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Minutes of Park and Recreation Commission, 12/06/2021

AGENDA: Park and Recreation Commission

RECEIVED 12/29/2021 12:01pm
Kathleen R. Miserendino - Redding Deputy Town Clerk

Park and Recreation Commission
December 6, 2021 Redding Community Center
Meeting Minutes

Present: Kevin Jones (Chair), Pete Graziano, Lorcan O’Connor, Mitch Edwards, Tami O’Connor, Kim Becker, MaryLou Carlson, Scott Palmer

CALL TO ORDER
Mr. Jones called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.

REVIEW OF DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. Blick reviewed his report:

  • Youth Basketball leagues have started. We always have a need for volunteer coaches.  We are observing the CIAC rules for masking and will continue to monitor their guidelines fro any changes as we go.
  • Blick has a meeting coming up Tighe and Bond, who can give us an idea of what is typically done regarding a walking/fitness path or trail at the community center.
  • The annual Tree Lighting was a success. The Scouts sold a package for $10 that included a picture with Santa, a s’mores kit and 3 crafts.  They also provided the volunteers to be Rudolph and Frosty.  The Lions Club served hot chocolate for approximately 300 people.
  • The Pavilion footings have been set and an electrician will be on site tomorrow. The highway department will pour the cement (weather dependent).
  • Concerning the budget, Mr. Blick had not received any of the 5-month numbers as of the commission meeting. Once he does, he can compete year-end estimates.  Some items have increased in price dramatically over the past year.  Blick also received some estimates for replacing the tennis courts and painting pickleball lines on the gym floor.
  • We still have the gate at Topstone opened by volunteers until the weather prevents us from keeping the gate open. The road to the park is not maintained during the winter.  Today we replaced a piece of stretching equipment on the trail that was destroyed by a tree.
  • There was an incident involving an unleashed dog biting a hiker a few weeks ago at Topstone. The owner of the unleashed dogs received a summons, and we were told the owner paid for the medical bills associated with the incident.  The police ask that anyone witnessing such an event attempt to get a license plate of the owner and report it to the police.

MOTION TO ADD UPDATE ON EXTENDED DAY PROGRAM TO AGENDA
Motion Becker;  O’Connor, T (second), unanimous.

DISCUSSION OF EXTENDED DAY PROGRAM
Mary Jo Dix joined the meeting to give an update regarding the challenges facing the Extended Day program.  In the past we had 2-3 rooms, plus gym usage, this agreement has been for decades.  Currently, changes in covid rules and education needs, we are limited to one classroom at RES, which limits us to about 15 children at any one time.  As school services grow, the school needs more space to operate, and that has forced us to attempt to create new ways to accommodate the children in our Extended Day program.  It is possible that next year, we may not have any space available to us at RES, which forces us to come up with a solution in our building that can allow the program to continue.  One possibility involves adding an addition of three classrooms to the RCC building.  The commission suggested possibly opening talks with the school administration, with whom we have always had a good working relationship, to investigate solutions.

LETTERS OR CORRESPONDENCE
Mr. Blick received a request for morning Pickleball time and is looking into the available times.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Danielle Garavito commented that her child received a Behavior Agreement at basketball tryouts that contained outdated language.  She asked that the proper documentation be handed out that meets ADA requirements, replacing the phrase “I will” with “I will try”.  Mr. Jones asked Mr. Blick to review the documentation and adjust it as necessary.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM November 1, 2021
Motion to approve the minutes: Graziano;  O’Connor, L (second), unanimous, 1 abstain.

DISCUSSION OF PREVIOUS BUSINESS
Regarding the Leash Ordinance that allows dogs off-leash at Topstone: This is the first biting and fine that Park and Recreation has been made aware of.  P&R is logging any incidents of issues with unleashed dogs.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON TOPSTONE PLAYGROUND REPAIR OR REMOVAL
The playground at Topstone is past its useful life.  The wooden material is in disrepair, over the years funds have not been made available to fix the items, and know, beyond repair, must be replaced.  The commission agreed if it is unsafe, it should be taken down.  The commission asked Mr. Blick if he could reach out to current Topstone pass holders and receive some feedback about what items they would like to see there.  It is also possible that a working group could be formed to determine the elements necessary to create a playground at the Park.

DISCUSSION OF POSSIBLE TOWN RESOURCES FOR EXERCISE TRAIL ON RCC GROUNDS
Mrs. Carlson suggested that part of the trail may lend itself to an Eagle Scout project, but part of it needs to be paved for those that can’t navigate to uneven dirt trails.  Mr. Blick will have more information at the next meeting when he has more information regarding what can possibly be down on our available property.

DISCUSSION OF TENNIS COURT WINDSCREEN USAGE AND CARE
Ms. Becker suggested they should be taken down each winter to extend their life, and also suggested they are hung too high.  Mr. Jones added that his career experience in athletics, windscreens are rarely taken down in the winter.  Mr. Blick added that taking them down is fairly easy, but placing them back in position each spring is a labor intensive job that one person cannot do by themselves.   The current tennis court windscreens are old and are scheduled to be replaced this spring.

ADDITIONAL NEW BUSINESS OR INITIATIVES
Mr. Palmer addressed the commission and informed them that this would be his last meeting as a member of the commission.  Mr. Jones recognized Mr. Palmer’s commitment to the Town of Redding and thanked him for his service of for more than a decade on the commission.

SUPPLEMENTAL PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

ADJOURNMENT
Motion Palmer, Graziano (second), unanimous. Adjourned at 8:52 pm

Submitted: Kevin Jones

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