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Minutes of Park and Recreation Commission, 12/07/2015

AGENDA: Park and Recreation Commission

RECEIVED 12/14/2015 12:58pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Minutes

Present:  K. Jones, S. Palmer, C. Hunter, J. Board, L. Valenti, R. Brier (7:34 pm)
Also present:  Rob Blick

Mr. Jones called the meeting to order at 7:31 pm

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the minutes of the November 2, 2015, 2015 meeting be accepted as presented.  Board, Hunter. Approved. Unanimous.

Mrs. Brier arrived, 7:34 pm during the discussion below.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. Blick reviewed his written report.

  • The basketball program is underway. A high school league will begin shortly after January 1.
  • The fields are closed and cleanup work around the fences is being done, with the help of the Highway Department
  • A donation of $1,000 was received for sponsorship of a band for Concert on the Green. The donation came forth as a result of the newspaper article describing the funding situation.
  • Budget: Mr. Blick met with Finance Director Gniadek to review the proposed 2016-17 budget. The budget is almost flat, with a very small increase. A joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance and Redding Board of Education is scheduled for Wednesday to discuss the budget drivers and outlook for budgets. The Budget Workshop is scheduled for January 8, 2016, Friday. Mr. Jones will request that the Park & Recreation budget discussion be scheduled for early in the morning.
  • The Tree Lighting and Coffeehouse were both successful.
  • Water fountain, lower level, Mr. Blick reported the replacement fountain is on order, and the fountain in the main entry is no longer working. Mr. Blick will follow up on this with Willie, the Facilities Director.

DISCUSSION AND ACTION ON PARK & RECREATION ORDINANCE
Mr. Jones forwarded the proposed changes to the Board of Selectmen for review and has not yet had a response.

DISCUSSION OF TOPSTONE BEACH UPGRADES
Mrs. Hunter and Mr. Blick will meet with an architect this week to review the bathrooms and what is needed.  The architect is donating his time on the project, and will have ideas on what types of materials are good for a public space.

DISCUSSION OF SKATE PARK FEASIBILITY
Mr. Jones stated that Aiden, the student who presented a proposal, has provided additional information for consideration.

DISCUSSION OF RCC PAVILION
Mr. Jones noted that the proposal for the pavilion was getting some push back from the Board of Finance. One Finance board member felt the proposal for the pavilion was voted down twice which is inaccurate. The artificial turf field proposal, which included the pavilion, was defeated, but the pavilion project has not been voted on separately. Mr. Jones attended the last Board of Selectmen meeting and addressed the safety issues that could be address by the addition of the pavilion.

DISCUSSION OF CONCERT ON THE GREEN INITIATIVE
This item was tabled to the next meeting.

DISCUSSION OF TOPSTONE FEES for 2016
Mr. Blick recommended that the fees be increased, especially because of the upgrades to the facility and additional new equipment. The fees have not been increased in the last seven years.  He suggested the family pass go from $120.00 to $130.00.  The gate fee/daily fee for residents go from $5.00 to $6.00, and the non-resident fee goes from $10.00 to $15.00.  He intends to offer an early enrollment/renewal online or by a specific date at no increase.

A decision on the fee structure will be made at the next regular meeting.

DISCUSSION OF SKATING RINK PROPOSAL/IDEA WITH REBGC
Mr. Jones presented information on a skating rink potential. Originally the REBGC had a donor to finance in the installation of a skating rink at their location. The donor has changed his mind.  Mr. Jones suggested that a better location might be one of the RCC fields.  The cost, ranges from $9,000 to $12,000 for the installation and take down, depending on how much of the labor can be done in-house. In addition, there would need to be someone assigned to removing snow and maintaining the surface. Ideally, the area should be lighted with a minimum of one light or a system of stringed lights, assuming electrical issues can be resolved. The skating season is roughly January 1 to March 1. He did not feel the concept is feasible for this year, but could be considered for next year.

Commission members suggested Mr. Jones look further into the feasibility of the skating rink. Mr. blick will check further on the electrical costs. The cost of this would need to be included in the 2016-17 operating budget.

2016 MEETING DATES
The list of meeting dates for 2016 was reviewed.  Meetings are scheduled for the first Monday of the month, with the exception of July & September when they are the second Monday. The schedule of dates will be filed with Town Clerk.

DISCUSSION OF BUDGET, 2016-17
Mr. Blick reviewed the primary changes in the budget proposal.

ADJOURNMENT
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting.  Palmer, Board. Approved. Unanimous.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:22 pm

Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary

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