7:00 PM



MEMBERS PRESENT:           Donovan, Lengerman, Peck, Rothhaar, Robert, Zimmer-Janeczko, Dauer, Berthiaume


MEMBERS ABSENT:             None


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Chairperson Bruce Peck.


Rothhaar arrived at 7:01 p.m.


Berthiaume arrived at 7:08 p.m.




Motion by Robert, seconded by Zimmer-Janeczko to receive the minutes of the Meeting of December 7, 2004 as mailed.  Motion carried.


Call to Audience


Chairperson Peck issued a call to the audience for items not on the meeting agenda but pertinent to Commission business.  There was no response.


Request from Lady Explorers


The Lady Explorers Softball Club, a group of teams in various age groups of girls and women’s softball, has requested permission to charge for fundraising event in Emerson Park in July of 2005.  The event will be an exhibition with the Harlem Diamonds, a traveling softball show team.


Ireland read a letter submitted by Mike Kozuch, coach for the Lady Explorers, detailing the request.  Ireland pointed out that there was precedent for such events with the Midland Redcoats.  He further clarified that Redcoat events were to benefit the entire softball program with purchases of bleachers and the like while this event will benefit a specific segment of the game.  He suggested that it would be appropriate to require the organizers to reimburse direct City expenses.


Lengerman asked what the admission cost would be.


Rothhaar asked how often this type of event has been done in the past.  Ireland responded that a similar basketball team event had been held at least twice in the community in the past.


Motion by Robert, seconded by Zimmer-Janeczko to recommend to City Council that the Lady Explorers be allowed to charge for an exhibition softball event in Emerson Park on a July date to be coordinated with staff and further that the Lady Explorers reimburse the City for direct expenses associated with the event.  Motion carried by a vote of 7-0.


Tree City


Ireland outlined the Tree City program and noted that the application process requires a declaration of the Fourth Friday in April as Arbor Day.  He recommended that the Commission recommend to the Council that such a declaration be made.


Motion by Dauer seconded by Rothhaar that the Commission recommend to the City Council that the Fourth Friday in April be declared as Arbor Day.  Motion carried by a vote of 7-0.


Accept Gift of Property for Cemetery


The Dow Foundation has generously donated a 64’ x 111’ parcel which is adjacent to the existing cemetery.  The property will allow staff to actively pursue the option of adding a mausoleum to the existing cemetery.  A mausoleum would create additional interment space in the cemetery and would provide an option which has been gaining popularity.


Ireland presented a proposed plat for the new property and asked the Commission to recommend to the City Council that the property be accepted and the plat be accepted.


Rothhaar asked if the road shown on the plat map was an existing road and how close the cemetery currently is to reaching its capacity.  Ireland confirmed that the road is in existence and offered to provide information concerning the cemetery’s capacity at a future meeting.


Peck mentioned that the cemetery has not been discussed by the Commission in a couple of years and that the idea of adding mausoleum was tabled at that time.


Motion by Lengerman seconded by Zimmer-Janeczko to recommend to the City Council that the deed offered by the Dow Foundation be accepted and that the plat for the property proposed by staff be approved.  Motion carried by a vote of 8-0.


Preparation for Joint Meeting with City Council


The Commission received a document outlining the Recreation fee philosophy which will serve as talking points for the joint meeting with Council on January 10.


Peck described the general process involved and the purpose for the meeting.


Lengerman suggested that Peck go through each of the five areas and review for the Commission the staff recommendations.


The Commission discussed the section on Swimming with concern focused on the comment that a “single pool appears to be adequately meeting both the competitive and recreational needs”. 


Rothhaar questioned meeting competitive needs since current pool is not suited for swim meets as the depth is insufficient for diving in to start a race.  Perhaps recommendation should read that practice needs are adequately met at this time with planned improvements to include increasing the depth at one end for purpose of holding competitive meets.


Berthiaume questioned that increasing depth at one end still would not allow for state meets to be held at Plymouth.


Robert questioned whether the City has a responsibility to meet competitive needs in addition to recreational needs.


Rothhaar asked if staff could provide cost estimates for increasing the depth at both ends of the pool.


Donovan asked for information on how many meets may potentially be brought in if the pool was of adequate depth for competition.  Asked if Midland Dolphins might provide information on this.


Lengerman expressed concern that improving the pool to meet competitive needs might result in elimination of time for recreational swimmers.  Comment also added regarding educational use of pool for swim lessons.


Peck suggested that the Commission bring up this discussion with City Council to see if there is interest in potentially expanding the pool improvement project to include increasing the depth at both ends of the pool.



Lengerman stated that with so much public comment on the condition and number of restrooms in the parks that perhaps there should be some mention about adding more restrooms and updating current restrooms under the General Recreation section.


Old Business


Ireland reminded the Commission that they had postponed discussion of the current Civic Arena and had asked staff to record further input on use and funding.  Staff is continuing its research on legal uses and the effects of the permafrost and asks that any decision be delayed until more information is available.


The Committee discussed this issue including the following comments:


Donovan inquired about scheduling a public hearing on what the City will put on the property if the current structure is taken down.


Lengerman suggested that since the building is relatively young, perhaps the Commission should approach City Council to see about a subsidy to convert the building to another use.


Donovan asked whether the Commission should approach the Foundations to confirm their previous commitment for a spray park in Central Park if the current arena is torn down.


Donovan asked if staff had received any feedback from the high schools concerning young persons interested in the youth representative position on the Commission.  Peck addressed some high school students in the audience and explained to them the desire for a youth representative.


Lengerman asked for an update from staff on the Community Center’s commitment to help with playground equipment.  In particular she asked about where such equipment would be placed.  Peck suggested Central Park and Lengerman supported the need, referencing band concerts and the number of children present.


New Business


Berthiaume encouraged commissioners to stay for the City Council meeting on January 10 as the Council is going to discuss Plymouth Pool.  Peck suggested that this may be a good time to initiate discussion with the Council about the pool.  Berthiaume said that local swim teams are planning on attending the meeting as well.


Meeting adjourned at 7:44 pm.



Respectfully,                                                                             Recorded by:




Brett Ireland                                                                             Karen Murphy