TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES - NOVEMBER 12, 2003

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on November 12, 2003.  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

                                                Patricia Bunn, Member

                                                Henry Carpenter, Member

                                                Richard Jutkiewicz, Member

                                                Andrew Newbon, Member

 

Others:                                     Donna Liney, Recreation Director

                                                Wes Hackman, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz moved, Ms. Bunn seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of October 14, 2003 as written.

 

 

APPROVAL OF PROCLAMATION HONORING WES HACKMAN

 

Mr. Fritchey stated Mr. Hackman lost his re-election bid for Supervisor last week. 

He stated over the past twelve years that Mr. Hackman has been a Supervisor, he has

frequently been the liaison to the Park & Recreation Board and over that period of time he

has shown an outstanding interest in developing the park and recreation facilities and

developing programs for the residents of Lower Makefield Township.  He has had a

remarkable sense of vision about where the Township is going.  He has been a positive

force in trying to move it in that direction.  He will be sorely missed.  Mr. Fritchey moved

to make a Proclamation from the Park & Recreation Board honoring Mr. Hackman which

was read into the record (copy attached).  Mr. Kuebler seconded the Motion adding that

this is a tremendous loss to the Township.  Mr. Smith stated for himself and for the

organization which he represents, this is a sad day for the Township.  He stated

Mr. Hackman can be proud of his many achievements in the Township. 

 

Mr. Hackman stated he has enjoyed his time and will miss most working with the Boards

and the employees.  He stated he feels they have accomplished a lot.  He firmly believes in

the benefits of the recreation programs which is why he was very much interested in doing

what he could to move these along.  He stated he was fortunate in the timing since during

his tenure on the Board, the Township was growing and had the resources to spend.  He

stated they were able to accomplish quite a bit and he is proud of what they have been able

to accomplish.  He stated he feels this was a golden age of recreation as far as advancement

goes and does not feel they will be able to move ahead in the future as they did in the past

for many reasons including funds.   He feels that while the Golf Course is the most

expensive project they have undertaken and even though he will not be able to see the entire

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project completed, the Course is actually completed at the present time.  He stated this

project took three Supervisors to agree to proceed and stick with the project over the course

of seven to nine years.  He stated he feels this is an amazing accomplishment and he would

like to give credit to Mr. Fazzalore and Mrs. Godshalk particularly since they were

involved during this time.  He stated he feels they were able to put together an amazing

team for the Golf Course.  He feels they have done this project the right way and it is going

to be very successful.  He is proud of what they have been able to do.  He wished the

Park & Recreation Board luck.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels Mr. Hackman has left a visible

legacy in the Township.  Mr. Fritchey stated he cannot think of another Supervisor in the

history of the Township who has had as significant and positive impact. 

 

Motion to approve carried unanimously.

 

 

DISCUSSION OF MEMORIAL PARK SPECIFICATIONS

 

Ms. Liney stated questions were received from Boucher & James as far as the specifics

with regard to the ballfield design, roadway, building, etc.  They did have a brief meeting

with them prior to this evening; but they also asked that if the Park Board had any

comments, that they be advised immediately so that they could be incorporated.  She stated

with regard to parking that wherever there is a field she would look for 30 parking spaces

to accommodate that use assuming there are 15 per team. Ms. Liney stated they

also asked about the roller hockey surface and requested feedback from the Board.

She stated they also asked if there should be skinned infields or grassed infields. 

Mr. Fritchey stated they should be skinned. 

 

Mr. Newbon suggested that they take the time up front to make sure the fields are laid out

correctly with regard to the orientation.  He feels they should also take into consideration

the location of the backstops.  Mr. Newbon stated he would like to personally be involved

in the decisions on the roller hockey.   Ms. Liney stated there was discussion about making

the roller hockey area suitable for ice hockey in the winter.  She stated Boucher & James

has indicated this is possible without considerable expense.  Mr. Jutkiewicz stated

Morrisville has this.  This was acceptable to the Park & Recreation Board assuming the

expense is not significant. 

 

Ms. Bunn stated she feels they should keep the lanes as shown.  She also stated she does

not feel they should spend extra money for the sub-surface drainage in the outfields.  She

stated there should be sufficient grading to drain properly.  Mr. Newbon asked for

clarification on the acel/decel lanes.  Ms. Bunn stated it is like a turning lane.  Ms. Liney

stated this is similar to Macclesfield where you turn into the Park.  Ms. Bunn stated she

feels there is significant enough traffic on Woodside Road to justify this to ensure safety. 

 

There was discussion on the surface for volleyball, and the Park & Recreation Board

recommended sand.  They also recommended that there be basketball backboards, goal,

and marking lines.  Ms. Liney asked if they feel they should have the type of surface that is

at the Pool basketball courts, and this was acceptable to the Board.

 

There was further discussion on the ball fields, and Mr. Kuebler stated they are asking

about backstops, fencing, warning tracks, bullpens, etc. and he felt they had committed

that these were only going to have backstops and benches; and it was noted that this is

correct.  

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Ms. Liney stated there were also questions with regard to the restrooms. She stated they do

plan to combine the buildings so that the restroom and the maintenance garage are similar to

Macclesfield.  They were thinking there should be restrooms similar to what is available at

Roelofs.   It was noted there will not be a Snack Bar/Concession area.   Ms. Bunn

asked about the Visitor Center, and Mr. Smith stated it was indicated that this would be an

informational kiosk.  Ms. Bunn stated she does not feel that the way it is being designed it

will only be an informational kiosk and will be a more elaborate design with a description

of the lives of the victims.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels this will be discussed more in the

future by the Memorial Committee.   There was also discussion of winterization of the

plumbing, and Ms. Liney noted that they winterize all of their plumbing currently and it

shuts down from December to March.  Ms. Bunn stated she feels those on the Memorial

Committee are aware of this as they discussed this with them previously.  Mr. Fritchey

stated he feels they all agree that there should be three phase electric with regard to the Memorial  so that they do not have to retrofit in the future.  Ms. Bunn stated she does not

feel it would be possible for them to work with single phase with regard to the Memorial. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated they should be aware of the concept that they wanted there to be

different species of trees.

 

There was discussion on curbing, and Ms. Liney noted they are not planning to do any

curbing.

 

There was discussion about the notation regarding gas, and Ms. Liney stated she assumes

this is required if they are going to heat anything.  Mr. Hackman stated at the Golf Course where heat is needed they decided to go with oil heat as the cost of bringing in gas was so exorbitant. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated at the gazebo they are indicating they will have electric lighting, water,

sewer and restrooms and questioned why this is necessary.  Ms. Bunn stated she feels only

security lighting is needed.   Mr. Hackman stated he feels the members of the Memorial

Committee have indicated they want the fountains lit twenty-four hours a day.  It was noted

that this will be a decision to be made by the Board of Supervisors. Ms. Bunn stated she feels if this is going to be lit, they will have to provide lighting to get to the Memorial safely.  This would include lights along the road and lights in the parking area near the Memorial.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels the decisions with regard to the Memorial  will be made ultimately by the Board of Supervisors. 

 

There was discussion on the community gardens and the need for electric and water. 

Mr. Fritchey stated he does feel they need water but does not feel they need electric.

Ms. Bunn stated they do not have water now at the community gardens, and she is

concerned with the maintenance of this.  She stated currently they bring in water. 

Mr. Newbon and Mr. Fritchey stated they feel they should have water provided. 

A majority of the Board felt that if there are going to be community gardens, water

should be provided. 

 

With regard to play area equipment, Ms. Liney stated this is usually a standard list.

 

With regard to the walking trails, there was discussion about the possibility of using mulch; however, Ms. Bunn stated she feels this would present a maintenance issue and they do not have sufficient funds in the Budget to maintain the miles of trails they have.  She suggested that they be paved.  Mr. Hackman stated he feels these paths will be used by people who

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like to walk.  Mr. Newbon stated he feels it will be expensive to pave the paths.  Ms. Bunn stated it is approximately $8 a square yard to install including material.  Mr. Newbon stated he also feels that a mulched path is more compatible with the type of park they had originally envisioned.  Mr. Carpenter stated the Park has changed since this original proposal and he feels the paths should be paved.  Ms. Bunn stated if the paths were mulched, they would have to have someone come in at least twice a year to clearly define the edges of the trail.   It was agreed that the paths should be paved. 

 

There was discussion on the flag at the flagpole; and it was noted that if the flag is to

remain on the pole permanently, there must be a direct light on the flag. 

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON REPORT

 

Mr. Hackman stated there was a Budget meeting held Monday.  He stated there are a

number of funds with each fund for a specific purpose.  He stated the recreation tax goes

into paying for recreation items.  The General Fund which pays general operations by law

for a Second Class Township cannot exceed 14 mills.  The Courts have historically

allowed the Townships to petition and raise it to 19 mills, and the Township has been

doing this for many years.  Because development has not moved along and Matrix has not

been built, the increase in ratables which has helped the Township in the past is down and

the Township finds itself in the position that they will have to pull the balances down as far

as they can.  He stated they do not anticipate a tax increase this year.  He stated the

Preliminary Budget is proposed to be approved at the next Board of Supervisors meeting. 

He stated the one item which did go up is the User fees.  He stated it is correct that they

keep adding facilities that need to be maintained and they need to find a way to pay for this. 

He stated the general feeling was that they should have the users pay a little more. 

Mr. Smith stated he does not feel this is a “little” more. 

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz stated he knows that his Board will want to look at the other Townships.  He stated Falls Township charges almost nothing to use their facilities as do the School Districts.  Mr. Hackman suggested that that the organizations and the Park Board, if they are so inclined, write to the Supervisors about their concerns.  He stated they could attend the Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday.  He stated they anticipate finally adopting the Budget the second meeting in December. 

 

Mr. Smith stated he did send a letter today to Mr. Fedorchak advising him that YMS feels

this is unacceptable.  He stated they calculated that this will result in a $30,000 charge for

the year for his organization.  He stated he is also concerned that the timing of this is bad as

in the past they deferred the increase until the fiscal year so that the organizations would

have an opportunity to factor this into their fees and explain it to their membership.  He

stated some organizations, including YMS, have already budgeted, factored it in and

collected it under the assumption that there would not be any changes at least until the

following year or the fall season.  He stated that it is now too late.  Mr. Hackman stated the

Board of Supervisors did not discuss the timing of this.  The discussion was that they need

to find a way to reduce costs and get more revenue and felt the users should pay more.  He

stated he feels the Board felt that they sign up players in the spring and that they could add

it to the spring sign-up charge.  Mr. Smith stated YMS consists of a travel and an in-house

program.  He stated the travel program assesses for the year and collects in July.  This

includes the whole year.  Mr. Morrison stated PAA collects it in the winter.  Mr. Kuebler

stated Football registration starts at the last game of the season.  Mr. Hackman stated he

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does not feel the Board of Supervisors is aware of this and they should bring this to their

attention. 

 

Mr. Smith stated he did address this in his letter and will speak to this as well at the

Board’s meeting on Monday.  He stated he hopes the other organizations will do the same. 

Mr. Smith  noted that YMS also raised their rates because of increased expenses and one of

their groups, the women’s adult group, left the program.  He stated he feels that people

who live in the Township do generally want to play here and stay local.  He is concerned

with the non-resident/resident distinction.  He stated at Macclesfield there are a group of

“true” non-residents playing on the fields.  He stated in the category of non-residents are

people from Yardley Borough, Falls Township, and other children with whom the Lower

Makefield players go to school.  Mr. Hackman stated that he feels the Board is concerned

with the problem of expenses growing faster than revenues. 

 

Mr. Newbon stated he does not have a problem with raising the user fees although he does

feel they need to fit in with the organizations for budgetary purposes.  Mr. Morrison asked

why they are increasing the fees.  Mr. Hackman stated expenses are growing faster than

revenues.  Mr. Newbon stated the costs to maintain the fields are increasing and the fees

they receive from the organization do not come close to covering these costs.   Mr. Smith

noted those walking into the Library or into the Parks are not charged a fee even though

they are users of the facilities.  He stated he feels that every child using a field is one less

child with idle time on his hands.  He stated dollars spent invested in the children of the

community are dollars well spent.  Mr. Hackman stated the Board feels they are spending a

lot of money doing this, but do not feel that it is fair to those not participating and that those

using the facilities should pay a little bit more for the privilege of scheduling games, etc.

Mr. Hackman stated he is concerned that if they complain too much about this increase,

they will not get cooperation from the Board on developing other facilities.   

 

Mr. Kuebler stated being able to home base at the Township is preferable as they have

well-maintained facilities.  He stated he feels the issue is that it is as 100% increase.  He

stated he does feel there are people who are going to want to go other places because of this

increase, but he does not feel they will be happy with those facilities.  He would like to see

the increase delayed until the following year so that they can budget for it.  Mr. Smith

stated when people see a 100% increase, they will want to know what analysis was made

to come up with this figure.  Mr. Kuebler stated PAA will have a problem since people can

go someplace else to play baseball, and this is going to intensify PAA’s problems. 

 

Mr. Smith stated if this were less than a 100% increase, they could advise their members

that costs have gone up which need to be paid for.  Mr. Hackman stated he does not feel a

detailed analysis was done.  He stated there was not sufficient time to discuss this with the

Park & Recreation Board as the Board of Supervisors needs to pass the preliminary Budget

at the Monday night meeting.  He stated the final Budget will be adopted the third Monday

of December.

 

Mr. Smith stated he will ask in his letter to Mr. Fedorchak that they be put on the Agenda

for the next meeting of the Board.  Mr. Hackman stated the adoption of the preliminary

Budget will be on the Agenda and when this comes up for discussion, they can comment at

that time. 

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz stated they had six meetings over the last five months and came up with

their fees which go into effect on Saturday. 

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Mr. Newbon asked if the organizations ever approach the Park & Rec Board and ask if

they anticipate a user fee increase when they are working on their Budgets.   Mr. Morrison

of PAA stated since the fees were raised a lot a few years ago, they did not anticipate that

there would be an increase.  Mr. Smith stated they did raise their travel rates from $175 to

$200.  He stated their training expenses have skyrocketed.  He stated Intramural went up

$5 from $75 to $80.  Mr. Smith stated they have instituted cost controls and savings.  

 

Mr. Hackman stated he will suggest that instead of raising them $7 and $15 that they

increase the total fee to $10 for residents and $20 for non-residents and that it be effective

July 1.  Mr. Jutkiewicz stated he would prefer that the fees go up more for non-residents. 

Mr. Morrison stated non-residents are also maintaining the fields.  Mr. Jutkiewicz stated

they are also bringing in traffic into the community.  Mr. Smith stated this depends on who

you consider a non-resident.  Mr. Fritchey stated a non-resident is anyone who does not

pay Township taxes.  Currently residents pay $8 and non-residents pay $15.

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON REPORT

 

Mr. Hackman reported that the 18 holes are completed and seeded at the Golf Course.  The

practice area was seeded in the last two days.  This seed will probably not come up until the

spring.  The maintenance building is under construction.  The clubhouse footings have

been started.  He stated he has advised Mr. Fedorchak that he has been spending an

average of two hours a day minimum at the Golf Course monitoring the construction and

he has advised him that he will not be doing this any longer.  He stated he feels the

Township needs to have someone doing this in his absence. 

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney reported that the LMT Park & Recreation Operating Budget was approved as

submitted by the Board of Supervisors in their Budget session.  Capital improvements

planned for 2004 include installing pavilions at the Kids Kingdom picnic grove and the

Lower Makefield softball complex, continuing the Park & Recreation goal of providing

pavilions for the community in all the parks. The pavilions will enhance the picnic areas

and increase the ability of the Township to offer summer programming.

 

Also included in the Budget is funding for Phase I of Memorial Park, resurfacing sections

of the original parking lot at Macclesfield, continuing bikepath construction and repairs,

including resurfacing one of the major bikepath loops in the Township, dugout

improvements, and purchase of a backhoe/loader.  She stated this backhoe and its

attachments will enable Park & Recreation to accomplish tasks with greater efficiency,

benefiting all the user groups, and will also be able to provide snow removal on the 25-mile

bikepath system in the Township.

 

She stated the Pool Operating Budget was also approved with the new feature of a flume

slide.  Park & Recreation is working with Wallover Architects to develop specifications to

bid for this amenity, and they hope to have it in place for the opening of the Pool season. 

This improvement was the top choice of respondents to the Pool survey, and will help keep

Lower Makefield Community Pool competitive with the pools in the area that already have

this feature.

 

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Ms. Liney reported that also reflected in the Budget revenues in 2004 will be an increase in

the user fees; which will now be $15 for residents and $30 for non-residents.  This

represents a $7 increase for residents.  The last user fee increase was over 2 1/2 years ago

and as parks are added, vehicle, gas and maintenance costs increase and these difficult

decisions are made.  She noted that all user groups as well as the camps have been notified

of this pending increase to allow for any adjustments to their fee structure which they may

need to make.  Anticipated adoption of the Budget will be sometime in December.

 

 

LEAGUE LIAISON REPORTS

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz stated Lower Bucks Lacrosse is starting return registration next Saturday,

the second registration will be in December, and the third in January.  He stated they have

eliminated handing out flyers at the Council Rock Schools as there is a greater push to get

Lower Makefield residents involved in their program.

 

Mr. Kuebler stated Pop Warner Football did have a rough year but they have gotten past it. 

He stated the new management has learned a lesson and it will be a better program next

year.  Mr. Dave Bollard is now running the program. 

 

Mr. Smith reported that the YMS season is going smoothly.  Travel will end in early

December.  He stated their training program is excellent.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mr. Smith stated they must consider further the rules and regulations and what constitutes a

League.  He noted the group that had come in previously about starting a new baseball

league did not come back and run their program in the fall as they had promised they

would.

 

 

BUDGET DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Hackman reported that the Park Ranger position was taken out because the Board of

Supervisors did not feel there were sufficient funds to provide this position.  Since they

have gone along without this position in the past, they felt they could continue without one.

 

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Newbon seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        John Kuebler, Secretary