MIDLAND PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING OF MARCH 1, 2005

MIDLAND CITY HALL

7:00 PM

 

 

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

 

MEMBERS ABSENT:             None

 

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

 

Minutes

 

Motion by Lengerman, seconded by Dauer to receive the minutes of the regular meeting of February 1, 2005.  Motion carried 8 – 0.

 

Motion by Rothhaar, seconded by Robert to receive minutes of the special meeting of February 17, 2005.  Motion carried 8 – 0.

 

Call to Audience

 

Chairperson Peck issued a call to the audience.  There was no response.

 

Berthiaume arrived at 7:03 pm.

 

Consideration of Recommendation to demolish existing Civic Arena

 

Peck explained that staff and the Commission had looked closely at the future use of the current Civic Arena.  At the February 1, 2005 meeting the staff presented a recommendation to demolish the building.  At that time there was a citizen comment urging that the building be retained.  Since that time two pieces of correspondence have been received encouraging use of the facility.  McGuire reported that the staff remains convinced that the identified benefits of retaining the building do not justify the capital and ongoing operational costs.  The staff continues to recommend demolition accompanied by a master plan for the park.

 

The Commission discussed the issue.  Lengerman indicated she had concern that there. might be a use not yet identified and was uneasy recommending demolition at this time.  Robert pointed out that the issue had been before the community for nearly two years and


no viable plan had been brought forward.  He also indicated that no use had been identified in the recent master plan process.  Rothhaar indicated that he had begun the process hoping to preserve the building but that he had seen no ground swell of support.

 

Kasprzyk said she did not see evidence that the benefit outweighed the cost.  Dauer asked if there was an actual timeline for making a decision.  Donovan indicated that a motion to recommend to City Council was not the final action but would create a sense of urgency if a viable plan did exist.

 

Motion by Berthiaume, seconded by Donovan to recommend to City Council that the Midland Civic Arena in Central Park be demolished and that a master plan be developed for Central Park.  Motion carried 9 – 0.

 

Discussion of Plan for St. Charles Recreation Area

 

McGuire presented a preliminary plan for unifying the St. Charles Recreation Campus.  He highlighted major components of the area and indicated that he would be seeking input from the Softball Association before bringing a final plan for consideration. A copy of the plan is available at the Parks and Recreation Office.

 

Peck encouraged Commissioners to forward any comments to McGuire after they have reviewed it.

 

Update on Civic Arena Project

 

McGuire informed the Commission that the Civic Arena Project was progressing on schedule and within budget.  He presented photos of the progress and indicated that the building was to be finished in August.

 

Donation from Midland Girls Softball League

 

McGuire read a letter from Joe Harrison, president of Midland Girls Softball League in which the league proposed donating $10,000.00 for fencing and parking lot improvements and an additional $5,000.00 worth of bleacher seating for Optimist Park.

 

Motion by Donovan, seconded by Dauer to recommend to City Council that the donations totaling $15,000.00 in cash and equipment for Optimist Park be accepted.  Motion carried 9 – 0.

 

Old Business

 

McGuire indicated that staff is continuing to study the issues of a liquor license at Currie Golf Course.  He reported that one of the more compelling reasons to have a liquor license was to make the revenue appealing to specific golf outings.  As it is now, an event organizer needs to make arrangements to have drinks brought to the course and they must get insurance while other courses build that into their outing cost.

 

As a pilot, the staff is proposing, for certain events to procure one-day liquor licenses to attract major outings which benefit the course.

 

Richard McCreadie addressed the Commission on this issue.  He stated that if Gil Currie Sr. were still alive he would be opposed to the proposal.  He indicated that Currie Golf Course was built to serve the citizens and should not be attempting to compete with other courses.  He also spoke of possible charter violations associated with selling liquor.  McCreadie then informed the Commission that although he had missed the discussion on the Civic Arena he had comments on that issue as well.  He indicated that the library and Barstow Airport were subsidized so he did not understand why there could not be a subsidy to maintain the current Civic Arena building.   He indicated that the problems at the current facility were due to poor maintenance and poor management.  He indicated that the entire Parks and Recreation Department had been mismanaged by Marty McGuire and said that maintenance and the entire program had slipped badly.  He pointed out that customers had been driven away from recreation programs because the prices were continually raised.  He spoke of an “informal agreement” with the Community Center which caused the prices of City facilities to be raised.  He suggested that the Civic Arena be maintained with one ice rink and offered to the public at low cost.  He said that this community has forgotten that not everyone makes $100,000.00 per year.

 

Commissioner Robert addressed the proposal for one day liquor licenses saying that the trial appeared to be a prudent way to get a read on the potential.

 

Motion by Dauer, seconded by Zimmer-Janeczko to recommend to City Council to authorize staff to pursue one day liquor licenses for Currie Golf Course.  Motion carried

9 – 0.

 

New Business

 

McGuire indicated that staff was working on developing a partnership with the Arnold Center/Michigan Works to operate the food concession at Currie Golf Course.

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm.

 

Respectfully,

 

 

 

Marty McGuire