Commission members: P. Degener, Chair, V. Alward, P. Darlington, A. Florkowski (7:41 pm), J. Dorenbosch, S. Goldman, M. McClung, G. Miyashiro, S. Palmer,
Staff present: R. Blick
Mr. Degener called the April 22, 2013 meeting to order at 7:34 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the minutes of February 25, 2013 be approved and the minutes of the March 18 session be accepted. Palmer, McClung. Approved. Unanimous.
Mr. Blick highlighted his written report:
- Storage areas: The design work for the two storage areas is moving forward. The revised quote for the RCC gym storage is about $55,000 and the field maintenance equipment storage is estimated at $71,000. Mr. Blick was notified that an A1 survey will be required for the project to move forward. Mr. Palmer mentioned that he would continue to coordinate and review the A1 Survey planning, the designs and the bidding process with Mr. Blick.
- Topstone Parking: the Highway Department is completing their work on the parking area at the entrance to Topstone Park. Nine additional parking spots have been added, working around existing trees. The gate will be move in the next few days.
- Boy Scout Sean Murray met with Mr. Blick to discuss an Eagle Scout project. The project, Quest at Topstone, is similar to Geocaching or Letterboxing. Sean’s proposal centers on nature and the history of Redding.
- Adult Softball League: bats for the teams have been purchased for use by the members; this is to avoid use of the different and more powerful bats.
- Athletic Fields: the fields were opened on Saturday, April 6.
- Topstone Beach: The staff is ready for an early opening, and the staff is prepared to do the necessary trainings.
- Special events: two concerts are being planned for Topstone Park, similar to a coffeehouse concert.
Motion: move that the Director’s Report be accepted. McClung, Dorenbosch. Approved. Unanimous.
A representative of the Fresh Air organization contacted Mr. Blick regarding a potential discount for camp participation. Mr. Blick suggested a 50% discount for a host family
Motion: move that the Redding Park and Recreation Commission approve a 50% discount for disadvantaged children for any programs during the summer. Degener, McClung. Approved. Unanimous.
FIELDS ISSUE UPDATE
Mr. Degener recapped the status of the field issue. The proposed conversion of RCC field #2 to an artificial turf field was not approved by voters. The Town holds $347,920.77 of the original $500,000 STEAP grant, and that grant was just renewed by the Board of Selectmen.
The Region 9 Board of Education is working on a proposal for stadium facility improvements, including an artificial turf football surface. Mr. Degener has been asked informally by some people if there was the possibility of shifting the STEAP grant or sharing the STEAP grant funds to that endeavor. Since the Park & Recreation Commission initiated the conversion, the Commission could make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen regarding the use of the grant funds. Mr. Degener asked Commission members to state their thinking and ideas on the concept of sharing the STEAP grant. Many opinions and thoughts were expressed and discussed.
Following the long discussion, the following motion was made.
Motion: move that the Park & Recreation Commission recommend by letter to the Redding Board of Selectmen that, following the approval of a funding referendum for the Region 9 Board of Education stadium improvements, a transfer of some of the STEAP grant be transferred to that project. Degener, McClung.
Discussion followed. A vote was not taken on the motion, but a motion to table the motion was made.
Motion: move to table action on the letter of recommendation to the Redding Board of Selectmen to after the referendum on the Region 9 Stadium improvements is approved. Degener, Florkowski. Approved. Unanimous.
RCC STORAGE/MAINTENANCE PLANS
The Commission members discussed the design of the storage plans. Mr. Blick will meet with the contractor to determine the extent of the A1 survey that is needed and share the status/next steps with Mr. Palmer.
TOPSTONE PARK SURVEY, POLICIES AND PRESERVATION PLANS
The subcommittee did not meet. No discussion
Mr. Degener provided a draft letter to the Selectmen, the State of Connecticut general statutes regarding dog leashing and samples of other town ordinances, and a proposed leash ordinance. There was a long general discussion of the information and the inclusion of open space in the ordinance. The group discussed revisions to the letter to the selectmen. Mr. Degener will work with Mrs. Florkowski to refine the letter to the Selectmen and will continue to coordinate with affiliated groups/Commissions.
Motion: move that the meeting be adjourned. McClung, Alward. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting concluded at 8:49 pm
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary