PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF MEETING OF August 3, 2011
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM in the Township meeting room. In attendance and voting were Chairman Andrew Levine, and members, Denis D’Arcy, Kathy Kelly, Anne Porter and Sue Sutton. Also present was Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko.
Call to Order: Mr. Levine called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
Approval of Minutes: Approval of minutes of June 1, 2011 was tabled.
Newtown Athletic Club, 209 Penns Trail, Preliminary as Final Plan for Land Development: Mr. Levine reported that he had been contacted by Linda Mitchell of Newtown Athletic Club, asking the Board to review its plans for a recommendation regarding open space. As this was Mr. D’Arcy’s first meeting with the Board, Mr. Levine explained that the Park and Recreation Board’s responsibility is to review plans for land development to consider whether the Township should accept dedication of open space or require that the applicant pay a fee in lieu of the open space. It has been the practice of the Board to recommend fee in lieu when the preserved open space would not be accessible to residents or is not adjacent to existing preserved open space.
The members looked at the plans, which show a pool complex and baseball academy building with associated parking on the vacant land along the new access drive from Pheasant Run. The plan eliminates the current access to the NAC and to the Dunmore Building on Penns Trail.
Mrs. Sutton noted that the residents would not have access to the undeveloped portions of the property and the NAC has been very cooperative with our Park and Recreation Department in co-sponsoring programs and activities.
Mrs. Kelly moved to recommend that the Supervisors accept a fee in lieu of open space for the NAC pool and baseball academy. Mrs. Sutton seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Reports of Sub-Committees
Veterans Park: Mr. Levine said that the Park and Recreation Board needs to be provided with details in the delay of completion of the park. The Board members are being approached by residents and representatives of the various sports organizations and they should have some information for these inquiries. Mr. Levine said that some of the sports organizations have expressed interest in providing private funding to turf the fields. It is his understanding that the Supervisors are pursuing certain legal strategies to address the contract for the park, but he is concerned that another growing season will pass without the fields being cultivated.
The members were supportive of Mr. Levine’s suggestion that he approach the Supervisors unofficially to discuss possible legal agreements which would allow some private funding to address the turf without negating any possible claims the Township might have against the contractors.
Skate Park: Mr. Levine reported that he and Mrs. Pawlenko were called to appear before the Supervisors to discuss private donations for a skate park fence. Some members of the community and of the Board of Supervisors had concerns about fencing only this one park.
The members expressed their dismay at not having been included in any discussion of the use of private funds for the fence or of the placement of a fence on the park.
Mr. Levine said that he understood that the Skate Park Committee also felt excluded from the discussion. He said that he would remind the Supervisors that in the future, consideration of proposed donations to our parks should be first brought to the Park and Recreation Board for a recommendation. The Park and Recreation Board should be involved in any consideration for changes in the parks.
Newtown Creek Coalition: Mrs. Sutton reported that the Coalition is sponsoring a creek clean up on August 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM at the Centre Avenue parking lot.
Miracle League: Mr. Levine reported that the Philadelphia Phillies will be sponsoring a Phillies Harmony Club fundraising event with fitness stations and basic baseball skills clinics for handicapped children at the NAC on September 25, 2011. The Miracle League has built a handicapped baseball diamond in Northampton.
Park and Recreation Director’s Report
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that revenues for the department are at the same point as this time last year. The camps have been a tremendous success this year, with wonderful volunteers and paid staff. The children are all having a good time and reports from the parents have been positive. The heat has been a problem this year, especially at Camp Beechtree. She purchased some wading pools for the little children at Beechtree to help during the very hot days. Teen camp, with a lower enrollment this year, has been very successful.Mrs. Kelly moved to adjourn at 8:15 PM. Mr. Levine seconded and the motion passed 5-0 .
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary