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Minutes of Park and Recreation Commission, 04/11/2016

AGENDA: Park and Recreation Commission-postponed from 4/4/2016

RECEIVED 04/13/2016 8:30am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk


Present:  K. Jones, V. Alward, C. Hunter, J. Board, S. Palmer
Also present:  Rob Blick, and two members of the public

Mr. Jones called the meeting to order at 7:35 pm.

Linda Mitchell and Cecilia Staunton addressed the Commission in regard to the skate park initiative underway by student Aiden.  Mr. Blick and the Commission suggested that Aiden get a petition or list of people interested in a skate park.  Mr. Jones noted that the Commission is willing to entertain such a project, if there was interest and funding available. Mr. Blick commented that the most practical location is on the hill near the shed and RCC #2 field.  The concern about that location is the amount of earthmoving that would be required and the unknown of rock, shale and ledge present in the area. Commission members encouraged Aiden to seek out others interested in a skate park. Mr. Blick commented that the wording on the petition needs to be clear so that signers know what they are signing and would gauge the interest of the town residents. This project is being viewed as a public/private partnership. Mr. Palmer will prepare a draft survey that would be appropriate for consideration for review by commission members. The survey could be incorporated with the petition.

Linda Mitchell also suggested adding some special nights at Topstone for specific age groups, i.e. games for 3rd & 4th grades, special games for middle school age, etc.  She also suggested a day of swimming games or swim races.  Mr. Blick will pass these ideas on to the lifeguards who plan these types of activities.

Mr. Board arrived, 8:00 pm

Motion: move that the minutes of the March 8, 2016, meeting be accepted as presented.  Hunter, Palmer.  Approved.  4-0-1. Mrs. Alward abstained.

Mr. Blick reviewed his written report.

  • Brochure is out and people are signing up for summer camps
  • Basketball Palooza fundraiser was successful
  • Middle school activities have been successful. Mr. Blick noted that advance registration/sign up is important to plan for appropriate staffing.
  • Fields: the fields were opened the past weekend
  • Softball: a sixth team is being planned and the schedule will be completed.
  • Topstone Bathroom project: Mr. Blick has received bids that were higher than planned. He added that the cost of the composting toilet is high, in addition to the daily maintenance and materials that will be needed. Some plumbers have commented on the odors associated with these toilets. Mr. Blick has decided that regular bathroom fixtures would be used. He is planning to have the bathrooms and the purchase of some replacement boats done this summer with funds available in the current and next year’s budget.
  • Concert-on-the-Green: Mr. Blick will be focusing on increasing donations for the concerts. Letters have been sent out to last year’s contributors and he encouraged commission members to pass the word to others and businesses they know.
  • Lifeguards/counselors letters have been sent to check availability for work this summer.  New hires will be considered for open positions.
  • Garden: two plots became available and quickly snapped up. Rotilling is scheduled for April 20-22.

Mr. Dorenbosch arrived, 8:16 pm.


RCC2 Drainage Project:  Mr. Jones reported that Barry Blades (Blades & Goven) has retired. He provided that names of two companies to consider for the drainage work.  Mr. Jones will work with First Selectman Pemberton on how to proceed on this project.

Mr. Jones provided a list of current Heritage Center programs and activities, dividing the list between what he felt could fall under the P&R umbrella. The four areas that could fall under P&R include Yoga, Relax & Restore, Let’s Get Moving and Tai Chi, all exercise based activities. He noted that there may be some opposition by participants to the change. He also noted that the age for “senior” discount needs to be consistent.  Currently, Park & Rec uses age 60 for the senior discount; it was not known what Heritage Center uses. There was further discussion on the issue. Currently, all Heritage Center program registrations are taken in the Heritage Center office, but are processed in the Park & Rec office. Mr. Jones suggested that the topic be discussed further at the next meeting.

A resident complained that the restrooms in the Community Center did not have baby changing stations/tables.  Discussion of the need followed. Mr. Blick noted that this falls under the responsibility of Willie Roman for Facility Management.

Motion: move that the Redding Park & Recreation Commission approve a letter to be sent to the First Selectman requesting the installation of baby changing tables/stations in the four restrooms in the Redding Community Center.  Hunter, Alward. Approved. Unanimous.

Friday open gym from 4 to 6 pm has been added and is well attended. This program could be extended to additional hours.  Mr. Blick noted that he Heritage Center is now open on Fridays, with programs and office hours.

Mrs. Hunter, who serves as the RES PTA President, presented information about the group’s efforts to provide after school programing. It is the intent of the group to work with other town resources, Park & Rec, Mark Twain Library, etc., to provide programming that does not conflict or overlap.  They would also like to make use of material resources that exist and are not being fully utilized. Commission members were fully supportive of the work being done and the collaboration between the various groups in Town.

Mrs. Alward announced her resignation from the Commission.  She was thanked for her service to the commission and the youth of Redding.

Mary Maday commented that the Community Center large meeting room does not have an AED for use in the event of an emergency.  Mr. Blick noted that there is an AED on the lower level near the gym, and Heritage Center has one in the lunch room in a cupboard.  Mrs. Maday added that in the event an AED is needed during a community meeting or evening event, a custodian would have to be found to open the doors to get the device.  She suggested that one be installed in the Community Room or in the foyer of the building. Mr. Blick indicated that this would be a Facility Management issue. Mr. Palmer suggested simply moving the unit from Heritage Center and relocating it in the Community room rather than purchasing a new one.

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

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm

Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary