TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
PARK & RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES - SEPTEMBER 12, 2000

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on September 12, 2000. Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

Those present:

Park & Recreation Board:

David Fritchey, Chairman
Ron Smith, Vice Chairman
John Kuebler, Secretary (joined meeting in progress)
Henry Carpenter, Member
Patricia Martin, Member
Andrew Newbon, Member
Larry Szarko, Member

Others:

Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager (joined meeting in progress)
Donna Liney, Recreation Coordinator
Grace Godshalk, Supervisor Liaison

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Mr. Carpenter moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of July 18, 2000 as written.

Mr. Kuebler joined the meeting at this time.

PUBLIC COMMENT

One woman asked that the fees for the Pool be lowered. Mr. Fritchey stated she would need to discuss this matter with the Community Pool Board which meets on the fourth Thursday of each month.

 LOWER MAKEFIELD SENIORS GROUP PRESENTATION AND MOTION

Ms. Ada Derr was present and showed photographs of seven of the thirteen Senior Centers in Lower Bucks County. She noted there is no Senior Center in Lower Makefield Township. Ms. Derr read her letter sent to the Township into the record (copy attached).

Mr. Fritchey stated everyone on the Park & Recreation Board is sympathetic to their request and are pleased that the Lower Makefield Seniors have flourished as much as they have. He stated the Park & Recreation Board also supported the building of two separate buildings, both of which failed at Referendum. Ms. Derr stated a Senior Center alone has never gone to a Referendum. She stated the senior citizens are paying taxes for recreation, and she does not feel the needs of the seniors are being met.

Mr. Kuebler stated he does not feel there is a lack of support for the concept, but the Board of Supervisors must determine the direction of the Township. Mr. Fritchey stated they had decided to combine the various uses into one buildings since it was not economically viable to build a separate building for each of the groups who need places to meet. Mr. Smith stated he understood that the seniors did not actively support the last Referendum for a Community Center.

Ms. Mary Logan stated a number of the seniors were very concerned about the increase in taxes. She stated a number of seniors were in favor of the Senior Citizen Center but did not want a building for the other uses.

Ms. Derr stated there are five hundred and ten members in their organization currently, and she feels they would have even more members if they had a building. She stated the Seniors need a place where they can relate to others of their generation.

Mr. Newbon stated the Board of Supervisors considered the concept of a Community Center since they felt it would benefit more of the community and would have a better chance of passing.

Ms. Derr stated other Senior Citizen facilities in Lower Bucks County were not built through a Referendum. Mr. Ed O’Byrne stated none of the School District issues are ever put to a public vote.

Mr. Fritchey stated he feels this is going to have to be a decision made by the Board of Supervisors. He stated possibly they could find an already existing building that could be adopted to their use. Mr. Kuebler stated the Park & Recreation Board has always been in favor of a facility for the senior citizens.

Ms. Derr stated she feels they should build a facility for the senior citizens first and they could then build onto that facility in the future for other uses.

Mr. Smith moved and Mr. Kuebler seconded to advise the Board of Supervisors of the Park & Recreation Board’s ongoing support for the construction and/or acquisition of a facility for the senior citizens.

Ms. Martin stated she would be in favor of a Senior Citizen Center which could be built onto in the future.

Mr. Fritchey expressed concern with the next request that may come from the Performing Arts group. Mr. Smith stated the first Referendum included a combination Senior Center/Performing Arts Center and it did not pass. He stated the only matter before the Park & Recreation Board this evening is a Senior Citizen Center.

Mr. Szarko asked if the Senior Citizens have any idea how much space they would need, and was advised that there is information on this already available. Mr. Szarko suggested that they go to the Board of Supervisors with a Plan as to the amount of space they need. Mr. Kuebler stated this Plan was already prepared and should be available in the Township files.

Mr. Fritchey moved to amend the Motion to include that the Board of Supervisors take steps to find space for senior citizen activities on a permanent footing without tying it to the construction of a new building. Mr. Newbon seconded and the Motion as amended carried unanimously.

There was discussion on the condition of the bocce courts, and Ms. Liney stated they are looking into making improvements and are including funds in the 2001 Budget for this purpose. Mr. Fritchey stated if they are able to find a permanent home for the senior citizens, they would probably re-locate that facility to be closer to the Senior Citizen Center along with other activities such as shuffleboard.

LEAGUE LIAISON REPORT - YARDLEY MAKEFIELD SOCCER CLUB

Mr. Smith stated YMS would like to express their thanks to the Township for their on-going support. He stated their numbers are once again increasing and there will be 2300 players in the fall, 89% of which are Township residents. He stated they had hoped the light situation would have been corrected by Labor Day. There is an ongoing need for lit facilities for League play, practices, and tournaments. He stated they recently completed a tournament and the facilities were left in excellent condition. YMS would also like to thank the Township for the construction of the second pavilion at Macclesfield Park.

Mr. Tom Weiner, Facility Director for YMS, was present along with Mr. Russ Ferri, President of YMS. Mr. Ferri stated they need lights on Fields E and G since they have been without them for three seasons. He stated this is also creating problems for the Football League and the time they are being allotted. Mr. Fritchey stated he understands the Township Manager is working on this. Mr. Ferri stated they have yielded time to accommodate other groups.

Mr. Kuebler noted the letter he wrote was to advise of the position of the President of the Football Program, Mrs. Allen, and to get a public forum.

PENNSBURY ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION PRESENTATION AND MOTION

Mr. Jack Morrison was present and thanked Ms. Liney for her support this year. He noted the letter he sent dated 8/23/00 addressing PAA’s concerns with the Stoddart Complex which is twenty-five years old. He stated they need a restroom facility. Mr. Fritchey stated he feels they should replicate the same building at that location which was built at Oxford Valley/Roelofs, including a concession stand.

Mr. Smith stated the Township may want to relocate some of the facilities in the area since the Samost Tract has been acquired. Mrs. Godshalk stated this was under discussion when there was consideration being given to a Community Center. She noted the narrow width of the tract where Stoddart is located and the fact that improvements should be done in the area including widening of Edgewood Road.

Mr. Fedorchak joined the meeting at this time.

Mr. Fedorchak stated there are plans for widening of the bridge in the area and Edgewood Road will be widened although it is an engineering decision how this will be done.

Mrs. Godshalk estimated that widening of Edgewood Road could take place in the next five to ten years.

Mr. Morrison asked about the relocation of the mulch pile and Mr. Fedorchak stated they are looking into this at this time.

Mr. Morrison asked about electricity for the batting cages. Ms. Liney stated the cost would be $3700 for the three areas. Mr. Newbon stated there was previous discussion that they should not only provide electricity, but should also consider paving and storage sheds.

Mr. Morrison stated they would also like to have grass in-fields. Mr. Kuebler stated he feels dirt in-fields are easier to maintain.

Mr. Carpenter stated he is very concerned about children running across Edgewood Road to use the restroom at the Township Building. He suggested they recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they look into providing a restroom facility at Stoddart depending on the timing of making other improvements in the area. Mr. Smith suggested a modular type building which could be moved to another location if necessary. Mr. Fritchey stated they still need to extend the utilities. Mr. Kuebler suggested they look at the tract and set the restroom facility back enough so that if Edgewood Road is widened, it would not have to be removed. Mr. Kuebler stated there are problems getting across Edgewood Road because of increased traffic in the area. Mr. Newbon stated if the mulch pile is removed, this may provide sufficient parking.

Mr. Fedorchak stated there is no design proposed yet for the widening of Edgewood Road. He would anticipate the earliest this would occur would be a minimum of five years. Mrs. Godshalk noted safety concerns with the hill at Oxford Valley and Edgewood Roads. She stated this condition must be corrected. Consideration has also been given to a traffic light at this intersection.

Ms. Liney stated she did obtain estimates for a small restroom in the amount of $85,000 similar to the Kids Kingdom facility.

Mrs. Godshalk noted a trailer type facility which was brought in at Elm Lowne for a wedding.

Mr. Kuebler moved, Ms. Martin seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors construction of a restroom facility at Stoddart Field set far enough back from Edgewood Road so it would not be impacted by widening on Edgewood Road.

Ms. Martin moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they relocate the mulch pile to a different location and grade the land so it is level to provide additional parking at Stoddart.

Mr. Newbon moved, Mr. Carpenter seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they provide electricity to the batting cages at three locations.

Mr. Newbon moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors to construct three dug-outs.

Mrs. Godshalk noted Mr. Morrison had indicated PAA would help financially. Mr. Morrison stated he could not provide specific information on this at this time. Mrs. Godshalk stated if the Board of Supervisors is aware that PAA would be willing to make a contribution, they may look more favorably on these requests. Mr. Morrison was asked to consider this by October when the Budget will be discussed. Mr. Morrison stated they had been considering contributions toward sodding the in-fields.

There was discussion on the difficulty of maintaining the batting cages, and Mr. Kuebler stated the intention was to break this project down into two parts - part one was to construct the cage and part two was to lay down a surface, get electricity to the cage, and decide on a shed for storage of the pitching machine. PAA was to come back with that portion of the project. He noted the intention was never to leave the surface inside the cage in its current condition.

SUPERVISOR LIAISON REPORT

Mrs. Godshalk referred to Ms. Liney’s memo on what is taking place in the Township.She noted the Township has received calls about the Samost Tract and a sign will be installed which states "Lower Makefield Township Park Land." Mrs. Godshalk stated the Township has purchased the Snipes Tract for $1.2 million. Snipes will be permitted to continue to harvest trees for three more Christmas seasons. Mr. Smith stated he understood that soccer fields would be put on some of this property. Mrs. Godshalk stated nothing has been planned for this area. She stated she would like to see North Park developed first. She stated possibly in the future they could use a portion of the rear of the Snipes Tract. She stated she would not be in favor of a recreation facility in the front portion because of its proximity to Elm Lowne and road improvements that need to be done in this area.

Mr. Fritchey asked if the restroom problems have been solved at the Girls’ Softball facility, and Ms. Liney stated they attempted to use them yesterday and they would not flush. Ms. Liney stated PCS plans to meet tomorrow with the manufacturers to have them look at this problem. Mrs. Godshalk expressed concern with the costs PCS is charging to correct this problem since she feels no additional charges should be made to the Township for this.

Mrs. Godshalk was asked about the status of the Golf Course, and she stated the matter will go to Court in October. Last evening they met with an architect who made a presentation. Mr. Szarko stated if the Court matter can be resolved by November, they could start construction in April, 2001.

Mr. Smith noted YMS is going to have a Website and asked if they could hook into the Lower Makefield Township Website. Mr. Fedorchak stated this is possible and Ms. Liney will advise Becky at the Township.

RECREATION COORDINATOR’S REPORT

Ms. Liney stated they are working on the 2001 Budget and the capital portion was submitted with input from the Park & Recreation Board and the organizations. More Budget information will be available in October.

Ms. Liney stated fall permits were issued and while it continues to be a challenge to satisfy the increasing demands of the sanctioned organizations, the Township has met the majority of the requests. She thanked the organizations for their ongoing cooperation.

Mr. Fedorchak noted $150,000 was budgeted for North Park as part of the Preliminary Budget. He stated they are going to look into borrowing $2.5 to $3 million to cover land purchases recently made and an additional parcel which they may purchase in the near future. He stated it may be a good idea to add additional funds to this borrowing for improvements of the tracts owned by the Township. Mr. Fedorchak added they can also apply for Grant funds.

Mr. Fritchey stated there is some volunteer interest for a Kids Kingdom type facility at North Park. He stated Ann Marie Sill has offered to work on this. 

LOWER MAKEFIELD POP WARNER FOOTBALL DISCUSSION

Mr. Kuebler noted the letter he sent which Ms. Liney provided to the Board in their packet. He stated the Football portion of LMAA was started seven years ago and a number of individuals contributed their own money to fund the program. He stated it is run by a Board but does not conduct business meetings or have a public forum which is similar to other youth organizations in the Township. He noted the fees for equipment for each child are $125. He stated it has taken until now to pay down the start-up costs. Mr. Kuebler stated Mrs. Allen has indicated she will be stepping down as President. He stated the Township and Pennsbury School District have supported the organization in the past.Mr. Kuebler stated if Ms. Allen decides to step down, the organization will have to determine what format they will have going forward. He stated the letter he sent reflects the feelings of Mrs. Allen. He has advised Mrs. Allen that he does not share her opinions but he did want to advise Mrs. Allen that her concerns were being forwarded to the Township. Mr. Kuebler stated he does not have any problems with the way the Township has handled requests made by LMAA football.

Mr. Kuebler stated there are issues with the lights. He stated they have been able to schedule games at Macclesfield Park in the evening with Ms. Liney’s cooperation and was appreciative of the comments from the soccer representatives about their ability to get field time.

Mr. Kuebler stated the people on the existing Board did accomplish a lot and spent a lot of time and effort on the program, but he feels that the Board could have gone about things in a different way.

Mr. Kuebler stated Ms. Liney has a difficult schedule to manage and he feels she has done a professional job.

There being no further business, Mr. Carpenter moved, Mr. Szarko seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meting at 9:50 p.m.