PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF MEETING OF JUNE 6, 2012
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in the Township Meeting Room. In attendance and voting were Vice Chairman Joel Grosso, and members Denis D’Arcy, Kathy Kelly, and Susan Sutton. Also in attendance was Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko.
(This meeting lacked a quorum)
Call to Order: Mr. Grosso called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
Public Comment: Resident Thomas Zhlke was in attendance to ask the Park and Recreation Board to establish a policy which would allow residents to remove fallen tree limbs and timber from parklands. He had been removing fallen branches from the park when told by the Public Works Department that this is not permitted. He said that he will make use of the firewood and his removing it costs the Township nothing and saves the Public Works Department the effort of clearing fallen trees.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that she had some concern about using power tools such as chain saws in the parks; she was not sure of the Township’s liability should Mr. Zhlke be injured in the park.
Mrs. Sutton said that if the Park and Recreation Board were to establish any kind of policy, it should include signing of a waiver. She also favored not permitting power tools, only hand tools.
Mr. Grosso said that the Park and Recreation Board is advisory to the Supervisors. The Board can recommend a policy, but it would need Supervisors approval. As this meeting lacks a quorum, the members cannot vote to make such a recommendation, although they will consider this and put it on an upcoming agenda.
Mr. Zhlke also asked that the Township repair the roof on the Gazebo in Carl Sedia Park.
Mrs. Pawlenko agreed that this is in need of some attention. She has been working with the Public Works Department to spruce up the park and has already added roof repair to the list of chores to be done this summer. The benches have been refinished and she has received a Bucks Beautiful grant of $550 for plants and shrubs at the park.
Spartans Cricket: Resident Sanjay Shetye said that the Spartans had found they could not fit the pitch in Silver Lake Park because working around the manhole cover put the pitch too close to the road. The Spartans would like to consider Veterans Park.
Mr. Grosso asked whether the pitch could be located in Roberts Ridge Park.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that Chairman Andrew Levine had expressed some concern about this space being too close to its residential neighbors.
Mr. Shetye reminded the Board that the Spartans would have games on weekend days from April through September from about 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. About 35 people attend the games.
Mrs. Sutton suggested that the Spartans should attempt to provide a short educational program about the sport. This is something new to the residents and they don’t know what to expect.
The members agreed to support the Spartans request for either Roberts Ridge or Veterans Park. It was understood that when the Spartans approached the Supervisors last winter, only Silver Lake Park had been approved for the pitch.
Park and Recreation Director’s Report: Mrs. Pawlenko reported that revenue and participation is up in the Township’s 820 programs and classes. The summer brochure has been mailed. The brochure was printed together with the Township Newsletter on glossy paper and it is getting a lot more attention. Camps will start in a few weeks; counselor training will start shortly. Three summer interns are starting in the Department and will help with a number of tasks including marketing, camp budgeting and writing press releases.
In the parks: there has been erosion in Helen Randle Park due to heavy rains; this is being addressed. Rock Softball held two successful tournaments; a second dumpster will be used for future tournaments to help with maintenance. Enclosures on the ramps at the skate park have been repaired with marine quality wood and there has been a better effort by users to keep the park clean. Public Works will attempt to repair the goal posts at the field behind Staples.
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that it has been discovered that the space allotted for Noah’s playground will not accommodate the design chosen. It is being reconfigured by Paul Grim of Boyce Associates, working with Chris Green from Gilmore. The Bucks County Herald printed a large article on the playground and the Cohens efforts to raise funds.
Newtown Creek Coalition: Mrs. Sutton reported that the Coalition held a creek clean-up event in May. It was very successful. A fall clean-up is being planned for September. The Coalition meets on the third Saturday of each month at Borough Hall at 9:00 AM. All are welcome.
Member Comments: Mrs. Sutton thanked all who helped to make Arbor Day a success.
The meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary