TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES - MARCH 11, 2003

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on March 11, 2003.  Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Park & Recreation Board:        David Fritchey, Chairman

                                                Ron Smith, Vice Chairman

                                                John Kuebler, Secretary

                                                Richard Jutkiewicz, Member

                                                Patricia Martin, Member

                                                Andrew Newbon, Member (joined meeting in progress)

 

Others:                                     Donna Liney, Recreation Director

                                                Wes Hackman, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                         Henry Carpenter, Park & Rec Member

 

 

APPROVAL MINUTES

 

Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Jutkiewicz seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of February 11, 2003 as corrected.

 

 

DISCUSSION OF REQUEST FOR FIELD USE BY YARDLEY BASEBALL

 

Mr. Robert Buckley, President, Yardley Baseball, was present.  Mr. Buckley noted they

had previously been considering affiliating with American Legion Baseball, but they have

now put together a new Application for a new organization independent of American

Legion Baseball.  The new league will be called Yardley Baseball.  He stated they do not

have non-profit status yet but he did provide a copy of their application for same.  He stated

they also do not have their insurance certificate but did provide a letter from the agency

indicating it is pending.  They expect to receive this by Friday.  Other required information

was provided to Ms. Liney this evening.  Ms. Liney stated she was provided with a

preliminary submittal.

 

Mr. Fritchey asked how many teams are in the League, and Mr. Buckley stated they

currently have seventeen players registered and they are looking to get twenty-four so that

they can have two intramural teams.  Mr. Fritchey asked who they will play, and

Mr. Buckley stated they will play each other.  It will be an instructional program.  He

added this is the number of players they propose to start off with. They are age ten and

under.  He stated they will play fall ball and by that time they will probably have at least

two age groups.

 

Mr. Newbon joined the meeting at this time.

 

 

 

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Mr. Buckley stated they will also have a travel program in the spring. He stated initially they had proposed to have one team which would be a travel team but they then found out that they would need to have an intramural team in order to be sanctioned.  They now plan to have two intramural teams and one travel team which will be formed from the players in the two intramural teams.  Mr. Fritchey asked who the travel team will play, and

Mr. Buckley stated they will play AABC that is run out of Lower Bucks.  This is people out of the old Devlin League.  They would like to start this in the spring.  There is no program proposed for girls.

 

Mr. Kuebler stated it seems they are requesting a decision on whether the organization that

is being formed meets the sanctioning requirements which is a separate issue from whether

or not there are fields available for their use.  Mr. Fritchey stated the Township has just

received this Application this evening and they will have to review it.  He expressed

concern with the timing since it is now March and they will most likely want to start

playing in a few weeks.  Mr. Kuebler stated they must consider how many children are in

this League compared to the number of children participating in the other organizations and

whether there are fields available.  Mr. Buckley stated they have been working with

Ms. Liney for over six weeks.  He stated he understood it was incumbent on them to obtain

the information needed to be sanctioned, and this is what they spent the last five to six

weeks doing.  Mr. Fritchey stated it appears from their Application that they are asking for

two 60’ baseball fields for Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  He stated

this seems like a large request for the number of people they have participating in their

program compared to the number participating in PAA. He added there are only four 60’

baseball fields in the Township, and Mr. Buckley is asking for two of them three nights a

week plus Saturday and Sunday.  Mr. Buckley stated he only needs one field and it could

be the 75’ field or a 60’ field.  He stated he would need it for three days a week at least. 

Mr. Fritchey stated he does not feel the number of children participating in their program

justifies this request.  Mr. Buckley stated PAA also gets to use the School fields which he

cannot use.   Mr. Fritchey stated the Township has no control over what PAA gets from the

School District.   Mr. Buckley stated as a group of Township residents, the members of his

organization feel they have followed the rules and should be sanctioned.  Mr. Kuebler

stated he has no problem with their organization wanting to get sanctioned but stated he has

coached for many years and it is very difficult to get fields.  He stated it seems it will be

difficult to fit this organization in and they will have to review the numbers.  Mr. Buckley

stated he is only asking to be treated fairly.  Mr. Fritchey stated the new organization has

only 1% of PAA’s enrollment.  Mr. Kuebler stated they should then get 1% of the field

usage.   Mr. Fritchey stated they must look at the fact that they only have 17 children

participating in the program while 1500 are participating in the other league. 

 

Mr. Smith stated he feels they should consider whether this in fact an intramural program

since they are taking twelve out of the seventeen children registered and putting them on a

travel team.  Mr. Smith stated they could have another group come in next week with

another application for eighteen players and this could create even more problems. 

Mr. Smith stated he does not, however, want to deprive these seventeen children the

opportunity to play baseball.  Mr. Smith stated he feels there is a reason why this

organization is forming and asked if there is a problem with the existing organization which

could be corrected in order to avoid having additional baseball organizations in the

Township.  Mr. Buckley stated this is not a new problem since a number of the players

currently playing for Morrisville are from Lower Makefield.  Mr. Fritchey stated

Morrisville does have a historic, geographic claim to one third of Lower Makefield players. 

He asked if there is some issue they can discuss as to the reason for this request. 

March 11, 2003                                                          Park & Recreation Board - page 3 of 8

 

Mr. Buckley stated they are a group of people who do not feel they should have to take

their children to Morrisville to play quality baseball.  Mr. Fritchey stated it appears they

have an irreconcilable difference with PAA, and Mr. Buckley agreed.  Mr. Buckley stated

he feels by this time next year, they will have five to ten times this number of children.

 

Ms. Martin asked if all members of their League are from Lower Makefield, and

Mr. Buckley stated two to three of the players have Newtown addresses, but they live in

Lower Makefield.

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz stated in the information they provided it indicates that they will not charge

any fees, and Mr. Buckley stated they were running free clinics.

 

Mr. Smith asked if they could summarize the problems they are having with PAA. 

Mr. Buckley stated a group wanted to upgrade the educational process that takes place in

Little League.  He stated he feels PAA is such a big organization that it has brought on

problems.  He stated he has spent five years trying to change PAA from within, and was

not able to do so.

 

Mr. Hackman asked what there is about the Morrisville program that is different from the

Lower Makefield Program that makes it better.  Mr. Buckley stated the amount of

instructional training that the players get in the basics of baseball is better in Morrisville. 

He stated he has asked PAA to do instructional drills and PAA Board members have

opposed this.  Mr. Hackman stated he feels it comes  down to the Team manager as far as

what he does or does not do with his team as far as drills go.  Mr. Buckley stated there is

a small, select group of people who are picking the Managers of the teams.  He stated when

you look at PAA experience out of the League, they do not have strong teams to compete. 

He stated because the organization is so big, they are scrambling for coaches.

Mr. Hackman stated it is a volunteer organization.  He stated the biggest problem he always

saw was the problem with field availability.  Mr. Hackman stated the Township cannot 

provide enough fields for the teams they currently have.  Mr. Buckley stated he has seen

fields open as he drives around the Township. He stated he feels it is a scheduling issue

and not a field availability issue.  Mr. Hackman stated he does not feel they can break lose

fields for a new organization that only has seventeen participants. He stated he questions

whether this is a League as it appears that they are really only a team or two. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated he feels they may have a better chance to do this in the fall.  Mr. Smith

asked if they are permitted to play in the League without a home field, and Mr. Buckley

stated they are. 

 

Mr. Smith stated if the Board accepts the fact that they have met sanctioning requirements,

would they be willing to accept provisional status and abide by what the Recreation

Coordinator feels is a fair allocation of field time; and Mr. Buckley stated they would.

 

Ms. Martin stated Mr. Morrison has come each year about the need for more fields.  She

stated they are trying to do the best they can to meet the needs of all the organizations. 

She stated they also cannot use fields constantly as fields need to rest or they will get in

poor condition.  Mr. Buckley stated he feels fields are only used from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and

can rest when they are not used the other twenty hours a day.  Mr. Buckley stated they are

doing this for their children.  Mr. Kuebler stated if these kids do not play in this League,

they will play with PAA so there is still a field allocation issue.   Mr. Hackman stated

because they only have seventeen players, it would not result in more teams for PAA - it

would just be more children on each team. 

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Mr. Morrison stated PAA has reached 110 teams, 30 of which are girls softball.  For boys

ages 5 to 19, there are 80 teams.  They expect two to three more teams as they are still

registering.  Of the 80 boys teams, 17 play on the 90’ fields and the remainder play on the

60’ fields.  There are only four 60’ fields in the Township.  He noted they also have a

number of players form Morrisville who come to play for PAA. 

 

Mr. Charles Hurning, Colts Lane, stated his son does play for PAA but they are

considering changing to this League because he could try out for the travel team.

 

Mr. Bob Abanante, 1185 Longmeadow Lane, stated he has coached PAA but PAA has

only one ten year old travel team.  He stated there is a difference between intramural and a

travel team.  He feels playing on a travel team would be a great way for his son to get better

as he would be playing against children his own age.  He stated PAA has mixed ages.  He

stated Mr. Buckley has a reputation as a fine coach.  Mr. Morrison stated the last time they

had two travel teams was nine years ago when they had an A and B team.  He stated the B

team competed against other A teams and when they lost, the players were discouraged and

stopped playing baseball.  Mr. Abanante stated he agrees with Mr. Morrison that they will

most likely be competitively challenged during the first year, but they feel if they make it a

positive experience, the children will come back and then get better.

 

Mr. Kuebler stated there is a big difference between what a player learns in an intramural

program and what they learn in a travel program.  He recognizes that children will learn

better on a travel team. He stated limiting the number of travel teams does deny children the

opportunity to have this experience. 

 

Mr. Hurning stated his experience with PAA has been superior, but he wants his son to

have the travel team experience.

 

Mr. Newbon stated he still feels they need to make sure there is an equitable distribution of

field space.

 

Mr. Glenn Hyman, 2021 Silverwood Drive, stated his child also had a wonderful

experience with PAA.  He stated it appears that they would not be present this evening if

there were a second PAA travel team.  He suggested that if PAA could accommodate a

second travel team playing in a different League (AABA) PAA could make Mr. Buckley’s

team the second travel team and this would resolve this matter. He stated possibly the team

could be an affiliate.  He stated his child will play both in PAA and on Mr. Buckley’s team. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated he feels the logical solution is to reach such a settlement.  Mr. Buckley

stated if he is not allocated any fields this year he does not feel he will be able to build his

program.  Mr. Smith stated they should consider the other alternative suggested this

evening. 

 

Mr. Hackman stated at Stoddart they would not be able to get in two practices a day at this

time of the year.   Mr. Buckley stated they should still factor into the numbers that PAA

does have the use of the School District fields.  Mr. Hackman stated Ms. Liney still has to

decide how to divide time slots.

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Seabright stated he feels they need to seed two travel teams and bring the level of play

up.

 

Ms. Liney asked if PAA would consider the alternative discussed this evening.

 

Mr. Morrison stated he could not make a decision on this tonight.

 

Mr. John Shefford, 8 Glen Drive, asked what they would classify as a travel player. 

 

Mr. Buckley stated he would feel it is a child who has the desire to play at a high level and

to learn.  Mr. Shefford stated he sees a lot of children with a lot of heart and drive but he is

not sure they will be of the caliber to play with other travel teams.  Mr. Buckley stated he

feels they need to give them this opportunity. He stated because of the size of PAA, they

have a one or two day try out where they look at thirty to forty kids and make the decision

in only a few hours.  He does not feel this gives them sufficient opportunity.

 

Mr. Morrison stated he will get together with his Executive Board by Thursday night to see

if they will agree to entertain a second travel team.  He stated if they agree to this, he does

not feel Mr. Buckley’s team should come in as a team and feels they would have to try out. 

Mr. Smith stated there may be other children in PAA who are not part of Mr. Buckley’s

organization who may also want to be on a travel team so it should be opened up to

everyone. 

 

Mr. Kuebler stated he feels the difference between travel and intramural is the level of

commitment.  He stated he feels there should be another organization in the Township if

PAA does not change their mentality.  

 

Mr. Abanante stated his child plays in Morrisville because they wanted him to play Little

League. 

 

Mr. Hackman stated he does not feel an organization with only seventeen players should be

considered a League.  Mr. Smith stated there is no restriction regarding numbers in the

Township rules and possibly the rules need to be modified.  He stated he feels they should

require a minimum number of players and there should be provisional status as well. 

It was calculated that based on the number of players in Mr. Buckley’s organization they

would be entitled to one field for two hours one night per week.  Mr. Hackman stated he feels they should require that they have to field at least four teams fully staffed.  Mr. Smith stated he feels the wording should be “a reasonable and representative number” which allows for some flexibility.  He stated he feels it is fair to give provisional status and give them the opportunity to see if there is interest in their program.  Mr. Hackman stated if they set the requirements too high, they will knock out competition.  Mr. Kuebler stated he will work with Mr. Jutkiewicz to come up with a proposal on the changes needed for sanctioning.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels they should allow time for Mr. Buckley to meet with PAA to see if they can resolve this issue.

 

 

DISCUSSION OF MEN’S SENIOR BASEBALL FIELD ALLOCATION

 

Mr. Bob Mastrianoti stated a number of people present this evening would like to discuss

Senior Baseball and were led to believe that this would be on the Agenda this evening.

Ms. Liney stated she spoke to Ken  Jacoby about this matter and they were able to

March 11, 2003                                                          Park & Recreation Board - page 6 of 8

 

 

accommodate their request to some extent although it may not be what they had last year. 

She stated there is a field shortage and priority is given to the children.  She noted she was

able to work something out with Mr. Jacoby and they were given  8 p.m. on Saturday

night and Sunday morning.  Mr. Mastrianoti stated Mr. Jacoby defaulted their Wednesday

night time, and he does not feel Mr. Jacoby represented their team - the River Rats. 

Ms. Liney stated Mr. Jacoby traditionally submitted for both teams.  She stated she did not get a separate submission from the River Rats. Mr. Abanante stated they had the Wednesday evening time slot for many years.  Ms. Liney stated a new youth organization came in and asked to be accommodated.   It is a CYO team for 13 to 15 year olds and they will need a 90’ field.  Ms. Liney noted there are also seventeen other teams which need 90’ fields.  Ms. Liney added that she does not have a submittal for any of the men’s teams at this time.  Ms. Liney stated she will look into this matter again.

 

Mr. Abanante stated 80% of their players are from Lower Makefield Township.

 

 

RESULTS OF INVESTIGATION OF CLIMATE CONTROL FOR LMT POOL CONCESSION STAND AND MOTION TO APPROVE PURCHASE

 

Mr. Kuebler provided three proposals as to how to address the problem of climate control

in the concession stand.  He stated he did a survey and based on the needs of the snack bar,

he feels five tons is needed and only one of the three proposals can meet this requirement. 

He stated Robaire is the firm that would meet these requirements at a cost of $5,875. 

He noted the Sanyo system he had previously discussed would not meet their

requirements.  Mr. Kuebler stated he feels the price they have quoted is a fair price.

 

Mr. Fritchey moved, Mr. Jutkiewicz seconded and it was unanimously carried to accept the

Robaire proposal.

 

Ms. Liney stated she will advise Mr. Fedorchak of the Park & Recreation Board’s Motion.

 

Mr. Kuebler stated he would also recommend they insulate the top of the drop ceiling.

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON’S REPORT

 

 

Mr. Hackman stated they have been unable to continue work on the Golf Course because

of the weather.  They feel it will take another week before they can start up again.  They are

currently out to bid for the clubhouse, pump house, and maintenance building; however,

the job is not that big and the people who normally bid on these jobs are smaller builders,

and the Township requires prevailing wage which is presenting a problem.  Mr. Hackman

stated they also have to post a bond and have insurance.  He stated they have only received

one bid but they are trying to obtain additional bids.  Mr. Hackman stated they have talked

to six management companies and narrowed it down to two.   He hopes that the Board of

Supervisors will make a decision on a management company at their meeting on April 21,

2003.  Mr. Hackman stated he feels this will be a premium course but will still be

affordable.  They have not yet decided on the greens fees but they do want to give the

Township residents a break.  He stated it is important that the revenues be more than the

expenses.  There was discussion this evening on the reasons why a banquet facility was

not considered for the Golf Course.

March 11, 2003                                                          Park & Recreation Board - page 7 of 8

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney reported that bathhouse renovation site work at the Pool will begin this week

and will be completed by the Pool opening in May.  The zero depth entry ramp and the lap

pool replastering projects will be revisited in the future in conjunction with planned future

renovations in order to obtain more competitive bids.  Ms. Liney distributed this evening

the monthly activity sheet for Pool Membership which she recently received which reflects

membership revenues through 3/7/03.  It appears the numbers are slightly ahead of

numbers for this time last year.  She noted the Township Manager and Assistant Finance

Director have instituted what appears to be a smoother procedure for depositing funds

within 24 hours of receipt.

 

Ms. Liney distributed this evening a request from Mr. Andrew Damico asking that his

family be permitted to join the Pool in August, 2003.  While Mr. Damico does own

property in the Township, he does not reside in the Township.  Ms. Liney stated in

accordance with existing Pool policy, Mr. Damico was advised he is ineligible to join but

that the Park Board would consider this request.  Mr. Smith stated he feels if they start

allowing non-residents to join the Pool it will create problems.  Ms. Martin agreed. 

Mr. Smith stated Mr. Damico could come in as a guest of a Pool member.    Mr. Smith

stated it appears that the current policy works, and he does not feel they should change it.

Mr. Newbon agreed.  Mr. Jutkiewicz asked what kind of property he owns in the

Township.  Ms. Liney stated he owns a residential property which he rents out and those

renters would be able to join the Pool which would result in two families from that one

residential address if Mr. Damico were allowed to join.  Mr. Fritchey stated he would not

be adverse to taking in additional people at the Pool if space were available.  Mr. Kuebler

stated Mr. Damico does own a residence in the Township and pays taxes.  Mr. Newbon

stated he has friends who do not live in Lower Makefield would love to be members at the

Pool.  No decision was made to permit Mr. Damico to join the Pool.

 

Ms. Liney reported that spring field permits are being issued and equitable field allocation

continues to be a challenge as there are multiple use requests for limited resources.  She

stated the Township continues to attempt to meet the needs of the user groups as best they

can.  She thanked the organizations for their cooperation during the permitting process.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Township engineer’s officer has completed both the aerial

photographs and the ground control markings required for the mapping of both the Samost

and Snipes properties.  PCS is currently mapping the contours and existing features on

both properties and this work should be completed by the end of March or early April.

 

Ms. Liney showed the sign identifying “Future Site for Lower Makefield Memorial Park.” 

She stated the sign will be installed by the Park maintenance crew in the next few weeks. 

The Garden of Reflection Committee plans a photo opportunity in conjunction with this

installation.

 

Ms. Liney asked Park Board members to forward any comments to her regarding the

Master Plan Working Draft which she distributed last month so that she can forward the

comments to the Planning Commission. 

 

 

 

 

March 11, 2003                                                          Park & Recreation Board - page 8 of 8

 

 

LEAGUE REPORTS

 

Mr. Kuebler stated Pop Warner Football is one third full already and the emphasis is on

Township residents.

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz stated the Lower Bucks Lacrosse Board thanked Ms. Liney for her help in

securing fields.  They will start their season on April 5 and have 400 registered.

 

Mr. Smith stated YMS numbers continue to increase, and the program is running

smoothly.  He stated one of the members of their Club, Jim Tragone, was selected as

EPYSA Volunteer of the Year.  Ms. Liney noted the Township does intend to recognize

him for this honor.  Ms. Liney stated YMS which has been the largest soccer organization

in Pennsylvania is now the second largest in the Nation behind one soccer club in

California.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Newbon moved, Ms. Martin seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10: 00 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        John Kuebler, Secretary