TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES – JANUARY 10, 2006

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on January 10, 2006.  Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  He noted there are two vacancies on the Board due to the resignations of John Kuebler and Ron Smith, and he wished them well.

Mr. Fritchey also welcomed Greg Caiola as the new Supervisor Liaison.

 

Those present:

 

Park & Recreation Board:        David Fritchey, Chairman

                                                Henry Carpenter, Vice Chairman

                                                Patricia Bunn, Secretary

                                                Richard Jutkiewicz, Member

                                                Andrew Newbon, Member

 

Others:                                     Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

                                                Donna Liney, Recreation Director

                                                Greg Caiola, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz moved, Mr. Carpenter seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of December 13, 2005 as written.

 

 

REORGANIZATION OF THE PARK & RECREATION BOARD

 

Mr. Newbon moved, Mr. Jutkiewicz seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint David Fritchey as Chairman, Henry Carpenter as Vice Chairman, and Patricia Bunn as Secretary.

 

 

APPOINTMENT OF PARK BOARD LIAISON TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

 

Mr. Fritchey moved, Mr. Newbon seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Patricia Bunn as the Park Board Liaison to the Environmental Advisory Council.

 

 

 

 

January 10, 2006                                                     Park & Recreation Board – page 2 of 14

 

 

APPROVAL TO RESCHEDULE FEBRUARY 14, 2006 MEETING

 

Mr. Fritchey moved, Ms. Bunn seconded and it was unanimously carried to reschedule the February 14, 2006 meeting to February 21, 2006.

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON REPORT

 

Mr. Caiola stated he has two sons who do play baseball, football, and basketball and he is

a strong supporter of athletics.  He stated he is looking forward to working with the Park

& Recreation Board. 

 

Ms. Bunn stated she saw an article in the paper about the plans proposed by the new

Supervisors.  She asked about the Township engineer appointment noting that there are a

number of projects that are in various stages of design.  She asked if they chose to

appoint a different engineer, will the current engineers be retained on the projects they

are working on or will they lose time trying to get a new engineer up to speed. 

Mr. Caiola stated they are going to try to find engineers in different areas of expertise. 

He stated if it is critical that one organization work on the project through its fruition,

they will seriously consider that need.  He stated transitions occur all the time, and there

are a number of very strong engineering firms in the area.  He stated he was involved in

local Government in New Jersey where they made some transitions, and they made sure

they were up to speed before moving forward.  He agreed to keep the Park Board up

dated on this.  He stated he feels there are two meetings scheduled in January when they

will be interviewing engineering firms and these will be held in open session. 

 

Ms. Bunn stated she is concerned that projects will be slowed down.  Mr. Fedorchak

stated he agrees that some projects may slow down or get put on hold.  He stated the

Board of Supervisors will probably prioritize certain projects and fast tract those items. 

He stated the Snipes project may be one that gets top priority while some projects may be

put on hold temporarily until they get a new engineer up to speed unless they decide to

keep PCS on for those items.  He stated they have eight different firms which will be

interviewed, and he feels all of them can do the job and are excellent firms.  He stated the

Board of Supervisors may provide them with a list of projects and advise them to put a

certain number or people on each project to move them forward.  Ms. Bunn asked if the

engineers will be advised of what projects there are as part of the interview process.

Mr. Caiola stated they know the firms well enough to know they all have larger staffs

than PCS.  He encouraged the Park Board members to come and sit in on the interview

process because the Park Board will be working with the engineer.

 

 

 

 

January 10, 2006                                                       Park & Recreation Board – page 3 of 9

 

 

PRESENTATION BY YMS REGARDING ARTIFICIAL TURF

 

Mr. Mike Dimaio, Facility Director for YMS, was present and showed a sample of the

artificial turf YMS is considering.  He stated YMS is looking into the possibility of doing

a turf field.  He stated their focus has been to do it at Field C at Macclesfield because

there are existing lights at that location.  He stated they need this done sooner than later

and waiting for Snipes would not be soon enough.  He stated they have done lay outs

which were shown to the Board this evening.  They would like to make the field large

enough to have one full-size soccer field or going the other way – three smaller soccer

fields.   He stated the turf comes out pre-lined.  He stated they are taking bids on the

installation and preparation of the field at the current time. 

 

Mr. Dimaio stated field turf is a 2 ½” fiber rug which is laid down and seams sewn

together.  It is then filled in with sand and rubber shavings.  He noted a number of

locations where this is being used.  He stated the reason they are considering this is

because they need the ability to practice year around.  He stated you can play on this in

any weather without hurting the field, and it reduces injuries.  He stated snow melts on it

and you can play on it within a few hours.  Water goes through it as it is a pervious

surface.  He stated they will have to strip out the topsoil and install a stone base and then

a sand base and the turf then goes down.  All items are pervious.  He stated they will do

further research on this with an engineering firm.  He stated it is a 6” to 8” stone bed, 3”

sand bed, and then the turf itself which gets infilled with sand and rubber.  He stated the

maintenance required is brushing the fields out over the years to even out the rubber and

occasionally bring in more rubber and brush it through.  He stated you get an eight year

guarantee.  It comes lined and you never have to paint it.

 

Mr. Newbon asked if Lacrosse uses the soccer fields, and Mr. Jutkiewicz stated they have

for Tournaments and the lining is different.  Mr. Dimaio stated Lacrosse has used Field C

once a year for their Tournament but they could use another soccer field in the Park.  He

stated they chose Field C because of the lights and it is the field they use almost

exclusively.  He stated they wanted to set it up so that they would not infringe on the

other user groups.  He stated they use Fields C and D so much in the fall that there is

almost no grass on it.  They would like it to be laid out completely on C even past the

goals so that there would be practice areas.  He stated they could practice up to eight

teams on this in an hour and a half session.  He stated the other advantages are there is no

maintenance, and there will be savings to the Township in that they will not have to cut

the field, fertilize it, or re-seed. 

 

Ms. Bunn asked what would happen if a lawnmower would run over it, and Mr. Dimaio

stated the mowers are set high enough that he does not feel it would present a problem. 

He stated there is a curb that separates it from the grass. 

 

 

January 10, 2006                                                       Park & Recreation Board – page 4 of 9

 

 

Mr. Dimaio stated every other major Club has one of these turf fields.  He stated Lincoln

Financial uses this as well.  He stated because of the rubber it does not hurt when you

fall.  He stated the balls also roll true.  He stated you can use spikes or sneakers on this

surface.   Mr. Dimaio stated they are looking at a number of manufacturers.

 

Ms. Bunn asked who will pay for this.  Mr. Dimaio stated if YMS were going to pay for

this, or a part of it, they would need a ten-year lease on the field to get it started with any

kind of financing company.  He stated a ten-year lease at $1 a year is a basic formula.  He

stated the financing company is an eight-year financing program, and they want to see

that your lease is longer than they are financing for.  It would cost approximately

$600,000 to $800,000 to put this in.  Ms. Bunn asked if they would need to put this out to

public bid if they are using public land, and Mr. Fedorchak stated it would depend.  He

stated if it is entirely a YMS financed project, they would not have to go out to bid.  If the

Township is involved, it would have to be put out to bid and the cost could possibly

double. 

 

Mr. Newbon asked if the Township is leasing this land to YMS for ten years for $1 a

year, could the Township then not declare a loss on that property, and Mr. Fedorchak

stated for their type of accounting they cannot get this.

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz asked if YMS would assume the cost to bring it back to its original state if

it does not work out in ten years, and Mr. Dimaio stated they could put this in the lease. 

He stated they could either roll up the field and put back grass, or put down whatever is

the newest surface.

 

Mr. Fritchey asked what happens after eight years, and Mr. Dimaio stated he does not

feel they have gotten this far yet and he can ask the manufacturer about this.  He stated if

it falls apart, he feels YMS may want to take it up and probably do it again for another

period of time.  He stated he feels putting a new turf top would be less expensive as the

sub base would already have been installed.

 

Mr. Caiola asked if he has seen this used anywhere and asked how far along they are with

those fields to see if there are any concerns.  Mr. Dimaio stated he has played on one of

the fields as has his girls’ team at least ten to fifteen times and he has never heard

anything negative about it from any of the other facilities directors, other than trying not to spill liquids other than water on it.  He noted it is a washable surface.  He stated YMS

recently sent a $5,000 check to Mercer County Community College so that they can use

their turf fields on Thursdays and Sundays from now until April 1 in order to stay off of

Fields C and D.  He stated this would also give them the opportunity to practice outside

year-round like the other teams which they play. 

 

Ms. Bunn asked if they would rent it out to other organizations, and Mr. Dimaio stated

they may use it as a revenue-generator amongst their own Club to help pay some of the

January 10, 2006

 

 

debt service.  He does not feel there would be time slots available to rent it outside of

their Club.  He stated they will host State cup games. 

 

Mr. Newbon asked if he feels there would be a reduction in the need for more field space

if they have this, and Mr. Dimaio stated the real advantage to this is for practices and the

ability to limit the wear and tear on the other fields.

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz asked if the Township would lose the ability to use that field for summer

camps, and Mr. Dimaio stated he does not feel they would because there is no reason for

people to have to stay off it; and if YMS was not using it possibly in July, Ms. Liney

could permit it out for a two to three week period on the field as there is no wear and tear

on the field. 

 

Mr. Fritchey asked how long it would take for the conversion, and Mr. Dimaio stated it is

a six-week installation.  He stated they roll out sections and anchor it down with spikes

into the base and it is then sewn together at the bottom of the turf.  It is then filled in.

Mr. Fritchey asked if there is a particularly good time window when it is optimal for

them to do the installation, and Mr. Dimaio stated normally they install over the summer

when the fields are not being used.  He stated if they went ahead with this, they would

have a end of this year installation (October).  He stated the manufacturer is booked for

the summer already and could not install it until the fall.  Mr. Fritchey asked if YMS has

decided they definitely want to pursue this, and Mr. Dimaio stated they definitely want to

do it and they have money available to provide a down payment but will have to finance

the rest.  They are still considering how they will pay the financing over the next eight

years as a Club, and they will have to do fundraising.  They may also explore something

with the Township as far as fees to help YMS pay for this.  He stated possibly they could

take in any cost savings the Township may realize and let YMS use some of their fees to

pay some of the debt service. 

 

Mr. Carpenter stated it seems like it could solve a lot of problems.

 

Mr. Dimaio asked if the Park & Recreation Board is in support of the concept and asked

if they could make legal inquires of the Township regarding a lease and also have a

discussion with the Township engineer about any engineering issues there may be. 

 

Ms. Bunn asked what they were looking for with regard to a lease.  Mr. Dimaio stated if

they were going to sign a lease and pay for the turf, they would want exclusive

use, although they would not have a problem with allowing someone to use the field if YMS was not using it.  He stated he would not want to put football stripes on it and have to battle with another user group for times.    He stated this could also leave some of the

other fields open so that they have time to recover.  He stated he feels the High School

will want to use the turf fields at least three nights a year, and they would not have a

problem with this.

January 10, 2006                                                       Park & Recreation Board – page 6 of 9

 

 

Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels there are a number of ways they could deal with a lease. 

He stated they do need to consider what would happen if YMS were no longer a viable

operation in five years.  Ms. Bunn stated this would be a debt service on Township

property.  Mr. Dimaio stated they could structure the lease such that Lower Makefield

Township would own that field if YMS abandons it.  He stated they would have to  make

sure that the lease indicates that the financing company’s only recourse would be YMS. 

It was noted this will be a legal issue to be considered.  Mr. Dimaio stated the

manufacturer could provide the formats they use as they sell to many public and private

groups.  He stated he will do further research on this and come back at the February

meeting.

 

Mr. Carpenter stated he feels the Park & Recreation Board is very much interested in this

proposal.  Mr. Fedorchak stated this will ultimately have to go before the Board of

Supervisors.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated one of the reasons they have to develop Snipes is because of the wear

and tear on the fields at Macclesfield Park.  He stated natural fields do have to be given a

chance to recover and there are not enough fields.  He feels this proposal will help solve a

lot of those problems.   Mr. Newbon asked that he try to quantify the rate of return they

will obtain by using this type of field.  Mr. Dimaio stated they do have figures on how

much is saved by not maintaining a grass field. 

 

 

DISCUSSION AND MOTION ON SNIPES CONCEPT PLAN

 

Ms. Liney stated the Snipes Concept Plan which was endorsed by the Park Board was

reviewed by the Planning Commission at their meeting last evening, along with a

modified Plan resulting from feedback at the Board of Supervisors meeting in December,

2005. The Planning Commission recommended the December 2005 Plan with some

additional modifications to the Board of Supervisors.  The Township engineer is now

preparing cost estimates and Park maintenance will be doing soil testing tomorrow with

PCS.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated the modifications that the Planning Commission has recommended

will result in a substantial increase in the impervious surface and substantial additional

costs.  He asked if these modifications were made in order to comply with existing Codes

and Regulations or because of the wishes of the Planning Commission members. 

Mr. Dimaio stated because of Mrs. Godshalk’s comments at the Board of Supervisors’

meeting regarding the safety of the original Plan, a modified Plan was drawn showing a

loop road.  A number of Park & Recreation Board members were opposed to the

modified Plan noting it will create significant impervious surface and be very costly.

Mr. Dimaio suggested that they go along with the original lay out but permit only one

way traffic which would make it much safer.  Mr. Fritchey suggested that the Chief be

January 10, 2006                                                       Park & Recreation Board – page 7 of 9

 

 

contacted about this for his feedback.  Mr. Dimaio stated they could also install speed

bumps if they wanted to control the speed. 

 

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

to the Board of Supervisors approval of the original Snipes Concept Plan which they feel

is the most effective and practical approach and adequately addresses the safety issues

subject to input from the Police Chief with a further recommendation that it be one-way.

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney stated DGW Electrical Engineering is reviewing the material submittals for

lighting Fields H and F.  DGW should finish this important step by next week, as this

project continues to move forward.   The Township still anticipates the normal course for

completion of the lighting to be June of this year.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Township received a late request from Yardley Makefield Soccer

yesterday for some evening practice time for several of the local soccer teams that

qualified for the 3 v 3 tournament in Orlando and also PA State Cup play.  The Township

was able to accommodate this request, reactivating the lights on Field G for this week.

 

Park & Recreation is gearing up for a busy 2006, proceeding with ordering budgeted

materials and supplies to support the Park system and keep operations on track.

 

The Township will continue the enrollment of all Park & Recreation Board members in

the PA Park & Recreation Society for 2006, as well as the Township’s ongoing

participation in the Bucks County Recreation Council this year.

 

Ms. Liney stated she is in the process of confirming the 2006 summer camp schedule, and will forward this information as it develops.

 

Ms. Liney stated they are continuing to work on a number of projects in Park &

Recreation for the Township consistent with the view set forth by the Chairman for the

Board of Supervisors in continuing to build a great community in Lower Makefield

Township.

 

 

EAC LIAISON REPORT

 

Ms. Bunn stated there have been a series of lectures hosted by the Environmental

Advisory Council.  She stated they were interested in having a lecture about controlling

the deer population, but Ms. Bunn noted John Heilferty, the Five Mile Woods Naturalist,

has been doing a significant amount of work on this, and she would like his input before

January 10, 2006                                                       Park & Recreation Board – page 8 of 9

 

 

they hold such a lecture.  She did speak with Mr. Heilferty and he is getting ready to

make his presentation before the Park & Recreation Board on this matter.  She would like

Mr. Heilferty to meet with the EAC as well and provide them with his input.  Mr. Caiola

stated they could also have both Mr. Heilferty and Mr. Bray present their opinions on this

issue. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated the EAC is an advisory Board as is every other Board and their job is

to advise the Board of Supervisors to help them reach decisions as to what is sound

public policy.  He stated if there is a controversial area involving a serious decision that

needs to be made, and there is a presentation to be made to the Supervisors on how to

control the deer population, he feels it should be made to the Board of Supervisors rather

than simply to the public.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he agrees. 

 

Ms. Bunn stated  while she was not at the December EAC meeting, she was left a

message by Mr. Bray advising her that controlling the deer population was the subject of

the next lecture; and she then contacted him and advised that before proceeding with this,

they should have Mr. Heilferty attend the EAC January meeting. 

 

Ms. Bunn also advised the Park & Recreation Board that the EAC did recommend a

Native Plant proposal to the Board of Supervisors.  She apologized that she did not

present this to the Park & Recreation Board before it went before the Board of

Supervisors or advise Mr. Bray that he should have brought this to the Park & Rec Board

prior to going to the Board of Supervisors.  She stated she feels they should send a letter

to the Board of Supervisors that the Park & Recreation Board be given an opportunity to

review this before they make a final decision on this. 

 

Mr. Fritchey asked what the EAC recommended to the BOS that they should adopt as an

Ordinance.    A packet of information was provided to the Park & Recreation Board this

evening which Mr. Bray had presented to the Board of Supervisors.  Ms. Bunn stated this

is mainly for new developments/new construction.  She stated she does not feel it is

meant to address grass species for athletic fields.  It is for new development and

Township projects involving trees, etc.  Ms. Bunn noted that when Mr. Bray submitted

this to the Board of Supervisors, the EAC as a whole had not had an opportunity to

review it. 

 

Ms. Liney read the 12/5/05 Board of Supervisors Minutes when this matter was

discussed.  She stated the Motion made by the Board of Supervisors was to authorize the

preparation of a draft Ordinance.    Mr. Caiola stated the issue of the trees at Memorial

Park also came up, but they did not proceed with a change on these as a significant

amount of work had already been done to develop a Plan for the trees; although going

forward, use of native species would be considered. 

 

 

January 10, 2006                                                       Park & Recreation Board – page 9 of 9

 

 

There was discussion about what qualifies as a native species.   It was noted the hand-out

which was provided this evening contains information on native species.  Ms. Bunn

stated she feels it would be appropriate, if they desire, that the Park & Recreation Board

be permitted to review the draft Ordinance as it may impact Park & Recreation.  Other

Board members agreed.   

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Jutkiewicz moved, Mr. Newbon seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 p.m.

 

                                                            Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                            Patricia Bunn, Secretary