REGULAR MEETING OF FEBRUARY 3, 2009
MIDLAND CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
MEMBERS PRESENT: Rothhaar, Altimore, Allen, Jurado, Martin, Berthiaume, Kelley
MEMBERS ABSENT: None
Meeting called to order by Chairman John Rothhaar at 7:00 p.m.
Minutes of Meeting of January 6, 2009
Motioned by Jurado, seconded by Altimore to approve the minutes from the January 6, 2009 meeting. Motion passed 7-0.
Call to Audience
Curt Peterson requested to comment on the cross-country ski trails at the City Forest. Mr. Peterson’s comments are included under ‘New Business’.
Karen Murphy updated the Commission on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan process. Staff members had an initial meeting with Spicer Group, and will meet again next week to discuss the public input process and lay out the time table for the project.
Martin asked where we stand in the fee recommendation process. Murphy explained that staff members are currently working on the fee schedule in conjunction with the budget preparation process. The fees presented to the Commission at the January meeting are the staff’s recommendations at this time, but are a work-in-progress. A date to meet with City Council to discuss fee philosophy is pending. Despite the delay, we intend to follow the same process as in the past to get approval for fee changes, and we have adequate time to do so.
Civic Arena Update: At the request of the Commission, tonight was the first in the series of updates by staff members designed to provide information on operations, current projects and future initiatives for the various divisions within Parks and Recreation. Kenny Benson, Arena Manager, provided an update on the Civic Arena. Benson outlined the various users groups at the Arena, and discussed the different events that are hosted at the facility. Benson also reviewed some changes that are being implemented to streamline the operations at the Arena, and discussed future initiatives that he is working toward.
Allen asked how the Arena was doing from a financial standpoint. Murphy explained that the City recognized the need for an on-site manager at the Arena, and much like the Golf Course, the Arena needs to start operating like a business rather than a public recreation program. The goal is to reel in expenses and find ways to grow our revenue so that down the road we can taper off the general fund contribution for Arena operations. With the Arena Manager only being on staff since November 2008, we are just starting to make changes in this direction. Rothhaar asked Murphy to provide a financial update at a future meeting.
Rothhaar asked how the user groups are responding to the changes. Benson assured the Commission that the user groups are a top priority as they play a key role in the success of the Arena.
Non-motorized Transportation Plan Update: Kelley gave an update on the plan, including a review of the mission and the three areas of focus. These include education/promotion, infrastructure/engineering, and governance/enforcement. Kelley explained the next step in the process is to get the plan approved by the Planning Commission and ultimately City Council. Then the committee will need to prioritize the projects included in the plan and work to secure funding.
Other: Audience member Curt Peterson complimented the Commission, the Parks & Recreation Department, and Parks Supervisor Bart Heil for the work done on grooming the ski trails at the City Forest. Peterson would like staff to consider designating certain trails for skiing only, as walkers can damage the groomed trails. Rothaar agreed and asked staff to look at signage similar to what is used on the mountain bike trail system.
Martin inquired as to whether future Commission meetings could be held at different park facilities, such as the Golf Course or the Civic Arena. Murphy will consult with City staff to see if this is a possibility as other facilities are not equipped for televised meetings.
Motioned by Martin, seconded by Altimore to adjourn. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:08 p.m.