PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF MEETING OF AUGUST 1, 2012
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 in the Township Meeting Room. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Andrew Levine, Vice Chairman Joel Grosso, and members Denis D’Arcy, Kathy Kelly, Brendan McQuillan, Buck O’Neill, Anne Porter 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. Kelly moved to accept the minutes of June 6, 2012. Mr. D’Arcy seconded and the motion passed 8-0.
Park and Recreation Director’s Report: Mrs. Pawlenko reported that camp would end this week. There were 208 participants, with Camp Beechtree being the most successful. The hours and enrollment ages had been slightly adjusted, making the camp more appealing to younger children. The staff will evaluate hours and ages for the other camps to better accommodate the needs of the campers and their parents.
Revenues and participation are up from last year, with 2481 people participating.
The Park and Recreation Board and Department, along with the EAC, has received a grant of $550 from Bucks Beautiful for plantings at Carl Sedia Park. Additional plants were donated by Shadybrook Farm.
Mr. Levine said that some of the Supervisors continue to push for a 25% surcharge for non-residents participating in programs. He favors leaving the surcharge to the discretion of the Department.
The members discussed the surcharge, acknowledging the difficulty of charging a high non-resident fee when programs are held in partnership with private businesses. It is also difficult to add a 25% fee for one time programs which the Department has typically charged a flat $5-10 for non-residents.
Mr. Levine suggested that the Department consider a different fee structure for residents or Wrightstown or Newtown Borough or perhaps a government partnership for resident prices on programs.
Reports of Sub-Committees
Veterans Park: Mrs. Pawlenko reported that she is waiting for a quote from Superior Turf to bring the fields into playing condition.
Noah’s Playground Update: Mr. Levine reported that some re-engineering is being done, as the area for the playground is not as large as had been thought. The playground itself will need some redesign, as one of the rope walls does not have an adequate fall zone.
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that she met with Mr. King, principal of Newtown Elementary, about partnering with the school on fundraising for the playground. Mr. King was very supportive.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that the Department is planning a children’s yard sale at Roberts Ridge with space rental fees going to the playground fund.
Spartans Cricket Update: Mrs. Pawlenko said that the Spartans are awaiting information for their contractor about locating the pitch in Veterans Park at the spot originally allotted for tennis and basketball.
Member Comments: Mr. Levine suggested that the members begin discussing projects which could qualify for the remainder of the County Municipal Open Space Program funds. After Noah’s Playground, the Township will still have over $200,000 allotted for open space preservation or enhancement. He asked that this be added to the September agenda.
Mr. Grosso said that he would like the Township to consider purchasing Newtown Swim Club. It would keep the pool open as a municipal pool and could provide a location for the entire Park and Recreation Department, with space for all of the programs and camps. This would also eliminate many of the current costs for programming like partnerships with other venues and space rentals.
Mrs. Pawlenko said that Council Rock Lacrosse would like field space at Veterans Park. She would like their representatives to come to a meeting to discuss their needs, as most of the sports organizations are all in need of field space.
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary