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Minutes of Park and Recreation Commission, 06/22/2015

AGENDA: Park and Recreation Commission

RECEIVED 06/24/2015 10:56am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk


Commission members: Degener, Chair; Alward, Board, Hunter, Jones, McClung, Palmer
Staff: R. Blick
Three members of the public

Mr. Degener called the meeting on May 18, 2015 to order at 7:37 pm.

Motion: move that the minutes of the May 18, 2015 meeting be accepted as submitted. Jones, McClung. Approved. 5-0-2. Mr. Palmer and Mrs. Alward abstained.

Mr. Blick provided his monthly report for May. He highlighted the most recent information:

  1. Preparation work for summer camp and programs is being completed
  2. New Town website is up and running, updates & corrections are being made. A training session is being planned and Mr. Blick will then be able to make changes and additions to the site as needed.
  3. Concerts on the Green are going well. An electrical equipment issue created some problems. Mr. Blick is getting a quote for the cost of upgrade on the wiring.
  4. Mr. Blick explained a request from the Brookfield Park & Recreation Department. They have requested uses of the Topstone Beach 1 or two times a week for 1-2 weeks while their facility is being renovated. Mr. Blick noted that exchanges with neighboring towns can be beneficial and believes this exchange would be good, and Brookfield has invited the Redding camp to their renovated beach. The consensus of the Commission members was that this was acceptable.
  5. The new field maintenance employee is working out very well.
  6. The community garden has a few plots available.
  7. HVAC at Community Center: there have been problems with the air conditioning in the Community Center. Two new rooftop units are needed.
  8. The JRMS Summer Enrichment Sport Camp will use the gym for two weeks this summer for their program.
  9. The gym is also being rented out by an outside group for a volley ball program on Mondays & Wednesdays (does not interfere with existing programs), and the baseball field (RCC #1) is being rented for a small youth baseball tournament.

Motion: move that the Park & Recreation Commission accept the Director’s Reports as submitted. Board, Hunter. Approved. Unanimous

A request was received from Andrew Schur to hold a music festival as a fundraiser event.  Mr. Blick suggested the Town Green would be appropriate for the event.  The event is planned for August 22, 2015.  Mr. Blick informed him of all the requirements, including police coverage, insurance, etc. The Zoning Commission will consider the request at their meeting on June 24, 2015.


Mr. Blick provided information on Camp enrollment compared with the past year.  Enrollment is basically on target, and enrollments are still coming in.

Mrs. Alward expressed a concern, and a concern of other parents, that there are no activities or programs for the kids for the week between school ending and camp beginning, and the two weeks when camp ends and school begins.  Mr. Blick noted that the week between school ending and camp beginning is primarily used for staff training. At the end of summer, Mr. Blick noted that many staff members return to schools or are involved in high school sports programs.  Mr. Blick was asked to revisit and explore possibilities for other activities/programs for those weeks.

Topstone Beach pass data was provided.  Mr. Blick noted that the pass sale is on target.

Mrs. Alward expressed her concern that pass sales are not allowed at the Park and the office hours are limited.  Beach passes are sold only in the RCC office, and residency is validated at that time.  Mr. Blick is working on offering pass renewal online for next year and other options for pass purchase.

The Greybeards completed work on the trails.

The current STEAP Grant ($340,000 remaining) is scheduled to expire in July.  The Board of Selectmen has formally requested an extension of that Grant. First Selectman Pemberton requested an estimate of the cost to improve the RCC #2 field drainage and enlarge the field to competition size. Barry Blades (Blades & Goven consulted with the apparent low bidder for the field conversion project to obtain a rough estimate/budget for the cost of the work needed for a grass field that would increase the size and improve drainage.  That estimate, plus the cost of project management and contingency, is $550,000.

Commission members discussed how to move forward on a plan to utilize the STEAP Grant, assuming the extension is allowed, and how to improve the field conditions..  Some suggested that the field be competition size, others felt the field drainage improvements with the existing size would be good. Mr. Jones will check with Mr. Blades on the costs involved in limiting the work to drainage work.

No action was taken at this time.

Mr. Blick indicated that donations have been slow to come in. Sponsorship donations have declined over the recent years. Sponsorships need to be encouraged.

Attendance: Mr. Degener provided a meeting attendance chart.  He noted that is important for Commission members to attend meetings on a regular basis.

Motion: move to nominate Kevin Jones as Chairman of the Park & Recreation Commission.  Board, Alward.  Approved Unanimous.

Motion: move to nominate John Board for Vice Chairman. Degener, McClung.  Not approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move to nominate Vanessa Alward as Vice Chairman.  Palmer, Hunter. Approved. Unanimos.

Ellen Williams:  Ms. Williams was interested in what the cost would be for keeping RCC #2 the same size, but improve the drainage. Mr. Jones indicated that is the information he intends to get from Blades & Goven.

Mr. Degener submitted a letter of resignation to the Board of Selectmen.

Mrs. Alward, on behalf of the other commissioners, thanked Mr. Degener for his 17 years on the Park & Recreation Commission and the six years serving as chairman.  He was thanked for his dedication to the children and residents of Redding.

Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Jones, Hunter. Approved Unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 8:38 pm

Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary

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