PARKS, RECREATION & CULTURAL SERVICES
Thursday, November 17, 2011 – 7:00 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER – COUNCIL CHAMBERS
The meeting was called to order at 7:06 pm with Commissioner Dooley presiding.
ROLL CALL: Dooley (Present), Jewell (Absent-Excused), Policicchio (Present), Staab (Present), Tecklenburg (Present), Torimoto (Absent-Excused), Wingfield (Present), Kerbrat (Absent), Kodali (Present).
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
It was moved by Commissioner Staab and seconded by Commissioner Wingfield to approve the agenda as written.
Voice Vote Unanimous
PRESENTATION: Landings Park design presentation by architectural firm Hamilton-Anderson.
Commissioner Dooley introduced Lori Singleton from Hamilton-Anderson.
Ms. Singleton stated that we are in the first step of the process to develop plans for Landings Park for the first phase of implementation. What will be discussed and shared is a conceptual master plan for the park, building off of what was developed previously. A first phase project will be pulled from this plan. They will show not just the first phase but the ultimate build out of the park. If the overall intent is approved we will take the components we think should be developed as the first phase and make a recommendation to meet the current budget that is allocated for park construction.
The goals for the park are to introduce new elements to make it more active, provide clear access to the water and enhance the lake shore theme, blend with the neighborhood, provide an attraction for the region and local community and provide historic reference.
They did research looking back at the heritage of the park and the development over time to understand what had been there. Before the current settlement and development were the Native American Potawatomie communities. After development there was a casino with bands and dancing and also a Fair Grounds with a rollercoaster and rides. Currently it is clear and open and ready for its future.
Access to the waterfront is the primary opportunity here. We also want to provide informal picnic event spaces with potential opportunity for rental. The multimodal trail there is well used and should be enhanced and incorporated. There is a potential for fishing access and a pier, which extends past the banks, play areas and parking needs to be considered with higher use and demand opportunities. There could also be a small boat launch for canoes and kayaks. Shoreline restoration and habitat creation and wildlife water viewing can all be compatible within a site like this.
The water’s edge and making it as wonderful an amenity as it can be is a great opportunity. Key view point areas where a glimpse of an attraction or focal point would be at the intersection of Old Novi Road and Thirteen Mile and also coming from Thirteen Mile Road. Parking would need to be located where there is minimal impact to adjacent residences. The water is fairly shallow quite a ways out or about five feet deep for a couple of hundred feet. As a fishing opportunity this is more of a place for young people to learn how to cast and some introduction to fishing.
This is the plan prior to their inclusion on the project. This is representative of the Phase One component. The original Phase One plan included improvement of the waterfront edge, a small pier that goes out in to the water, a major pathway that links components of the site, tree planting and a few parking spaces. The plan they have developed is similar in terms of the character and flavor but with modifications. One of the things they feel is most important is to create a very dynamic edge at the waterfront and to allow the water environment to come in to the site and for the park environment to reach out toward the water. The primary space is coming off of Old Novi Road with a grand lawn that reaches out toward the lake in a really clear and formal way. This could be used informally by groups or stage a large event. There could potentially be a pavilion overlooking the water where amphitheater type activities could be set up. At the end of the great lawn are more formal steps down to the water. Along the water’s edge are a few smaller spaces. They are showing a potential of twenty parking spaces on each side of the park which are more than proposed before. She pointed out two areas for potential play areas and an area for a potential splash pad close to the water that could be developed in the future and possibly a small bath house or restroom facility could be anchored to that.
As you approach from Old Novi Road there is a small entry plaza that signals you are in a special place.
The water’s edge can be developed with a natural edge on either side of the great lawn so all along the edges can be naturalized and stabilized. Right now there is erosion. This can be enhanced with natural plantings.
She showed pictures of what different areas might look like.
Play equipment has a lot of change going on in the industry and she gave examples of some of these.
Commissioner Tecklenburg asked how much shoreline is there at the park and what the breakout would be on natural versus built.
Ms. Singleton stated there are about 750 or 800 lineal feet and the break out would be two thirds natural to one third built.
Commissioner Tecklenburg asked if there would be lighting for evening usage.
Ms. Singleton stated she thought that would be something we would want to incorporate. The Phase One project will not have a lot of that incorporated in to it but the infrastructure can be developed.
Commissioner Wingfield stated he is concerned that the number of parking spaces may not be adequate for heavy usage on a weekend.
Ms. Singleton stated that what they are showing now is about forty parking spaces. This is a good time to assess what kind of usage may be happening in the park. If there are going to be things like "Concerts in the Park," it might be a good idea to reinforce some of the turf for larger temporary parking areas. She feels that the forty spaces will accommodate the day to day use of the park.
Commissioner Wingfield stated if there was a big event people could park at Lakeshore Park and walk down if needed.
Commissioner Staab asked if there was any beach on that property or thought of a beach.
Ms. Singleton stated that there is not right now and it is not anything they were hearing needed to be incorporated. In historic pictures she saw where they had put play equipment out in the water.
Commissioner Staab asked what the price tag is for the phases.
Director Mangum stated that the first phase project cost was between six hundred thousand and seven hundred thousand dollars. That gives us the site plan, some of the grading, a few of the elements talked about and the walkways. The other elements would need to be budgeted in future years.
Commissioner Staab asked if that was basically site development and parking.
Director Mangum stated that there were also several other elements included such as shoreline stabilization, a historical marker, landscaping and trees, the major walkways and the pier.
Commissioner Staab stated that he had just gotten out of a Walkable Novi meeting and there are many pathways in that area so it could be good access for bicycles and walking. He is glad that we are doing this with the property.
Commissioner Policicchio stated that he would suggest what is done there is integrated with what is already in the area so we are not spending money duplicating things we already have or could have. Since there is a lot of biking and walking through and around the Landings, consideration should be given to seating, bike racks and possibly a drinking fountain. Making it a passive park will not duplicate what we have at Lakeshore Park and it will minimize the future maintenance cost. This park may be a good place for many people to start their bike ride or walk.
Ms. Singleton stated they saw things much the same way.
Commissioner Dooley complemented the concept plan. He stated that he likes the historical reference and does not want to lose sight of what was there in the past. He stated that because of the shallow water there is potential for algae and weeds and would like to see it very clean but does not want to minimize attracting wildlife. He asked if there had been any thought to providing wireless at the park for social media.
Ms. Singleton replied that would be possible but should be investigated and is worth planning for.
Student Representative Kodali stated that he thinks the wireless is a good idea and he also likes the steps at the water’s edge. He thinks people his age may go there to do their homework.
A citizen stated that he liked the idea of the steps because it gives people the opportunity to get close to the water without actually getting into the water or put their feet in the water if they want. He is not sure about the two thirds and one third in regard to the environmental aspect. We have many areas in the City where we have wildlife. The benefit of this area is the access to the water and if you cut two thirds of the access it will limit the opportunity to get into the water. Shawood Lake is close and has a lot of wildlife. He would rather have access to the water. He has seen areas that even have picnic tables in the water. He agrees that there should not be any active playgrounds there. He feels it would take up less space to have diagonal parking off of the existing roads. He feels that if you are going to bring children there, there need to be restrooms.
Vonna and Andrea stepped up to speak. Vonna stated that the park is a good idea and they think that there should be beaches. Vonna also thinks there should be a playground because it is a place where she could take her little sister on the weekend and picnic and a good place to go with friends after school and do homework. Andrea stated that Wi-Fi is a good idea.
Commissioner Dooley asked them if they thought the park should be more passive or active.
Andrea replied that it should be more passive and relaxed.
Adam stated that he likes the idea that it is not a place you would go to do just one activity because there is a variety. He stated that he is a skateboarder. Since the modern skate park was shut down at Fountain Walk it leaves skateboarders with nowhere to go. He thought a small area for skateboarders could be added there.
Commissioner Dooley asked him if he envisioned the park as being more passive or active.
Adam replied a more active park because people will go there as a destination. With Lakeshore being close it gives more options. He mountain bikes at Lakeshore Park. This would be a park to relax and do other activities.
Commissioner Dooley thanked the citizens for their thoughts.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
A. Approval of the September 8, 2011 minutes.
It was moved by Commissioner Tecklenburg and seconded by Commissioner Wingfield.
Voice Vote Unanimous
A. Walkable Novi - Commissioners Policicchio & Torimoto
Commissioner Policicchio stated that the Committee did not have a quorum but they did review the pathway and sidewalk prioritization and analysis. The complete document is online. There was recognition of the award that the non-motorized plan was received. The next meeting is in January.
B. Novi Parks Foundation - Commissioners Staab and Dooley
Commissioner Staab stated that the Foundation is meeting tonight for the first time since September. The net proceeds from the Golf Outing were around fourteen thousand dollars. They are proceeding with the Executive Director position. He and Commissioner Balconi are working on the interviews. They are also working on naming rights.
A. Administration Division-Director Jason Mangum
1. Parks/Programs Update – Director Mangum
a. National Recreation & Park Association Congress
Director Mangum attended this meeting earlier this month in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended many education sessions and earn CEUs to help keep certification. He also talked to playground companies and software companies. Tony Hawk, a professional skater, was the keynote speaker. He talked about his experience, skate parks and how skateboarding has evolved and the perception of skateboarding. Director Mangum talked about some of the classes he attended.
b. Meadowbrook Commons 10th Anniversary
Director Mangum stated that the Anniversary was held in September. There were 152 participants. The Mayor and many of the members of City Council were there.
c. Sports Leagues Update
Director Mangum stated that Adult Softball is over for the season. Youth Soccer is also over. We had 376 in our house league and 196 in our travel league. Youth Flag Football is growing. We had 80 participants. Youth Basketball is currently underway with 270 participants on 34 teams.
d. CAPRA (Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies) Update
Director Mangum stated that they are starting to meet bimonthly on CAPRA. Every staff member has been assigned one of the chapters or topics that have several standards within that chapter. The staff assignment is included in the packet.
e. Baseline Marker Dedication
Director Mangum stated that the dedication was in September and the artist, David Barr, attended. There were several members from the community and Historical Commission who were the driving force. The marker is in ITC Community Sports Park.
f. Health Fair
The Health Fair was sponsored by the Senior Center. It was held in the Civic Center. Ninety-seven flu shots were given that day. And Twenty-nine pints of blood were collected.
2. Current Events – Director Mangum
a. LUTN (Light Up The Night)
Director Mangum stated that this event will occur on Friday, December 2, at the Civic Center. It was formerly Ringing in the Holidays. It takes up the whole City campus. Director Mangum listed some of the activities.
b. Youth Basketball
Director Mangum stated that basketball is now going on and is successful. He stated that Commissioner Torimoto had e-mailed and stated that he is happy with the new game venue and that the majority of the feedback we are getting is very positive.
c. Aladdin, Jr. / Hansel & Gretel
Director Mangum stated that one play is wrapping up and the other is getting ready to start. Aladdin, Jr. just finished this past weekend. There was a smaller than usual audience the first weekend but then the word got out and the last performance of the following weekend was sold out. Hansel & Gretel is December 9th, 10th and 11th here at the Novi Civic Center and is a youth production as well.
Commissioner Dooley spoke for Commissioner Torimoto about the good things that are happening with Youth Basketball with the new venue, Theresa McClure and staff.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if the Michigan Jaguars, which used to be called the Novi Jaguars, are still utilizing our facilities as much.
Director Mangum stated that they are still based in Novi and are still one of the primary users of our soccer complex. They host their big tournament here in Novi. Our travel teams actually participate in the same league.
Matt Ostermeyer stated that the Jaguars are still based in Novi. They have branched out and playing in more places but that is because they have grown. We collected a little more in fees from them this year for field use due to more games.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if basketball practices and games are at the new site.
Matt Ostermeyer replied that just the games are at the new site and that practices during the week are still held at the schools. The games are played between 8:30am and 1:30pm on Saturday which is working out well for the families. He stated that we are also hoping to get volleyball games played there as well.
Commissioner Tecklenburg asked if the soccer numbers were on the upswing or stable.
Matt Ostermeyer stated that is stable with a little upswing in the house league.
Commissioner Tecklenburg asked when we are holding Flag Football.
Matt Ostermeyer replied that we will put more marketing in to it but we were up a few participants this year. It may be a Sunday afternoon league next year so kids can play both soccer and flag football. These games are held on the baseball outfields at ITC Community Sports Park. He stated that the Bobcats Football practice at Wildlife Woods Park.
Commissioner Wingfield asked Matt Ostermeyer about Adult Softball.
Matt Ostermeyer explained about the decision to keep the leagues as they are so they can accommodate more teams. They did a survey of the managers.
Commissioner Staab asked Lauren Nowakowski about participation numbers in her programs.
Lauren Nowakowski stated currently the participation numbers are where we thought they would be. In the theatre participation depends on the show. The audition rate was higher for "Hansel & Gretel" but could accommodate for only 21 parts. The numbers for Choralaires are down a little from last year but could be due to the retirement of the director after 38 years. The Novi Concert Band numbers shift because it is a volunteer group but has been steady over the last three years at about 70 members. The Choralaires and Novi Concert Band both have holiday concerts.
MATTERS FOR COMMISSION DISCUSSION AND/OR ACTION:
A. Tim Pope Playground
Director Mangum stated that the Tim Pope Playground has been a matter of discussion over the past few years. It is an impressive but older playground. The standards have changed on playground design and safety. There are some things on the playground that need to be adjusted or are out of standard. It has been on the capital improvement list for the past several years to be up for replacement this next fiscal year. He did research on the playground, Tim Pope and why this type of playground was chosen to honor him. The playground was scheduled to be replaced by a standard post and deck system. He spoke with Commissioner Staab who was instrumental in building the Tim Pope playground. He met with one of the playground companies in the area and they offer something similar to what he passed out. Director Mangum went over the playground options in the packet. He feels that if we do go forward and replace this play structure it needs to be done with the people who were instrumental in building the playground in the first place. He has been in contact with Sarah Pope, Tim Pope’s widow, and he will meet with her to see how she would like to see things move forward.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if the play structure would be taken down and the new one put in the same place.
Director Mangum stated that is correct and they would leave the fencing around it because of the donation pickets.
Commissioner Wingfield asked about the safety of the wood.
Director Mangum stated when the playground assessment study was done by an outside consultant they found that the arsenic levels were so low that a considerable amount would have to be ingested to cause problems. We want to replace it to have something as safe as we can.
Commissioner Wingfield stated there is a three hundred thousand dollar estimate and asked if a structure like the one presented is in that price range.
Director Mangum confirmed this.
Commissioner Tecklenburg asked how long it would take to come in and put up a structure like page three of the concept.
Director Mangum compared community build to manufacturer build.
Commissioner Policicchio asked if the three hundred thousand dollars included the demolition.
Director Mangum replied that it did not.
Student Representative Kodali stated he likes the tire swings in playgrounds.
Director Mangum stated that many of the elements are ADA accessible and that is very important and a huge plus.
Commissioner Staab stated that Brighton’s problem was in the wood chips and treatments. He asked if there were any playgrounds like the concepts presented built in the area.
Director Mangum stated that there are not. There may be one with the arches built somewhere between here and Lansing.
Commissioner Staab talked about the original construction of the Tim Pope Memorial Play structure and his experience and feelings about it.
B. CIP Plan (Capital Improvement Projects)
Director Mangum went over the items that have moved up on the Capital Improvement Projects list including three play structures, Greenway development phase one (the ITC corridor trail from ITC Community Sports Park to Ten Mile Road), Landings Park phase two and Village Oaks/Orchard Hills park development (on either side of Meadowbrook Road).
In the fiscal year 2013/2014 there is ITC Community Sports Park Play Structure replacement (second play structure), Power Park Play Structure replacement, ITC Community Sports Park pathway resurfacing, Greenway development phase two, Lakeshore Park asphalt parking lot and drive, Landings Park phase three.
Fiscal year 2014/2015 includes ITC Community Sports Park engineering design services for lighting and artificial turf, Greenway development phase three and ITC Community Sports Park paved asphalt and parking lot.
Fiscal year 2015/2016 includes the implementation of artificial turf or field lighting on some of the fields at ITC Community Sports Park.
Commissioner Policicchio asked if the Greenway development for the ITC corridor accesses other money beside Novi funds.
Director Mangum stated that what is presented is what it would cost. If there were opportunities for other monies through grants we would access as much as possible.
Commissioner Policicchio stated he thinks the Greenway development is in conjunction with a master regional plan. He then asked if the Power Park asphalt pathway and access road have already been budgeted or repaired.
Director Mangum stated that the entryway in to Power Park and the parking lot is in this year’s capital plan and will be done in the spring. The pathway behind the woods has not been approved but is in the non-motorized master plan.
Commissioner Wingfield asked what the timeframe is for the CIP 2012/2013.
Director Mangum stated that there is not a way to get all of our projects funded so that is when we look at our priorities. It will be finalized at the time of the budget. We will not know how much money we have available until we get closer to the end of the fiscal year. We need to decide what we need and our priorities.
Commissioner Tecklenburg asked what was in the budget for 2011/2012.
Director Mangum stated that one of the projects was the Power Park parking lot and road. Others were fencing repair at ITC Community Sports Park baseball field and irrigation repair including the pump house. Landings Park was also included. The amount for these is around eight hundred thousand dollars.
Commissioner Tecklenburg asked how we are breaking up the upcoming projects by year when we prioritize. He asked if it was by dollars.
Director Mangum stated it was by dollars and priority of immediate need. This can change if something like a safety issue has to be addressed. This is a guide.
Commissioner Policicchio asked Director Mangum to describe the process for the CIP and if any of the projects fit in to some larger plan.
Director Mangum stated that the Commission gives recommendations, the department will finalize those and will be put in with the general budget. The recommendations are taken to City Council who asks questions about the proposals. City Council ultimately approves the budget for the fiscal year.
He also stated that the Greenway project fits in to the non-motorized master plan. Some of the items may also have potential for other funding sources. We do not have a Parks and Recreation Master Plan and it is something he would like to see happen. It is also one of the mandatory standards for the accreditation process.
Commissioner Wingfield stated that he thought we did have a plan.
Director Mangum stated that we do have a Community Recreation Plan but that deals more with recreation. We also have a Strategic Plan that deals with goals and objectives. These would be part of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. We also have an Older Adults Plan that goes through 2012/2013. We are in the process of doing the community survey to get the input.
Commissioner Staab asked if in December the department has to turn in the recommendation and will then go to two members of the Planning Commission and two members of City Council and they coordinate the master CIP and goes in to the budget process and each department supports their own projects.
Director Mangum stated that is correct.
Commissioner Staab suggested tabling this discussion for tonight and them as Commissioners go to their constituents and get feedback and be ready for the December Commission Meeting.
Director Mangum stated that he is pleased with the diversity of the interests and concerns of the Commissioners.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
Student Representative Kodali stated that he liked the idea for Landings Park.
Commissioner Tecklenburg stated that he would encourage everyone to come and enjoy "Light Up the Night". He attended last year. He stated that he enjoyed Director Mangum’s report on the National Recreation & Park Association Congress and was glad he had that opportunity. He commended Director Mangum and the department on the scope and number of activities going on in different areas and the way they are successfully managed.
Commissioner Wingfield stated this was a great meeting. He asked if there will be an open meeting for the people who live within a half mile of Landings Park to give their feedback.
Director Mangum stated this has not happened yet. Goals and objectives of the park have been discussed and what was liked and disliked about the previous concept plan and things we would like to see integrated. It is our only major waterfront park so the connection to the water is important and should be themed around that. Three potential options came back to staff and engineering. What you saw was the result of that. The reason they presented here tonight was to get feedback from the Commission and will make changes based on what was said by the Commission and the audience. At the next Commission Meeting, or before, we will have a public hearing based on what was said here tonight. If there is something the Commissioners want to add he invited them to send him an e-mail. At the next Commission meeting we will have our public hearing. We will send out notices to all of the people who live in the area. They will have the opportunity to attend and submit their input. We will take that final plan in January or if there is a second meeting in December to City Council. City Council will have the opportunity to look at what we have come up with. We hope at that time we will get a recommendation of support for the design. Once City Council approves it they will break it up into phases and give us price estimates which will give us numbers to put in our CIP.
Commissioner Wingfield stated several of the Commissioners would like to go to the Michigan Parks and Recreation Convention in February. They will pay their own way.
Director Mangum stated it is a good idea and that this year the meeting is in Dearborn.
Commissioner Staab stated he agrees with what Commissioner Wingfield said and stated that the MRPA Conference is where he learned a lot about ADA and how to comply. He looks forward to finalizing the CIP. He wished everyone a "Happy Thanksgiving".
Commissioner Policicchio had no comments.
Commissioner Dooley stated he wanted to acknowledge the CERT volunteers who were part of the Fire Up Fest on September the 16th. They worked in tandem and conjunction with the Novi Athletic Booster’s Tastefest. It was a successful evening. On October the 8th was the free hotdog cookout. They cooked 1000 hotdogs for youth soccer and youth football at ITC Community Sports Park. Theresa McClure, Director Mangum and the Parks staff were very accommodating. He named many City dignitaries who attended. SWOCC televised the event. He invited everyone to come out to "Light Up the Night in Novi" on December 2nd and see who the "Spirit of Giving" award is. He wished everyone "Happy Thanksgiving".
A motion was made to adjourn by Commissioner Wingfield and seconded by Commissioner Tecklenburg.
Voice Vote Unanimous
The meeting was adjourned by Commissioner at 9:21pm.
DATE APPROVED: ___________________________________________________________
Jay Dooley, Chairperson
Paul Policicchio, Vice Chairperson