TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES – JUNE 13, 2006

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held at the Community Pool on June 13, 2006.  Secretary Bunn called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Park & Recreation Board:        David Fritchey, Chairman (joined meeting in progress)

                                                Patricia Bunn, Secretary

                                                David Gordon, Member

                                                Richard Jutkiewicz, Member

                                                Francis McDonald, Member

                                                Andrew Newbon, Member

 

Others:                                     Donna Liney, Recreation Director

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Greg Caiola, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                         Henry Carpenter, Park & Recreation Vice Chairman

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. McDonald moved, Mr. Gordon seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of May 9, 2006 as written.

 

 

DISCUSSION OF POOL ITEMS

 

Ms. Liney stated in 2005 the Lower Makefield Community Pool enjoyed record

membership with over 1600 families and 400 individuals.  She stated you need to be a

Lower Makefield Township resident to be eligible to join the Pool.  Yardley Borough

residents are eligible through an Inter-Governmental Agreement with the Borough and

the Township.  Swim and dive team members are required to be members of the Pool,

and you must be a member of the Pool to be eligible for swim lessons.  Ms. Liney stated

the Community Pool Budget is a Proprietary Budget with a cash balance.  Tax dollars do

not support the Pool, and it is funded by membership fees.  In 2005, the Pool revenues

received were approximately $745,000, and expenses totaled approximately $675,000.

 

Ms. Liney stated a key component to the success of the Pool is the Pool management. 

She stated the Township has been fortunate to have Pool Manager Brad Sharp provide

leadership and direction for the Pool for twenty years.  Mr. Sharp has informed the

June 13, 2006                                                           Park & Recreation Board – page 2 of 9

 

 

Township that he intends to resign, and this will be his last year managing the Pool.  The

Township would like to thank Mr. Sharp for all his efforts and wish him well.  While

they recognize that it will be a challenge to fill this position, the Township does have an

excellent staff and feels confident they will be able to continue the success of the facility.

 

Mr. Brad Sharp stated he has enjoyed the job.  He stated he has a very capable staff and

introduced Mr. Greg Stoloski who is in his third summer as Assistant Manager.   He also

introduced Ms. Shannon Little who has worked at the Pool for two and a half years.  He

also introduced Ms. Melissa Strockoz who is in her first year with the Pool.  He stated

she was the Aquatics Director at the Newtown Athletic Club and was in charge of their

lessons and programming.  This year she is in charge of all the Township Community

Pool swimming lessons including private lessons.  He stated they have a large enrollment

this summer for swim lessons and she will also provide water safety instruction. 

 

Mr. Sharp stated they made many changes in the twenty years he has been with the Pool. 

He stated they added new pools including the Swim Team Pool which he designed with

Mr. Bob Magg to be a dual-purpose pool.  He stated a number of changes were also made

to the landscaping and additional amenities were added.  He stated they have over 6,000

members of the Pool.  He stated the slides were added last year, and he feels this is why

membership numbers are up.

 

Mr. Fritchey joined the meeting at this time.

 

Mr. Sharp stated he is sure that the Pool will be left in good hands whatever direction the

Township decides to go.  He stated Ms. Liney deserves a lot of credit as she spends an

astronomical amount of hours working for the Pool.  He stated this is not a part-time job. 

He stated Ms. Sherron who previously held the position for the Pool which is now done

by Ms. Liney stated it was a full-time position and it was very difficult to do the work on

a part-time basis.  He stated Ms. Liney is responsible for a lot of behind the scenes work

including working with vendors and contractors.  Mr. Sharp stated Mr. Bob Copson also

deserves credit for what is happening at the Pool as well. 

 

Mr. Sharp stated this will be his last summer and is his thirtieth consecutive summer

managing a Pool.  He stated he worked for ten years as Manager at the Morrisville Pool

before coming to Lower Makefield. 

 

Mr. Sharp stated the Pool is up and running well.  He does not expect any problems this

year. 

 

Mr. Greg Stoloski stated this is his third year with the Pool.  He stated he is a Graduate of

Temple University and has a degree in History.  He has been certified for various aspects

of Pool management and is currently a Graduate Education student so he has his summers

off.  He has been working with Mr. Sharp and will work with him this summer learning

June 13, 2006                                                           Park & Recreation Board – page 3 of 9

 

 

maintenance of the pools, public relations management, and how to operate various

aspects of the equipment.  He wants to be able to help the Pool run smoothly once

Mr. Sharp is not longer present. 

 

Ms. Shannon Little stated this is her third summer at the Pool.  She teaches in the

Pennsbury School District and stated she has learned a lot from Mr. Sharp. 

 

Ms. Melissa Strockoz stated she was the Aquatics Director for Newtown Athletic Club

for five years and decided to leave and come to Lower Makefield Township to help out

with the swim lesson program.  She feels it has been a good experience and she is looking

forward to learning more. 

 

Mr. Gordon stated he has been a member of the Pool for sixteen years, and he feels

Mr. Sharp has done an excellent job.  He stated the Pool is a selling point for people

buying or selling homes in the Township.  Mr. Newbon stated the success they have seen

at the Pool is due to the investment they have made in the Pool and to the excellent

management.  Ms. Bunn stated she has been at the Pool as a guest a number of times and

it is a great facility, and she will be sad to see Mr. Sharp go.

 

Mr. Sharp stated the Swim Team is up to 290 members which is their largest team ever. 

He announced that the Dip and Dine will be held on July 15 and Family Fun Day will be

July 16.

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz asked Mr. Sharp if he is in favor of winterizing the Pool.  Mr. Sharp

stated he feels this would be a mistake.  He has concerns with parking, public access,

the location of some of the existing lights, storage of the bubble, and putting the bubble

on and off.  He noted a bubble at the West Windsor facility adding it is not a nice

atmosphere to be in particularly when it starts getting warmer.  He feels it would be better

to purchase a piece of land and build a separate indoor pool.  He stated if they proceed at

the existing location, they will also have to winterize a number of buildings and the fresh

water lines leading to the buildings.  He noted the outside surge tanks will need to be

winterized probably by expanding the building.  He stated if they are only covering the

one pool, there are no nearby shower facilities and they are going to have to construct

another facility with showers.  He stated if they are going to have people walk through

the Pool Complex to get to the pool which is covered, it could present a liability issue

because the other pools are half full all winter long.  Mr. Sharp stated if funds are

available and there is support in the community for this use, he would recommend

building an indoor facility which could be run year round.  Mr. Sharp stated he is a big

supporter of the swim team and PAC noting his daughter went through these programs

and received a college scholarship for diving but feels they should look at building a

separate facility.  He stated there are a lot of issues besides just getting a bubble and

covering a pool.

 

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Mr. Sharp left the meeting at this time.

 

Ms. Liney stated preliminary feedback from this year’s Pool survey indicates 77% of the

Pool membership loves the new dual slides.  The Township has attempted to address

some items such as bee control and restroom cleanliness by contracting with professional

companies for these services.  Other suggestions from the survey such as hooks in all

showers and stalls and installation of an outdoor shower have been implemented.  The

Township also continues its ongoing replacement of Pool furniture and landscaping

improvements.

 

Ms. Liney stated as noted earlier in the year, it appears approximately 62% of the Pool

membership is interested in exploring the option of enclosing and winterizing the 25

meter by 25 yard lap pool for use in the fall, winter, and spring.  1500 surveys were

returned.  In response to that feedback, the Board of Supervisors contracted with Asati

Company to perform a feasibility study, including pricing, for possible installation of a

bubble over the competition pool.  The Township is also studying the associated costs

with winter operation of the Pool through the Township engineering firm. 

 

Mr. Newbon asked how many surveys had been returned in past years, and Ms. Liney

stated one survey was done previously, and they did not get as great a return as this time. 

She stated she feels the free Guest Passes were very well received.

 

Mr. Majewski stated he agrees with Mr. Sharp that there a lot of obstacles and issues that

need to be looked into with covering the Pool.  He stated the Pool is currently set up for

summer operation only.  His stated they are looking into what it will take to winterize the

buildings.  He stated if they are going to enclose the lap pool, they would have to build

another facility for showers in that area.  They also have to consider what it would take to

enclose the heating systems and surge tanks.  They will also look into costs and issues

related to putting up and taking down the bubble and provide estimates so the Township

can determine whether they should proceed with this project.

 

Ms. Bunn noted Mr. Sharp’s concern with the location of existing lights, and asked if the

bubble could go above the lights.  Mr. Paul Mackenzie stated he has discussed this matter

with the Asati representative who has indicated where the line would end up would be

just before the lights so that the lights would not have to be covered up or taken down. 

He stated if they decide to cover both pools, the lights between the two pools only would

have to come down.   He stated lighting inside the bubble will have to be provided.

Mr. Mackenzie stated he does feel they will need to have additional restroom/shower

facilities anyway at some point at the far end of the Pool.  He stated they anticipate

accessing the rear of the property to access the covered pool, so people would not have to

walk through the entire Pool facility.  He stated a restroom/shower facility at that end of

the Complex could also be used for softball.

 

June 13, 2006                                                           Park & Recreation Board – page 5 of 9

 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated Mr. Sharp had suggested that it might be more cost effective to build

a separate enclosed facility and asked if the Township is exploring that option. 

Mr. Majewski stated he was not asked to consider this, but he could look into this to get

an estimate on what this would cost.  Mr. Mackenzie stated North Penn built a new Pool

complex and it cost over $8 million so he feels it would not be comparable.

 

Ms. Bunn stated if they are considering constructing a new structure at the existing Pool

Complex, they will have to pay prevailing wage, and she feels it could cost

approximately $1.5 million for that building alone.  She stated they must consider that

this is public money unless the Swim Team is interested in funding this privately which

she does not feel they are in a position to do.

 

Mr. Caiola stated they must also consider that there have been requests for a Senior

Center.  Mr. Mackenzie stated the new building could be used by both groups. 

Mr. Mackenzie stated despite Mr. Sharp’s comments, he still feels the project is doable.

 

Mr. Newbon stated the Pennsbury School District currently offers public swimming and

asked the number of people making use of this.  Mr. Mackenzie stated he can get

numbers on this but noted the times are not very convenient.  It was noted that PAC does

use a majority of the Pool time available at the High School and Pennwood Pools when

the High School Swim Teams are not using them.  Ms. Strockoz stated the Newtown

Athletic Club had 2,000 children involved in swimming lessons and it was a $400,000

Department each year at NAC including swim lessons, birthday parties, etc.  She stated

they also charged triple what is being charged at the Lower Makefield Pool.  Mr. Newbon

stated years ago there were public swims at Pennwood, and the pool was basically empty. 

Ms. Strockoz stated the Pools at the School are cold, and people are interested in a heated

pool.  Mr. Mackenzie stated currently on Friday nights at Pennsbury there are a number

of birthday parties, and there is a significant unmet need for swim lessons and activity

space particularly in the winter.  Mr. Newbon stated besides the items Mr. Sharp has

mentioned he is also concerned that the Pool as it is exists is working very well, and he

questions if they will still get the same return on investment if they extend it through the

other months.  Ms. Strockoz stated she does not feel this will be a problem.  She noted a

pool on the Main Line where they bubbled one pool; and they had such an overwhelming

response, they are going to bubble another pool and their tennis courts.    She stated it is

not a problem to take down the bubble as there is a company that does this and stores it

during the summer and then comes back and puts it back on. 

 

Mr. Gordon asked who will be responsible for replacing Mr. Sharp, and Ms. Liney stated this will be the Township Manager’s responsibility.

 

Ms. Liney reported that both Mr. Stoloski and Ms. Little have the Advanced License

required by the State of Pennsylvania to run a Pool and as well as their Aquatics Facility

Operators Certification which is the National Certification.  

June 13, 2006                                                          Park & Recreation Board – page 6 of 9

 

 

Mr. Mackenzie stated he had the head of U.S.A. Swimming on site, and he was very

impressed with the facility. He stated they will announce in September the First Splash

Program which is a U.S.A. program to ensure that every child by Third Grade is capable

of swimming because drowning is the number two cause of death for children in the U.S. 

This will be a program that will be accredited and can be run as part of an After-School

program.  He stated he discussed this with the Afton Physical Education teacher, and they

were very disappointed with the School District when they no longer had the After-

School swimming programs.  He feels there is the potential that U.S.A. Swimming will

help with engineering, help get the accreditation, and help advertise that the Lower

Makefield Pool is a U.S.A. Swimming Complex for teaching children how to swim.  He

will provide additional information on this.  He stated they have also offered to do a

significant portion of the engineering work at their expense. 

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON’S REPORT

 

Mr. Caiola stated the Board of Supervisors had the Spring Road Tour and looked at the

Parks and the roads in need of repair.  He stated he also went on a Farmland Tour prior to

the Road Tour.  The Board has had discussions about the leaves on the Patterson Farm,

use of the Patterson Farm and maintenance of the buildings.  Mr. Caiola stated the Board

has not yet had the presentation on the turf field at Macclesfield Park.  He stated there has

been some one-on-one discussion with the Board of Supervisors on this.  He stated the

Board is aware of the Park & Recreation Board’s concerns about the user fee issue and

the precedent this may set. 

 

Mr. Caiola stated he is aware of some concerns with the condition of Field A at

Macclesfield Park.  Ms. Liney stated the Township traditionally does the Municipal

maintenance such as cutting and does do a drag of the field once a week but feels PAA

may be doing less work than they have in the past especially on Field A.  She stated in

between games it is PAA’s response to maintain the fields and not the Township. 

 

Mr. Newbon asked Mr. Caiola if there has been any further discussion on the position of

Park Ranger, and Mr. Caiola stated this has not come up at the Board level.  Ms. Liney

stated Mr. Brian Derby is working at Macclesfield Park, and this seems to be working

well with non-Permitted League play.  She stated Mr. Derby does speak some Spanish,

and he has been able to communicate with people who may be on the field playing

League games; and he has advised them that they need to go through a Permitting

process.  She stated some individuals have come into her office, and she has directed

them to enroll in the YMS Adult Program.  She stated some have attempted to go on-line,

and at one point she feels it was filled; but she advised them to enroll for the fall. 

Mr. Newbon stated he is still concerned that the fields are being used by people who

should not be on them.  Ms. Liney stated this is not the case with the baseball fields. 

 

June 13, 2006                                                           Park & Recreation Board – page 7 of 9

 

Mr. Newbon stated at Fallsington Park there is a Park Ranger who is aware of who

should be on the fields at what time, and that individual works with the Park Director. 

 

Mr. McDonald stated he is at Macclesfield frequently and asked what he should do when

he sees people on the fields who are not Permitted.  Ms. Liney stated Chief Coluzzi has

recommended that it be the Park employee, who is Brian Derby at this time, who should

be advised of this situation.  She stated Mr. Derby has been given permission to come in

on the weekends at the times that YMS has targeted as problem times.  If Mr. Derby sees

a situation, he asks them to move; and if they do not comply, he can call the Police since

it is then a summary offence.  Mr. Fritchey stated he does not feel the YMS coaches

should be involved in a confrontation.  Ms. Liney stated she has discussed this situation

with Mr. Dimaio and Mr. Deininger who seem to think the situation has improved.

Mr. McDonald stated he did see activity last evening which he feels was not Permitted.

He noted this occurred at two of the fields at the back of the Park.  He stated there have

also been complaints from Rivergate about trash in that area, and Ms. Liney stated she is

aware of this.  Mr. Newbon stated the Park Ranger in Fallsington does have a Nextel

direct to the Police Department so if there are any issues, he can contact them which

seems to work out well. 

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz asked it was not true that they have to allow anyone who wants to, to

play in the Park; and Ms. Liney stated this is not the case for League play which seems to

be what is occurring.  She stated you do have to have a Permit for League play. 

Mr. Fritchey stated if it is a “pick-up” game, you cannot stop someone from using an

empty field; but if it is a League game, they are required to be sanctioned and pay fees.

 

Mr. Fritchey asked about the Golf Course, and Mr. Caiola stated the numbers are slightly

under, but they are not overly concerned.  He stated there are also discussions with the

PGA who is considering using the building.  He stated this could also lead to Tournament

Play at the facility.  Mr. Newbon asked if the numbers are based on last year’s number or

the original forecasts.  Mr. Majewski stated the goals they set for this year were much

higher than the goal they had for last year.   

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney stated the lighting project for Fields H and F at Macclesfield Park will require

some corrective work from the contractor, Carr & Duff, before the Township will be in a

position to test the lights as originally scheduled for June 15.  It now appears the test date

for this project will be June 26 following completion of this work by Carr and Duff.

 

Ms. Liney stated construction of the Garden of Reflection continues.  The Board of

Supervisors awarded a change order to the project’s general contractor, Building

Restoration, for additional lighting for this project.  She anticipates the Township hosting

a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Park in the next several months.

June 13, 2006                                                           Park & Recreation Board – page 8 of 9

 

Ms. Liney stated they have a large-scale Tournament on Township property this weekend

- the annual Art Coleman Softball Tournament which will begin Thursday with a college

showcase event.  The feature game will take place Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the

Pool Field between the Pennsbury Gems and the Florida Diamondbacks.  Tournament

officials have extended an invitation to the Park Board to come see some first-class

softball.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Park & Recreation Department along with Public Works, Sewer,

Police, and the EAC attended a recent Grant-writing meeting with the Township

engineering firm, School DePalma, to review potential projects that may be eligible for

various Grant programs.  Park & Recreation projects such as Snipes, Memorial Park, and

Macclesfield park are being examined.

 

Ms. Liney stated in the next few weeks she will be planning the Agenda for the Park

Board’s Annual July Road Tour which will be held Tuesday, July 11 beginning at 6:30

p.m. beginning from the Township Building.  She asked to be advised if there are any

particular sites Board members would like to see.

 

Ms. Liney stated Lower Makefield Township is planning Community Day on Monday,

Labor Day, September 4 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Community Park Complex. 

Supervisor Ron Smith is spearheading this special event and will be contacting all the

volunteers on the various Boards of the Township for ideas and assistance.  Ms. Liney

stated she has been designated Township liaison and looks forward to making this a

successful event.

 

Ms. Bunn stated she would like to go back to Heacock Park on the Park & Recreation

Road Tour. 

 

There was discussion on problems with pick up of trash by the trash hauler at the various

Township sites.  Ms. Liney stated she is aware that the EAC is interested in having

recyclables picked up, but is concerned since there have been difficulties getting the

normal trash picked up.  She stated she is continuing to work on this problem with the

hauler who was the low bidder.  She noted this is the first year of the two-year Contract.

 

Mr. Fritchey noted the letter received from Mr. Kipp regarding people using Macclesfield

Park parking on the neighborhood streets.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels the streets are

public streets and available for parking by anyone.  Mr. McDonald stated when they have

Tournaments, they do have people in Rivergate advising them not to park in the

neighborhood.  Mr. Fritchey stated in this instance, it does not involve Rivergate. 

Mr. Fritchey stated he understands their concerns with trash, but feels the public streets

are available for parking for everyone.  Mr. Jutkiewicz stated if they were to have “No

Parking” signs, the residents would not be able to park on the street either.  Ms. Liney

stated they do ask the user groups to try to be good neighbors and to discourage parking

on the neighborhood streets as much as possible.

June 13, 2006                                                           Park & Recreation Board – page 9 of 9

 

 

Mr. Gordon asked if it would be possible to hold the Road Tour on a different evening as

he is unavailable on July 11.  After discussion it was agreed to hold the Road Tour on

Tuesday, July 25th beginning at 6:30 p.m. beginning at the Township Building parking

lot.

 

There was further discussion on the Pool bubble.  Mr. Liney stated there are still some

major projects they are considering at the Pool including renovations to the baby pool,

zero-depth entry to the Olympic Pool, and gutter restoration which are the major

projects that have been carried over from the initial Feasibility Study. 

 

 

LEAGUE LIAISON REPORTS

 

Ms. Liney stated they still need a liaison for PAA, Pop Warner, and YMS.  Both
Mr. McDonald and Mr. Gordon stated they would be the liaison for YMS.  Mr. Gordon

stated he is friends with Mr. Mauro and could be the contact for PAA.  Mr. Newbon

agreed to be the Football liaison.

 

 

Ms. Liney announced that there will be no meeting of the Park & Recreation Board in

August.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Newbon moved, Mr. McDonald seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 7:45 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                       

                                                                        Patricia Bunn, Secretary