PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF MEETING OF MAY 2, 2012
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 in the Township Meeting Room. In attendance and voting were Chairman Andrew Levine, Vice Chairman Joel Grosso, and members Kathy Kelly, Brendan McQuillan and Susan Sutton. Also in attendance was Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko.
Call to Order: Mr. Levine called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
Approval of Minutes: Mrs. Sutton moved to accept the minutes of April 10, 2012. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Park and Recreation Director’s Report: Mrs. Pawlenko explained that Police Chief Pasqualini has asked each department head to prepare weekly reports as he is acting as interim manager. She will provide the Park and Recreation Board with copies of each week’s report.
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that the 2012 revenue and participation are up; revenue is at $190,698 with 1696 residents participating in over 700 programs. This revenue shows only the camp registration fees actually collected, as this year the Department is testing a partial deposit plan. At this point, Camp Beechtree is at capacity; there are still some available slots in Camp Newtown and Teen Camp, although teen camp already has exceeded last year’s enrollment. The Department is also testing more flexibility in the ages for enrollment in camps, allowing children to remain in half-day Beechtree if they are entering first grade or remaining in Camp Newtown an extra year to take advantage of the after camp care. Last year the older children at Camp Newtown participated in some outings with teen camp and this will be offered again.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that Giant Supermarket will be donating two park benches made from recycled grocery bags to the Township. They will be located at Silver Lake Park.
Three interns will be working in the department over the summer and the summer seasonal public works crew has already begun working part-time on park maintenance duties. They will be full time by mid-May.
The summer brochure is being combined with the Township newsletter and should be ready shortly. She showed a sample, which has the program brochure facing one way and the newsletter on the opposite side. This arrangement will save the department some printing costs.
The Department is participating in the Bucks County Recreation Council’s scavenger hunt. This involves a passport that children would use to visit sites and parks throughout the county. The County Commissioners will award prizes at the Grange Fair in August.
Reports of Subcommittees
Veterans Park: Mrs. Pawlenko said that there has been little change in conditions at the grass fields in the park. She has set a conference call for Thursday, May 3 at 2:00 PM with Sharon Dotts of Gilmore & Associates and Mr. Levine. She urged other Board members to participate.
Mr. Grosso said he would participate. He reviewed the original Penn State report on field conditions and asked whether all steps recommended in the letter were followed. He would like to review the latest response from Gilmore and discuss it during the conference call. He said that although watering had been recommended it had not been done last fall. He also pointed out that the foul poles on the skinned field were misaligned and the entire field is pitched so that there is not a clear sight line from second base to home plate. Only the pitcher’s mound was to have had a pitch.
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that the leaks in the park have been fixed but she is not confident that the fix is permanent. This is also to be discussed during the conference call.
Spartans Cricket: Mrs. Pawlenko said that she has not heard from the Spartans about using Roberts Ridge for their pitch.
Mr. Grosso said that he was supportive of using Silver Lake but has some concerns about using Roberts Ridge for men’s cricket. He suggested that the Spartans also consider the area in Veterans Park that had been allocated for basketball and tennis.
The Spartans will be at the June meeting to discuss this further.
Carl Sedia Park: Mrs. Pawlenko reported that the Public Works Department has been sprucing up the park; they have re-finished the benches and picnic table and cleaned up the shrubbery. The EAC is co-sponsoring a Bucks Beautiful grant for gardens viewable from roadsides. Shady Brook Farm is co-sponsoring the grant.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that there had been a resident in the park cutting wood from downed trees with a chain saw. The resident then asked permission to take the wood and continue to look for felled trees.
The Board was in agreement that this should not be permitted.
Noah’s Playground: Mr. Levine provided copies of the two playground designs submitted by Paul Grim of Boyce Associates and a memo from Jason Cohen, who favored option #2.
The members reviewed the two plans and agreed that they all favored option #2.
Mrs. Sutton moved to approve design #2 from Boyce Associates for Noah’s Playground and to recommend to the Supervisors that they authorize the Park and Recreation Board to pursue a matching grant through the County Municipal Open Space Program. Mr. Grosso seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Levine asked Mrs. Pawlenko to get a quote from Mr. Grim for the safety surfacing he had recommended, engineered wood combined with rubberized paths to the play structures. He also suggested getting a quote for all wood safety surfacing. He would bring the plans and quotes present to the Supervisors at the May 23, 2012 meeting.
Mr. Grosso said that at its Memorial Day events, Little League will donate all funds it raises to Noah’s Playground.
Mr. Levine said that if the County approves the funds for the playground there will still be over $400,000 in Newtown’s allocation. He suggested that the Board identify and prioritize other projects for improving existing open space.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that Clark Nature Center has a number of projects to be addressed. She also would like to replace the gazebo in Carl Sedia Park.
Newtown Creek Coalition: Mrs. Sutton reported that the Coalition will hold a creek clean-up day on May 19 at 9:00 AM.
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that Council Rock School District will be presenting her with an award and acknowledging the Township’s partnership with Ms. Morris’s class of special needs children. The class has mulched the trails and gardens at Clark Nature Center. They will plant a vegetable garden there. They also made bird feeder kits for little children which were distributed at the Candy Cane Hunt. She asked the Board to go with her to be acknowledged.
Mrs. Kelly agreed to attend to represent the Park and Recreation Board.
Mr. Grosso moved to adjourn at 8:30 PM. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary