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Minutes of Board of Selectmen, 11/17/2014

AGENDA: Board of Selectmen

RECEIVED 11/24/2014 8:37am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk


Present: Pemberton, Karvelis, Thompson
Also present: 16 member of the public, a representative of the Redding Pilot and Hello Redding, and videographers.

First Selectman Pemberton called the November 17, 2014 meeting to order at 7:30 pm.

Motion: move to approve the minutes of the October 20, 2014 meeting as submitted. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.

1. Discussion of Redding Community Center Athletic Field #2, proposed turf surface. Park & Recreation Chairman Paul Degener provided a presentation that included information on the need for additional athletic fields in Redding, the potential of converting RCC Field #2 to a artificial turf surface, and the work that was done previously by the Redding Athletic Field Committee to move that project forward. The current proposal is for a public/private initiative to provide the funding for the conversion of RCC Field #2 to a turf field. The new proposal includes a three part funding, 1/3 by the existing STEAP Grant ($350,000 available), 1/3 from private fundraising, and 1/3 funding by the Town of Redding. Joe Dolan has offered to chair a committee to move this initiative forward. Mrs. Pemberton reported she spoke with Barry Blades of Blades & Goven, the firm that did the initial work on the proposal, and the cost to prepare and complete suitable documents for bidding purposes is $5,200. She has also contacted the State regarding the STEAP Grant and they are willing to extend the time for the Grant, assuming the project is moving forward.

2. Topstone Beach & Park Survey: Park & Recreation Commission member Scott Palmer presented the results of a survey conducted by the Park & Recreation Department. The survey was available at Topstone Beach for beach goers and online to allow others to participate. 170 responses were received. The results for improvements fall into three broad categories:

a. Pond: concern about the algae, suggestion for dredging in addition to hydro raking
b. Beach Area Enhancements: sand, refurbishment of facilities and grounds, expand beach areas, shelter pavilion, concessions, and benches/tables.
c. Train Maintenance: cleaning/restoration work, expansion, signage

These are areas that the Park & Recreation Commission will focus on in the preparation of the 2015-16 budget and the long range capital plan.

3. Teen Center: Park & Recreation Commission members Vanessa Alward and John Board provided information on a potential teen center. Mrs. Alward and an informal subcommittee visited teen centers in other area towns to collect data on teen center structure and operation. The concept is to give Redding youngsters a safe place/neighborhood for structured and unstructured play. This would be a place that could serve the currently underserved teen population, those that are not involved in organized sports or other activities. With an outlined plan and proposed structure in place, she suggested the establishment of a committee to move this initiative forward. Joe Dolan (Redding Easton Boys & Girls Club) has agreed to begin in January with offering events and programs to help assess the interest and feasibility of a teen center. The REBGC, the Community Center, or other facilities could be used for these programs and events. Mr. Degener noted that the Park & Recreation Commission envisions a teen center under the direction of Youth Services.

Mrs. Pemberton opened the discussion for public comment.

Jeanne Wendschuh: Mrs. Wendschuh questioned whether the desire for a teen center was coming from the parents or the teens. Mr. Board and Mrs. Alward responded that both the parents and teens have expressed interest.

Linda Mitchell: Mrs. Mitchell, who assisted Mrs. Alward in the research on teen centers, stressed the importance of serving all kids, especially those not being served.

Rosalind Kopfstein: Mrs. Kopfstein suggested a survey of the teens be conducted to assess the interest. She added that a walking path around the proposed turf field would be desirable. Park & Recreation Director Rob Blick noted that there is a walking path around the adjacent Field #1.

Mrs. Pemberton reported on the plan to initiate a specific pass for exercise programs that will allow the participant greater flexibility to attend those programs. Two options will be available: 1) 30-day pass for 10 visits, $50; 2) 30 day unlimited pass, $75. The pass will allow participation in any of the exercise-type programs. Other programs/classes will be priced individually and will require advance registration and payment.

Hilda Rhodes: Mrs. Rhodes expressed her appreciation for the evolvement of the fee structure and programming that allows for greater flexibility.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen appoint David Lewson to the Board of Ethics. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.

Mrs. Pemberton reported that the Town is partnering with the Redding Elementary School PTA and the John Read Middle School on a holiday outreach program. Frosty the snowman figures will be place in the three locations with tags for specific individuals, their needs and wants. All gifts are to be returned to the same location.

The Redding Shares the Warmth is also collection donation to assist those who need help with heating costs. Another event is the Great Turkey Escape 5K which will benefit those in need by providing funds for a freezer for the Social Services Food Pantry.

Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 9:40 pm.

Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary