PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD MEETING
FEBRUARY 1, 2018
Members present: Steve Bryer, Chairman
Michelle Christian, Vice Chairman
Jim Donahue, Secretary
Members absent: Bruce Stamm
Others present: Nancy Opalka, Director of Parks & Recreation
Eileen Silver, Supervisor Liaison
Kyle Curtis, Parks and Recreation Intern
Mr. Bryer called the meeting to order at 7:06 pm.
Mr. Bryer welcomed new member Mary Anderson. Mr. Bryer also noted that Jim Hembree has been reappointed to the Board.
A motion was made and seconded (Wade/Hembree) to approve the minutes from the December 7, 2017 meeting. The motion passed unanimously. Ms. Christian abstained.
Reorganization of the Board
Mr. Bryer asked that Mr. Wade conduct the reorganization. Mr. Stamm, who was out of town, had requested earlier that he participate in the meeting remotely. It was decided that he would participate in the reorganization process only as no policy exists regarding participation in meetings via telecommunications.
A motion was made and seconded (Hembree/Donahue) to nominate Mr. Bryer for Chairman. There were no other nominations and a request by the Chair to elect Mr. Bryer passed unanimously.
A motion was made and seconded (Stamm/Donahue) to nominate Ms. Christian for Vice Chairman. There were no other nominations and a request by the Chair to elect Ms. Christian passed unanimously.
A motion was made and seconded (Stamm/Christian) to nominate Mr. Donahue for Secretary. There were no other nominations and a request by the Chair to elect Mr. Donahue passed unanimously.
Mr. Steve Szydlik, President of Northampton Indians Football Association (NIFA) asked to have a member of the NIFA Board make a presentation to the Board. Mr. Bryer advised that the presentation will be made as part of the User group reports.
Mr. Bryer introduced and welcomed Parks and Recreation Intern Kyle Curtis. Kyle, who is completing his Senior Internship for Temple University School of Hospitality and Sports Management, will be working with the Parks and Recreation Department through April 2018.
Approval of Fee Schedule – A motion was made and seconded (Wade/Donahue) to approve the 2018 Fee Schedule as discussed at the December 2017 meeting. The motion passed 5 – 0. Ms. Christian abstained.
Civic Center Improvement Project, Phase 2 – Ball field Lighting – The bid for the restroom project requested from the Keystone Purchasing Network was received and was extremely high at $597,000. The cost was out of line with the Administration’s expectations and apparently was not reviewed by the Network, as required. The Request for Bid was then resubmitted to another approved company in the KPN program. Ms. Opalka is waiting to hear back. If this bid is unacceptable, other options would be to include the project as an addendum to the bid for the Police Department project or to reduce the project specifications and rebid it completely.
Much discussion ensued regarding the restrooms and the priority of the project. Ms. Christian emphatically stated that restrooms at Civic Center 2 are critically needed. Ms. Silver confirmed that the money received from the sale of the farm house was put aside for this project. However, more money may have to be added, since bid responses are coming in higher than expected. Mr. Bryer said that once we get a breakdown of line items, we will know better how to proceed. Mr. Wade stated that he feels the restrooms should be done before the lighting project and he reminded everyone that the Park and Rec Board had always prioritized the restrooms ever since the Budget Reviews and even before that time. Ms. Silver said this project was discussed at the Board of Supervisors Budget meeting and that the restrooms are a top priority.
Field Requests - Mr. Bryer said Field Requests form the user groups have been received. Allocations for the first half of the year will be approved at the March meeting. If there are any conflicts they will need to be addressed.
Report of Committees
User Group Committee
Mr. Bryer said a new committee, the User Group Committee will be formed and consist of the following board members: Mr. Wade, Chairman; Ms. Christian, and Mr. Stamm. This committee will get together with the user groups to discuss their programs and needs.
Field and Facilities Committee
Mr. Bryer appointed Mr. Hembree, Chairman, Mr. Donahue, and Ms. Anderson to the Field and Facilities Committee. This committee will deal with anything to do with field allocations and projects requested by the user groups.
Field User Reports
Northampton Indians Football
Mr. Steve Szydlik, President, reported that this organization is trying to get use of the Council Rock North Field for a Spring Football League and, if needed, the multi-purpose field at the Municipal Park behind Welch. Mr. Spiewak of Council Rock United Soccer remarked that CRUSA has been using the multi-purpose field in the spring for the past few years.
Mr. Rick Houser, representing NIFA, made a presentation to the Board. NIFA requested full use of the football field at Civic Center I on a year round basis. NIFA was established in 1978 and its football and cheerleading programs have been limited due to lack of space. NIFA has already begun to grow its program offerings with the recent addition of Flag Football (for which there are already 68 registrants) and feels that having the use of the field at Civic Center I on a 12 month a year basis is essential to the continued growth of the programs that it offers to its members. Mr. Houser supported NIFA’s request by presenting quantitative data on the composition of its membership and the costs borne by NIFA in recent years. He reiterated that while NIFA feels that its request is in keeping with an equitable allocation of fields, it is very willing to work with all parties involved.
Mr. Bryer thanked Mr. Houser for his presentation.
Northampton Girls Softball
Mr. Chris Mallon, President reported his group is in the midst of registration, which will take place through the first week of March. The season starts on April 7th. Mr. Mallon also stated that the organization has found that its construction costs for the dugout project are coming in much higher than what had been estimated.
Council Rock United Soccer
Mr. Lew Spiewak, Executive Director, said they are halfway through registration and see an 8-10% increase over last year. CRUSA now has to have three different size fields to accommodate the age groups.
Council Rock Holland Little League
Mr. Pete Spera, President, reported that they are halfway through registration. In addition, once the weather breaks they will proceed with the dugout project. Mr. Spera said due to ADA regulations CRLL Holland will have to install a handicapped walkway to the dugouts. This is very costly. Mr. Wade commented that perhaps the Township Inspectors are applying the rules incorrectly. Ms. Silver took the action to speak with Mr. Solomon Director of Zoning, and advise the Board of the outcome of her discussion.
There were no representatives present from Council Rock Northampton Baseball and Council Rock Northampton Basketball.
Report of Parks and Recreation Director
Ms. Opalka reported the following:
- Kyle Curtis, PR Intern, is handling a broad spectrum of activities, everything from selling ski lift tickets to program planning, registrations and special event planning.
- Lift tickets sales seem a little slower than past years.
- The Department is gearing up for summer and is in the process of hiring staff to work at the pool and camps as well as seasonal maintenance staff.
- Camp trips and special events for the Swim Club are being scheduled.
- A Summer Camp Open House will be held on March 4th at the Recreation Center.
- New this year: Parks and Recreation is planning a Township-wide Garage Sale.
- Requests for tournaments and picnic pavilion rentals are already coming in.
- The 2018 DCNR grant round has been announced. If needed, an application for the Playground Improvement Project will be submitted again along with an application for the Trail extension into the Municipal Park from the 2 Acre New Road Parcel.
Report of Supervisor Liaison
Ms. Silver acknowledged that the latest Parks and Recreation Brochure has been released. Ms. Silver also stated she will take information from tonight’s meeting back to the Board of Supervisors.
There were no Citizens Concerns.
Mr. Wade asked that the User Groups meet with him tonight after the meeting to set up future committee meetings.
Mr. Donahue announced that there will be a Vietnam Veterans Recognition Ceremony held at Washington Crossing Park on April 19th. Registration to attend is required.
Ms. Silver said she has been attending meetings of the Visit Bucks County organization and may be able to get some marketing help for Parks and Recreation.
Mr. Bryer told the audience that the Parks and Recreation Board appreciates feedback from attendees of the meetings and the Board wants them to know that they hear what is said.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.
Jim Donahue, Secretary
Next Meeting – Thursday, March 1, 2018.