TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
PARK & RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES - FEBRUARY 8, 2000

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on February 8, 2000. Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.

Those present:

Park & Recreation Board:

David Fritchey, Chairman
Ron Smith, Vice Chairman
John Kuebler, Secretary
Henry Carpenter, Member
Andrew Newbon, Member
Larry Szarko, Member

Others:

Donna Liney, Recreation Coordinator
Grace Godshalk, Supervisor Liaison

Absent:

Patricia Martin, Member

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Mr. Szarko moved, Mr. Carpenter seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of January 11, 2000 as written.

PROPOSED COMMUNITY CENTER DISCUSSION

Mr. Fred Allan was present and stated they have been at McCaffrey’s discussing the proposed Community Center with Township residents, and Mr. Hackman has been meeting with the Seniors and a Woman’s Club to discuss the proposed project.He stated they plan to have a public meeting on this the last week in February.They have informational brochures which they plan to distribute to various groups in the Township asking them to distribute them to their members. Mr. Allan showed a copy of the artist’s rendering of the proposed Community Center. He noted the location of an office which could be used by Ms. Liney and possibly a staff to help run all recreational activities in the Township. Mr. Allan stated he anticipates the Referendum will pass this time. He stated he has heard people in the community indicating they do not want organizations to take over the facility and he feels they should limit the times that the organizations can use the facility so that it is available to the Township residents who are not part of an organized group.

Mrs. Godshalk noted the large multi-purpose room can be used by groups other than the Senior Citizens although the Senior Citizen group would have a locked area where they can store their possessions.

Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels it is important for people to know that there will be fees charged to use the facility so the taxpayers know there will be some funds coming back to the Township by those using the facility. She stated she would like to know what other Centers outside the Township are charging for use of their facilities. Mr. Newbon stated he would not want to make the fee structure so complicated that it appears the taxpayers are not only being faced with a tax increase but will also need to pay to make any use of the facility. Mr. Smith stated when the Pennsbury School District began discussions about charging fees for use of their facilities, organizations came out to protest. It was noted the Pennsbury School District was planning to charge very high fees.

Mr. Allan asked that the Park & Recreation Board members discuss the Community Center with other Township residents requesting that they vote on the matter. He added registered Independents can vote on Referendum questions.

Mr. Newbon asked if they will have a clear idea on the fees to be charged by users before this matter goes out for a vote. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels people who do not live in the Township should pay a higher fee than Township residents pay.

Mr. Fritchey noted the field usage fee only covers a portion of the actual maintenance cost but is charged since the group gets priority on the fields. He stated he feels the simpler they keep the fee schedule the better.

Ms. Liney noted while the Senior Citizens are not currently charged a fee to utilize the Township Building, they did increase their membership fees in preparation of having to pay a fee to utilize Township facilities.

There was discussion on the possibility of charging a nominal fee for a family membership and they could then use the facility at no additional charge unless they were using it as part of an organization’s activities.

Mr. Allan noted they will also charge a few dollars per seat for use of the auditorium as well as charge a fee for dances, etc.

DISCUSSION OF OXFORD VALLEY/ROELOFS BUILDING

Mr. Allan noted they have broken ground on the Restroom/Concession facility at Oxford Valley/Roelofs Park.

PENNSBURY ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION REPORT

Mr. Jack Morrison was present and stated they have had three registrations to date and the numbers are approaching what they had last year. They have approximately 1340 children registered so far and they will hold another registration on February 12. There will be a late fee assessed for those registering on February 12. In addition this was the first year where they had a substantial discount for family players. This year the first and second child playing are charged the normal fee, the third player gets a $50 discount and the fourth player, plays for free.

Mr. Morrison noted this year they voted to go under a Little League affiliation and they are having a problem with the boundaries. If they follow the boundary indicated by the Little League representative, this will have a drastic impact on the Morrisville Little League who has indicated in the paper recently that this is a problem. Mr. Morrison stated he has asked for written confirmation on the boundaries from Little League and they hope to have this information before their next meeting. Mr. Morrison stated when they left Little League in 1993, Little League granted temporary boundaries to Morrisville; and PAA had been advised that if they go back to Little League, the boundaries for Lower Makefield would be re-established. Mr. Fritchey stated it is important that they get this resolved since they need to move forward with the batting circles, and if they are going to go with Little League, there are certain rules they have to follow.

Mr. Morrison thanked the Township for the approval of the Restroom/Concession building at Oxford Valley/Roelofs Park.

Mr. Morrison noted the Township concurred with PAA on construction of the batting cages and in order to use them correctly, they would like to have electricity. Mr. Kuebler stated they also need floors for the cages and sheds for storage of the equipment used at the batting cages. He added there was discussion about this in the past, and it was to be Phase II of the project. Mr. Morrison stated he feels possibly the Township could pay for this initially and PAA could repay the Township in five years. Ms. Liney stated she feels they had estimates for running electricity and it was expensive. Mr. Smith stated it was also discussed that the site of the Community Center had not been finally determined and they may opt to move the fields at Stoddart so it would not be a good idea to proceed with this project at Stoddart at this time. Ms. Liney agreed to look into the costs again. Mr. Szarko stated he does not feel it makes any sense to install the electric without also installing a shed to store the equipment.

Ms. Liney asked that they look into the possibility of widening the door to the batting cages since this is one reason why the grass gets so high. Mr. Kuebler stated he feels they should concrete the floor of the batting cage and install Astro-turf over it.

Mr. Morrison was asked to price out exactly what he wants.

Mr. Brian Derby stated traditionally YMS has held a Mother’s Day tournament and PAA would like to be able to use Macclesfield A and B at this time since it is the only 90 foot field available. Ms. Liney asked if it would be a hardship for PAA and agreed to work with them on this matter.

Mr. Fritchey asked Mr. Morrison if they will go back to Babe Ruth if it does not work out with Little League, and Mr. Morrison stated they will. Mr. Fritchey asked how this will impact insurance, and Mr. Morrison stated PAA carries its own insurance.

FIVE MILE WOODS PRESERVE ANNUAL REPORT

Mr. John Heilferty was present and noted the information he provided on the accomplishments for the past year and what he plans for the year 2000.

Mr. Heilferty stated he did purchase a wheelchair but has not used it as much as he had wished because of the condition of the trails. FMC volunteers have been helpful in improving the trails so that he can now use it more often. He noted an Eagle Scout also constructed a storage shed for the wheelchair. Mr. Heilferty stated last year he did a number of talks at schools, for Scout groups, and for other groups. He noted he is limited as to how much time he can devote to this since he does have a full-time job. He has also worked with seven Eagle Scouts over the last year as well as a group of young people in conjunction with a Police Department program working with youths who have had minor legal problems. He also works with the Friends of the Five Mile Woods. He thanked Ms. Liney and her staff for work done at the Five Mile Woods over the last year.

Mr. Heilferty stated for the year 2000 he hopes to work on exterior lighting and is working with the Police Department on what would be appropriate. Currently they are considering a motion detector lighting system. He noted $6,000 has been budgeted for this project. He is also looking into the installation of an exterior telephone. Mr. Heilferty stated he plans to continue with his tours of the Woods and to the extent he is able, and talks at the schools. He added the Roving Nature Center is due to come again in the year 2000. He stated they do charge them a fee for using the Woods, and the Township received $1300 last year for the Roving Nature Center Program.

Mr. Heilferty stated the Woods is a great resource in the lower end of the Township and it is clear that the public is using this piece of open space in the Township.

SUPERVISOR LIAISON REPORT

Mrs. Godshalk stated at the last meeting of the Board of Supervisors the Board did not approve going out to bid for the pavilions at Kids Kingdom or Macclesfield Park. She stated at Kids Kingdom they did not want a 30’ by 30’ pavilion since they felt this was too large. She stated she felt a smaller pavilion should be put in adjacent to Kids Kingdom where the kennel was previously located. Mrs. Godshalk stated only $15,000 was budgeted for the pavilion at Kids Kingdom and the anticipated cost as noted on the recommendation from the Park & Recreation Board was in excess of this amount. It was noted $15,000 was budgeted for Kids Kingdom and $30,000 for Macclesfield Park and the total estimate for both by March Associates was $36,000.

Ms. Liney noted with regard to the location at Kids Kingdom, the Park & Recreation Board looked at the site and felt a pavilion would better serve the community if it were located between the two picnic areas. Mrs. Godshalk stated she does not feel it can serve Kids Kingdom if it is separated from it. Mrs. Godshalk stated they would also use up the open area if they placed it between the two picnic area. She noted there are also large trees in the area which can provide shade.

Mr. Fritchey suggested the Board of Supervisors reject the recommendation of the Park & Recreation Board and install a pavilion of a size they desire and at a location they desire at Kids Kingdom and also proceed with the installation of a pavilion at Macclesfield Park.

Mrs. Godshalk asked who would do the installation and it was noted a contractor would have to do this since they could not do it in-house.

RECREATION COORDINATOR’S REPORT

Ms. Liney stated the summer camps offered at the Township last year will be offered again this year. They will also offer a softball camp, and she will provide information on all the summer camps to be offered in the next packet.


Ms. Liney noted registrations are up for all organizations and she is working on field assignments at this time.

LEAGUE LIAISON REPORT

Mr. Smith stated there are two more scheduled registrations for YMS in February. Mr. Smith asked for an update on the lights at Macclesfield Park. Mrs. Godshalk stated to her knowledge they are at a stalemate. Ms. Liney stated E and G will not be lighted in the spring. 

There being no further business, Mr. Carpenter moved, Mr. Newbon seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 p.m.