TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES – MAY 8, 2007

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on May 8, 2007.  Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Park & Recreation Board:                   David Fritchey, Chairman

                                                            Henry Carpenter, Vice Chairman (left meeting in progress)

                                                            Patricia Bunn, Secretary

                                                            David Gordon, Member

                                                            Dennis Wysocki, Member

 

Others:                                                Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

                                                            Donna Liney, Recreation Director

                                                            James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                            Steve Santarsiero, Supervisors Liaison (joined meeting in progress)

 

Absent:                                                Francis McDonald, Park & Rec Member

                                                            Andrew Newbon, Park & Rec Member

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Ms. Bunn moved, Mr. Carpenter seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of April 10, 2007 as written.

 

 

SAMOST TRACT DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Fritchey stated they have had discussions over the years as to what to do with the

Township-owned Samost Tract.  He stated there is no money proposed to develop the

tract at this time.

 

Mr. Jay DeFelicis from Schoor DePalma was present and presented a sketch of possible

options.  Mr. DeFelicis stated they were looking to connect this tract to the two existing

complexes.  He noted the existing “make-shift” parking lot in the front half near the

baseball field.  He also noted the informal parking lot near the building which is proposed

to be developed into a real parking lot with 42 spaces.  Currently there are no lines and

they fit approximately 42 cars.  He stated the parking lot in the front would lose at least

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one third of the spaces that are currently being used in that location because people are

parking all over. 

 

Mr. DeFelicis stated there was consideration given to a connector road linking Edgewood

through to the Softball Complex.  He noted there is currently a maintenance drive.  He

noted the existing parking lot at the Softball Complex where there would be room to add

additional parking.  Mr. DeFelicis stated if they do create a drive going through, it would

encourage traffic; and this would impact one area where there is currently parking.  He

stated they have suggested a curving road so that people could not drive at excessive

speeds.  He stated they would also have the option of bringing an auxiliary road out to

Oxford Valley Road, and this would allow for three points of ingress and egress. 

Mr. Fritchey stated he feels this would be useful particularly when there are

Tournaments. 

 

Mr. DeFelicis stated they have shown a parking lot in the bottom and made it so that

people will not have to cross a driveway to get to the fields.

 

Mr. Santarsiero joined the meeting at this time.

 

Mr. Wysocki asked if there was any way to create parking spaces that are not official

parking spaces but could be used in the event of Tournaments, etc.; and Mr. DeFelicis

stated there are areas where they could do this.  He stated these areas would be mowed,

but there would be stone underneath.  He stated they could install bollards in these areas.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated there was discussion about this tract also being a tennis complex but

they are only showing four tennis courts which he does not feel would be sufficient. 

He felt they should have at least eight courts at Samost.  He noted they do have tennis

courts across the street, but they had wanted to have additional basketball courts at that

location; and the thought was to convert the tennis courts at that location to basketball

when tennis courts were constructed at Samost.  He stated the four additional courts

needed should be somewhere near where the four courts shown are located.

 

Mr. DeFelicis stated they need to consider orientation.  He stated the 90’ baseball field,

the Cal Ripken field, and the tennis courts are all shown oriented correctly.  He noted one

other field which is not oriented to the ultimate location.  He noted a location where they

could add four additional tennis courts which would necessitate moving the parking lot

shown.  He showed some other options for flipping fields.  Mr. Fedorchak asked if they

could slide the tennis courts to the west and flip it with the parking lot.  Mr. DeFelicis

stated while they could do this, it would put the courts at a location which would not have

optimal orientation.  He stated he was also trying to stay away from the drainage swales. 

Ms. Bunn stated the tennis courts could be stacked, and they would have nearly optimal

orientation. 

 

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Mr. Majewski stated there are residents in Afton Chase that may be impacted if there

were lights at the tennis courts.  Mr. Gordon noted the courts adjacent to the basketball

courts are lit; and if they are going to replace these courts at this location and they do not

have lights, people would lose their night-tennis option.  Ms. Bunn stated if they are

going to light the courts, they are going to get complaints from the residents. 

 

Mr. Santarsiero asked if they could move the lower baseball field slightly north and slide

another tennis court where the parking lot is shown and put the parking lot along Oxford

Valley Road.  Mr. DeFelicis stated this would create a problem because of the drainage

swale which would add additional costs.  Mr. Carpenter noted if the swale were in deep

left field, it would not create a significant problem.  Mr. Santarsiero asked why they were

making the access road so straight, and asked if it could bend down to the south where

the parking lot is located, drop the parking lot, and install four additional tennis courts in

that location.  Mr. DeFelicis noted the property line, but it was noted it is the Township’s

property.  Mr. Majewski stated there is a hedgerow/tree line in the area; but he did feel

they could cut this down as it is not significant.  Mr. Majewski stated the one ballfield in

the south has a big grade change and drainage swale, and may be difficult to construct. 

He stated they also need to consider where the mulch piles would be located. 

Mr. Majewski suggested continuing the tennis courts and reduce the size of the parking

lot since if the ballfield were not there, they would need less parking.

 

Mr. Fritchey asked if they need three ballfields at this complex.  He stated the big

pressure was for a 90’ ballfield, and this is being shown at the only location where it

could reasonably be put.  The other two fields shown are 70’ fields.  Mr. Gordon stated

the age group which uses this size field is getting most of their games in at Macclesfield

B with some use of Afton.  He feels if they have one more 70’ field that would be

sufficient, and they could eliminate one of the 70’ fields at this location.  He stated they

could then put all eight tennis courts in the area where the middle 70’ field was proposed

to be located.  Mr. DeFelicis noted another location where eight courts could be located

on the tract, although he noted they may need more parking.  Mr. Gordon stated baseball

plays in a very limited period of time and is busy usually only from the end of April

through June with most play being after School until 8:00 p.m.  He stated on the

weekends it is fairly busy but is spread out throughout the day.  He stated with eight

tennis courts, the most people you would have would be thirty to forty people. 

 

Mr. DeFelicis noted at that location, they would probably also get less opposition about

lighting.  Mr. Wysocki asked if the tennis court lighting would impact the baseball fields,

and Mr. DeFelicis stated he did not feel it would be a problem as they focus it on the

tennis courts and have shielding. 

 

Mr. Carpenter stated he likes the concept of baseball at the top of the tract and tennis at

the bottom so that if you have children playing baseball on different fields, they would

still be in the same general area.  He stated he feels the philosophy they were looking for

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in the Township was to keep like sports together. He asked if there was a way to change

the parking lot to spin the baseball field to a more optimal position, and they could then

have the tennis below with the accompanying parking.  Mr. DeFelicis agreed to look into

this.  There was further discussion on the parking, and Mr. Gordon stated he would be in

favor of eliminating the through road, and they could have an entrance and parking only

for the tennis courts in the bottom area.  It was noted they still need to make a

determination on the location of the mulch piles.  Mr. Carpenter stated if they cut off the

connector road, they could be located in the center section.

 

Mr. Fritchey asked if all the Park & Rec Board members were in favor of eight tennis

courts, and all agreed particularly if they were going to close off the existing courts in the

area and change them to basketball courts.  Mr. Majewski asked how many courts are

proposed for Memorial Park, and Mr. Fritchey stated he feels there were four

proposed, but he feels the Samost Tract was to be the location for a tennis training

program. 

 

Mr. Gordon asked about the possibility of hard-true courts, and Ms. Liney stated these

could be a maintenance issue.  Mr. Gordon stated he understands that these are less

expensive to build.  He stated they could hire someone to monitor the courts and handle

the daily maintenance needs; and he feels people would be willing to pay to play on these

which would cover the cost of the person hired.  Ms. Liney stated this would be an

administrative decision. 

 

Mr. Fritchey asked if they should consider adding even more courts since they are really

only adding four courts if four of the courts proposed to be installed are replacement

courts for those lost on the opposite side of the road.  Mr. Gordon stated he has received a

number of comments about the poor condition of the Township tennis courts particularly

at Revere and Schuyler.  He stated he often hears comments about the great facilities in

the Township particularly at Macclesfield and the Community Pool; but for the level of

the community, the tennis courts are an embarrassment.  Mr. Fritchey stated the Revere

courts have a sinkhole underneath so he does not feel they should continue to put money

into repair of these courts.  Mr. Gordon stated possibly the solution is to put twelve courts

at this location and take out the courts at Revere and Schuyler and replace them with

grass or have a pocket park. 

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated they have four tennis courts proposed to be installed at

Memorial Park.  Mr. Fritchey stated these would be for “pick-up” play.

Ms. Bunn stated Schuyler is permitted out; and they do have classes run out of that

location.  Mr. Fritchey stated if they are going to have a training program; he feels it

should be at Samost.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he wants to make sure that they do not get

into a situation where if they take out a baseball field, PAA will be coming back

indicating they need another field as he feels if they are going to need another field, it

should be at this location.  Mr. Carpenter stated someone from PAA had indicated at one

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point that it was not as much of a field issue problem to schedule the games as it was to

schedule practices.   Mr. Gordon stated it is only eleven and twelve year olds who play on

the 70’ fields.  If one 70’ field is built at Samost, they would have Afton for practice,

Macclesfield B, and this additional field which he feels would be sufficient. 

Mr. Majewski stated he feels PAA was looking for a 90’ field and a 70’ field now;

although he is not sure what they may want five years from now as they just started the

70’ field program this year.  Mr. Wysocki stated he feels this is a trend that they will see

more of in the future.  Mr. Majewski stated they are halfway through the first year of this

program, and it may be a good idea to discuss this with PAA about how this is working

out.  When they are thirteen and fourteen, they move onto a 90’ field.  Mr. Wysocki

stated PAA has been in need of a 90’ field for the last few years.  Mr. Santarsiero stated

they came into the Township a few years ago about the need for a 90’ field.  He stated his

concern is if they are creating a place for baseball and later find out they need to put in

another field at another location in the Township, it would not then be contiguous to the

other fields.  He also agreed that there should be a tennis complex and would not be

opposed to putting it at Samost as well; and this is why he asked why they could not

move the parking lot further down, although this may only accommodate eight courts as

opposed to the twelve now being discussed.  Mr. DeFelicis stated he may be able to make

adjustments to get in at least ten courts.  Ms. Bunn stated it would be helpful to show on

the plan how much room they have going into Roelofs.

 

Ms. Bunn stated they have been aware of the tennis situation for the last several years, but the majority of the people coming before the Board were those making requests on behalf of YMS and PAA.  Mr. Carpenter stated Ms. Liney has been doing her best to address the concerns with the Schuyler and Revere tennis courts.  Mr. Gordon stated the tennis courts are used by many people who are not organized which is why they do not normally hear from them. 

 

Mr. Majewski noted an aerial photo of the entire area around Samost.  He noted the

location of the hedgerow and the tree line.  It was noted there is a tot lot in the area, but

Mr. Santarsiero stated he does not feel this is used much.  Ms. Liney stated those pieces

were put in with the idea that they could be moved. Mr. Santarsiero stated this area could

be a continuation of the parking lot.   Mr. Majewski stated the tree line in the front does

not have particularly good trees.

 

Mr. Carpenter left the meeting at this time. 

 

Mr. DeFelicis agreed to work further on the Plan based on the comments made this

evening.

 

Mr. Fritchey asked about the mulch piles, and Mr. DeFelicis noted an area which would

still be available for the mulch piles.  Ms. Bunn stated she does not feel the Fire Marshall

would allow them to put the mulch piles between two existing large trees.  Mr. Fedorchak

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stated they are in the process of looking into alternate sites.  He stated while the Patterson

Farm would be an obvious choice, there is a lot of discussion about adaptive reuses at the

Patterson Farm.  He stated they are also looking at a small tract of Township-owned land

which may or may not be appropriate for the mulch piles.  Mr. Gordon asked what the

Township gets from the State because of the mulch piles, and Mr. Fedorchak stated the

real issue is that the recycling service has become very important and expected by the

residents. He stated a large number of people are dumping their branches, etc. behind the

Public Works garage.  He stated the Public Works staff does a good job controlling it to

try to insure that only the residents or the residents’ landscapers are using this service. 

He stated the mulch piles are the end result of this Township service.  Mr. Fedorchak

stated they do sell some of the excess mulch; and the Township generates approximately

$8,000 to $10,000 a year, although this does not cover the expense of this service.  There

was discussion on how much the size of the mulch piles has increased over the last few

years; and Mr. Majewski stated much of the Township developed in the 1980’s, and the vegetation is getting mature.  He added that were this material put in the trash and to the landfill, the landfill would eventually fill up with all the yard waste and result in higher fees for trash transfer. Mr. Fritchey stated he would prefer to see this operation at the Patterson Farm rather than at Samost. 

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON’S REPORT

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated they did approve the arboretum at Memorial Park. 

Mr. Majewski stated there are flags where the trees will be located.  He also noted the

berm is in place between the arboretum and where the ball fields will be located. 

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated they are working on Patterson Farm, and Jeff Marshall is

considering some alternatives with the Committee.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels it will

be some time before they get a report on this.  Mr. Santarsiero stated in the past they have

discussed a public use for the one barn which is close to the Patterson House.  He stated

the Satterthwaite House does have some issues.  The tenant is out, and the roof has been

stabilized.  The Satterthwaite barn had a significant collapse of the roof, and it has been

stabilized.  He stated the cost to restore that barn may be prohibitive.  He stated in the

past there had been discussions about some alternative use of the land between the two

clusters of houses which is approximately 28 acres; and this is where the leaf piles are put

before they are spread onto the Farm. 

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated the Spring Fling was held at Elm Lowne on Sunday, and was

successful.  He stated they used the Snipes Tract for overflow parking.  He has discussed

with the Special Events Committee the possibility of holding outdoor movies, and felt

that possibly they could put up a screen at Elm Lowne on the other side of the tent.  He

noted there have been some recent complaints from adjacent neighbors about noise from

the affairs at Elm Lowne, and they need to consider this further.  Mr. Santarsiero stated

the Park & Rec Board may want to consider the concept of summer movies.

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Mr. Gordon asked the reality of something being done at Samost next year; and

Mr. Santarsiero stated it may be difficult for next year if they want to go forward with

work at Snipes and additional work at Memorial Plan,  He stated this will depend on

where they are financially by the end of the year.  He stated Samost would be something

they would most likely consider for 2009/2010. 

 

Mr. Fritchey asked about the Senior Center; and Mr. Fedorchak stated they are still

waiting for a response form the Masons on the offer made by the Township, and he feels

he will receive a call this week.    Mr. Santarsiero stated they all feel the goal should be to

buy the building rather than lease it; but they need to determine how to do it in a cost

effective way and in a way that can accommodate the Masons at this or some other

location.  He stated he would also like them to consider subdivision of the land on the

part which fronts on Heacock Road with the idea that as part of the streetscape that would

come out of Edgewood Village, putting buildings up against the road that would be of a

commercial/retail nature and the sale of the land would help offset the cost of the

purchase of the property.  He stated they would have to do an overlay zoning of the

property not as part of the Historic District, but as some related District to permit

commercial density on Heacock Road.  Mr. Santarsiero stated this would be a

Community Center – not a Senior Center,  and the Seniors recognize this.  He noted it is a

very large building.  He stated it is not air-conditioned so they would have to put in at

least window units.  On a long-term basis, they would have to do some re-configuration

of the building.  He stated the one constraint is that when the Masons are in the building,

no one else is allowed in the building.  Mr. Wysocki stated it would be nice to have a

location which could be shared by anyone who needs a meeting space and where the

various community groups could lease space to have their offices.  Mr. Santarsiero stated

he has long felt that the Township needs a Community Center, and he feels this is a good

location because it is close to Edgewood Village which they hope will become a hub for

the Township.

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney stated this is an exciting and challenging time of year for Park& Recreation,

and they are currently involved in supporting a number of community events.  She stated

the prestigious Yardley Makefield Soccer EPIC Girls Tournament begins this Friday

through Sunday at various sites throughout the Township.  This event is one of the top

tier tournaments showcasing 165 of the best teams in the mid-Atlantic region. 

Tournaments of this scale are not possible without great facilities and volunteers to

coordinate the Event.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Pennsbury Art Coleman Memorial Softball tournament features 100

of the best softball teams throughout the entire United States, and takes place Fathers Day

weekend in Lower Makefield Township.  This event kicks off 8:00 a.m. Thursday with a

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coach’s clinic showcasing the players’ skills in various softball drills.   This event will

host a feature game on Thursday evening June 14 at 7:00 p.m. between the Gems and the

Florida Pembrook Thunder at the Pool field.  Preceding the game at 6:30 p.m., the

Pennsbury Athletic Association will present three $1,000 Scholarships to children in the

organization.  On behalf of PAA, Ms. Liney invited the Supervisor Liaison and Board

members to say a few welcome words to the teams and perhaps toss out the first pitch.

 

Ms. Liney also noted the annual Pennsbury versus Conwell Egan softball game on

Wednesday, May 16 at the Pool field.  This friendly rivalry is always a big draw, and the

Township is happy to be the host.

 

Ms. Liney stated the official 2007 turning on of the twin fountains in Memorial Park will

take place this month.  There is always a lot of media attention garnered by the Garden of

Reflection, and they anticipate the same coverage for this event.  She stated the Garden of

Reflection Committee will advise of the exact timing for this.

 

Ms. Liney reported that a Pet Fair is scheduled for Saturday, June 2 from 11:00 a.m. to

2:00 p.m. in the Edgewood Village Pocket Park.  This Fair is being coordinated by Girl

Scout Troop 268 and will feature vendors, products, and services for pet and animal care

in the community.

 

Ms. Liney reported that details are also being worked out for a possible weekly market in

support of the local farmers in the area.  One of the leading locations being considered is

the Edgewood Village Park on Thursday evenings.  Members of the EAC are working

with Township farmers on this.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Township recently received a field request for Saturday evening

play from the Yardley Makefield Fire Company; and the Township is happy to be able to

accommodate this use, particularly in light of the ongoing dedication provided by the

volunteer Fire Company to the community.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Lower Makefield Seniors held Elections for Officers and Board

positions today, and Irv Hirsch was elected the new President for the group and will serve

a one year- term.  The Seniors continue offering their many activities to the members,

one of the more popular being the spring bocce taking place three afternoons a week at

the Lower Makefield Roelofs Complex.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Park crew continues to maintain and fine tune all ten Park sites as

well as preparing the Pool for opening day in two and a half weeks.

 

Ms. Liney stated Park & Recreation was happy to be part of the Spring Fling held

Sunday, May 6 at Elm Lowne.  Approximately 1,500 participants enjoyed a day of

games, and food helping to foster a sense of neighborhood and pride in the community. 

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Plans are already underway to build on the very successful Community Pride Day

scheduled for Labor Day – Monday, September 3. 

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mr. Gordon asked again about the tennis courts; and Ms. Liney stated since it has been

suggested that Samost may not be available until 2010, they need to consider what should

be done about the existing tennis courts.  Mr. Gordon asked what could be done

temporarily.  Ms. Liney stated they crack fill every year.  Mr. Fedorchak suggested that Ms. Liney get estimated costs on what else could be done.  Mr. Gordon stated he feels there are some little things that could be done such as fixing the fences, replacing nets, etc.  Mr. Majewski stated they did have a tennis court company come in to look at the tennis courts at the Pool, and they indicated it would cost approximately $40,000 to fill in the crack and put in a type of fabric that expands over the cracks so that they do not keep expanding and development, and then resurface it.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels in some cases he questions if there is not some failure at the sub-base level and water in the area because they are constantly filling in the same areas.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels some of the courts will have to be taken out. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated some of the courts were put in locations which were not appropriate,

and they will be throwing good money after bad.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels they will

have to continue to crack fill until they get new courts. 

 

Mr. Wysocki stated he has been told that the Golf Course Superintendent has been giving

advice to the crew at Macclesfield Park.  He stated the surfaces do not look good when

you look at them up close.  Mr. Fedorchak stated until they get to a point where they can

take a certain number of fields out of play entirely for a season or two, they are always

going to have these problems.  Ms. Liney stated they have been advised that the problem

is overuse.  Mr. Wysocki stated he feels the teams would be willing to take a field or two

out of play, but other Board members indicated they did not feel they would.

Mr. Wysocki stated the problem is the uneven surfaces.  He noted particularly Fields C and D.  Ms. Liney stated she would be willing to speak to Mr. Damcott again to see what he would recommend.  Mr. Fedorchak stated even at the Golf Course when you look at the Course in September, the tee boxes are not in good shape because of overuse.

 

 

LEAGUE LIAISON REPORTS

 

Mr. Mauro from PAA stated everything is going well with the help of the crew and

Ms. Liney.  They are thankful for the new field at B.  He stated he has been on Fields A

and B and it does seem to be uneven in the outfield. He asked if they are rolled, and

Ms. Liney stated she feels they might roll the outfields. 

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There being no further business, Ms. Bun moved, Mr. Gordon seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

Patricia Bunn, Secretary