REGULAR MEETING OF FEBRUARY 1, 2011
MIDLAND CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
1) Call to Order: Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairperson Frank Altimore
2) Roll Call:
a. MEMBERS PRESENT: Altimore, Berthiaume, Bovid, Carlson, Jurado, Kelley, Rice, Steidemann
b. MEMBERS ABSENT: Chuck Martin
c. OTHERS PRESENT: Craig MacDonald, Alden B. Dow Home and Studio/Alden B. and Vada A. Dow Family Foundation; Traci Greene and Neil Wackerly, Humane Society of Midland County; Members of the Chemical City Band including Jim Huber, Duane Townley, Bob and Cheryl Johnson, etc.
3) Minutes of December 7, 2010: Jurado motioned, Steidemann seconded to receive minutes of the meeting of December 7, 2010. Motion passed 8-0.
4) Call to Audience: Traci Greene and Neil Wackerly of the Humane Society of Midland County addressed the Commission regarding the possibility of partnering with Parks and Recreation to provide some programming similar to the Bark in the Park program that currently takes place. The pair also gave a brief report on the current state of the organization, as it has recently taken over management of the animal shelter. Post stated that she would work with the organization to develop some sort of partnership.
5) Introduction of Chris Hockaday, new Park Supervisor: Post explained that the Department’s former Park Supervisor, Matt Weaver, resigned his position in January to take a job with Central Michigan University. Post introduced the new Park Supervisor, Chris Hockaday, who then proceeded to introduce himself. Hockaday has been employed with the City for over 23 years and is very excited to be with the Department.
6) Project Reports: Recreation Fee Public Hearing – Final Results
Post notified the Commission that two public meetings for the fee changes had taken place on January 17 and January 24, 2011. At each meeting, there were not comments from the Council and the Council voted unanimously to accept the new fee changes.
7) Division Reports
a. Forestry: Park Supervisor, Bart Heil, gave a presentation regarding the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and its impact on the trees in the City of Midland. Information presented including the estimated number of trees that will be affected by the bug as well as the cost estimates on treatment and/or removal of such trees. Heil stated that this presentation was also given to the Council at the annual budget roundtable held in January, 2011.
b. City Forest:
i. Pisten Bully: Park Supervisor, Chris Hockaday gave a division report regarding the City Forest Sledding Hill and touched on the equipment used at the forest to groom the hill. Hockaday stated that the Pisten Bully was no longer in service and the Department has exhausted all funds for rental and repair. Hockaday also stated that without the Pisten Bully or other similar machinery, the hill will not be groomed and may need to be closed if it becomes too icy.
ii. Toboggan Run Policy: Post notified the Commission of a new policy regarding the toboggan runs that was implemented for the current season. Post stated that the runs are classified as amusement park rides and it was recommended by the State of Michigan, who inspects the runs annually, which we no longer allow citizens to bring in their own toboggans. Having consulted with the City Attorney, he concurred and the practice of letting patrons bring their own toboggans was halted. Post offered additional information about how the new policy was communicated to the public and the public’s attitude of the new policy.
iii. Trails Information: Post gave a brief overview of the two trail systems that are established in City Forest; the mountain biking trails and the cross country ski trails. Post explained that visitors were having difficulty orientating themselves in the forest and were getting lost. Post notified the commission that the Department was aware of the problem and was a priority when funding is available.
iv. Improvements on Toboggan Runs: Post informed the Commission that some capital improvements had been made on the south toboggan run tower, including a new metal roof.
c. Plymouth Pool – Improvement Updates: Post updated the Commission on the combined donation of $250K that was received from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow and Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundations for updates at Plymouth Pool. Post informed the Commission that bid specifications had already gone out for the project and that the anticipated completion date would be before the pool is set to open on Saturday, June 11, 2011.
d. Grove Park Accessibility Playground Equipment Grant: Post informed the Commission that the Department was applying for a Grant from the CDBG to build an accessible playground structure at Grove Park in the fall of 2011.
8) Old Business – Band Shell Update: Heil offered the Commission a comprehensive report of the status of the band shell. Heil informed the commission that a preliminary study had been done by an architectural firm in Bay City and that the overall conclusion is that the band shell should not be used in 2011 unless the roof and other areas of overhang are removed. Other options were discussed regarding the band shell along with estimated prices of these options. Altimore offered the public with an opportunity to comment and Craig MacDonald, Bob Johnson, Jim Huber and Cheryl Johnson all commented on the findings and the future of the band shell.
9) New Business: Post spoke about the Michigan Recreation and Park Association Conference from February 7-10 at the Grand Traverse Resort. She noted that Altimore will be assisting in presenting a Commissioners Roundtable at the event and encouraged other members to attend.
10) Adjourn: Motioned by Jurado, seconded Carlson to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed 8– 0. Meeting adjourned at 8:32 p.m.