Park Board Meeting Minutes - 5/10/11

New Castle Parks Board
Meeting Minutes
May 10, 2011


Members Present:  Brad Crowe, Jeana Davis, Jerry Hyden, Christian Miller
Members Absent:  None

Others Present:   Jim Small, Don Tichenor, Dan Denney, Jean Ann Hill, Shalei Rogers, Melvin Watson, 2 Representatives from the Animal Shelter

No press was present.

The meeting, held in the City Council Chambers, was called to order at 4:37 PM by President Brad Crowe.  The meeting minutes dated March 8, 2011 were unanimously approved as submitted.

Old Business:

Shalei Rogers provided a report of operating expenses and review of fees of other cities as requested at the previously held meeting.  Shalei answered various questions the Park Board members had.

The capacity of the pool is 500, and Shalei believes the ratio is one lifeguard for every 75 persons at the pool. 

Shalei recommended a fee increase from $3 for adults to $4, and from $2 for children to $3 for children.  The Board took her recommendation under advisement. 

Motion #1:  Christian Miller made a motion that the City of New Castle eliminate the program allowing free entrance into the pool.   Jeana seconded the motion.  Discussion by Jerry Hyden was that he did not agree with this motion for children.  When he was a child the pool was free.  Motion failed, with 2 aye votes and 1 nay vote, and 1 abstention.

Jean Ann Hill wanted better direction on how to determine who qualifies for the program.  Jeana Davis said the City should not be put in a position to determine who qualifies and who does not without proper documentation, otherwise anyone could come to the Mayor's office and claim hardship and receive a free membership with no questions asked.

Brad Crowe stated just because the fund was at the Henry County Community Foundation does not mean that fund has money available.  Jeana Davis reported the fund was down to about $250 when last checked.

Motion #2:  Jeana Davis made a motion that the City of New Castle be reimbursed for 100% of the costs associated with the Foundation program, and not the reduced rate.  Christian Miller seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.  (This means $100 reimbursement for family membership, and $65 for single membership.  The Park Board will need to check with the Foundation to verify this falls within the guidelines of how the fund was established.)

Motion #3:  Jeana Davis made a motion to increase adult entry fees from $3 to $4, and not to raise the daily entrance fee for the children.  Motion passed unanimously. 

Brad Crowe encouraged Shalei Rogers to look at payroll and staffing as well as operating costs.  Shalei will report her findings at the next meeting.

Motion #4:  Jeana Davis made a motion that the reduced rate for memberships be at a 50% reduction.  That would currently make the family membership reduced rate $50, and the single membership $32.50.  Christian Miller seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

The Mayor asked that the Park Board take a serious look at mulching trails in Baker Woods.

Motion #5:  Brad Crowe made a motion to support the Mayor's Baker Woods Project.  Jeana Davis seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.  Christian Miller remarked that she walks in that woods at least two times a week and thinks this would be a wonderful project.

Brad Crowe excused himself from the meeting to attend the New Castle/Henry County Board of Aviation Commission Meeting.  It was unanimously agreed that Jerry Hyden would be the acting Vice President from this point forward.

New Business:

Jerry Hyden asked Don Tichenor and Dan Denny about the trash pick-up plans for the parks.  Don and Dan explained the dumpsters were being secured with locks at some locations.

Don and Dan explained that the Parks Department is using Work Release instead of GEO, per the agreement in the 2011 Strategic Plan.  This works better for the Parks Department. 

Mayor Small explained we hope to hire some part-time employees this summer to help with mowing and general clean-up.

Jerry Hyden asked about when the swings would be repaired.  Dan Denney explained they were repaired, waiting for dry weather to hang them.

Jeana Davis brought before the Park Board a few items that were presented at the most recent Board of Works Meeting.  The first item was the July 2 "Back in the Park" Annual Car Show.  The next item was use of the Shelter at Baker Park on May 21st for a rummage sale that benefits Relay for Life.  The Park Board unanimously agreed to allow both events to proceed as scheduled.

Linda Bir-Conn expressed concern with the water fee being added to the Bark Park.  Melvin Watson, Dan Denny, Don Ticheonor, and Jeana Davis explained the reasoning for this.  All leagues will be responsible for paying water utilities exclusive to their organization.  Jeana explained if the water is free and available to anyone in the public, the water would not be charged to an organization because the general fund would pay that expense.  Linda Bir-Conn gained clarification that it would be the Bark Park's responsibility to repair the water fountain inside the Bark Park.

Don Tichenor said the skate boarders are starting to use the table and bike racks again near the Aquatic Center.  Jerry Hyden suggested anchoring the bike racks.

Christian Miller expressed concern with the Park Board meeting time.  The Board unanimously agreed to begin meeting at 5 PM instead of 4:30 PM so that Christian would not have to resign from the Park Board. 

There was no additional public comment. 

The meeting adjourned at 5:55 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeana L. Davis, Board Secretary