TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES – DECEMBER 12, 2006

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on December 12, 2006.  Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Park & Recreation Board:        David Fritchey, Chairman

                                                Henry Carpenter, Vice Chairman

                                                David Gordon, Member

                                                Richard Jutkiewicz, Member

                                                Francis McDonald, Member

                                                Andrew Newbon, Member

 

Others:                                     Donna Liney, Recreation Director

                                                Greg Caiola, Supervisor Liaison

                                               

Absent:                                     Patricia Bunn, Park & Rec Secretary

 

 

APPROVAL OF NOVEMBER, 2006 MINUTES

 

Mr. McDonald moved, Mr. Newbon seconded and it was unanimously carried to amend

the Minutes as presented to include the following statement in the discussion of

Memorial Park:  “It is the understanding of the Park & Recreation Board that any

additions, changes, or modifications to the Memorial Park Master Plan would come

before the Park & Recreation Board prior to those changes being made.”

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz moved, Mr. Gordon seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve

the Minutes as amended.

 

 

UPDATE ON LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP POOL PLAN

 

Mr. Ted Wallover and Mr. Greg Stoloski, Pool Manager, were present.  Mr. Wallover

stated they have rehabilitated the restrooms, made modifications to the filtration and

heating plant, and added the water slides.  The 2002 Study identified a number of items

that needed to be dealt with over the years.  He stated the Park & Recreation Board needs

to decide where funds should be spent.  He stated they could replace the tot pool and

update the intermediate pool to make the complex more compatible with what is being

done in the industry today.  He stated they could consider water features, more interactive

play toys, and a small slide in the intermediate pool so it will attract more young families

December 12, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 2 of 9

 

 

to use the facility.  He stated they could also decide to do some infrastructure

improvements including work on the gutters, filters, etc. which are items that are behind

the scenes that the members do not actually see.  He stated they have not seen any

indication of severe water loss problems so they could push some of the

recommendations that were done in the study in this regard out a little further.  He stated

they may want to do something that would have an immediate impact of members being

able to see the improvements.

 

Mr. Wallover noted the increased costs in the industry for pool materials and stated if

they push certain maintenance items back, the costs will go up.  He stated those in the

pool business are very busy at the current time.  He stated costs of PVC, stainless, and

concrete have gone up significantly.  He stated the numbers provided in 2002 are not

realistic at this time.  Mr. Fritchey asked if they anticipate that over the next few years the

costs will go even higher; and Mr. Wallover stated they are seeing some leveling for PVC

but stainless and concrete are still increasing. 

 

Mr. Wallover stated the comments made about the tot pool in the Study would still be

valid and upgrading that facility would help generate interest and maintain membership.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated it does not appear that they are at a crisis stage with regard to the pool

maintenance issues; and Mr. Wallover agreed, although he stated they should still

consider the 3-5-7 year plan in the Feasibility Study. 

 

Mr. Carpenter asked if there would be an economic benefit to doing the gutters and filters

at the same time.  Mr. Wallover stated whenever they package a project they are able to

get more bidders.  He stated they will continue to see increases in the pool industry; and

while it will slow down, it will not get back down to the numbers they saw five years ago. 

He stated one of the benefits of the Township facility is the amount of water surface, but

this also increases costs. 

 

Mr. Newbon asked the turnover rate as to filtration, and Mr. Wallover stated they see four

to six in most large-scale facilities; but added you can stay at a six hour turn and still be

within legal limits for the large pools.  For the tot pool and the intermediate pool, they do

it on a one or two hour turn.  Mr. Newbon stated visually the pools do look very clean. 

He asked if they looked at re-doing the gutter surface, what would be involved in redoing

the filtration system to accommodate more turns a day.  Mr. Wallover stated piping

systems would be put in to meet future demand.  He stated when you look at the existing

piping system, they can make the gutters meet the turn over, but they cannot necessarily

make the drains accommodate it.  He stated with the water slide, they cut the drain grates

in the sidewalls so they could supplement the main drains.  These would be design

decisions the Board would have to look at in terms of cost versus benefit. 

 

 

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Mr. Newbon asked if the 2002 Study gave directives on what should be done in a

prioritized listing, and Mr. Wallover stated it does.  He stated the tot pool was listed as a

high priority item.  He stated the trend they are seeing today in most Municipal facilities

is less competition and more interactive facilities for the family. 

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz asked if studies have been done on how many more people they could

accommodate.  Mr. Wallover stated on Page 12 and 13 of the report they identified the

total patrons that could be accommodated based on water surface.  He stated there is also

a formula used by the State to establish occupancy which takes into account the lawn

area, decking, etc.    He stated when they considered the restroom renovations, they based

in on the average number of people at the Pool and not for the peak.  Mr. Stoloski stated

on their busy days in the summer, they see a maximum of 2500 people through the gate. 

On average they get 1500 to 1700 through the gate. 

 

Ms. Liney asked Mr. Stoloski what he feels the patrons would be in favor of, and

Mr. Stoloski stated he does not feel most people would respond to gutter or filter upgrades.  He stated he and Mr. Sharp had been looking at water loss for several years, but they have not seen any severe rises over the years.  He stated in the past they have

re-patched the walls and resealed seams.  They do add water regularly to maintain the height.  He feels it would be better to have features that the members would enjoy provided they do not add so much that it disturbs people who are interested in general recreational swimming

 

Mr. Wallover stated the Township has an excellent facility but it is over twenty-five years old and twenty-five years is actually the average of most aquatic recreational facilities before they need to be renovated.  He stated in the spring when they bring the pool up to level, they should begin to do some dye testing.  He stated there are things that can be done to correct leaks. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated he feels it is the consensus of the Park & Recreation Board that they

proceed with the tot pool renovations.  Mr. Wallover stated the study recommended

taking the tot pool out completely as it had the most amount of deterioration.   He stated

they were looking at features such as beach access as well.  He stated they would do filter

renovations for this pool and bring it out closer to the pool which would allow for more

room in the filter room.  He stated they could also look into a slide for the intermediate

pool.  He suggested that they go back and review the Study and put today’s number in,

bid the project in 2007, construct the pool in the fall, and bring it back on line in 2008.

 

Mr. Gordon stated he feels the tot pool would be a good selling point for new members. 

He stated he is not in favor of an intermediate pool sliding board.  He stated he feels this

is a good pool for people to play with their children, and there are many beginning

swimmers in this pool.  He stated it is a very active pool, and he feels a sliding board

would take away from what that pool is used for.  Mr. Carpenter agreed.  Mr. Wallover

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stated if the Board is not in favor of this, they would not do it.  He stated there are things

they could do to the intermediate pool to help improve the water quality.  He stated they

could present figures on this as well.  He stated they were also proposing a spray area

where young children would not be in a standing water setting. 

 

Mr. Carpenter asked if they should begin setting monies aside each year so that there is a

certain dollar amount that could be used in the future for maintenance issues.  Ms. Liney

stated at this time they just carry a cash balance.   She stated it is a Proprietary Budget. 

 

Mr. Wallover agreed to go back and revisit the numbers from the original study and put

together priorities and a Budget based on the discussion this evening. 

 

Mr. Stoloski stated he agrees that a slide would not be appropriate for the intermediate

pool.  He stated it is their highest use pool and is one of their smaller spaces.  He stated

he would also want to make sure that renovations to the tot pool are geared to smaller

children so that it does not attract older children which may result in complaints from

parents of smaller children. 

 

Mr. Newbon stated it may be a good idea to review the demographics in the Township to

make sure that they are not providing features that are not necessary.  Mr. Wallover

stated he feels this pool does get the most wear and tear.  Ms. Liney noted the survey

came back with age groups and this demographic was high. 

 

 

DISCUSSION AND MOTION ON PAA PROPOSAL TO MODIFY BASEBALL FIELD DIMENSIONS

 

Mr. Mark Cook, PAA Commissioner, and Mr. Greg Mauro, PAA Vice Commissioner,

were present.   Mr. Mauro presented information this evening regarding changes to the

fields they are requesting.  Included with the information was game field usage statistics

for 2006.  There were 500 five to eight year olds playing on forty teams.  They used

Edgewood 1 and 2, and Quarry Hill 1 and 2.  The Cal Ripken (similar to Little League)

had 385 nine to twelve year olds.  He stated all of the boys play intramural but some also

play travel.  There were 31 intramural teams and 6 travel teams.  They used Stoddard 1,

2, and 3 and Macclesfield B.  Babe Ruth is for thirteen to eighteen year olds and this had

170 players in 12 intramural and 4 travel teams playing on Macclesfield A and H.

 

Mr. Mauro stated the Cal Ripken group is the group for which they need the field change.

He stated currently they use a 60’ diamond.  For 2007, the National Division has detailed

guidelines and rules; and they will need a 70 foot diamond with the mound at 50 feet. 

Because of safety concerns, there is a need to make these changes.  He stated last year

there was an age change as well so that the boys are now three months older than they

were previously.   Mr. Mauro stated it is felt that these changes will help the players

have a smoother transition to Babe Ruth play which uses a larger field.

December 12, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 5 of 9

 

 

Mr. Mauro noted in the hand-out the details as to how the fields would be converted to a

70’ field.  He stated it could also be converted quickly back to a 60’ field.  Mr. Mauro

stated if they proceed with this there would be two divisions playing 60’ and the older

boys would be playing on the 70’ field.  Mr. Mauro stated they would propose modifying

Stoddard 2 for 70’ play for the 2007 season.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated he does not feel the field lay out is well thought out.  He stated at

Stoddard the fences are 192’ and the rule of thumb how far the fences are is 3 ½ times the

base line.  He stated for a 70’ baseline, a proper field would need the fence to be at 245’. 

He stated he does not have a problem with the rest of the program.  He stated he would

prefer that they use Macclesfield B and put up a plastic removable fence or swap a

Stoddard field with the girls and have one of these teams play on Oxford Valley/Roelofs

Field C because the fence there is at 220’.  Mr. Cook stated he did not feel this could be

done as those fields were built with Title 9 money; however, Mr. Fritchey stated he did

not feel this would be a problem. 

 

Mr. Carpenter asked if this is a requirement or is it a suggestion, and Mr. Mauro stated it

is optional, but since they are one of the larger organizations and one of the groups that

want to move their players into a more competitive situation, they were interested in

proceeding with this.  Mr. Carpenter stated there is a high drop out rate when the boys

reach twelve to thirteen as it requires going up to such a large field.  Mr. Carpenter stated

he does not feel the balls will be going over the fence at Stoddard at this level of play,

and he feels this would be a good transitional step.  Mr. Cook stated he feels it will be

safe.  Mr. Newbon stated he feels it will be expected that PAA would be up to date with

the new recommendations.

 

Ms. Liney asked if this could be done at Macclesfield B, and Mr. Cook stated they

do not have a skinned in-field or concession stand at Macclesfield.  Mr. Mauro stated they wanted to do it at Stoddard 2 because it is their premier field for the Major Division.

He stated they would use Afton Elementary as the secondary field at 50’/70’ even though

it is in rough shape, and there are limited facilities since there is not a portable toilet or

equipment shed.  He stated the fence is a must for a Major Division.  He stated if they

host a Tournament, it would be a requirement that they have a fence.  He stated Stoddard

also has the scoreboard, and it is centrally located.  It also has the concession stand with

the permanent restrooms. 

 

Mr. Fritchey asked if the two 60’ fields are sufficient, and Mr. Mauro stated he could run

the Minor and mid League Division off two fields and use the School fields for practices. 

He stated the Majors run off Stoddard 2 and Macclesfield B.  Mr. Fritchey asked why

they could not swap fields with the girls.  Mr. Mauro stated he feels there would be a

backlash from the Softball Group, and Ms. Liney stated she has received calls about this

possibility already.  Mr. Gordon stated he also feels the older boys are seen as role

models for the younger players. 

December 12, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 6 of 9

 

 

Ms. Liney stated she did get a price for fencing a 4’ fence for 600 feet and it would cost

$9500 to fence in Macclesfield B.  This would be a permanent fence.  Mr. Mauro stated

long-term, they feel they will need two fields of this nature. 

 

Mr. Caiola stated he feels there would be interference onto Macclesfield A with balls

going onto that field if they used Field B at Macclesfield.  He agreed it makes sense to

have it on a skinned in-field.  Mr. Mauro stated even though they would have the lights at

Macclesfield B, they would not normally need them because these are Fifth and Sixth

Graders and they do not usually keep them out too late.  He stated Macclesfield B does

not have a concession stand or permanent restrooms.  He stated he would like to keep the

Baseball Complex as the Center of the Cal Ripken activity. 

 

Ms. Liney stated she feels her crew could do the work and she assumes PAA would work

with them and offer their support. 

 

Mr. Carpenter stated he personally feels if PAA feels this is what they need to do for the

organization and it is not going to cost the Township any money, he feels they should

agree to it.

 

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

conversion of Stoddard 2 for 70’ play for the 2007 baseball season as outlined by PAA.

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON’S REPORT

 

Mr. Caiola stated they anticipate voting on the Budget at their next Board meeting.  There

will be no tax increase.  He stated with regard to the Park & Recreation Budget, they did

get $250,000 a few weeks ago which will lower the increase from ½ mil to Ό mil so that

there will be no overall tax increase this year. Mr. Fritchey asked where the money came

from, and Mr. Caiola stated the $250,000 was the Five Mile Woods Grant.  He stated

engineering money has been put in the Budget for some projects as well as money for the

lights and re-doing the tennis courts.  They will proceed with the engineering for

Memorial Park. 

 

Mr. Caiola noted the report from Schoor DePalma related to the discussions at the last

Park & Recreation Board meeting regarding Memorial Park, and they are looking for a

response from the Park & Recreation Board on this.  He noted at the last meeting there

was a two to two vote on whether to shift the ball field, eliminate a soccer field, and

install the Arboretum.  Mr. McDonald stated he does not feel a formal vote was taken on

this.  Mr. Newbon asked if they should discuss this matter again now that they have the

report from Mr. Majewski.  Ms. Liney stated at the last meeting the Park & Recreation

Board did recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they were in favor of exploring

the tweaking of the Memorial Park design to accommodate what has been recommended

December 12, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 7 of 9

 

 

by the Garden of Reflection Committee provided it does not derail the project for a year. 

The Park Board also requested that the Township engineer look at  this as quickly as

possible to see if it could be accommodated. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated according to Mr. Majewski, it will technically derail the project,  and

Mr. Caiola agreed it will slow it down.    Mr. Fritchey stated there is no money in the

Budget to proceed so the project will be slowed down anyway.  Mr. Newbon asked if

they need to vote again given the information provided by Mr. Majewski.  Mr. Fritchey

stated there is no money in the Budget to do Phase II in 2007.    Mr. Gordon stated it

appears Schoor DePalma is still gathering information.  Mr. McDonald stated he did not

have a problem with moving the softball field, but he did not want to lose a soccer field. 

He stated he also wanted to make sure that no changes were made before they were

brought before the Park & Recreation Board.  Mr. Newbon stated he is also concerned

with changing Plans that were approved of by people over the course of many meetings. 

He stated he does not want the Park & Recreation Board to lose credibility.

Mr. McDonald stated he feels they need more information before they make any

recommendations.  Mr. Gordon stated the Park & Recreation Board  indicated to the

engineer that he should advise if they could make a minor shift provided it did not derail

the project.  Mr. McDonald there was also discussion about the elimination of one of the

four soccer fields, and he feels there needs to be more discussion on this.  Mr. Gordon

stated that was not in Phase II and the major concern at this time was the placement of the

softball field which was in Phase II; and they had wanted the Township engineer to make

recommendations.  He stated it appears that he needs to get more information, and it does

not appear that Phase II will occur in 2007 anyway. 

 

Mr. Caiola stated prior to doing any engineering, they need to determine if it makes sense

to move the arboretum and softball field.    He stated while they have additional time,

they need to consider this prior to Budget time again. 

 

Mr. McDonald stated there was discussion on the trees acting as a buffer, but they had

also wanted an arboretum going around the entire park with walking paths, benches, etc. 

Mr. Fritchey stated there were always trees to be planted all around the Park along the

paths.  He asked if they would have to go through the Land Development process again,

and Mr. Caiola stated they would probably  have to go through portions of the process if

they are impacting wetlands.   He stated the EAC is now a reviewing body, and he does

not feel they would react favorably on impacting the wetlands. 

 

Mr. Gordon asked if they could have Mr. Majewski attend the next meeting in January to

discuss this.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels this would be appropriate but personally feels if

this change means they would have to go through the Land Development process again,

he would not be in favor of doing so. 

 

 

December 12, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 8 of 9

 

 

Mr. Carpenter stated that while he was not at the last meeting, he did review the Minutes

and he would have indicated that he would be willing to make accommodations, but if it

involved additional approvals and permitting that would add cost and time, he would not

be in favor of this.    Mr. Newbon stated at that meeting they did not have the information

they now have from Mr. Majewski. 

 

Mr. Fritchey moved, Mr. Newbon seconded and it was unanimously carried that while

the Park & Recreation Board supports the Garden of Reflection Committee 100%, if they

are interpreting the letter of the Township engineer correctly that the proposal of the

Garden of Reflection Committee would necessitate a re-navigation of the Land

Development process, the Park Board would not be in favor of making changes.  If the

Park & Recreation Board is interpreting this incorrectly, they would like to be so advised.

 

Mr. McDonald asked what responsibility the Park & Recreation Board has to the public if

changes are made to a Plan they agreed to, and Mr. Gordon stated he feels it would

depend on the level of the changes.  Mr. Caiola stated if there were substantial changes, it

would have to go back to the Planning Commission and that would involve a public

meeting. 

 

Mr. Caiola noted he is not sure he will be the Liaison for the Park & Recreation Board

next year and he wanted to let the Board know that he enjoyed working with the Board

and noted they are a very hard-working Board.    Mr. Caiola was thanked by the Board

for all his efforts. 

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney stated the capital improvement project of widening the exit lane and constructing a concrete island at Macclesfield Park has been completed.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Garden of Reflection fountains have been winterized for the season.  The Committee expects the contractor to have all punch list items addressed by spring, 2007.

 

Ms. Liney stated all fall light fees and user fees totaling over $48,000 have been paid by the organizations for the fall season.  Ms. Liney commended all the people involved for their cooperation in paying these fees on a timely basis.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Board of Supervisors has scheduled Wednesday, December 20 for adoption of the Township Operating Budget for 2007.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Township will be attending the annual Lower Makefield Seniors holiday luncheon this Friday.   She stated the Seniors always have a great turnout for this

December 12, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 9 of 9

 

 

event and this provides a good opportunity for the Township to recognize the Seniors volunteer efforts by presenting approximately 25 thank you gifts for service.  She stated this is the kind of grass roots effort which continues to improve the community for everyone.

 

Ms. Liney thanked all the members of the Park & Recreation Board, the Supervisor liaison, and the volunteer organizations for their continued support and effort with the community this past year; and she stated she looks forward to another successful year in 2007.

 

Due to scheduling conflicts, it was agreed to hold the January meeting of the Park & Recreation Board on Thursday, January 18th at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

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

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        David Fritchey, Chairman