PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF MEETING OF JANUARY 4, 2012
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Township meeting room. In attendance and voting were Joel Grosso, Kathy Kelly, Andrew Levine, Mark McMenamin, Brendan McQuillan, Buck O’Neill Anne Porter and Sue Sutton, members. Also present was Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko.
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM. The members introduced themselves to new member Brendan McQuillan.
Organization of Board: Mrs. Sutton 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. Ms. Porter seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Approval of Minutes: Mr. Levine moved to accept the minutes of October 13, 2011. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 4-0-4, with Messrs. McQuillan, O’Neill and Ms. Porter and Mrs. Sutton abstaining.
The members agreed that the notes taken at the meeting of December 14, 2011 are accurate, although the meeting lacked a quorum.
Mr. Levine said that he was sorry to have missed the presentation given by Council Rock teacher Cemantha Morris on the projects her class of special education students have been doing in Clark Nature Center. The work is much needed and appreciated by the Park and Recreation Board and the Township.
New Business: Mr. Levine reported that he had recently met with Brian Bark to discuss use of Township fields for Council Rock Lacrosse. He would like to bring representatives of Lacrosse, Little League, Upper Makefield Soccer and CRUSA to the February Supervisors work session to discuss field use and field maintenance at Veterans Park. Since Rock Softball might want to have a similar discussion with the Supervisors about maintenance and improvements at Helen Randle Park, he asked Ms. Porter and Mr. McMenamin to participate in the presentation.
Mr. Levine and Mrs. Pawlenko explained that the Township is short staffed in the Public Works Department with the resignation of Gary Crossland and some recent layoffs, and the Park and Recreation budget includes the staff salaries, cutting into funding for park improvements. The Township relies on the field fees collected from the leagues for field maintenance and improvements, but will also be relying on the leagues to do more of the fine tuning of field maintenance. The staff does not have the time or manpower to keep the infields in perfect condition by game time every day.
Mr. Levine said that the leagues should be prepared to discuss their contributions to field maintenance at the Supervisors meeting. He would also like them to talk about the conditions at Veterans Park.
Mr. McMenamin volunteered to visit the park with Mr. Grosso to evaluate conditions and prepare some plans for making the fields playable as soon as possible, while working to give them additional time to grow and become established. It might be best to only use the fields for very little children for the first playing season.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that she has been working to get the pitchers’ mound issues resolved.
Skate Park: Mrs. Pawlenko reported that the enclosures on the ramps are showing signs of deterioration and will need to be repaired/replaced before spring.
Roberts Ridge Park: Mrs. Pawlenko reported that repairs to the restrooms are completed. The Police continue to patrol the park at night and are locking the restrooms every evening at dusk.
Mrs. Sutton said that she would like to work with the art department at the elementary school to get the restroom building painted with some kind of colorful and cheerful murals. She also asked about a project by an Eagle Scout to place and maintain bluebird houses in the park.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that she would find out whether the Scout’s troop is still interested in the project. She might also speak to Ms. Morris about her class looking after the birdhouses. The Sail School is adjacent to the park and the students might have time to add this to their list of projects. They are already busy visiting Clark Nature Center to maintain the trails.
Board of Supervisors: The recording secretary reported that Mr. Calabro will again serve as PRB liaison. The Planning Commission has not met yet to assign a liaison for 2012.
Newtown Creek Coalition: Mrs. Sutton reported that the Coalition has been investigating a program to re-use bridge structures that are available through PennDOT. The Coalition would like to eventually install a pedestrian bridge across the Creek at Frost Lane.
Park and Recreation Director’s Report
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that revenues and participation were both up in 2011. The winter brochure will be mailed within a week. The brochure will include summer camp registration information. There is a discount for registration before April 16. Deposit amount has been reduced to encourage early registration and this year the Department is offering a structured payment plan, which should be very helpful to families enrolling more than one child.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that she has been working with myrec.com to expand the reports she can generate from the registration data; she will now be able to track individual expenses, revenue and profits for programs.
Ms. Porter reported that she has taught an estate planning class with the recreation department and it was very well received. She will work with Mrs. Pawlenko to offer some additional classes on legal issues.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that she has received a number of telephone requests to offer the class again.
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that some residents have approached her about putting a cricket pitch in Veterans Park. Their organization has some funds available and there is some available lawn space. She will invite them to an upcoming meeting to discuss this further.
Ms. Porter moved to adjourn at 9:00 PM. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 8-0.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary