PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF MEETING OF FEBRUARY 6, 2013
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 in the Township Meeting Room. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Andrew Levine and members Denis D’Arcy, 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. Kelly moved to accept the minutes of November 12, 2012. Mrs. Sutton seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Organization of Board
Mrs. Sutton nominated Mr. Levine to serve as chairman. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mrs. Sutton nominated Joel Grosso (not in attendance) to serve as vice chairman. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Eagle Scout Project, Peter Bachman Gregori: Peter Bachman Gregori of Scout Troop 74 presented a plan to install a flagpole and surrounding flower garden at Helen Randle Park as his Eagle Scout project. He said that project would need help from about five other scouts and would cost between $1500 and $2000, with the bulk of the cost being rental of a cement mixer. He would create a more formal plan and begin fundraising efforts as soon as the Park and Recreation Board approved his plans. He would work with the Park and Recreation Director on selection of plants for the garden bed.
Mr. Levine suggested that he bring his plans to the Rock Softball League and the Newtown Little League as both leagues use the park as home fields. The leagues might have some joint fundraising opportunities.
Mrs. Kelly moved to approve Peter Bachman Gregori’s Eagle Scout project, a flagpole and garden at Helen Randle Park. Mrs. Sutton seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Levine said that he would present this project to the Board of Supervisors in March when he next gives a Park and Recreation report.
Reports on Projects
Noah’s Playground: Mr. Levine reported that he will be on the agenda of the Bucks County Planning Commission meeting of February 27, 2013 to seek approval for Municipal Open Space Program matching funds for the playground. He has already submitted the scaled back plans and estimate of between $120,000 and $135,000 for the playground. The estimate includes equipment, site work and engineering. He has been encouraged by Cris Kerns of BCPC that our project might be very favorably considered.
In conversations with Ms. Kerns he has learned that some of our other suggested “wish list” projects would be considered repair or maintenance projects, which would not qualify for MOSP funding. He would try to get further guidance on this.
Basketball Courts: Mrs. Pawlenko reminded members that there is a $5000 grant from Coke for basketball courts. She is investigating the costs for repair, resurfacing, benches and backboards. Complete resurfacing would cost more than the $5000 grant and would require some additional fundraising. The Coke grant must be used by May 1, 2013.
Mr. D’Arcy suggested that there might be opportunities for volunteer help, possibly some fundraising efforts, from the youth basketball league and the Council Rock high school teams. He would investigate this further.
Veterans Park: Mrs. Pawlenko shared the cost estimates from Superior Turf for work to bring the fields into playable condition for the fall and for a three year ongoing maintenance program. These would be presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval at an upcoming meeting.
Art in the Park: Mrs. Pawlenko reported that the Department is planning an art show at Roberts Ridge Park. Local artists and craftsmen are invited to rent a space and display their work. Spaces will be placed along the path as they were for the children’s yard sale last fall. The event could be promoted as a fundraising event for a specific park or recreation goal such as the basketball court refurbishing.
Park and Recreation Director’s Report
Mrs. Pawlenko provided members with copies of reports on program enrollment and costs which she prepared using sorting features of myrec.com. She said that the Board of Supervisors has been asking for these reports and has been interested in the exact costs associated with each program. They are requiring that employee time be included in the costs, which has proven difficult to estimate, as there is overlap of employee time on multiple programs. Some new programs have also required a great deal of employee time to begin, but when successful, future sessions of the program require minimal time.
Mrs. Pawlenko noted that there is a charge to the Township for credit card payments for in person and for on-line registrations. There has been some discussion among the Supervisors of charging a surcharge for use of credit cards.
Mr. McQuillan said that he has found in business that such charges can discourage enrollment. He suggested that the cost be included when calculating an appropriate cost for a program. He noted that while there is a charge from the credit card company, the time involved by Township employees to accept credit card or on-line payment is less.
Mr. McQuillan suggested that he visit the Township offices to help analyze the use and success of e-mail blasts.
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that she has visited Russell Gardens to learn about perennials and herbs and is planning a plant swap and a community herb garden at Clark Nature Center.
Mrs. Pawlenko reported that Michael Iapalucci has expressed interest in working with the Park and Recreation Department on community service jobs for offenders in the Youth Aid program.
Mrs. Sutton asked for help with Arbor Day in April. She said that she will need help preparing the sites for tree planting and running some of the activities. Former PRB member John Davis has already volunteered to run “tree trivia” at the event.
Mr. D’Arcy asked whether there would be any community interest in handball walls. He would like the PRB to investigate this further.
Mrs. Sutton moved to adjourn at 8:00 PM. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary