|View Agenda for this meeting
NOVI PARKS, RECREATION & FORESTRY
The meeting was called to order at 7:32 pm with Commissioner Paul presiding.
ROLL CALL: Commissioner Enright (Present), Kerbrat (Absent-Excused),
Kopeika (Present), Paul (Present), Place (Present),
Staab (Present), Staudt (Present)
ALSO PRESENT: Randy Auler, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry
Jack Lewis, Deputy Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry
Wendy DuVall-Angelocci, Program Director of Parks Recreation and Forestry
Steve Printz, City Forester
Derek Smith, Program Director of Parks Recreation and Forestry
Bob Laux, Vice President of Novi Jaguars Soccer Association
Mike Stratton, President of Novi Jaguars Soccer Association
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
It was moved and seconded that the agenda for the meeting be approved as written (Staab, Kopeika C-UN)
1. Park Development Committee
a. Community Sports Park Project – Phase 1
Commissioner Place stated that on March 4th, she, Commissioner Paul and Commissioner Enright met with Director Auler and Terry Croad from McKenna and Associates to go over the plan for the three phases of Community Sports Park. $75,000 is available with $50,000 going to field development and $25,000 for a shelter. It was determined at the meeting that the $25,000 earmarked for the shelter should go to the ball fields at this time. There is also $25,000 for ADA improvements, bike paths and walkways. The Committee recommends that the decisions made at the meeting be approved and forwarded to City Council. The ideal would be to improve two (2) ball fields but there may only be funding for one (1). Improvements include re-grading, irrigation, sodding and seeding, and dugouts. The dugouts would be limited to one (1) field at this time. Commissioner Enright noted that the field to be improved has not yet been determined. They felt getting one field completely done is a good way to show the community what can be done. It would be a "showcase" field.
Commissioner Paul added that in addition to asking City Council to approve the funding it would give them a vision of the over all project.
2. Strategic Planning Committee
a. Strategic Master Plan
Commissioner Kopeika stated that he and Commissioner Staab met with Director Auler on March 6th. Due to a scheduling conflict, Commissioner Staudt met with Director Auler earlier that day. The plan was reviewed and the Commissioners agreed to the timetable that commits to achieving State of Michigan approval by September 2003. At the meeting, Director Auler reviewed the outline of the strategic plan. A draft of the plan will be out to the Commission next week for review. Commissioner Staudt asked if Director Auler would arrange a joint session with City Council. Director Auler replied that is something that would be requested of City Council by the Commission. City Council would take it up as a Mayor/Council action and should be scheduled for late May to early June. They are also scheduling a joint meeting with the Planning Commission. Commissioner Paul thanked Commissioners Staudt, Staab, Kopeika and Director Auler for working on this because he believes that this is the most important thing for us to get done and is critical.
b. Next meeting date/time
The next committee meeting is Thursday, March 20th.
3. Resource Development Committee
a. Park Development Fund / Park Foundation
Thursday, March 6th, Commissioners Kopeika, Kerbrat, Staab and Director Auler met and went through the grants for non-profits. Director Auler also shared his previous experience with non-profit 501C Program and what the magnitude of this program could be to the community and us. The next meeting is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, March 20th. At this meeting they will discuss a "Friends of the Park" program as verses a Foundation. Commissioner Kopeika is not officially on this committee but did sit in on it. Commissioner Paul asks if we have a good idea of what it would take to set up a Foundation (minimum dollars, the process). Commissioner Staab stated that he felt Commissioner Staudt and Director Auler would due to their experience in the past. Commissioner Paul asked them what their recommendation would be to educate the rest of the Commission in this area. Commissioner Staudt stated that he is a strong supporter of creating a Park Foundation because it has been his experience in the past to find willing parties to facilitate the legal aspects of a Foundation. He feels there a probably many local attorneys who would be willing to work with us to take on the legal responsibilities. He feels we have more than enough support in this community to fund the initial effort of a Foundation. Director Auler stated that like Commissioner Staudt he has never set up a Foundation in Michigan but that it usually takes five (5) to six (6) months to set one up. Bylaws and a Board of Directors must first be set up as well as the legal work and being approved by the IRS. The amount of money you must initially have to go in to the Foundation to start varies by state. Commissioner Staudt asked Director Auler to look in to the possibility of Commission members serving on the Parks Foundation and what the ethics responsibilities would be for the City of Novi.
1. Novi Jaguars Soccer Association – Partnership with Novi Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department
Bob Laux, Vice President of the Novi Jaguars Association stated that to building a successful tournament depends on long-term relationship with Novi Parks, Recreation, and Forestry. They hosted a tournament over Mother’s Day weekend last year and will do so again this year. Last year they hosted 88 teams and this year hope for more.
Mike Stratton stated that there are 26 teams in the club with an average of 15 players on a team. They have U-8 through U-18 teams so the age of players ranges from 7 to 17. Most have come through the Parks and Recreation Program. They are mandated that over fifty percent (50%) of the club must be Novi residents. They are working with Parks and Recreation by bringing in some of the Jaguar coaches to run clinics for the Parks and Recreation coaches, run camps for the children. They have started a Junior Jaguars Program for children 6 and 7 for over the winter so they can learn more about the club. The Jaguars first tournament was last year and was very successful. All of the parents were required to volunteer and this is one of the things that made the tournament as successful as it was. They had sponsorships from over fifty (50) businesses in the community. This year’s tournament will be May 9th, 10th and 11th. There will probably be between 100 to 124 teams coming from in-state as well as Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Ohio. This tournament will boost the local economy with hotel stays, meals at local restaurants, and shopping. What the Jaguars need from the City are the fixed soccer fields and also three of the baseball fields that will be converted to 8v8 fields for the U-9 and U-10. They will also need the use of the concession stands. Part of the Jaguar’s agreement with the City is a $20 per game rental fee for the fields. For every team registered in the tournament the City will get $20 of the registration fee to be put in escrow to use for field maintenance, etc. Parks and Recreation will also receive a full-page ad in the tournament program. The Jaguars will not schedule games the week of the tournament, will cut back on practices and will not play games or hold practices for five (5) days after the tournament to reduce the stress on the fields. They expect over 7,500 to come for the tournament if there are 120 teams.
Commissioner Kopeika asked if the Jaguars would run the concessions and the profits would go to the Jaguars. This was confirmed. Commissioner Enright asked if the baseball side concession would also be used. It will not. Last year it was used for extra storage. It was also explained that the Jaguars bring in all of the concession items that they sell. They would no be using those of Parks and Recreation. Commissioner Enright asked how many teams Community Sports Park could support and that she understands they are using other fields. Mr. Stratton stated that this year they are also using three (3) fields at Schoolcraft College for the older teams. Commissioner Enright asked if all of the volunteers are parents and family members of the Jaguar team members. Mr. Stratton confirmed that they are parents of club members. Commissioner Enright asked about the ages for the 8v8 fields. Mr. Stratton stated that there will be four fields set up for 8v8 and will be used by the U-9 and U-10 teams, both boys and girls. Commissioner Enright asked if the baseball fields were used last year and asked if they knew what condition they are in. Mr. Stratton stated that they were not used last year and that they can be converted for the tournament. Commissioner Enright praised the Jaguar organization and the boost to the community. Commissioner Staudt asked if the officials were paid or volunteers. Mr. Stratton stated that the officials are paid and the money is taken out of the entry fees. Most of the referees for the games are adults or at least 15 years old. Commissioner Paul stated that his family participated in last year’s tournament and felt it was a great success and the fields were exceptional despite the rain. He also asked if the agreement to be voted on this evening is for the tournament only or for the entire year and is it only a one-year agreement. Director Auler stated that it is a one-year agreement for the whole year. It is in two (2) sections. One section is for the regular year and the other section is for the tournament. Director Auler clarified that it is a one-year facility use request. Commissioner Paul wanted to make sure the legal profile was completed for the coaches. Mr. Laux stated that they have provided that information in the past and that they will continue to do so. Director Auler stated that it is covered under attachment E, Section 1, letter J. Commissioner Paul was concerned about the prioritization of fields relative to other organizations. Some of the Parks and Recreation coaches have complained about field conditions of practice fields. Program Director Wendy DuVall-Angelocci stated that they have talked to the maintenance crew. She also stated the coaches of the younger children do not like to use Community Sports Park because of the distance for their practices especially because of the time issue. Right now we are under restriction because of the loss of fields from the elementary schools that aren’t in very good shape because of construction. We are working on irrigation at Wildlife Woods Park fields and that is a slow process. We hope to accommodate everyone on their field size this fall.
2. Overview of Forestry Division and Street Tree Ordinance
City Forester Steve Printz gave a power point presentation. He stated that a street tree is one located on a city right of way between the sidewalk and the curb. The Street Tree Ordinance is a long-term policy that establishes and sets standards and guidelines for tree care and maintenance. We are in the development phase of the procedure for implementing an ordinance. Next will be a legal review, a first reading and discussion in City Council with any revisions. It could then be sent to the Ordinance Review Committee and then a final reading and adoption. Commission Staab asked what we presently work with in the City of Novi. City Forester Printz replied that we have a woodlands ordinance that protects the designated woodlands areas (Chapter 37). We also have the subdivision ordinance that deals mainly with builders and developers planting trees but does not establish policies for maintenance, etc. We also have the nuisance ordinance.
We have these three things but they do not address maintenance criteria, policies, and regulations for street trees. Commissioner Staab asked if this ordinance is supported and approved by City Council could it be maintained and monitored. City Forester Printz stated that they are in the first step of doing this by having a tree inventory. He has been working on this for the past year and should have an inventory in the next couple of years. We now have one forester technician and are hoping to get and additional technician to maintain these trees. We now have a relatively young urban forest as far as age goes. Commissioner Staab asked if the additional technician would come from the ’03-’04 budget. This was confirmed. Commissioner Staudt asked who enforces the ordinances and what is the punitive power under the ordinance. City Forester Printz replied that he is responsible for enforcement and that the since the ordinance process is still in the works that is something that will have to be further addressed. Commissioner Staudt asked if a citation of some sort is part of it. City Forester Printz stated that it potentially could be. Commissioner Kopeika stated that he feels it is a very good start and that the document is put together very well despite the department size. And he also stated that he had gotten a lot of positive feedback from the community in that he is very good at answering all of his calls and e-mails. Commissioner Paul asked if it talks about placing more responsibility on developers in the tree ordinance. City Forester Printz stated that the ordinance would cover that. Director Auler added that included in the packet was the outcome of a resolution that was passed by City Council indicating the short and long-term goals. One of the goals identified was to review street trees and the street tree ordinance.
3. Overview of 2003 Novi Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department concession operations
Derek Smith, Program Director for Parks, Recreation and Forestry stated that last year was his first year. There are issues that need to be addressed with concession. Staffing (payroll) is the largest expense. Hours of operation have been a concern because the stands have not been open late enough or they have not been open at all. Internal problems are security of the produce, which also involves storage, inventory, and transportation to get the produce to the stands.
Options for the future of how to operate the concession are partnerships with local organizations like the Novi Youth Baseball League, outsource staffing with independent contractors with us still in control of supply. This year instead of a concession director and employees at each stand, have independent contractors run one or more stands. The independent contractor would work on profit on a monthly basis. Issues of hours of operation were that some weren’t open at all or weren’t open late enough. The problem with security is that there were too many keys to the facilities. Storage is inadequate since an area in the Civic Center is being use where the produce cannot be locked up or monitored. This summer to address these last issues is provide new locks for the facilities and use the locked cage in the dock area to secure the produce. Last fiscal year ending June 30th, concessions were almost a $4,000 deficit and this was mostly due to payroll, insufficient security and inventory control, and expenses continue to outweigh the revenues. In the future he would like to run the stands with volunteers instead of paid employees.
Commissioner Staab wanted to go on record to say that he has been on the Commission since 1994 and that in the past we have made money on the concessions if the right people are in charge and you make them accountable.
Commissioner Place stated that she would like to see more variety in the concession stands or increasing the inventory.
Commissioner Paul stated that he did not feel it would be profitable to have the concession stands open during practice times. He also feels that there should be one independent contractor rather than more than one. He also said to check with local clubs or organizations (Lyons Club, Junior Achievement, etc.) to run the stands.
Director Auler stated that the City of Novi was awarded the Tree City USA award, again. This is the eleventh (11th) year that the city has been recognized.
With us this evening is Brian Charlefores, an intern who has been working with Novi Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the past eight (8) to ten (10) weeks. He is completing his degree from Eastern Michigan University and has less than four (4) weeks to go. He has done an outstanding job and has been very helpful in research and putting together proposals and information to assist staff and in doing "gofer" work. One of his requirements was to attend a Commission Meeting and see how they work.
At the April Commission Meeting he will be out of town and Deputy Director Lewis will be here that evening.
2. Deputy Director
Deputy Director Lewis announced that tomorrow night will be the Mother/Son Dance here at the Civic Center. This weekend and next weekend the Novi Theatres will be presenting "Man of LaMancha" at the Novi Middle School.
Commissioner Kopeika noted there were some letters from people who did not agree on the way children were being placed on teams and asked if we answered these people one-on-one. Director Auler stated that he did talk to the person and that person was comfortable with the procedure on the follow-up call. He also stated that we are getting more positive comments. There was an article in the "Novi News" about the changes and the impact.
Mr. Andrew Mutch commented that he and several other people in the community are concerned about the proposed time frame for the Strategic Action Plan. They are disappointed that a plan wasn’t in place in time for the first round of funding of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, which is the only large source of funding at the state level to pay for park land acquisition and park development. From their viewpoint it is important to get a quality plan in place as soon a possible. What he would encourage the Commission to do is to look at the current time frame which would have final approval by City Council by July 21st and try to get the plan approved by July 1st since a second round of funding for Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund dollars if a plan is in place by July 1st and sent to the state by August 1st. This is only for acquisition which he realizes, after reading the minutes, is not really a focus at this time. Mr. Mutch encouraged the Commission strongly to get a plan approved in time so that we are eligible for the second round of funding.
He also commented on the land donation. He stated that it sounded like high quality area that would possibly have some passive recreational uses. Even if the Commission does not see that as in their area of interest to acquire for park land he would encourage them to encourage the city to acquire it because it is part of a critical area of wetlands that is the head waters of the Rouge River. He feels that it is within the city’s interest to protect that area for downstream water quality and over all benefit of all the surrounding property owners.
Mr. Wayne Hogan commented that he liked that the agendas were on the information board and the website. He had a conversation with Jack Lewis after the last Commission Meeting who was going to get with Randy Auler who would get a picture of Power Park playground enhancement with the ramp that he wanted to take back to his advisory board a month ago and was disappointed that it has not happened yet.
He received a call that talked about the new allocation of dollars for pathways, etc. He did not get to see the punch list but heard that it was a good one so keep up the good work.
Director Auler stated that he had left a voice mail and in response to his request, an envelope of information for Mr. Hogan at the front desk. This envelope had not yet been picked up as of right before the Commission Meeting.
1. Approval of February 13, 2003 regular meeting minutes.
It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes as written. (Staab, Kopeika C-Un)
2. Consideration to recommend to the Novi City Council, the acceptance of 16 acres of land for park purposes-tabled at February 13, 2003 meeting.
Commissioner Staudt stated that the biggest question is the accessibility of the property.
Director Auler stated that the property is adjacent to property owned by the city and that property is adjacent to the North Novi property/Lakeshore Park property so anticipated access to the site would be through a passive trail system and potentially boardwalks.
Commissioner Enright read that the only disturbed area is located along the easement where some debris is evident. She wanted to know what was involved.
Director Auler stated that when he walked the area it is mostly where the dirt has been piled and would need to be redistributed and there is small block and some material like that which we could easily handle.
Commissioner Staudt recommended approval as presented.
It was moved and seconded to approve the recommendation to accept the 16 acres of land as presented. (Kopeika, Staudt C-Un)
3. Approval of Novi Jaguars Soccer Association 2003 Facility Reservation.
Commissioner Staab noted that this helps us showcase Community Sports Park and that he appreciates the partnership that has developed.
Commissioner Enright agreed with Commissioner Staab and she hope that our association with the Novi Jaguars Association continues.
Commissioner Staudt thinks it is a great program and looks forward to attending for the first time.
Commissioner Paul feels that it is an excellent agreement and is glad to have the Novi Jaguars as part of our community. The tournament last year was exciting and would like to see other organizations do the same in other sports as well. He feels the provision for parking be contingent on approval by the Novi Fire Department and the Novi Police Department. Prioritization of fields should be identified.
Director Auler agreed with Commissioner Paul. The whole staff has been involved and the final item to be worked out is the parking. We have indicated to the Jaguars that the Police and Fire Departments must be on board with the traffic and parking, the neighbors should be notified, having volunteers in the parking areas assuring that people park in the appropriate places. The motion this evening is to move forward pending that plan being completed with the Police Department. Prioritization of fields has been discussed. House leagues have first priority and then travel leagues.
It was moved and seconded that the Novi Jaguars Soccer Association 2003 Facility Reservation with the addition of the subject approval of parking by the Police and Fire Departments and the prioritization clause included be approved. (Staab, Place C-Un)
4. Consideration to recommend to the Novi City Council, the priorities and funding options for the Community Sports Park Project – Phase 1
Commission Paul stated that what we are planning to share with City Council is the vision of the Community Sports Park upgrade and the approval of two sets of funds. The initial set of funds that were originally approved by Novi City Council and to reallocate two pieces of funds. The extra funds are from Brookfarm Park tennis court demolition and the reallocation of the shelter fund.
Commissioner Staab asked if the $25,000 that is to be moved from the shelter is from a shelter for Community Sports Park.
Director Auler replied that it was for construction of a shelter at Community Sports Park but we wish to recommend allocation of the money for ball field improvement. At the Monday Council Meeting (3/17/03) we will be presenting the vision and this request. He is looking for a Commissioner to attend that evening and do a part of the presentation. He included a colored copy of the park plan and an outline of the presentation for that evening.
A motion was made and seconded to make a recommendation to City Council of the priorities and funding for Community Sports Park Project – Phase 1 (Enright, Place C-Un)
Commission Paul noted that Director Auler had passed out a memorandum, that he would like the Commissioners to sign, to be put in the City Council packets for Monday. He then stated that he would be out of town on Monday and asked if there is a Commissioner who would be able and willing to attend the City Council Meeting.
Commissioner Enright stated that she would be able to attend the City Council Meeting.
1. Novi Community School District and Parks, Recreation and Forestry Partnership
Commissioner Paul noted that he and Director Auler had an opportunity to meet with Dr. Lippe, of the Novi Community Schools, and Bob Steeh, Director of Novi Community Education. Dr. Lippe shared that he wants to maximize the use of the facilities for the community, however there are certain challenges. They are also interested in working with Parks, Recreation and Forestry to discuss programming opportunities and challenges. A possibility of having a liaison from Novi Community Education has been discussed. The liaison would probably be Director Bob Steeh. He would not have to attend every meeting but would be asked, on certain occasions, to present information or host discussions. Commissioner Paul will draft a letter of thanks that will outline the steps of communication. The next step would be to invite Mr. Steeh to some of the upcoming meetings.
Commissioner Staab stated that this is a focal point of our relationship with the school district and that we have reinforced a very positive relationship.
2. Novi Parks Recreation and Forestry Commission Organization Rules and Order of Business
Director Auler stated that the City Charter indicates that the Commissions should have rules of organization and order of business. His research indicates that none have been established. He included in the packet the existing rules that the City Council utilizes.
Commissioner Kopeika stated that the rules included are very formal and structured so he suggested an executive summary of them to run meetings more streamlined.
Commissioner Place agreed with Commissioner Kopeika especially the streamlining since we have been more flexible but we could be more structured.
Commissioner Staab appreciates the policies and procedures and thinks it is a good idea but agrees with Commissioner Kopeika in that it could be refined and shortened. He then asked who is responsible enforcing that we have the rules.
Director Auler stated that the Park, Recreation and Forestry Commission is responsible for generating what the order of business should be and putting together a draft or executive summary, approving it and then submitting it to the City Clerk to be on file.
Commissioner Enright agreed what we have on file should be more streamlined that City Council’s.
Commissioner Staudt stated that he looked forward to the Chairman read the order of business and defining his role.
Commissioner Paul stated that he agrees with everyone and that there are some guidelines that can be utilized but a shorter version. He suggested that he and Director Auler make a first draft or cut from the presented guidelines.
Commissioner Staab asked if they were under any time constraints to get this in place.
Director Auler stated that there is not an initial priority right now.
Commissioner Kopeika asked to be excused.
Commissioner Staudt also asked to be excused
The Commissioners left at 9:03pm
Commissioner Staudt asked for confirmation that Thursday, March 20th is the date set for the two (2) Committee Meetings.
Director Auler confirmed this.
1. Youth Sports Team Placement Policy
No questions or comments
2. Tracking Table Items
Commissioner Place envisioned that the agenda and minutes be on the website and now that this issue should now be taken off the table.
Commissioner Staab stated that he feels that this is a great idea and applauds that the pending items list is being addressed. It was a great idea and implementation.
Commissioner Paul concurred.
On Valentine’s Day, February 14th, he attended the Choralair’s Concert at Meadowbrook Commons. It was a packed house. The theme was "Music and Chocolate". The residents of Meadowbrook Commons appreciated the concert.
The Novi Youth Baseball League luncheon will be on March 25th. Each Commissioner should have received an invitation. It is a presentation to the community of the vision for Community Sports Park and a fund raising campaign.
A motion was made and seconded that the meeting be adjourned.
(Staab, Enright C-Un)
The meeting was adjourned at 9:08 pm.