NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP

PARK AND RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES OF JANUARY 4, 2006


Approval of Minutes: Mr. Davis moved to accept the minutes of January 4, 2006. Mrs. Sutton seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, January 4, 2006, in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Andrew Levine, Chairman; Joel Grosso, Vice Chairman, Michael Clancy, John Davis, Kathy Kelly, Buck O’Neill and Susan Sutton, members. Also in attendance were Bill Wert, Park and Recreation Director and Russell Strover,Naturalist.

Call to Order

Mr. Levine called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.

Reorganization

Mr. Clancy nominated Mr. Levine to serve as chairman. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Sutton nominated Mr. Grosso to serve as vice-chairman. Mr. Clancy seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Clancy moved to accept the minutes of December 7, 2005. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 5-0-2, with Messrs. Grosso and Davis abstaining.

New Business

Mr. Wert provided the members with an information packet on the Park and Recreation Department, which included the ordinances establishing the department and the board; an inventory and rules for Township parks, the fee schedule and the capital improvement program. He suggested that the members review the rules of the parks for updating. These general rules have not been updated since 1988. He said that most rules would apply to all parks, but some issues would be particular to only certain parks.

Mr. Strover said that he would like to work on rules for the Clark Nature Center. He expressed concern about some damage to trails caused by horses and ATV’s. While the rules already restrict motorized vehicles, there have not been any restrictions on horses. He said that he was not suggesting restricting horses from the park, but possibly marking certain trails for horses.

Mr. Grosso suggested dividing up the rules to address specific parks and discussing them at future meetings, after the members have had an opportunity to review the existing rules. He said that the timing on lights on playing fields should also be addressed

The Board discussed changing the meeting time to 7:00 PM.

Mr. Levine moved to change the meeting time to 7:00PM. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Park Development

Woll Tract

Mr. Levine reported that he had presented the plans for the Woll tract to the Planning Commission. He said that he was disappointed that the Planning Commission had not added this to the agenda, although members of the Planning Commission had attended a meeting at the offices of Pickering Corts and Sommerson to discuss the park plans.

Based on discussions at the offices of Pickering Corts and Sommerson, Mr. Stone had reconfigured the park, making all setbacks equal, and shifting the playing fields away from the Leck property. He said that Mr. Fleming has expressed interest in hooking up to the sewer lines if they are brought to the park for the restrooms and concession stand. He noted that the new design would help to eliminate traffic stacking at the exits.

There was still a great deal of disagreement among Planning Commission members about access to the park from Route 413. Mr. Levine said that some Planning Commission members would like all access through the Newtown Elementary School driveway. Mr. Levine said that he would like of be part of any discussions with the School District personnel and school board to draft some kind of agreement to access the park through district property, however he would like to proceed with the plans with access through Rte 413.

The Board agreed that Mr. Levine should attempt to get a recommendation of approval from the Planning Commission in January, but to proceed with his presentation to the Board of Supervisors for the last January meeting. The members agreed that it is important to the sports organizations to have a master plan in place so that they can proceed with grant applications for field development.

Wiggins Tract

Mrs. Sutton suggested that the sub-committee begin to develop plans to use the Wiggins tract for some open field sports once the Woll master plan is under way. She said that she would like to keep the tract as open space, with very minimal development.

Mr. Davis agreed with Mrs. Sutton. He noted that some of the open areas in Tyler Park have been used for soccer fields without any alteration in appearance. He agreed to serve on the sub-committee with Mrs. Sutton and Mr. Clancy.

Member Comments

Mr. Levine and Mr. Wert briefly discussed a plan that they had proposed a few years ago to form a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization to serve as a volunteer group to support the parks. Other communities have such organizations, operating as “friends of...” Volunteers in these organizations do some work on the parks and hold fundraising events to help support the parks. Mr. Levine said that one parent organization could serve all of the parks, even if some volunteers and some specific events are for one park in particular, such as a “friends of Clark Nature Center’ or “friends of Roberts Ridge Park”. he Board expressed interest in learning more about this idea. Mr. Levine agreed to look into it further before the next meeting.

Mr. Davis moved to adjourn at 8:45 PM. Mr. Clancy seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

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Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary