PARKS, RECREATION & CULTURAL SERVICES
Thursday, September 20, 2012 – 7:00 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER – COUNCIL CHAMBERS
The meeting was called to order at 7:09 pm with Commissioner Policicchio presiding. Commissioner Policicchio stated the meeting was late in starting because of the Walkable Novi Committee meeting.
ROLL CALL: Policicchio (Present),Ferrell (Present), Jewell (Absent), Staab (Present), Tecklenburg (Present), Torimoto (Present), Wingfield (Absent), Kodali (Present), Singh (Present).
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
It was moved by Commissioner Ferrell and seconded by Commissioner Staab to approve the agenda as written.
Voice Vote Unanimous
INTRODUCTION OF NEW RECREATION SUPERVISOR SHAUNA LEWALLEN
Superintendent of Recreation, Scott Pratt, introduced the new Recreation Supervisor, Shauna Lewallen. He stated she will run very successful child and adult sports programs.
Recreation Supervisor Lewallen stated she came here from Indiana University where she worked in Campus Recreation for nine years running the intermural sports program. It is one of the largest programs in the country. She moved here with her husband and two children and is living in Novi. She is excited about the programs she is working on now. We just kicked off our youth soccer and flag football. We have a new Women’s outdoor soccer program that just started this year and there are sixty-six women participating. We just had our Adult Tennis Banquet last night which wrapped up the Adult Tennis League. We are now gearing up for youth basketball and volleyball which is coming up in mid-October.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
A. Approval of the August 16, 2012 minutes.
It was moved by Commissioner Tecklenburg and seconded by Commissioner Ferrell to approve the minutes as written.
Voice Vote Unanimous
A. Walkable Novi - Commissioners Policicchio & Torimoto
Commissioner Torimoto stated on the agenda for this evenings meeting there were quite a few points in staff reports which were updates on the ongoing sidewalk improvement projects around the City with very positive news. The main topic of the matters for discussion was the costing for the walkway across I-96. There are two paths that were planned. One was using Meadowbrook going north and south and it is on its way. The other one was Taft Road but after a study it has been declared not feasible because of the railroad. Right now the proposal is to have Novi Road as the secondary north and south crossing over I-96. Today there was a discussion and opinions of all of the members gathered there. There were quite a few different opinions as far as how useful it will be. Meadowbrook is on the east side of town. The original plan was Taft which is a little more west but by moving it to Novi Road we really do need another west side north/south crossing in the long term. Funding as well as comparing the use to the funding was discussed.
B. Novi Parks Foundation - Commissioners Staab and Tecklenburg
Commissioner Staab stated he was not in attendance for the last meeting but he believes that the meeting was held at the Barr Property so the Foundation could see the facility and the enhancement to the park system. We are still negotiating and will hopefully finalize in the next few days with Tom Holzer Ford for naming rights. The next meeting is in October. At the last meeting David Landry was added as a new member to the Foundation.
A. Administration Division-Director Jason Mangum
Director Mangum thanked everyone for being there and welcomed the students in the audience who were learning about civics and citizen focused government.
1. Pavilion Shore Park
Director Mangum stated at the last City Council meeting, City Council approved the contract to construct Pavilion Shore Park, previously known as The Landings. When we went out to bid for that we included all of Phase One, all of Phase Two and some items from Phase Three. This includes parking lot construction on the east side of the park across East Lake Drive as well as irrigation which were not in the original plan. With the weather we have had we thought the irrigation was an important addition to make. City Council approved every scope item to be constructed. We do have a grant from Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for around four hundred and thirty-four thousand dollars but then they agreed to fund the rest of the scope items for that park. Mobilization will start in the next couple of weeks and construction soon after. We are excited about all of the hard work that has gone in to that from staff, the Commission, and the public input sessions. We think we will have an incredible finished product that will perfectly complement Lakeshore Park and will be an asset for not only those who live in the area but who travel to that park as well.
2. Barr Property
Director Mangum stated this was something that the Commission voted on to support the purchase of the David Barr property. David Barr is an artist who lives on the southwestern side of the City on Napier Road. There has been a proposal to purchase his property to use as a sculpture park and cultural arts center. It went before City Council, two Council meetings ago, and passed unanimously. We will begin working on programming for that property which we can use now and in the future.
3. Power Park & Ice Arena
Director Mangum stated there is a major parking lot reconstruction going on at the Ice Arena. We will have a similar project starting soon at Ella Mae Power Park on the back parking lot. We have some drainage improvements that are going to be made and then a full reconstruction of both of those parking lots which were badly needed. These are on the 2012/2013 Capital Improvement program.
4. Ice Arena improvements
Director Mangum stated, as you may have read in the paper or seen on Facebook, we now have some very high level ice skating. Igor Shpilband, an internationally renowned ice dancing coach, is now coaching at the Novi Ice Arena and has brought with him Olympic caliber and Olympic experienced ice skaters. As a result of this there are some improvements that have been made. There is a new sound system in one of the arenas as well as some improvements to locker room areas. Carpet has been replaced throughout the Ice Arena just recently. If you want to see some extremely high level ice dancing, he currently coaches eight couples. Many of them will be competing to go to the Olympics. Occasionally they do exhibitions and he encourages everyone to go. The exhibitions will be posted on the City website as well as on the Facebook page for Novi Parks and Recreation as well as the Novi Ice Arena.
5. Brookfarm Park – stream bank stabilization
Director Mangum stated you may have heard or seen or received calls from citizens regarding the Brookfarm Park stream bank stabilization process. It is one of the things that Engineering and the Department of Public Services has been working on to eliminate erosion and sediment build up along our streams and waterways in the City. Because the stream goes through Brookfarm Park they took the opportunity to design some stream bank stabilization. They will be widening the stream and as part of that some trees need to be removed along the stream. They will be replacing those trees as well as putting a path in along the stream that will provide a north – south connection that will connect to Ripple Creek Drive and, in addition, will connect to Village Oaks Elementary School. The children living in that neighborhood will be able to ride their bikes or walk down Ripple Creek Drive and take the path over to the school.
6. Capital Improvement Projects
Director Mangum stated it is that time of year to start talking about Capital Improvement programs. He included in the packet the Capital Improvement Program for 2012 through 2018. This is the actual budget document that can be found on the City of Novi website. The little calendar at the bottom of each one shows what year the project is being funded. The goal now is to put together our Capital Improvement Plan for next year and the upcoming years. At the next meeting we will be asking for recommendations for Capital Projects that we can fit into the plan. Some of these include playground replacements. Right now we are in the process of replacing two playgrounds. It also includes building trails, development of parks, parking lot resurfacing and paving. We definitely want to take the recommendations from the Commission and incorporate them into our Capital Improvement Plan. This can be done at the next meeting but if they have thoughts between now and then they can send him an e-mail.
Commissioner Tecklenburg asked what the timeframe is for the stream stabilization.
Director Mangum stated the actual project is not expected to take too long. It is a long process in the fact that we have many waterways we need to address but the part they are working on right now should be handled within a couple of weeks. Right now they are in the process of widening the stream. There should be a step in it for flood conditions. They will be able to take the soil from widening the stream bank and will be able to re-grade the field that is in the center of that park which is often used as a soccer practice field. The field does not currently have proper drainage so when it is re-graded it will have proper drainage for recreation purposes.
Commissioner Tecklenburg stated it will be a great improvement for that park. He asked if the path will be a bike path with a bridge.
Director Mangum stated the path will go from Ripple Creek Drive along the tree line south in the park and will connect to the bridge which goes to the school but it will also go along the length of the creek to Willowbrook Road. It will connect on two sides of the park. We will add some benches and it will be a great addition to the park.
Commissioner Torimoto asked if there was going to be a Public Open House at the Barr property.
Director Mangum stated there won’t be one yet because the purchase is not completed. After the purchase we will do limited engagements where people can register through the Parks and Recreation department for tours on the property to give people a chance to see what the property is all about and the art on the property. It will give us a chance to talk about how the City plans to use the property and why we feel it is a worthy addition to our Parks inventory but will also put it on a whole different plane when it comes to the support of the arts and cultural services in southeastern Michigan. You will see notices on that forthcoming.
Commissioner Policicchio asked if there is any potential for events either privately held or public events at the Barr property in the future.
Director Mangum stated one of the things in the programming plan is for that to be available. The contract that was approved allows the Barrs to stay there for a certain number of years. During that time we will be able to use the garden area and there is a studio room that is outside, detached from the home, and we will be able to use that for programming. We do have to make some improvements to make that a public space so it is accessible and has the proper facilities. In the future we will continue to utilize it to its full potential.
B. Recreation Division – Superintendent of Recreation Scott Pratt
1. Summer Program wrap ups
Superintendent Pratt stated we wrapped up our summer programs and one of our most successful was Camp Lakeshore. We run a camp at Lakeshore Park for six to twelve year olds. We were up in numbers this year so it is a growing program. Some of the field trips they went on were to the Capital Lawn, bowling at Lucky Strike, Henry Ford Greenfield Village, Kensington Water Park, toured the Detroit Lions and went to a Detroit Tiger’s game, Paradise Park, skating at Novi Ice Arena, Detroit Zoo, Red Oaks Waterpark and had an end of the summer cookout. They got to enjoy the lake every day. Greg Morris, our Recreation Supervisor, put on a well-organized and well run camp.
2. Theatre programs
Superintendent Pratt stated we just wrapped up our Senior Variety Show. This year the participants were involved in making hats and parts of their costumes beside just rehearsing and practicing. They enjoyed this so we will keep this component where they are more involved. The show was great and a lot of fun.
3. Sports programs
Superintendent Pratt stated Recreation Supervisor Lewallen has already talked about a majority of these. Because of the response to the Women’s Soccer League our next goal will be the adults.
Commissioner Staab asked what the numbers were for Camp Lakeshore.
Superintendent Pratt stated during the nine week period we had about two hundred and seventy children. We are going to be looking at our camps and make some changes. It was nice to see our numbers go up and continue to rise.
Commissioner Tecklenburg stated that Camp Lakeshore sounded like a lot of fun. He asked if we have a formalized feedback process after we run those types of programs.
Superintendent Pratt stated we run a whole program report. We send out survey monkey and they respond. Many of them want the camp to be longer. They would like us to start earlier and end later. We can accommodate a majority of their requests. Recreation Supervisor Morris has written down what he wants to change for next year and will add it to the program.
Commissioner Tecklenburg asked if most of the feedback was positive.
Superintendent Pratt replied that most of it was very positive.
MATTERS FOR COMMISSION DISCUSSION AND/OR ACTION:
A. Reappoint a Commissioner to Foundation to replaced Commissioner Tecklenburg
Commissioner Tecklenburg stated due to other commitments and availability he is not able to participate and bring the level of value he would like to the Foundation. He hopes there is a Commissioner who can do that.
Commissioner Policicchio asked Commissioner Staab, who is on the Foundation, if he had any recommendations.
Commissioner Staab stated it is an exciting time to be involved on the Foundation. As everyone is aware, Erika Pratt just joined us in July and is doing a marvelous job of getting the Foundation organized and focused on goals. He stated that he and Mrs. Pratt have been working on Naming Rights. It is also exciting with the Barr property purchase. They have also been wrapping up their main fund raiser, the Golf Outing. The Foundation has also been a major contributor for Pavilion Shore Park. The Foundation was established in 2004. It was generated by the Novi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Commission as another way to raise funds to keep our programs top notch and to go above and beyond.
Commissioner Policicchio asked if any of the Commissioners were interested in serving on the Novi Parks Foundation.
Commissioner Ferrell stated that she would be willing to step forward and help.
Commissioner Staab nominated Commissioner Ferrell to replace Commissioner Tecklenburg on the Novi Parks Foundation. The nomination was seconded by Commissioner Torimoto.
Voice Vote Unanimous
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
Commissioner Ferrell stated she would like to remind everyone about the Wellness Fair and Fall for Novi this Saturday.
Commissioner Staab stated that Novi Community Schools has Taste Fest tomorrow night and we will have the Fire Up Fest. On Saturday there is Fall for Novi and the Health Fair as well as the Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market has been a great asset to the community this summer. He stated Director Mangum has other activities that have been missed.
Director Mangum stated it is a busy weekend with Fire up Fest, Fall for Novi, a softball tournament, Farmer’s Market and a "Dive against Debris" at Walled Lake. A group of scuba divers are going to bring debris up from the bottom of the lake. We are very busy and every staff member will be working both Friday and Saturday. It is what we love to do and there is something for everyone to do this weekend.
Student Representative Singh had no comment.
Student Representative Kodali had no comment.
Commissioner Tecklenburg stated he hopes everyone takes the opportunity to experience some of the things Novi has to offer. He is happy to meet the new staff and it is exciting to see the expansion of programs. He welcomed the audience and was glad to see them present.
Commissioner Torimoto welcomed Recreation Supervisor Shauna Lewallen. He has been coaching girls’ soccer and it is going well. We have been fortunate to have good weather. The Commission will talk about the Capital Improvement projects next meeting and he thinks the parking at ITC Community Sports Park, especially with all we are doing, is a challenge. He stated it was great to see that the Adult Women’s soccer program is running successfully. He tried to encourage people for the Men’s soccer but it was not able to run.
Commissioner Policicchio thanked Commissioner Tecklenburg for serving on the Novi Parks Foundation and commented that he looked forward to Commissioner Ferrell’s reports as well as those of Commissioner Staab. He stated the Novi Parks Foundation raises funds and do a lot of work that enables the City to move forward on projects and explore new ideas that benefit the entire community. The programs prove to be highly successful here in the community and are well received. For those in the audience who are students, he hopes they understand the City operates with elected leadership serving on City Council and a very competent staff running the various departments but involve the community through a number of Commissions, such as this one, so that the citizens of Novi have direct input. The Commission is glad to have the students in the audience. It is a challenging time but projects keep moving forward and Novi keeps getting to be a better and better place to live. He thanked the citizens for the passage of the millage in difficult times that will enable the funding of more road improvements as well as pathways, bikeways and greenways. It shows that this City is not prepared to just tread water but to move forward.
A motion was made to adjourn by Commissioner Tecklenburg and seconded by Commissioner Ferrell.
Voice Vote Unanimous
The meeting was adjourned by Commissioner Policicchio at 7:46pm.
DATE APPROVED: ____________________________________________________