7:00 P.M.





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, Carlson, Carney, Metevia, Rankin, Rice, Steidemann, Varela

b.      MEMBERS ABSENT:  None 

c.       OTHERS PRESENT: Stephanie Szostak, City Horticulturist


3)      Welcome new Commissioner: Altimore introduced Ares Varela who was appointed for a three year term to the commission by City Council in June.


4)      Election of Chair and Vice Chair:  It has been the Commission’s practice to elect a new chair and vice chair annually at the first meeting of the fiscal year.  In keeping with the practice, Murphy asked for nominations for the position of chair. 


Altimore nominated Metevia to serve as chair and Carlson seconded the nomination.  Motion passed 8-0, with Metevia abstaining from the process. 


Bovid then nominated Carney to serve as vice chair and Steidemann seconded the nomination.  Motion passed 8-0, with Carney abstaining from the process.


5)      Minutes of May 7, 2013:   Altimore motioned, Steidemann seconded to receive minutes of the meeting of May 7, 2013. Motion passed 9-0.


6)      Call to Audience:    None      


7)      Adoption of meeting calendar for 2014:  The Commission reviewed the proposed meeting calendar for the upcoming fiscal year, and decided to continue meeting on the first Tuesday of the month with the exception of election dates when meetings will be moved to Wednesday.  The Commission decided not to meet in January and July due to the proximity to the holiday, and not to meet in April due to Midland Public Schools’ spring break.  Under the ordinance, the Commission must meet six times per fiscal year.  The following meeting schedule was proposed for 2014 with the understanding that meetings will be cancelled in advance if the Commission does not have official business to address:


February 4, 2014

September 2, 2014

March 4, 2014

October 7, 2014

May 7, 2014

November 5, 2014

June 3, 2014

December 2, 2014

August 6, 2014



Carney motioned to approve the calendar with no scheduled meetings in January, April or July, and Carlson seconded the motion.  The motion passed 9-0.


8)      Discussion Topics for FY 2013/2014 Work Plan: Murphy reviewed last fiscal year’s work plan for the Commission to consider.  The work plan defines the role of the Parks and Recreation Commission as an advisory committee to City Council, and explains the director’s role as staff liaison to the Commission.  The plan also contains a recommended list of topics for the Commission to discuss over the course of the year.


Murphy asked for suggestions on discussion topics for the upcoming fiscal year.  A list of proposed topics was discussed, and Murphy will compile a tentative schedule for review and approval at the next Commission meeting. 


9)      Division Reports

a.       Horticulture:  Stephanie Szostak gave an update on the City’s horticulture program.  Szostak discussed challenges faced this year with plant die off due to the harsh winter, a setback due to flooding, the emergence of crabgrass and horsetail, an invasive weed.  She also discussed additional projects this year, including an organic turf program at the Farmers Market and planting native trees along the riverbank for stabilization.  Szostak reported the Blooms bioremediation project is ongoing and producing positive results.  In addition, Szostak has concentrated on several entranceway areas this year, with a redesign of a large planting bed on the Grand Curves, improvements to the Jefferson and Sturgeon overpasses, and a naturalization project at the Bay City Road interchange.  Szostak talked about the continued goal of transitioning from annuals to perennials in the parks to reduce ongoing maintenance costs.   She has also been instrumental in the Arbor Day program at local elementary schools, and has coordinated an Adopt A Street project with the Dow Chemical Employees Credit Union along the Grand Curves.  Szostak is currently working with the Michigan Department of Transportation on redesigning the Eastman boulevard as plants are not surviving well in that environment, and developing a design for the proposed roundabout at the Patrick/Lyon interchange.  She also thanked the garden clubs for their continued partnerships at Plymouth Pool and Jerome Street.


10)  Project Reports:  Murphy gave updates on the following projects:


a.       Neighborhood park playgrounds:  The project is 95% complete with a small punch list of items to be finished.  Work was done in 18 different neighborhood parks courtesy of grants provided by the Community Development Block Grant program and the Dorothy L. Ludington Children’s Fund.


b.      Emerson and Redcoats pavilions:  The required floodplain permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) was received this week.  The project is being scheduled with the contractor with anticipated completion in November.


c.       Dog Park fencing:  A fencing contractor is currently working to remove fence damaged by flooding earlier this year.  Work started this week, and the City’s forestry crew is working in conjunction with the contractor to remove dead ash trees adjacent to the dog park.


d.      Currie Stadium concrete maintenance:  Staff is working with an engineering firm on bid specifications for concrete repairs and waterproofing treatment for the stadium.  The goal is to have the work completed yet this fall.


e.       City Forest bridge:  Staff is working with a bridge consultant on preliminary MDEQ requirements including soil testing and survey work along the creek.  Bid specifications will be drafted once the initial survey work is complete.  The goal is to have the bridge installed this fall.


Altimore asked how the Barstow Woods project was coming along.  Murphy reported that the Manor Street entrance to the park has had all the buckthorn removed, the roots grubbed out and the plan is to return it to turf.  Similar work is underway at the Saginaw Road entrance where the forestry mower has begun to remove the larger buckthorn.  Murphy reported a similar project has been started at Currie Bennett based on concerns from neighbors.


11)  Old Business:  Murphy reported that the City Manager will be presenting the petition to ban smoking at park playgrounds to the City Council for receipt at their meeting on August 26 at 7:00 pm in City Council Chambers at City Hall.


12)  New Business:  Murphy presented an error in the March 5, 2013 Commission minutes.  Under New Business, the date the Commission issued a position on smoking in City parks was misstated.  The correct date should read November 2011.  Altimore motioned, and Carlson seconded to approve the March 5 minutes with the corrected date in place.  Motion passed 9-0.


13)  Adjourn:  Motioned by Steidemann, seconded by Altimore to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed 9– 0.  Meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.




Respectfully submitted,




Karen Murphy

Director of Public Services