TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

 

PARK AND RECREATION BOARD

 

OCTOBER 22, 2002

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on October 22, 2002. Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:40pm.

 

Those present:

 

Park & Recreation Board: David Fritchey, Chair

Ron Smith, Vice Chair

John Kuebler, Secretary

Henry Carpenter, Member

Patricia Martin, Member

Andrew Newbon, Member (joined meeting in progress)

 

Others: S. Fegley, Supervisor

D. Liney, Recreation Director

J. Morrison, PAA Commissioner

 

Absent: A. Mancuso, Member

 

APPROVAL OF SEPTEMBER 2002 MINUTES

 

Mr. Kuebler moved, Mr. Carpenter seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of September, 2002 as written.

 

DISCUSSION OF PAA ITEMS

 

Mr. J. Morrison, Commissioner of Pennsbury Athletic Association was present.

Mr. Morrison thanked the Township Board of Supervisors, the Park Board and the Park and Recreation Department for their support this past season, particularly with the new concession stand/restroom facilities at the Lower Makefield baseball complex. Mr. Morrison said many people are commenting on what a great addition this has been, they are noting the improvements the township is making on the fields, and enrollment for PAA in 2002 reflected an increase. Mr. Morrison stated they are only 90 days away from the 2003 baseball season, and he would like to discuss several PAA items.

 

The first item Mr. Morrison discussed was the Macclesfield Park Field A foul ball situation. Mr. Morrison stated the Babe Ruth Senior age groups use this field, along with several adult teams, and there are a number of foul balls going outside Field A into the spectator area and parking lot. Mr. Morrison suggested elevating the backstop and hood configuration and extending the sides to help contain some of the foul balls. Mr. Kuebler explained ballfields in the Hershey Park area have done this and it has been somewhat successful. Mr. H. Carpenter concurred the foul balls have been landing in the spectator area on Field B. Mr. R. Smith also stated balls come out onto the parking area and sometimes as far as the soccer fields.

 

D. Liney stated the existing backstop and hood is 24 feet in height with a 5-foot overhang, which is what is recommended for this feature in the Babe Ruth guidelines.

D. Liney also reported she discussed this issue with a contractor who has installed backstops and hoods in surrounding municipalities, and also with the Trenton Thunder Head Groundskeeper. The Trenton Thunder treats foul balls as part of the game, and has a 24 foot high net suspended to protect spectators directly behind home plate area. The fencing contractor has raised backstops in two complexes an additional screen, to a height of 34 feet, and extended the backstop 10 feet on either side with the overhang and side screens. He estimates this project would be approximately $12,000. T. Martin stated a baseball complex in a neighboring township has also completed this same work for foul ball containment.

It was the consensus of the Park Board that something be done to help the foul ball containment when it becomes time to replace the backstop on Field A.

 

J. Morrison stated the Lower Makefield Girls Softball complex is a great complex, but there is a problem with drainage on some of the fields. D. Fritchey reviewed the letter from Township Engineer R. Williams relative to this issue. T. Martin and A. Newbon agreed with the recommendation of the Township Engineer that the fields be aerated to see if the water will drain from them, and then the grass be cut tight on the sides, and the infields be raised with infield mix. D. Liney said Park Maintenance will plan on addressing these items pre-season, and she will check with R. Williams concerning his recommendation that an area be tested for possible pipe clogs.

 

J. Morrison explained PAA projects seventeen teams requiring 90-foot ballfields for 2003. He stated there are two 90-foot fields in the township, which will not be enough, and requested an additional 90-foot field be planned for in one of the proposed park facilities. J. Kuebler recommended consideration be given to moving both Macclesfield A and Macclesfield H, or at least Macclesfield H onto the Samost tract, creating a total baseball complex, connecting Lower Makefield Baseball and Softball fields, and adding a third 90 foot field as needed. This would lessen the impact of special events and tournaments that one organization is having on another organization. It would also provide a central location for an activity rather than one field in the northern section of the township, one south, and so forth, facilitating maintenance, carpooling, etc.

 

J. Morrison asked which tract would the Board of Supervisors plan to complete first. S. Fegley noted there is an approved plan in place for Memorial Park so logic would say Memorial Park would be the first facility to be developed, however, he could not guarantee that. There is no concept plan in place for the Snipes tract, which was the most recent township purchase. S. Fegley stated he believes the Senior Center issue will need to be decided prior to planning the Samost tract. D. Fritchey concurred that this would provide a clearer picture of what amenities to plan at the Samost tract.

 

R. Smith pointed out the lack of recreation available in the northern section of the township, and the need for additional fields to accommodate the residents who want to play organized sports in the township. H. Carpenter stated more players are returning to baseball and more kids are staying in the program, resulting in demand for additional fields. R. Smith stated YMS would be willing to work with the township in developing additional sites, such as the Snipes property.

 

J. Morrison proposed PAA provide all labor and materials to install a batting cage at the Lower Makefield softball complex where the former bocce courts were located. This would be at PAA expense. H. Carpenter motioned, T. Martin seconded and it was unanimously agreed to recommend the Board of Supervisors accept this proposal by PAA.

 

J. Morrison inquired as to the status of signs at the ballfield complexes. H. Carpenter motioned, T. Martin seconded, and it was unanimously agreed to recommend the Board of Supervisors install signs indicating Lower Makefield Baseball Complex at the facility on Edgewood Road and Lower Makefield Softball Complex at the facility on Roelofs Road, or a sign with alternative wording of the Supervisors choosing.

 

J. Morrison stated the Lower Makefield baseball complex is a great facility and he would like to see lights installed on Fields 1 and 2 to allow for more use of the fields.

D. Fritchey felt this would be tied to the decision on amenities at the Samost tract.

 

R. Smith agreed he would like to see lights at Macclesfield Fields F and H to allow for more use on those fields.

 

LEAGUE LIAISON REPORT J. KUEBLER

 

J. Kuebler reported Pop Warner Football would celebrate Family Day Saturday, October 26th, 11:00AM to 5:00PM. This would be the last day of the 2002 season. All Park & Recreation Board members are invited. J. Kuebler reported the children would be handing in their uniforms and equipment and receiving trophies. J. Kuebler stated their organization is continuing to work on the non-competitive aspect of this program, its nice to see all the children playing, positions being rotated and a more recreational attitude toward this activity. There is a shortage of volunteers. J. Kuebler reported Pop Warner would be changing the registration process for 2003.

H. Carpenter confirmed this was an outstanding activity and commended John and the organization for a job well done.

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR REPORT

 

D. Liney stated she was pleased to report all the organizations have met their obligations for Fall 2002 user fees. On behalf of the township she would like to commend all the people involved for their cooperation, this is the 5th year now that the fees have been paid on a timely basis.

 

D. Liney noted a successful Columbus Day Soccer Tournament this past weekend. This event involved 3,300 boys participating plus an additional 3,000 friends, families and viewers resulting in upwards of 6,000 people enjoying the use of township

facilities. Naturally this would not have been possible without outstanding coordination from the Yardley Makefield Soccer Club. Park & Recreation received a number of positive comments, and believes the tournament reflected well on the township and the YMS organization. As always, Park & Recreation cannot control the

weather but can react to it. Park & Recreation evaluated the fields immediately following tournament, have already slit seeded all bare areas in the park, and have had the entire park fertilized, which will encourage any required regrowth of turf for Spring play.

 

D. Liney took this opportunity to provide a preview of the proposed zero depth entry ramp design presented to the Board of Supervisors by Wallover Architects. The Board of Supervisors approved bidding this project, bathhouse renovations, replastering the lap pool and replacement of the fountain feature in the tot pool. At this point, these projects are scheduled for completion by the pool opening in 2003 Memorial Day Weekend.

 

D. Liney reported it was the consensus of the Board of Supervisors in one of the preliminary budget review meetings that the Park & Recreation Board should begin planning the Samost tract. There has been no directive to date from the Board of Supervisors as to any specific features to include, such as senior center.

 

D. Liney stated there was discussion during the Police Department budget review on the proposed Park Ranger position. Chief Coluzzi would like to provide the training and vehicle for this part time employee, with funds budgeted both in the Police Department and Park & Recreation. D. Liney reported she was not directly involved in that review, but understands there was more information desired by the Board of Supervisors. Park & Recreation has determined the need for this service and the township needs to determine the most cost effective and efficient way to address it.

 

D. Liney stated that Park & Recreation is currently involved in plans for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Makefield Golf Course scheduled for Friday, November 8th, 2:00PM, 1418 Woodside Drive. Preliminary schedules are projecting all construction to be completed by August 2003, and the course available for play July 2004. All Park Board members will be invited to this event.

 

LEAGUE LIAISON REPORT R. SMITH

 

R. Smith thanked the township for its assistance with the recent Columbus Day Tournament. This tournament has evolved into one of the most prestigious soccer events on the East Coast.

 

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:40PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

John Kuebler, Secretary