TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES – NOVEMBER 14, 2006

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower

Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on November 14, 2006.  Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Park & Recreation Board:        David Fritchey, Chairman

                                                Patricia Bunn, Secretary

                                                David Gordon, Member

                                                Francis McDonald, Member

 

Others:                                     Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

                                                Donna Liney, Recreation Director

                                                Greg Caiola, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                                     Henry Carpenter, Park & Rec Vice Chairman

Richard Jutkiewicz, Park & Rec Member

                                                Andrew Newbon, Park & Rec Member

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Ms. Bunn moved, Mr. Gordon seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of October 10, 2006 as written.

 

 

DISCUSSION AND MOTION ON MEMORIAL PARK PHASE II

 

Members of the Garden of Reflection Committee, Grace Godshalk, Tara Bane, Ellen

Saracini, and Liuba Lashchyk were present along with Maria Lansing.   Mr. Fritchey

congratulated the Committee Members on the Memorial dedication ceremony and the

Memorial itself. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk thanked everyone for all their help and support with the project.  She

stated Memorial Park was planned eight to nine years ago, and the 9-11 Memorial was

later incorporated into the Park.  She stated a number of people have commented

favorably on the view of the entrance; and she is concerned that if some of the items that

were planned before the Memorial was built are constructed, it will change that look. 

She stated a number of people have also commented that nothing should obstruct the

view from the road.  Mrs. Godshalk stated they have proposed some changes to the

Memorial Park Plan which they would like to present to the Park & Recreation Board.

 

November 14, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 2 of 8

 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated there is an extensive history as to the development of the Park with

considerable input on the Plan that is presently in place from the citizen constituency of

the Township as well.  He stated in the packet Ms. Liney has included much of the

history of what they have been trying to do and the needs they are trying to meet at the

Park. 

 

Ms. Lashchyk stated they understand the Board is considering proceeding with Phase II. 

She stated the Memorial Committee was looking at the Plan that was proposed two years

ago taking into consideration Mrs. Godshalk’s concerns as well as the Park & Recreation

Board’s interest in an arboretum.  She stated she feels the idea of the arboretum would tie

in together the two elements of the Park separating the active and passive elements of the

Park.  She noted the location where they would propose the arboretum to be located and

stated people could donate trees for the arboretum.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated in a historical context, the arboretum they were discussing involved

approximately one hundred different species of trees which would be interspersed

throughout the Park and identified by common name, genus, and species.  There was also

discussion that individual people could purchase trees as memorials for family members. 

He stated they were also anticipating Park benches as well.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated they are already receiving requests from people about the

possibility of donating park benches.  She stated the Committee has also suggested that

the arboretum be called Heritage Arboretum.

 

Ms. Lashchyk stated they felt the area adjacent to the Memorial should be a passive area. 

She showed Scheme 1 and stated they would recommend that the softball field be pushed

to the north and that the roadway be moved slightly.  She noted Scheme 2 which shows a

natural, passive maze area for children. 

 

Ms. Ellen Saracini stated the Park is 62 ˝ acres and was designed to be 50% passive and

50% active.  She stated the Memorial comprises 2 ˝ acres and backs up to the wetlands. 

The area where the comfort station is located including the Memorial is only five acres of

passive recreation, and the passive areas throughout the rest of the Park would be the

walkways while the rest would be for various activities.  She stated the Plan they are now

presenting would isolate an area of passivity with the Memorial.  She noted the lighter

colored portion on their scheme, and stated these are areas which are for later phases.

 

Mr. Gordon asked if they are proposing the elimination of anything with their proposal.

Ms. Saracini stated one soccer field would be eliminated but there are two fields down

the street at Woodside.  She stated the soccer field could be put on the right hand side of

the Plan.  She stated when Memorial Park was considered, the additional fields were not  

installed across the street from Elm Lowne which are now being proposed for organized

leagues.   She stated at Memorial Pak this was only to be used for overflow when fields

 

 

November 14, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 3 of 8

 

 

when needed, and it was not to be for organized sports.  She stated since Snipes is going

in, she does not feel the community will miss one soccer field.  She stated they could put

it in at Memorial Park during a later phase if necessary.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated the fields that were in the approved Plan for Memorial Park are

important to the community as they were to be used by those in the community who were

not involved in organized play.  He asked about the pavilions, and Ms. Lashchyk stated

they are still being shown and have not been moved.  Ms. Saracini stated they proposing

moving the one softball field back toward the other one and moving it away from the

Memorial.  She stated they could put the one soccer field next to the tennis courts if they

still wanted to include it.  She stated they are also proposing shortening the parking area

so it leaves the area open.

 

There was discussion on the possible need for parking to accommodate buses if this is

necessary and possible locations for this were shown on the Plan.  It was noted there are

school buses, etc. coming to the site; but it does not seem that they are getting numerous

buses at the same time.  

 

Ms. Saracini stated they receive numerous comments from people about the Park and the

fact that they did not feel they should clutter up the area of the Memorial.  She stated they

want to preserve the sense of serenity and passivity.  She stated they feel they can do this

and still not take anything away from the Park as they feel it should be a celebration of

life.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels there should be a balance and still meet the needs of the

community.

 

Mr. Caiola asked how much room is currently between the Garden of Reflection and the

proposed softball field, and Ms. Bunn stated she feels it is 80’.  Ms. Saracini stated

through their years of fundraising, the Schools have continued to make donations and

the Park is very much in the forefront of the children as they remember 9-11.  She feels

the children are taking ownership of the Park. 

 

Mr. Caiola stated he does not feel there would be a problem moving the softball field if it

is feasible, but he would not want to lose a soccer field.

 

Ms. Bunn stated she does want to see a professionally-designed Arboretum.  Ms. Bane

stated she feels they could have this, and there could be an advertisement campaign to get

trees donated.  Ms. Bunn stated she feels the arboretum should stretch throughout the

Park.  It was noted that Ms. Lashchyk is a professional landscape architect.

Mr. Fritchey stated Plans he has seen do identify where certain species should be

located.  Ms. Bunn stated when they have a Plan like this, it will be easier to get

donations. 

 

 

November 14, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 4 of 8

 

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated Ms. Lashchyk has already worked into the Plan, the trees which

have been donated.  Mrs. Godshalk stated they have had $500,000 worth of trees donated

outside of the Memorial area.  Ms. Bunn stated the Park & Recreation Board has not seen

an arboretum plan, and she feels there should be an architect’s Plan which should be

reviewed by the Park & Recreation Board and the Environmental Advisory Committee

which is in favor of native plants. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk asked what is included in Phase II, and Ms. Liney stated the Park &

Recreation Board recommended skinned softball field with back stops, play area roller

hockey court, and if funds were available, to proceed with additional parking. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated his concern is the residents were comfortable with the design and

density on the approved Plan, so if they are making changes, they need to be sensitive to

their concerns.  Ms. Bane suggested moving the volleyball courts to a different location

and install the soccer field they were considering eliminating in that location.  

 

Mr. Gordon stated he feels that three soccer fields that are not permitted seems more than

sufficient.  He questioned why they felt there was a need for four soccer fields. 

Mr.  Fritchey stated soccer is a big sport in the Township, and they felt if there were

fields available, children would be spontaneously able to play.  Mr. Gordon suggested

that they save the space for a soccer field for a future phase; and if it is necessary at some

point in the future, they could then build it. 

 

Mr. McDonald stated he is in favor of moving the softball field away from the Memorial,

but is not in favor of losing something that was agreed to.  Mr. Fritchey stated the Park

was identified to as being needed by the Township back in 1992 to meet the need for a

Community Park as opposed to a permitted athletic complex.  He stated this was to be a

place where families could go or where there could be space for pick-up games.

 

Ms. Bunn stated she feels the engineer should look into whether or not the changes being

recommended could be made based on the grading, etc.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels if

there is a radical change, they would have to invite the community back in to review it. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated the other thing that is very advantageous in the Park is the

walking/bikepaths.  She stated many people are already walking on the Paths and are

coming to the Park from the adjacent neighborhoods and incorporating the other paths

will be very advantageous.

 

Ms. Lashchyk stated they are going to be planting some additional trees in the fall.  These

are River Birches which they are proposing for the basin area.  Ms. Bunn asked if these

are part of an existing Plan.  Ms. Saracini stated they know the plan for the Park, and they

know where they will fit and not interfere with any fields.  Ms. Lashchyk stated they are

following the Plan from the Township engineer.  Ms. Bunn stated before anything else is

 

 

November 14, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 5 of 8

 

 

planted, she feels they should show it to the Park & Recreation Board for anything that is

outside of the Memorial since the area outside of the Memorial itself is under the

supervision of the Park & Recreation Board.  Mr. McDonald stated this is especially true

if it involves any changes. 

 

Mr. Fedorchak stated this must go back through the initial stages of the Land

Development Plan process so everyone can agree as to what it will look like.  He stated

the Board of Supervisors will have to discuss this; and if they are in agreement with

moving it forward, they can create a Sub-Committee and the Board can assign the

Township engineer to work with that Sub-Committee to fine tune the latest revision to

see if once they put in these new venues within the confines of the Park, it will actually

work.  Mr. Fritchey stated he assumes that they will refer this matter to the Township

engineer.  Mr. Fedorchak stated they would have to amend the existing Land

Development Plan.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels strongly that they should move forward

with this as quickly as possible.  He stated he would not want to see them lose another

year in developing Phase II.  Mr. Fedorchak stated they do not have a line item in the

2007 Budget for Phase II yet.  He stated if they had money set aside for 2007, they would

need final engineering for Phase II, put it out to bid which could take six to nine months,

and they could possibly break ground sometime in 2007 although he does not feel the

work would be completed until 2008.  He stated they must first get an idea what they all

agree to conceptually for Phase II; and once this is accepted, they would then go to the

Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors for an amendment to the existing

Land Development Plan.  He stated they did this before when they added the Garden of

Reflection. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated if they were not having this meeting tonight, they could have had

money in the Budget for Phase II at the next Budget meeting and then put it out to bid in

January.  Ms. Bunn stated they would need to get bid specs together first.  Mr. Fedorchak

stated if they were going to proceed with the original proposal, assuming there was

money in the Budget, they could have had the whole thing considered next year.  He

stated now it appears they are making significant changes, and it will require a different

procedure.  Mr. Fritchey stated he does not feel what is being proposed is significant. 

 

Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels they should discuss this with the solicitor to determine how

he views these changes.  He stated he does not feel anyone would object to what has been

suggested.  He stated he does not feel going through the Planning Commission and Board

of Supervisors would take that much time.  Mr. Fritchey stated he does not want to see

the project delayed for a year for what he feels are minor changes.  Mr. Fedorchak stated

this assumes that there is money in the Budget.  He stated at the last Budget Session, they

did discuss the possibility of proceeding with Phase II and discussed the fact that is not in

the Budget at this time.  Mr. Fedorchak stated the have just started the Budget process.

 

 

November 14, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 6 of 8

 

Mr. Fritchey stated in Phase II they had originally discussed installation of the skinned-in

softball field with the backstop, a play area, a roller hockey court, and if any funds were

remaining, install additional parking.  Mr. Fritchey stated he does not feel it is a major

change if they move the softball field 100 yards.  Ms. Bunn stated this would depend on

the grading.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels they need the opinion of the Township engineer

on this and then they could proceed with the rest of Phase II.  He does not feel this would

have a major impact on anyone.

 

Mr. Fedorchak stated he will bring this matter up to the Board of Supervisors at their

Budget meeting Monday night to request approval to have the engineer look at this. 

 

Mr. Caiola stated he feels if they can eliminate the fourth soccer field, it would make it

easier.  He asked the Board and Recreation Board’s recommendation on this, and

Ms. Bunn stated she feels they are split two to two on this. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated if the Park & Recreation Board would give their consensus to go

ahead with these slight changes, Mr. Fedorchak could advise the Board of Supervisors of

this. 

 

Mr.  Gordon stated Pee Wee Soccer has become very big and those eight and under are

playing on smaller fields.  He stated possibly they could make the fourth field smaller.

 

Mr. Fritchey moved, Ms. Bunn seconded and it was unanimously carried to advise the

Board of Supervisors that the Park and Recreation Board is in favor of exploring

tweaking the design to accommodate what has been recommended by the Memorial

Committee provided it does not derail the project for a year.  They would ask that the

Township engineer look at this as quickly as possible to see if it can be accommodated.

 

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. 

 

 

RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF RENEWING LMT POOL CONCESSION STAND CONTRACT WITH M.L.E. ENTERPRISES

 

Ms. Liney stated the Food Services Agreement to operate the snack bar at the

Community Pool is up for renewal.  In the best interest of the Pool, the Township has

gone to a one-year Contract with the vendor.  M.L.E. Enterprises continues to work with

the Township in addressing cleanliness in the eating areas, upgrading menu offerings

with more healthy and varied options, and responding to the concerns and needs of the

Pool membership.  M.L.E. Enterprises was given a 99% Food Inspection rating by the

Bucks County Board of Health in 2006.  Ms. Liney suggested that the Park Board

recommend renewal of the Contract in the amount of $3,200 for the 2007 Pool season

November 14, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 7 of 8

 

which represents an increase of $100 or approximately 3% over 2006.  She stated the

vendor does pay for the electric used in the concession stand.  She stated the Township

will continue to assess the progress of this contractor in satisfying the needs of the Pool

membership.

 

Mr. Fritchey asked if the surveys indicated general satisfaction this year, and

Ms. Liney stated the majority have.

 

Mr. Gordon moved, Mr. McDonald seconded and it was unanimously carried to renew

the Contract as outlined by Ms. Liney.

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON REPORT

 

Mr. Caiola stated they have had three Budget sessions and generally speaking the Park &

Recreation Budget has been met with substantial support.  He stated this year is a tough

Budget year.  He stated they want to keep the momentum going with the Park &

Recreation projects.  He stated they are continuing to look at the Budget closely.  They

will have another Budget meeting Monday and are trying to put together a Budget not

only for this coming year, but looking into the future years as well.

 

Mr. Fedorchak stated the Pool operation is in great shape and no increase in fees is being

proposed.  He stated the Golf Course is also in very good shape.  He stated the General

Fund and Park & Recreation are funded through the property taxes, and they are not

getting the increases they previously received.  He stated they do have the Deed Transfer

Taxes which is important for the General Fund; and while last year they received $1.9

million, this year they may not reach the $1.5 million which was budgeted. He stated he

is concerned this will also be the case in 2008 as well.  He stated this needs to be

considered when they discuss personnel and capital improvements. 

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney stated Park & Recreation has had two Budget Work Sessions with the Board

of Supervisors.  The Township continues to study all areas of the Park & Recreation

Budget.  The Supervisors are weighing several recommended projects versus the costs to

determine what direction the Township can proceed as they address the long and short

term recreation needs of the community.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Board of Supervisors also reviewed the proposed 2007 Community

Pool Operating Budget.  Plans are to bring in the pool consultant in the next two months

to discuss the proposed projects identified in the Pool Feasibility Study and Membership

Surveys. 

 

November 14, 2006                                                  Park & Recreation Board – page 8 of 8

 

 

Ms. Liney stated the good news is that the facilities are being heavily used.

 

Ms. Liney stated continuing with the policy of ongoing enhancement to facilities, Park &

Recreation has begun improvements to the three dugouts at Macclesfield Park, which will

include roofing, on-deck areas, and concrete flooring.  She stated they will also complete

improvements to the two remaining dugout areas at the Roelofs Complex.  Ms. Liney

stated the Township has also scheduled deep tining and drilling on all nine infield areas at

Macclesfield, Stoddart, and Roelofs.  She stated this is normal maintenance and helps

address drainage issues and improve surface play.  She stated all twenty plus turf fields

will be overseeded to be ready for play next season.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Park crew has begun building maintenance for the winter at Roelofs

and Stoddart restrooms.  She stated they will have all sites winterized by November 22.

 

Ms. Liney stated S & H Landscaping has begun work on the widening of the exit lane at

Macclesfield, and they expect to have that project completed by the end of the year. 

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. McDonald moved, Mr. Gordon seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:25 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Patricia Bunn, Secretary