AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF JANUARY 7, 2003
Approval of Minutes: Mrs. Kelly moved to accept the minutes of January 7, 2003. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Tuesday, January 7, 2003. In attendance and voting were Bernard Bires, Chairman; Michael Clancy, John Davis, Joel Grosso, Kathy Kelly, Buck O'Neill, Susan Sutton and Anne Marie Zambriscki, members. Also in attendance were Scott Harp and Richard Weaver, Township Supervisors, Bill Wert, Park and Recreation Director and Russell G. Strover, Naturalist.
Mr. Bires called the meeting to order at 7:15 PM.
Change in agenda.
Mr. Bires introduced Mr. Michael Clancy as a new Board member.
Mr. Bires added the reorganization of the Board to the Agenda.
Mrs. Zambriscki moved to nominate Mr. Bires as Chairman of the Park and Recreation Board. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed 8-0.
Mr. Bires moved to nominate Mr. Levine as Vice-Chairman. Mr. Grosso seconded and the motion passed 8-0.
Mr. Harp thanked the Board for the work that they did in 2002, especially the completion of the Roberts Ridge Park Playground. He also informed the Board that Mr.Strover, as a Township employee, would no longer vote on Board motions, but would continue to attend Board meetings and to advise and assist the Board with grant applications and with the work of the Shade Tree Commission.
Approval of the Minutes
Mrs. Kelly moved to accept the minutes of November 6, 2002. Mrs. Zambriscki seconded and the motion passed 7-0, with Mr. Clancy abstaining.
Shade Tree Commission
Mr. Strover reported that 24 trees had been placed in the ground at Roberts Ridge Park, with planting to be completed when the cold snap breaks. Five additional trees will be planted in the spring. Currently there are 71 trees of 50 different species. He hopes to complete identification tagging during this winter.
Park and Recreation Director's Report
Mr. Wert reported that four benches, five table and bench combinations and four trash barrels, donated by the Newtown Rotary Club in honor of founding member H. Stanford Roberts, have arrived and will be installed at Roberts Ridge Park when the weather breaks. Mr. Wert reported that he has discussed possibly planning a family fun day with the Rotary Club, as a fundraiser.
The Recreation department has seen a 9% increase in revenue and a 19% increase in participation in its programs. The Department offered 578 programs. The winter brochure will be mailed shortly. The Department is now 85% self-sufficient.
Mr. Wert reviewed the 2003 Park and Recreation budget. He noted that money had been allocated for a Silver Lake Park Site Plan, which will be the first step toward grant applications for park improvements; $50,000 has been budgeted for a gazebo and restrooms at Roberts Ridge Park; $15,000 has been allocated for site amenities at the Clark Nature Center; $100,000 has been allocated for a skate park; and the Newtown Trail is to be extended in front of Goodnoe School, to connect Roberts Ridge to Andrew Drive, and along Richboro Road, connecting Newtown Crossing to Tyler Park and the Newtown Middle School.
Mr. Bires suggested that the sub-committees formed last year be re-activated to work on these projects. Mr. Levine will continue to chair the Roberts Ridge Park Sub-Committee. Mr. Clancy agreed to work on this committee. Mrs. Kelly will continue as chairman of the Silver Lake Sub-Committee. Mr. O'Neill agreed to continue as chairman of the Skate Park Sub-Committee. Mr. Clancy agreed to help with this. Mrs. Sutton will chair the Clark Nature Center Sub-Committee.
Mr. Grosso said that he felt that a Sub-Committee should be formed to investigate expansion of active recreation parks. He said that fields are needed for soccer, softball and baseball. He said that the Newtown Colonials had changed to "The Rock Softball" and were growing very quickly. The available fields are no longer adequate for all of the sports being offered in Newtown.
Mr. Wert said that the Township owned 48 acre Wohl Tract on Rte 413 had been earmarked for active recreation, but there was not a budget for improvements at this time. He said that access to the tract from Rte 413 is a problem that must be resolved with Penn Dot.
Mr. Grosso said that he would like to begin gathering information and data now to bring this need to the attention of the Board of Supervisors for long range planning. He suggested that he chair a Sub-Committee for Active Recreation. He said that he would contact Joe Garvey of The Rock Softball, to ascertain the girls' needs.
Mrs. Zambriscki agreed with Mr. Grosso that the Board should begin planning for additional fields, and she volunteered to work with Mr. Grosso on the Active Recreation Sub-Committee.
Mr. Bires said that he would like the boys Little League and the Rock Softball to work together to agree on field allocation. Mr. Wert said that the Rock Softball would like to help with field maintenance.
Mr. O'Neill said that Newtown Little League had been approached by Coke about sponsoring the league, supplying the snack sheds and providing a new scoreboard at Pickering Field that would feature the Coke logo. This is not a firm offer yet.,
Mr. Wert said that the Park and Recreation department is investigating possibly offering an Archeology day camp next summer. Use of the Clark Nature Center as a possible site was discussed.
Mr. Weaver briefly discussed the summer camp Scholarship criteria.
Mr. Bires asked if the future Board meetings could be held on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:30PM. All agreed.
Mrs. Kelly moved to adjourn at 8:45 PM. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed 8-0.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary