REGULAR MEETING OF DECEMBER 3, 2013
MIDLAND CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
1) Call to Order: Meeting called to order at 7:02 p.m. by Chairperson John Metevia
2) Roll Call:
a. MEMBERS PRESENT: Altimore, Bovid, Carney, Metevia, Rankin, Rice, Steidemann,
b. MEMBERS ABSENT: Carlson, Varela
c. OTHERS PRESENT:
3) Minutes of November 6, 2013: Altimore motioned, Steidemann seconded to receive minutes of the meeting of November 6, 2013. Motion passed 7-0.
4) Call to Audience: None
5) Public hearing on proposed recreation fee changes for 2014: Murphy reviewed the proposed recreation fees as presented to the Commission at their November meeting. The proposed fee changes include: changing the beach volleyball fees to a straight per player fee of $15 for recreational leagues, $22 per player for 4 & 6-person competitive, and $27 per player for 2-person competitive; and adding a clause to make picnic table reservation fees non-refundable.
A public hearing was conducted with no public comments offered. Given the minimal changes being proposed this year, the Commission will not hold a joint meeting with the City Council to review the proposal, rather Murphy will present the recommended changes at the first reading of the ordinance before Council in January. Rankin motioned to recommend the fees as proposed to the City Council, and Altimore seconded. Motion passed 7-0.
6) Emerson Riverfront project: Murphy shared with the Commission a proposal to renovate a section of riverfront in Emerson Park that is home to the 1938 water intake pump house for the City’s drinking water supply. The pump house is in poor condition, and the project proposes repurposing the pump house into a river viewing platform. Murphy shared the location of the site in proximity to the Pere Marquette Rail Trail, Emerson Park, and the Historical Society Campus. The project also includes removing a portion of the old Emerson Park roadway, adding a parking area with accessible parking, constructing an accessible fishing dock, installing a boardwalk along a portion of the river, and putting a floating dock at the end of the boardwalk for access from the river. Railing will also be replaced along the seawall, with some seating put in as well. The project will connect in two places to the Rail Trail so trail users will be able to get off the trail and enjoy the river view. Murphy explained that staff will seek outside funding through grants to support the project, which is estimated at $670,000. The plan includes applying in the April for a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant for $300,000. The grant requires a minimum 25% match. Staff has met initially with the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network to request a grant for $35,000 to be used toward the match. The Friends of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail have also expressed interest in supporting the project as well as the Midland Area Community Foundation. The project has been designed in phases so that the project can be completed as funds are secured if necessary. Murphy asked for the Commission to recommend that City Council support the current grant request to the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network. Rice motioned and Bovid seconded to recommend that Council support the grant request. Motioned passed 7-0.
7) Project Reports:
a. Pavilion, Currie Stadium, and City Forest bridge updates: Murphy reported that the Emerson Park pavilion is substantially complete at this time with the exception of the installation of electrical. Due to current electrical/construction codes, the new pavilion may not be able to have the amount of electrical capacity as the old pavilion, and staff is working out the details on this. The concrete slab at the pavilion has some issues that the contractor will be addressing. The Redcoats pavilion is near completion as well. Murphy also reported that the Currie Stadium project is moving along, with concrete patching currently underway and recaulking of the bleacher area substantially complete. The City Forest bridge project has been held up awaiting a joint permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Staff thought the project would fall under the classification of a minor project, but that did not turn out to be case and the project is undergoing a full review by the DEQ, which has led to a lengthier permitting process than originally planned for.
b. Fun Zone renovation update: Murphy reported that the Fun Zone renovation project is moving along, with a community input meeting held on November 18. Unfortunately the date was right after the storm that left a large portion of the City without power, and turnout at the meeting was low. The input, along with emailed input that has been received, is supporting the renovations that staff had originally proposed. To gather more input, an online survey is being developed and will be distributed via various avenues in hopes of targeting the parents of preschool and elementary school aged children to get more user input on the project. Murphy reviewed the proposed schedule which includes working with the playground designer in December, starting the fundraising in January and wrapping that up in March, securing volunteers in April, and completing the renovations the first week of June.
8) Winter Recreation update: Murphy presented information on three upcoming winter recreation offerings. The Night at the North Pole children’s event to be held December 4 and 5 at the City Forest Chalet requires advanced registration. The Santa Calling program will be held December 12 – 14. Volunteers are still needed for the program, and parents can sign their child up to talk with Santa by contacting the Parks office. The Diamonds of White tournament will be held again on New Years’ Eve in conjunction with the Midnight on Main event.
9) Old Business : None
10) New Business: Metevia reminded the Commission that there is not a meeting scheduled in January.
Murphy shared that the parks department has been combined with the public works department to form the public services department. This is in response to decreased staffing levels over the past few years, and will allow more cross training and sharing of employees to respond to seasonal work needs, including leaf collection, snow plowing, forestry, and winter recreation needs.
Murphy took an opportunity to recognize the forestry and public services crew for their efforts in response to the November 17 storm that knocked down numerous trees and took power out for several days. Altimore also offered his appreciation for the crew’s efforts to respond and help residents in the areas most affected.
11) Adjourn: Motioned by Altimore, seconded by Carney to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed 7– 0. Meeting adjourned at 7:39 p.m.
Director of Public Services