TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
PARK & RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES - NOVEMBER 14,2000
The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on November 14, 2000. Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.
Park & Recreation Board:
David Fritchey, Chairman
Donna Liney, Recreation Coordinator
Henry Carpenter, Member
Mr. Fritchey welcomed Angie Mancuso to the Board. He noted Ms. Mancuso took the place of Larry Szarko who resigned from the Board. Mr. Fritchey thanked Mr. Szarko for his many years of service on the Park & Recreation Board.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Kuebler moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of September 12, 2000 as written.
DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION ON PARK & RECREATION USER FEE
Ms. Liney stated that during the Budget process, the Board of Supervisors asked that the Park & Recreation Board review the user fees adopted in 1994. She stated it has been over five years with no increase to this fee despite escalating cots and increases in service and amenities. She noted the current fee is $5 for residents and $10 for non residents. There are approximately 5,000 children in organized sports that pay user fees which are paid twice a year and approximately 4,000 of these are Township residents. Mr. Fritchey stated this would equal approximately $25,000 to $35,000 in income to the Township. Ms. Liney noted this money goes into the operating revenues for Park & Recreation.
Mr. Fritchey stated the Township Budget is very tight this year. Ms. Liney noted the Board of Supervisors took out the North Park mill and one additional mill from the Park & Recreation Budget. Mr. Fritchey stated if they were to double the fee, this would help with the Budget. He stated the Board of Supervisors has indicated that there have been no increases in the user fees for five years and would recommend an increase.
Mr. Newbon asked what YMS charges those registering to play soccer. Mr. Smith did not have the exact amount. He did note that while initially they did charge residents the $5 user fee and non-residents the $10 user fee, YMS then decided to make the fee the same for everyone and "ate" the extra $5 for non residents. He stated 87% of their players are Township residents. He stated he has concerns about pricing themselves out of the market if the fees are doubled. He noted there is a separate club in the Township - Lower Makefield Soccer - which charges less since YMS does pick up additional costs that Lower Makefield Soccer does not for such things as goals, paint, and other equipment. Mr. Smith stated if they are going to increase the fee, he would ask that it not be done until the fall since they would then be able to put this in their Budget and advertise the increase. He stated he does not feel it would be appropriate to double the fee, and instead would suggest a smaller increase.
Mr. Newbon stated he feels double the fee is a fair request given what the Clubs are being given from the Township as far as use of the fields, etc. Mr. Smith stated YMS also pays for lights and pays for fields for special events. He stated he feels they are providing a service to the Community.
Mr. Kuebler stated he feels increasing the fees will encourage the Schools to charge a fee. Mr. Smith stated he feels if they double the fee there is going to be a backlash. Mr. Kuebler stated he is not in favor of any user fee at all.
Mrs. Godshalk stated it costs the Township money to maintain the fields. She stated they continue to hear from the senior citizens that everything in the community is done for the kids in the community and nothing is done for the senior citizens. She stated the Senior Citizens do pay registration dues but this stays with their organization. She stated she does agree that the Senior Citizens should be paying something to pay for their use of the Township Buildings and Ms. Liney’s time. Mrs. Godshalk stated she does not feel it is necessary to double the rate but does feel they should have a small increase each year.
Mr. Newbon stated the value of the land is going up and there is also more Township land available for recreation activities. Ms. Liney stated maintenance costs continue to go up. She stated five years ago Macclesfield Park was sixty acres and it is now ninety acres. She stated it was only being cut once every two weeks and they are now cutting twice a week. She stated there are also costs associated with new facilities such as Roelofs Park as well.
Mr. Smith stated a number of non residents also use the facilities, particularly at Macclesfield Park and they do not pay anything. He stated this results in wear and tear on the equipment and the grounds. Mr. Fritchey stated while this is correct, he feels the Township has these fields primarily for the purpose of fostering youth athletics. He stated there are Townships that do not do anything approaching what Lower Makefield has to offer. He stated the organized groups do get priority use of the fields.
Mr. Kuebler stated he does not feel it is appropriate to double the user fees. Mr. Smith stated he feels people will accept a gradual increase in the fees. Mr. Newbon stated he feels YMS should charge their non-resident players the non-resident fee since these people are not paying taxes in the Township. Ms. Liney stated YMS runs a lot of tournaments. Mr. Smith stated these are fund-raisers for the individual teams. Mrs. Godshalk stated the tournaments would not be attracted to play in the Township if the Township did not have the fine facilities that they do. Mr. Smith stated he feels the Township also benefits from these tournaments since when people come to Lower Makefield and see the fine facilities, they may be encouraged to want to live in this area.
Ms. Mancuso stated they should have been increasing the fee a small amount each year. Since they did not do so, she does not feel it is unfair to double the fee at this time since costs for maintaining the fields have increased over the last six years.
Mr. Kuebler noted many of the PAA players only use the School fields. Mr. Fritchey stated the decision on where they play is a decision made by PAA. He stated PAA as an organization gets benefits which are passed on to the entire organization. Mr. Fritchey stated the purpose of the fees is to help offset the expense of the maintenance of the Township facilities.
Mr. Fritchey moved and Mr. Newbon seconded to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that user fees be increased $3 for Township residents and $5 for non-Township residents. Mr. Newbon asked when this should take effect. Ms. Liney stated the organizations were alerted in August that there may be a user fee increase effective January, and they should consider this in their upcoming registration fees.
Mr. Newbon asked that the Motion be amended that the increase would not start until the second half of the year. Mr. Smith stated Lacrosse has already put out their flyer for the spring so he feels the increase should be deferred. Mr. Fritchey agreed to the amendment.
Mr. Smith stated he would recommend that there be no increase in the user fees but if there is to be an increase it should be in increments and it should not take place until the fall. Mr. Kuebler agreed with this recommendation.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels YMS is making a mistake by not charging the non-residents the higher fee. She stated the players who are Township residents are subsidizing the players who are non-residents under YMS’ current system.
Mr. Kuebler stated he feels they should know how much the increase in costs for maintenance have been since the user fees were first assessed before they vote on a specific amount for an increase.
Motion as amended carried with Mr. Fritchey, Ms. Mancuso, and Mr. Newbon in favor and Mr. Kuebler and Mr. Smith opposed.
REPORT ON PROPOSED LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP PARK & RECREATION OPERATING BUDGET FOR 2001
Ms. Liney stated the Board of Supervisors has on its Agenda for Monday, November 20 the approval of the 2001 Budget. She stated capital items approved at this point are a twelve foot rotary wing mower, $50,000 for restrooms at Stoddart, $50,000 for bikepaths, dug-out improvements, and fencing at the pool field. Ms. Liney stated on the Public Works Road Tour there was discussion on the limited number of stalls at the Macclesfield Park restroom facility and it was proposed that the restroom be expanded. Mr. Smith agreed that the Macclesfield Park restrooms are very much undersized particularly for the girls. Ms. Liney stated during the Road Tour one suggestion was to add six stalls. Mr. Smith stated he felt this would be money well spent.
Mr. Smith moved to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they include in the Budget increasing the restroom facility at Macclesfield Park at the earliest possible time.
Ms. Liney noted they would probably not be able to do the work until November of next year since there are special events held there through the summer. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels they might be able to bring in portable facilities in the summer while the construction was taking place. Ms. Liney stated possibly they could get the work done in August.
Mr. Fritchey seconded the Motion, and the Motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Godshalk stated they received information that the mulch pile will be moved behind the hedgerow. She has been advised that this will not impact the hedgerow in a negative way. They will then be able to expand the parking area. She is opposed to the use of macadam and feels they will be using some kind of stone since the area does not have to be plowed in the winter.
Mrs. Godshalk stated there was discussion in the past on the use of standardized signs throughout the Township. She provided information on signs she has seen which are available for sale. Mr. Fritchey stated the problem with the signs was there was no firm agreement on the names for some of the facilities.
Mrs. Godshalk noted a corn crib was moved by the developer of the Loberg Tract, DeLuca Homes, to Elm Lowne.
Mrs. Godshalk stated the Golf Course matter is still in the Court.
RECREATION COORDINATOR’S REPORT
Ms. Liney stated there were two bids received for the light work at Macclesfield with a low bid of $47,000 and a high bid of $97,000. The bids are under review by the supervising electrical engineer, and they will then be forwarded to the Township Solicitor for action according to the Township Manager.
Ms. Liney noted PCS has been working on the problem with the toilets at Roelofs Park. She stated they are considering a toilet with a larger hole and possibly a booster pump. Ms. Liney noted this work is to be done at no cost to the Township although this is costing the Township time and the facility is not operational. Mr. Fritchey stated he is concerned that by the time they make a decision on what should be done, they are going to need to winterize and they will then have only one month after unwinterizing in March to make sure it will work properly.
Mr. Kuebler stated the football season has ended. Approximately 1300 attended the three banquets which were held. He reported that Ms. Allen has retired, and a decision will be made on her successor and how the organization will be structured. Mr. Kuebler stated it costs $140 to outfit one player, and they need to recondition the helmets each year. He stated the players purchase their own mouthpieces, shoes, and pants. He stated it is difficult to have to go from facility to facility as opposed to having one home field. He stated this program is also more of a regional program than simply Lower Makefield Township residents. He stated this makes it more difficult to fit in with the Lower Makefield Township guidelines. Mrs. Godshalk stated the leadership must decide whether they want to make this a regional program or more geared just to Lower Makefield Township.
Mr. Smith stated YMS is still in the midst of a very successful fall season. He stated the facilities are in good condition. They did have one unfortunate incident last month when one of the players passed away during practice. He added this did not have anything to do with playing soccer. Mr. Smith noted there is a requirement that LMSA run an intramural program for them to have a travel team, but YMS would have no objection to their not running the intramural program and still be able to keep their travel team status. Ms. Liney stated LMSA wants to run the intramural program as a feeder program for the travel team and this is a Lower Makefield Township requirements.
Mr. Smith stated he does not want it to be forgotten that there is a problem with outside vendors and there was to be some kind of limitation on them coming in during special events. He stated he felt there was an agreement with the Board of Supervisors that there would be a restriction on the vendors’ licenses that they could not come in during special events. He stated this is a safety problem and also impacts the groups’ ability to fund-raise during special events. Mr. Kuebler stated safety is always a concern not only during special events. Mr. Kuebler stated he had a discussion at Macclesfield Park with one of the police officers who felt it would be better to have the traffic be able to go both ways around the Park. Ms. Liney stated they will look into this. Mr. Kuebler stated there was an agreement that the vendors would be given a spot where they would be permitted to park. Mr. Smith stated this is not being followed. Ms. Liney stated she feels they did discuss this matter with the Township solicitor, and he felt they would be able to put restrictions on the vendors during the special events. The was discussion on the fee being charged to the vendors, and Ms. Liney stated it is $100 a year and they may go anywhere they want in the Township. She noted there were signs posted at Kids Kingdom and Macclesfield Park that indicated where the vendors could park. Mr. Smith stated the organizations are paying fees to the Township, and he feels that the organizations should be able to raise funds for the clubs. Mr. Kuebler stated he feels the more important issue is the safety issue. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels they should include on the permit the dates that they cannot be in the Park. Mr. Fritchey stated he feels they will have to run this by the Solicitor. Mr. Smith stated he did not feel it would be a problem if restrictions were to be put on the licenses. Ms. Liney agreed to look into this matter.
There being no further business, Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Kuebler seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:00 p.m.