PARKS COMMISSION MEETING
August 1, 2005
ATTENDING: Laura Dowlan, Michael Higgs, Wynn Cudmore, John Brandt, Robert Garrett, Tanya Beard, Jeff Bickford
ABSENT: Orville Rice, Jyll Smith, Nick McDonnough
RECORDER: Diana Shamberger
PUBLIC ATTENDING: Roger Smedstad, Paul & Karen Lanham, Ivan Petarsois, Linda & Kyle Dougherty APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The approval of minutes from the previous July 7, 2005 meeting was postponed until all the PC members have had an opportunity to review.
PUBLIC COMMENT – ROGERS WAYSIDE BMX PROPOSAL: John started the meeting by asking everyone present to give a brief introduction. Roger Smedstad, one of the concerned citizens attending started by sharing his concerns; safe passage, dangerous intersections, and supervision. He commented about the recent and positive changes at the park as well as the continued alleged drug activities. He felt that in the last three to four years the park has really turned around. He also felt that the proposed BMX facility should be located on private property, and be closer to town. He shared that he has a list of the neighbors opposing the parks newly proposed use. In conclusion, he and the neighbors are not in favor of upgrading the restroom facilities as this would invite more citizens, and traffic into the neighborhood. They also feel that the increased usage of the park will create more noise, parking problems, vandalism, garbage, and unsupervised children.
Karen Lanham another citizen present also voiced her concerns for safety, supervision of the designated bike path and adequate police patrols. The two additional citizens present stated that their concerns were already addressed.Tanya shared some positive comments she had received for proposed BMX use. The first was a letter sent by Bruce Visser a former Safety Manager for Public Works, and an E-mail sent by Connie Daggett on July 6, 2005. A letter received by the BOC was also read. It was in favor of the proposed BMX track and it also addressed the illegal dumping currently taking place there. John requested that traffic concerns reported to him in a letter from Mercedes Alteizer be considered. Tanya also read the surveys she received from the recent open house at the park, including all positive and negative comments received. (This documentation is available by request from our Parks department.) John thanked the group for bringing their attention to concerns not yet addressed. Tanya will be attending a BOC Management Update meeting to discuss insurance requirements and concerns. Mike made several suggestions directed to the BOC; i.e. placement of playgroup equipment, baseball field repair including the backstop and a new restroom. Citizens were still concerned about the possible lack of parental supervision. They also reiterated their concern over the continued use of the illegal bike jumps in the wooded area.
The citizen group asked how many parks are in the county; Tanya responded there are 17 and they all have the same kinds of problems and concerns with vandalism and illegal activities.
Roger asked why the county does not do more to help with the litter and dead animals as the County has a shop next door. Tanya explained that the county employees working at the shop have jobs dictated by specific budgets. Karen said their neighborhood petition would make no difference. John responded by saying that the Parks Commission (here after known as PC) has made efforts to contact the neighborhood specifically for their feedback. John then stated that this it is all part of the public process and said their concerns will be addressed by the BOC.
John suggested to the neighbors present, in order to achieve a positive conclusion, the neighbors must be willing to take ownership by providing timely information to the appropriate officials regarding the activities taking place in our parks. John stated further that the safety concerns had already been addressed. In addition, an established natural buffer exists between the park and the homes. The PC group has also proposed re-evaluating the proposed use in one year after it’s inception; John recommended the neighbors be involved in that process. Jeff stated that the PC only makes the recommendation and that the final decision will be made by the BOC. Tanya listed an example of a park use that did not work out and how the park was reinstated to its original use. She also cited another park with a similar use and how that use has continued successfully. Tanya answered the group’s questions and explained that the proposed BMX facility would not use more than 50% of the area. Laura suggested that part of our agreement with the BMX facility might include volunteer hours to help with cleanup at the park in the service agreement.
MOTION - Laura called for motion in favor of supporting the BMX proposal. The motion was seconded. The motion was passed unanimously. Tanya would like to present it to the BOC as soon as possible and felt it would be beneficial for the chair to co-present. Tanya will e-mail John with the details and the presentation time. Monday, August 8, Tanya will be meeting with Legal and Risk to specifically address the insurance concerns of the BOC. OTHER BUSINESS – Concerns were received on the issue of downed trees blocking the trails at Joryville Park. The PC approved the use of staff to clear the trail. They also requested that a sign be posted notifying the citizens of work being done to make the trails safe. Mike motioned to adjourn. The motion was seconded. Motion passed. The meeting adjourned at 10:45 am.