to get the Plan right. He feels they have put forward a
good document for the Commission’s consideration and feedback. After
the Plan goes through all of the before mentioned processes and is
adopted by City Council, it is sent to the State. Once the State
receives it and reviews it and they send us a letter saying it is
approved, we are then eligible to submit for State and Federal grand
funds. We have been very successful in the past five years with
grant dollars and hope to continue that in the future.
Commissioner Policicchio asked if after reviewing the Plan and if
not able to attend the meeting, comments could be made by e-mail to
Director Auler confirmed that would be good.
Commissioner Staab stated that he would be willing to meet and
A. Walkable Novi – Commissioner Policicchio
Commissioner Policicchio stated that the meeting scheduled for this
evening is being rescheduled so there is no report.
B. Novi Park Foundation – Commissioners Dooley & Staab
Commissioner Staab stated that they want to start promoting the Golf
Outing which will be at the Links of Novi on August 6th.
The "save the date" cards went out. Angel Heard is the chairperson
and Derek Blair will also be working with her on this project. We
are actively looking for people who want to get involved in this
MATTERS FOR COMMISSION DISCUSSION AND/OR ACTION: None
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
Commissioner Policicchio: None
Commissioner Dooley stated that it is very important to have the 911
information displayed and given to Coaches and parents. Thank you for the
signs and information.
Commissioner Staab stated that he appreciates us being able to get out to
the Tim Pope Memorial play structure to strip, seal and maintain it. He
looks forward to working on the Community Recreation Plan since it is our
key to grants and additional funding. He also stated that August 6th
is the Park Foundation Golf Outing and he will be very actively promoting
that because people are needed to help, sponsor and golf.
Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that he wished to thank Director Auler
and his staff for all of their time and effort working on the Community
Recreation Plan. Having been involved in the last one he realizes all of the
effort going in to putting it together. He appreciates also the fact that by
keeping it in house it saves money by not bringing in a consultant to do
something which we have capable staff to do. He also wants to state that a
few years back when the improvements to Power Park were being addressed it
was a big step and the immediate impact is that we are getting tournaments
coming in which have 80 to 100 teams participating. The dollars being spent
at the hotels and restaurants will have a huge financial impact on the
community. It takes that kind of foresight and commitment to bring this
positive economic impact to the community. Your staff has proven time and
time again that with all of the events going on they get a handle on it and
they do it to perfection. This has an impact on the bottom line of this
community and the business owners who operate here.
It was moved by Commissioner Staab and seconded by Commissioner
Voice Vote Unanimous
The meeting was adjourned by Commissioner Schwarzlose at 8:09 PM.
DATE APPROVED: June 11, 2009.
Reagan Schwarzlose, Chairperson
Jay Dooley, Vice Chairperson