REGULAR MEETING OF DECEMBER 4, 2012
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, Bovid, Carney, Kelley, Metevia, Rankin, Rice, Steidemann
b. MEMBERS ABSENT: Carlson
c. OTHERS PRESENT: Bart Heil, Parks Supervisor
3) Minutes of November 7, 2012: Metevia motioned, Steidemann seconded to receive minutes of the meeting of November 7, 2012. Motion passed 8-0.
4) Call to Audience: None
5) Public hearing on proposed recreation fee changes for 2013: Murphy reviewed the proposed recreation fees as presented to the Commission at their November meeting. A public hearing was conducted with no public comments offered. Steidemann asked if there would be any exceptions to the band shell rental, and Murphy replied that fees would be waived for community events such as Memorial Day and Chemical City Band concerts. Steidemann also asked if the rental fees for fields at Emerson pertained to the entire park, to which Murphy responded the fees only apply to the use of the ball fields. Rankin asked if deposits were required to reserve ball fields and whether there was an additional charge for clean up services. Murphy responded that deposits have not been required to date and clean up is included in the event fees. Kelley motioned to recommend the fees as proposed to City Council at the upcoming joint meeting with the Parks and Recreation Commission and the City Council. Steidemann seconded. Motion passed 8-0.
6) Division Report – Forestry update: Parks supervisor, Bart Heil, gave an update on the forestry operations throughout the city. Heil reviewed emerald ash borer (EAB) status for street trees, parks and wild areas. Of 3,500 street-side ash trees, 2,200 are undergoing treatment, and 1,300 will be removed (some of the removals have already taken place). In addition to conducting a street side inventory, the City entered a field trial with Michigan State University’s Entomology team to look at insecticide treatments. The City chose to use TreeAge® to systemically treat trees based on this field study. About 2,000 outlawn trees were treated by contractors and 200 treated by in-house crews in 2011 and 2012. The plan is to re-evaluate these trees starting in 2013. Heil reported already seeing some failed treatments where staff chose to treat trees that ended up having too much damage to survive. In parks, staff have treated about 400 ash trees and marked another 200 for removal. The next area of concern is the wild areas where the plan is to only remove trees that pose a safety concern. The remaining ash in these wild areas will be left in place untreated. To free up in-house crews to concentrate on EAB, the City has contracted out stump grinding and tree planting this past year. With tree planting, the focus is planting the right tree in the right place, and diversity of trees to help protect against future species-specific diseases. In addition to removal of ash trees, the City removes 200-300 trees annually based on disease, safety hazards or physical damage. Heil also reviewed tree marking, including blue marks made by Consumers Energy, for utility clearance purposes, green marks indicating EAB treatment or removal, and orange marks indicating future removal of the tree by the City. Heil reported that Dutch Elm disease had a heavy resurgence in 2012. Other forestry responsibilities include trimming for sidewalk clearance, blocked street signs, and intersection visibility. Heil shared future goals of proactive pruning and treatment, zero net loss of outlawn and park trees, and a 100% inventory of all outlawn trees.
7) Project Report: Murphy shared a picture of the new Hintz Park playground that was installed with funds from the Arthur Hintz Park fund held at the Midland Area Community Foundation. The project will be completed in the spring when new metal mesh picnic tables, park benches, and trash receptacles will be installed.
8) Old Business : None
9) New Business:
a. Forestry grant for tree planting: Murphy shared that the Parks Department recently received a grant for $5,000 from the Urban and Community Forestry Program through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service. The grant provided funds for tree planting in the right-of-way. The grant covered the purchase of the trees with the City covering the labor cost to install the trees as a match to the grant. Twenty additional outlawn trees were planted as a result of the grant funds.
b. Murphy reported that pavilion D, the largest pavilion located at Emerson Park across from Currie Stadium, has been taken down due to structural concerns. The pavilion had significant rot in the main structural support beams as well as along the edges of the roof. Temporary repairs were done this summer to ensure the safety of the pavilion so the City could honor reservations for the remainder of the picnic season. Staff is looking at options for replacement, and Murphy will keep the Commission updated as plans develop.
c. Murphy reminded the Commission that there is not a regular scheduled meeting in January.
d. Kelley inquired if the City had looked at a plan to install artificial turf at the Civic Arena. Murphy responded that the Civic Arena and the Golf Course are no longer managed under Parks and Recreation, so questions related to the facilities need to be directed to the respective facility managers.
10) Adjourn: Motioned by Metevia, seconded by Carney to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed 8– 0. Meeting adjourned at 7:39 p.m.
Director of Public Services