PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING OF JUNE 6, 2007
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, June 6, 2007, in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Andrew Levine, Chairman; Joel Grosso, Vice-Chairman; Kathy Kelly, Buck O’Neill and Susan Sutton, members. Also in attendance were Bill Wert, Park and Recreation Director, and Philip Calabro, Township Supervisor.
Call to Order
Mr. Levine called the meeting to order at 7:00PM
Approval of Minutes
Mrs. Sutton moved to accept the minutes of May 2, 2007. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Levine reported that the Park Development sub-committee met with Gilmore Associates to review the plans for the Woll tract. Public Works representatives were also in attendance to give input on the plans. There has been a slight modification to the parking lot to allow a driveway entrance to a maintenance area with storage shed. The trails throughout the park will measure more than one mile. Members agreed that markers should be placed along the trails for measuring walking and running distances. Perk tests have been completed. Most of the areas perk well. Gilmore has suggested a possible retention pond at the lower southern corner of the park.
Mr. Levine reported that he had received some e-mails concerning the Board’s recommendation that the zoning for Woll be changed. Residents of Blayze Court questioned whether additional paved areas are planned. Mr. Levine responded to these e-mails explaining that the walking trails, parking areas and courts exceeded the permitted impervious surface and that the park had two different zoning classifications. The recommended change would create one zoning designation for the entire property, but no additional paving is planned.
Mr. Levine said that he will attend a work session of the Board of Supervisors to discuss possible locations for a skate park. He pointed out that there is an area at Helen Randle Park that had not been on the initial list. He and Mr. O’Neill both felt that the area is large enough to accommodate the skate facility permanently, without the need to remove any other activity.
Park and Recreation Director’s Report
Mr. Wert reported that the forestry management work had begun. Invasive species and resources are being identified and inventoried and GPS work is completed.
Recreation Department revenues are up 2.6%. Camp programs have full enrollments; Beechtree has room for a few more children but the teen camp is completely closed, with a waiting list. The Department is attempting to secure a larger facility for next year’s teen camp. Senior programming seems to be successful, with 49 participants in 21 programs. The use of e-flyers is proving very successful, with 646 participants. It is hoped that the use of the e-flyers will eventually reduce the costs of paper flyers for programming updates.
Mr. Wert reported that he has begun investigating costs for restrooms at Roberts Ridge Park. Trail extensions and sidewalks at South State Street and at Eagle Road will be part of the Township road program.
Environmental Advisory Council
The recording secretary reported that, with help from Mr. Wert, the EAC is gathering maps to help with an open space inventory. The EAC has also applied for a grant to restore portions of the creek in the area of Carl Sedia Park.
Newtown Creek Coalition
Mrs. Sutton reported that she has been attending the meetings of the Newtown Creek Coalition. They are looking first to increase awareness of the historic significance of the creek, and are planning a creek walk to document conditions. The group meets the third Saturday of each month at LaSalle University at 9:00AM.
Mr. Levine reported that he attended the opening of Brownsburg Park in Upper Makefield. It is a very beautiful location, and will provide much needed fields for soccer.
In response to questions from members, Mr. Levine said that the AARK is looking to purchase a farm elsewhere in the county. There is a possibility that the AARK might approach the Township about use of the Clark property barn as a transfer station for wounded animals, but he would not be involved in any such request.
Mr. Levine reported that, because the Roberts Ridge playground has been so successful, the Have-a-Heart Foundation is planning to retrofit the playground in Maplewood Park in Doylestown to be handicapped accessible.Mrs. Kelly moved to adjourn at 8:00PM. Mrs. Sutton seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary