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PARKS, RECREATION AND FORESTRY COMMISSION
The meeting was called to order at 7:33 PM with Commissioner Paul presiding.
ROLL CALL: Commissioner Enright (Present), Kopeika (Absent), 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, Recreation Coordinator
APPROVAL OF AGENDA: Agenda was approved, changing the order to have the presentations made before the committee reports. (UN)
PRESENTATIONS: Wendy Duvall-Angelocci, Recreation Coordinator presented an overview of the youth sports programs. She presented the department’s philosophy, number of participants K-8, and evaluations. The evaluations included three sports; volleyball, basketball and soccer. Generally, the ratings were very high. The areas that were identified as problems included coach training, player skills clinics, facility improvements, additions, equipment, citizen involvement and the officials. These were areas that the sports committees were already working on and some improvements have already been implemented.
Ms. Duvall-Angelocci’s concerns included registration procedures, supervisor training, and the software the department is currently using. Commissioner Staudt asked that in the future a copy of the questionnaire be included with the evaluation results.
Commissioner Enright pointed out that often when parents are criticizing the officiating, they themselves do not know the rules. She thought it might be helpful for coaches to have a clinic with the parents before every season begins, because often the rules of a sport change as the player advance a division. Commissioner Staab asked about the costs of the new software and noted that they were approved in the budget. Director Auler corrected him, noting that the $25,000 – $30,000 item has not been approved.
Commissioner Paul asked that in the future the evaluation results be broken down by age groups. There are huge disparities in the officiating in the different age groups, so problems with officiating do not apply to all grade levels. He hoped that there was a program in the city to do a report on the cost saving benefits of acquiring new software. Director Auler stated that when the capital improvement items were presented to the City Council in the budget process, the cost savings benefits for a 12-24 month period were included.
1. Park Development Committee- Rotary Park restroom facility debris has been removed and the bond paperwork is being finalized. The facility should be finished by the end of the summer. Commissioner Staab asked if the Department had to "suffer the deductible", Director Auler said our costs would be in the neighborhood of $2,000. That figure includes a $1,000 deductible and approximately $700-$1,000 for a pad to make the facility A.D.A. compliant.
Lakeshore Park play structure ribbon cutting ceremony has been postponed to July 18th at 11:00, a couple of hundred invitations have been sent.
Landscaping will include deciduous trees, providing shade to cut glare for fielders. There would be a permanent pitching mound.
Currently the field needs include 2 Broncos, 2 Mustang, 2 Parks and Recreation, 1 Pony and 1 extra.
At the July 10th Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission meeting, the construction drawings will be 50 percent complete for review and revision. At that point, the project will go out for bid on July 18th and acceptance by City Council is targeted for their August 25th meeting. On that timetable, construction would take place September 3rd, to be completed by Mid-May, 2004. The field would not be used that season, giving the planting a year to grow. Mr. Auler believes that the project is a little over budget, but the committee will be working to bring down the costs.
Commissioner Place said that the drawings were nice, but expressed her disappointment that the dugouts are not covered. Mr. Auler said that he has asked the architect to work on the numbers to include covers. Commissioner Place said that she thought covered dugouts were very high on the committee’s priorities and M.C. Smith said they would be able to include those.
Commissioner Enright agreed that it was disappointing that the drawing does not include covered dugouts, they do not have to be enclosed. Commissioner Place reiterated that the dugouts would be a "stickler" for her.
Commissioner Staudt stated that currently the department has no grass diamonds and asked who would maintain the proposed diamond. Director Auler stated that there is one full time maintenance staff at that park and one seasonal worker. Commissioner Staudt loves grass infields but is very concerned with the amount of money. He plays at Power Park and is not impressed with how those diamonds are kept up. Director Auler said he is confident the department will be able to maintain them.
Commissioner Staudt asked why the committee toured Power Park as well as Community Sports Park. Director Auler said he wanted them to get an assessment of Power Park, because Council would like one in the next year and he wanted to get a free analysis for information.
2. Strategic Planning Committee
Strategic Master Plan Update- Revisions to the draft are completed. The document will be bound, copied, distributed to the administrative staff, and readied for a joint meeting with Council.
Commissioner Staab asked if the Arts and Theatre program were incorporated in this draft, as was mentioned in the last meeting of the committee. Director Auler said he is working on that. Commissioner Staab said that via his interview process with Council on Monday night, he learned that the program is a high visibility program and is "high on Council’s mind and it would behoove us to include them in this plan."
Commissioner Staudt said that during his interview, the common theme of the City Council was that there should be a public hearing presenting the Strategic Master Plan.
Director Auler said that he would go on a "public road show" to homeowner associations and hold a public hearing.
3. Resource Development Committee
Commissioner Staudt had prepared a draft of by-laws and he and Director Auler are working on revisions. They are also seeking legal counsel and a public accountant to aid in the establishment of a foundation and putting together a strategy to accomplish an action plan to seek funding.
No comments on the report.
Deputy Director Lewis
Mr. Lewis commented on Ms. Duvall-Angelocci’s presentation that in his 30 years of recreation experience, the number one issue with most sports programs is the officiating. No comments on the report.
LouAnne Kozma 23837 West LeBost
Ms. Kozma commented on the Master Plan procedure. She said that she is familiar with the guidelines having been through the process already, had attended several D.N.R. workshops regarding the grant applications that would be written for land acquisition and project support. She was hoping to see a draft at the meeting, she noted that the agenda stated that it would be discussed at the June meeting. Ms. Kozma noticed that the meeting minutes said the draft was included in the packets so she checked several times at the library (including the night of the meeting), but the draft was not there. She feels that public input should be sought before the Commission approves the plan. She feels that the public should have access to the document in the draft form.
Ms. Kozma was concerned with the timetables that were mentioned in the presentation, applications had to be in by April for August submittals. She was also upset that the A.D.A. Assessment was not available to the public at the library, she was told she would have to file a Freedom of Information Act Request Form to receive a copy. She feels it needs to be out there for the public to review.
Commissioner Paul stated that the Master Plan is a top priority for this commission, that community was involved in the process through the focus groups, and public input may be gathered in public hearings; it is entirely up to the committee. (Place. Staab C-UN)
It was moved and seconded that the minutes from the June 12, 2003 meeting be approved with one correction; Commissioner Enright was present not absent.
1. Novi Community School District and Parks, Recreation and Forestry Youth
Sports Program – A rough draft of the calendar listing the dates the department is requesting to use the Community School facilities was distributed to the Commission. Deputy Director Lewis explained the school district’s first priority is K-12, second is Community Education and the department’s dates would be third. The Novi Community Education could not provide a rough draft calendar of school events for at least four weeks. Mr. Lewis noted that with the construction at Novi High School, it has been recommended that the Sunday Adult Basketball Program be moved to Novi Middle School. Mr. Lewis spoke with Larry Calhoun, from Walled Lake Community Education, who is willing to work with us. Mr. Calhoun said that the two facilities we are asking to use are the top two requested facilities. The department will fill out the forms to request the facilities, our priority will be the same as with Novi. The department is doing the same with Northville, but is not optimistic. The main focus is trying to find gym space for youth basketball practice. Commissioner Place recommended Novi Woods.
TRACKING TABLE ITEMS:
1. Novi High School Volunteer Project – Director Auler said Mr. Sachs advised that the school purchased new GPS systems and bicycle mounts and is looking at doing the project this fall. He also mentioned that they would like to partner with several other projects (Arbor Day, River Day and park clean up days).
2. Parks, Recreation and Forestry Organizational Rules and Order of Business – Director Auler said that he included a handout in the packets for review and comments. The Commission can E-Mail comments and discuss at the July meeting. This must be filed at the City Clerk’s office to be in compliance with the City Charter.
Commissioner Enright – No comment.
Commission Paul – He commented that would like to nail down the Strategic Master Plan and that we don’t have "any further slippage in the dates there". He would also like to nail the dates down for Community Sports Park because "we’re shifting out a month or two on that, as well". He asked if there is anything a volunteer effort could do to help expedite things, Director Auler said that if the Commission would like to help put the plan together, the department would welcome that.
Commissioner Place – No comment.
Commissioner Staudt – Until the Strategic Master Plan is complete, he would like to see the Action List kept up to date and provided in the packet each month. He would like to see this in the forefront until completed and it feels "a little bit strange that we aren’t having any action on it at this moment". He thinks that efforts should be "redoubled to get this thing done". It has been over a month since the Commission turned in the last revisions. He would like an update before Director Auler goes on vacation, since it will not be completed before the July Commission meeting.
Director Auler said that it is a "working document" and the challenge is having the staff make the changes, binding it, and getting it back out to the Commission. Commissioner Staudt asked when the document would be available to the public, Director Auler replied that it will not be available to the public until all changes are made.
Commissioner Staab – He attended the Choralaire’s concert and the Memorial Parade, both great events.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm.
Signed, David Paul, Chairperson
Signed, Charles Staab, Vice Chairperson