MIDLAND PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING OF JANUARY 14, 2003
MIDLAND CITY HALL CONFERENCE ROOM B
MEMBERS PRESENT: Berthiaume, Lengerman, Robert, Peck, Zimmer-Janeczko, Wilson, Lincoln
MEMBERS ABSENT: E. McGuire (excused), Gerstacker (excused)
OTHERS PRESENT: Cheryl Wade, Midland Daily News; Marty McGuire, Director of Public Services; Tracy Burton, Midland Issues
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairperson Peck.
Motion by Lengerman, seconded by Robert to receive the minutes of the meeting of December 10, 2002. Motion carried.
Alan Hartman submitted a request at the December meeting to establish an equipment and food concession at the Trilogy Skatepark. The Commission asked for a report from staff.
McGuire reported that staff had reviewed the request. He reported that the approved concessions in park settings currently are food concessions operated by non-profit entities. The Midland Softball Association operates in Emerson Park and the St. Charles Softball Area, the Northwest and Northeast Little Leagues operate at their respective fields which are on park property. The only merchandise concessions are at facilities such as the Golf Course and the Civic Arena. The Golf Course Concessionaire has a contract with the City or provide management services in exchange for concession rights and the Arena concession is actually operated by the City.
Since the City has made a decision not to actively manage the Skatepark, the contractual arrangement is not comparable.
There are also liability concerns with any form of supervision and there is concern of a precedent of for-profit concessionaires in the Parks.
In addition the City Attorney has raised zoning issues, insurance requirements, licensing, etc. and has deemed that absent significant research it is his conclusion that such an arrangement is not in the best interest of the City.
It is the staff recommendation that the arrangement proposed by Mr. Hartman not be pursued.
The tenor of the Commission was to support the staff decision denying the permit request, therefore no formal action was required of the Commission.
McGuire reminded the Commission of the offer from the Gerstacker Foundation of a second Sprayground. He reiterated the three locations spoken of at the December meeting. Stratford Woods Park, Central Park and the Northwest section of the City. He indicated that sufficient utilities are in place in both the Stratford and Central Park locations. He noted that no suitable City property existed in the NW area but that he had opened conversations with the public schools about a parcel located across Perrine Rd from Cook School, adjacent to Huron Park. There has been no definite answer on the availability of the land, however preliminary consideration is being given to the request. There is no clear timetable on when and if the land is available. McGuire also indicated that three letters had been written in support of the Central Park site.
Lengerman asked if a design were available that would make it more attractive to older children. The reply is that some older children enjoy the design but it is essentially aimed at younger children.
Peck spoke in favor of the Northwest area. Wilson, Lengerman, and Berthiaume spoke in favor of the Central Park site.
Motion by Lengerman, seconded by Wilson that the Commission recommend that Central Park be designated as the site for a sprayground contingent on a donation for the project. Motion carried 7-0.
McGuire reported that the City Forest is operating despite the lack of natural snow.
He also discussed the upcoming Michigan Recreation and Park Association Conference in early February.
Joint meeting for January 27, 2003.
Commissioner Lengerman questioned condition of playground equipment in the parks. McGuire indicated that staff checks this on a monthly basis.
Public Hearing on fees on February 18, 2003.
Robert questioned if map box at City Forest was stocked regularly.
Meeting adjourned at 7:27 p.m.