TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES – MARCH 9, 2004

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on March 9, 2004.  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

 

Others:                                     Donna Liney, Recreation Director

                                                Frank Fazzalore, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                         Andrew Newbon, Park & Recreation Board Member

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Kuebler moved, Ms. Bunn seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of February 10, 2004 as written.

 

 

FIVE MILE WOODS PRESERVE ANNUAL REPORT

 

Mr. John Heilferty, Naturalist, and Mr. John Lloyd, Chairman of the Friends of the Five

Mile Woods, were present.  Mr. Heilferty stated his hours for the last year were

somewhat less than in prior years because of some personal demands.  He stated they

continue to have the Roving Natural Center provide Summer Day Camp at the Woods

with over three hundred participating last year.  They get very positive feedback from the

parents whose children attend this Camp.  They do receive a user fee from this which

generated approximately $2,500 for the Woods.  The Manor House continues to be rented

with the same tenants they have had for the last three years.  The facility has not needed

any major repairs.  Mr. Heilferty stated they did not have any major capital improvements

at the Woods last year.   He noted there were some Eagles Scouts involved at the Five

Mile Woods for their Eagle Scout projects.  There are no major capital projects proposed

for 2004 although some funds have been allocated for parking lot improvements at the

entrance road a portion of which may be paved to stabilize the area out to Big Oak Road. 

 

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Mr. Heilferty stated they do not want to pave too far in as it would be contrary to the

goals of the Woods.  Mr. Heilferty stated there is an entrance gate into the Woods; and

although it is seldom used, they do use it at certain times of the year to discourage young

people from driving into the Park.  He stated the gate was hit by a vehicle, and they will

need to address this with some improvements.

 

Mr.  Heilferty stated they continue to monitor the deer problem in the Woods.  They have

some deer exclosures which are being assessed over time.  They are already seeing

vegetation come up in these areas which do not come up in areas which are exposed to

the deer.  Mr. Heilferty stated he is looking into working with an individual who does an

aerial assessment which would be done possibly in the fall/winter of 2004.  He stated

once they get this information, a decision will have to be made as to what they can do

about this problem.  He stated the Five Mile Woods is an important resource which needs

to be protected.  Mr. Fritchey asked about alternative programs to having a deer hunt.

Mr. Heilferty stated while there are other ways to address the problem, most of them have

not proven successful in an open community and are also very costly.  He stated deer

hunts are now held in many communities. 

 

Mr. Heilferty stated the Friends of the Five Mile Woods are a dedicated group of people,

and he appreciates their help.  He also thanked Ms. Liney and the Park & Recreation staff

for their help, particularly this year when his hours were down. 

 

Mr. John Lloyd stated the Friends of the Five Mile Woods have their regular work day on

the second Saturday of every month from March to November where they average ten

people.  In addition to the work days, they hold several events for the public.  Two Open

House events are held each year one around Earth Day which will be April 18 this year

from Noon to 3 p.m.  They have guided walks of the Woods and serve refreshments. 

They also hold another Open House the Sunday following Harvest Day.  Last year they

had a special walk in the Woods with Dr. Ann Rhodes, a world-renowned botanist.  They

hope to have a similar agenda this coming year. 

 

Mr. Heilferty stated the Friends usually give 250 to 400 volunteer hours each year. 

Mr. Heilferty stated this coming Thursday night, they will have their first educational

event of the year which will be a frog/salamander walk in the Woods, depending on the

weather.

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated the Board of Supervisors is in negotiation to purchase some

additional land to add onto the Five Mile Woods. 

 

 

 

 

 

March 9, 2004                                                          Park & Recreation Board – page 3 of 8

 

 

PAA PROPOSAL TO PURCHASE TARPS FOR USE ON INFIELDS

 

Mr. Jack Morrison stated while the PAA has had a number of years of very successful

seasons, the last two years, the weather has caused a negative impact.  To help overcome

this problem, they are asking for permission to purchase six tarps, at PAA’s expense, to

place on the softball and baseball fields.  They would also be responsible for putting on

and taking off the tarps.

 

Mr. Fritchey asked where the tarps would be stored.  Mr. Morrison stated during the

course of season, they would chain them to the fence adjacent to the field. The tarps

would be 84’ by 84’ or 90’ by 90’.  They will find a location to store them during the off

season.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels the catcher’s box will be under water even if they

use the 90’ by 90’ tarp.  Mr. Morrison stated he understands this concern and will look

into it.  Mr. Fritchey stated he is not opposed to covering the fields if they know there

will be a heavy rain, but he is concerned with the fields being covered for an extended

period after the rain so that those in the community wanting to use the fields would be

unable to do so when games are not scheduled.  Mr. Morrison stated they will consider

this.

 

Mr. Kuebler suggested that they also purchase a circular cover for the home plate area.

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he will report on this matter to the Board of Supervisors.

 

Mr. Kuebler moved, Mr. Carpenter seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve

PAA’s purchase of appropriately-sized tarps.

 

 

DISCUSSION AND MOTION ON PARK AND RECREATION POLICY STATEMENT

 

Mr. Fritchey stated this matter was tabled a few months ago.  He stated they continue to

have groups asking for sanctioning, and the Township is waiting for receipt of their

complete packets. 

 

Mr. Fritchey noted the existing Policy Statement and stated with regard to Points One

through Eleven, they have assumed that Leagues refers to Youth Athletic Leagues as

this is what they have been typically concerned with in the past and they did not really

address situations where there could be purely adult organizations.  He stated if there

were an Adult-only organization, it would not make sense to require that they have an

intramural and travel program.  He noted an Adult-only organization would have to meet

the requirements of Items One through Nine.

 

 

March 9, 2004                                                          Park & Recreation Board – page 4 of 8

 

 

With regard to Item Number Ten he would suggest that the word “league” be removed in

the first sentence and add the words “offering a youth athletic program” following the

word “organization”.  The word “League” will also be removed in the last sentence and

the words “an organization” will be substituted.

 

Item Number 11 will be revised to change the word “programs” to “players” in the third

sentence, and the word “league” will be replaced with “an organization” in the last

sentence.

 

Mr. Fritchey suggested adding the following as Item #12:  For an organization offering

an adult athletic program to be considered sanctioned by the Township a minimum of

70% of all program participants must be Lower Makefield Township residents.

 

Mr. Kuebler stated this may present a problem for the baseball group because they may

not be able to be part of PAA because of the insurance requirements while a similar

group could be part of  YMS which does not have the same type of insurance

requirements and would then be considered under a different set of residency

requirements as it would relate to the percentage of the entire organization.  Mr. Kuebler

stated the men cannot come under PAA’s banner other than being affiliated because of

the insurance requirements of Babe Ruth.  Mr. Kuebler stated if PAA allows them to be

affiliated with them, he feels they should be able to be included in the residency numbers

for the entire organization. 

 

Mr. Fritchey questioned the percentage of those players from Lower Makefield.

Ms. Liney stated the two rosters she has are above 70% Lower Makefield residents. 

 

Mr. Kuebler stated he would not have a problem if they said that all adult organizations

must meet the same requirements. 

 

Mr. Smith stated this would have a negative impact for those organizations that have

been able to bring the adult teams under their umbrella with their insurance. Mr. Kuebler

stated it is discriminatory because Babe Ruth will not allow this to occur for baseball. 

Mr. Kuebler stated when this first started they came in with PAA with the understanding

that children were always given priority.  Mr. Morrison stated if this is the case, they do

not have enough fields to accommodate the boys age 13 to 19 and it would not be

possible to have additional men’s teams.   Mr. Fritchey stated they have been putting the

men on the fields when PAA was not using fields for children.  Mr. Fritchey stated the

problem is that now they have additional teams being formed so that they are competing

for more of the field time.  Mr. Smith stated if they do not set the residency requirement

at a high level, it creates a magnet for those outside of the township to come into Lower

Makefield Township.  Mr. Carpenter stated he feels the rules are becoming protectionist

and feels what they have currently has worked in the past.   Mr. Fred Allan stated there

are people who want to use the fields who do meet the requirements and it has not been a

March 9, 2004                                                          Park & Recreation Board – page 5 of 8

 

 

problem in the past.  Now that the fields are used as much as they are, he feels they are

going to have to take a stand and require that everyone meet the residency requirements. 

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels they should discuss this matter with Mr. Garton.

 

Ms. Liney stated she does get the rosters and does use a street map to look up the

residency of the players. 

 

Mr. Kuebler stated he feels any adult team, regardless of who they are affiliated with,

must meet the residency requirements. Mr. Smith stated he feel this creates a problem

because they are exclusionary.  Mr. Carpenter stated he feels that the adult program

should not need to have a travel and intramural programs, but they need to meet the

residency requirements of a certain percentage of players from Lower Makefield.  He

stated he feels the percentage requirement should be the same for all sports.  He does not

feel one sport should derive a benefit from being able to be part of an existing League’s

insurance and be permitted to have a lower percentage of resident players because they fit

under the organizations overall percentage requirements.

 

Mr. Allan stated he feels this needs to be done as soon as possible so it can go to the

Board of Supervisors for approval and get the Policy in place.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated he feels this needs to relate to organization because it is the

organization that applies for the permits. 

 

Mr. Kuebler stated he had previously proposed that a League must have four teams. 

He noted he did prepare a report last year that defined all of these terms. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated they must also consider the issue of school teams such as St. Johns

that has a team but does not have real estate and they have relied on the Township to give

them a field in the past.  In this regard it was recommended that they add under A the

following:  “In the discretion of the Park & Recreation Department an exception to these

requirements may be made for School teams.”

 

Mr. Morrison asked if the organization owning the permit has any say over this, and

Ms. Liney stated they would not.  She stated she would work with the organizations.

Mr. Smith stated he does feel the Recreation Director does need to have the authority and

the leeway to make these decisions when necessary.  He feels a sentence should be added

to this effect.  Ms. Liney stated the last part of the Policy Statement does give Park &

Recreation this authority. 

 

 

 

 

March 9, 2004                                                          Park & Recreation Board – page 6 of 8

 

 

Mr. Smith stated he feels if they make the requirement 70%,  it will create more problems

because there will be more people using the fields from outside of the Township. 

Mr. Allan stated if you have a permit, those individuals would have to leave; and if they

will not leave, the Police will be called.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he has been told that the

Police will not enforce this.

 

It was agreed that the percentage required for an adult League would be 60% for all

sports.  Youth program will still have priority.  “Adult” would start after age 19. 

 

It was agreed to add Item #12 as follows:  “For an organization offering an adult athletic

program to be sanctioned by the Township, a minimum of 60% of all program

participants shall be Lower Makefield residents.   Residency content may be quantified

on an adult organization basis, not necessarily on a team-by-team basis.”

 

It was noted that this will have to go to the Board of  Supervisors.

 

Mr. Morrison asked that no permits be issued for 2004 until this Policy is adopted. 

Ms. Bunn stated she feels this should start effective July 1.

 

Mr. Kuebler stated he feels anyone who is going to be evicted from the Township

because they have not been able to meet the requirements but who have been playing on

the fields for a number of years, should be given one year.  Ms. Liney stated she does feel

the Township wants to offer diversity in programs. 

 

Mr. Carpenter moved, Ms. Bunn seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend

to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Park and Recreation Policy Statement as

amended this evening.

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney noted that Township resident Andrea Ackert will again create a floral display

The Bucks Beautiful Community Garden exhibit at Macclesfield park in March. 

 

Ms. Liney stated the Township received two relatively close bids to install the dual slides

at the Community Pool.  The bids were considerably higher than anticipated, and the

Township will re-evaluate the feasibility and timing on this project.  The bid packages

were forwarded to the architect today.  The dual slides are available for purchase under

the PA state contract for a total price of approximately $105,000.

 

Ms. Liney noted field preparations for the spring season continue at the Township

complexes.  Electricity for the pitching machine is now available at the batting cage at the

Lower Makefield Complex.  Bids for the planned pavilions at Lower Makefield Softball

March 9, 2004                                                          Park & Recreation Board – page 7 of 8

 

 

Complex and Kids Kingdom picnic area are scheduled for advertisement March 15 and

March 18.  Bid opening is anticipated for March 30 with possible Board of Supervisors

award at their April 5 meeting.

 

Field permits are being coordinated for some of the user groups who just completed

registration.  There continues to be great demand for Township facilities, particularly the

soccer, lacrosse and baseball fields. The Township attempts to balance the interests of all

the user groups, and can appreciate that while some groups may feel they need more field

time, hopefully they recognize there are limited Township resources with multiple use

requests.  She hopes to have all permits released shortly.

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON REPORT

 

Mr. Fazzalore noted the Pool Membership report and asked if these numbers are down

from last year.  Ms. Liney stated this report only reflects up to March 2, and the Discount

Period was not over until March 5.  They are still processing forms from the Discount period.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he would like to have an updated number before they discuss the slides.  Ms. Liney stated the Pool Manager felt the guest fees should be increased somewhat and brought more in line with the user fees which should bring in some additional money to help pay for the slides.

 

 

LEAGUE REPORTS

 

Mr. Smith reporting on YMS stated registration is on-going.  They had great cooperation

between YMS and the Township in getting the fields ready at Macclesfield Park.  He

asked that the Supervisor liaison look at the notes in the packet as to how YMS has come

out to assist the Township.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mr. Fred Allan announced that there will be an event held on March 28 from 1 p.m. to

5 p.m. to benefit the McCaffrey employees.  This will help pay for their health benefits

until they are back in business.   The cost is $50 per family with no additional charge for

the food.  They hope to raise $250,000.  They will have a silent auction and music. 

It will be a community event.  He noted Mr. McCaffrey has pledged $50,000 of his own

money. 

 

 

 

 

 

March 9, 2004                                                          Park & Recreation Board – page 8 of 8

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Jutkiewicz seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:05 p.m.

 

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        John Kuebler, Secretary