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Upper Moreland Township
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Willow Grove, PA19090-3215

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Parks and Recreation
Monday, January 30 2012

UPPERMORELANDTOWNSHIP

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

PARKS & RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING 

January 30, 2012

CALL TO ORDER:  The stated meeting of the Parks & Recreation Committee of the Board of Commissioners of Upper Moreland Township was called to order by Commissioner Kevin Spearing at 8:03 p.m.

ROLL CALL:  Commissioner Kevin Spearing, Chairman, took roll call.  Present:  Commissioners R. Samuel Valenza and Kip McFatridge. 

Others Present:  David Dodies, Township Manager; Catherine Harper, Township Solicitor; and Patrick T. Stasio, Director of Parks & Recreation Department. 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Spearing accepted the minutes of the November 28, 2011 meeting into the record.  The meeting of December 19, 2011 was cancelled. 

 REPORTS: 

Parks & Recreation Monthly Report:

 

Pat Stasio, Director of Parks & Recreation, commented that the monthly report for both November and December were included in the meeting books and he summarized the highlights of those months.

Commissioner Spearing asked if the mild weather this winter has caused any problems.  Mr. Stasio replied that it has affected dog park in that the rain and warm weather has caused their vehicles to get stuck and it has also slowed the installation of the walking trail at Boileau.

 Commissioner Spearing asked if there were any further comments.  There were none.

Report from the Library Board:

Commissioner Spearing announced that the Library was holding their First Friday fundraiser sponsored by the Friends of the Library and welcomed everyone to attend this very enjoyable family event.

Commissioner Valenza interjected that there are openings on the Library Board of Trustees and asked if anyone were interested in serving to contact David Dodies for direction on how to join.

Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting                                            January 30, 2012

Commissioner Spearing reported that we will have an updated Report from the Library at the next meeting.

Friends of Boileau – Quarterly Report

Nick Scull, President of the Friends of Boileau, read his submitted report summarizing various repairs that were in the process of being made as well as plans for this coming year’s Boileau Festival scheduled for Saturday, May 5. 

Commissioner Spearing asked the status of the fence.  Mr. Scull replied that the fence had no service except for a security purpose and he would like to see it removed using a portion to enclose the ramp area and the rest to possibly encompass the community garden. 

Mr. Scull also noted that they are always looking for new members especially those with a craft for all of the projects they undertake.  

Ms. Harper reminded the Committee that a Resolution will need to be drafted for the upcoming Festival Day in May.  Mr. Scull agreed to send his request to Mr. Dodies.

Mr. Stasio commented that the fence was installed on the premises on the advice of the Township’s insurance carrier, Delaware Valley Insurance Trust, for security purposes.  It appears that the barn is much more secure than it was previously, therefore, he suggests having someone from DVIT visit the area before removal.  Mr. Stasio said he would make those arrangements. 

 OLD BUSINESS 

Dog Park Progress

Pat Stasio commented that he is pleased to report that substantial progress has been made and the fencing was completed last week; signage and benches have been ordered and plantings and landscaping improvements will be started when the weather breaks.  He remarked that he fully expects the park to be up and running after the grass has grown in.  At that time, he indicated that he would like to schedule a formal opening around Memorial Day.  He would also like to give the D.O.G. Paw Prints Group sufficient notice to partake in the opening as they did a lot of the leg work for this project.

Commissioner Spearing asked if there were any questions.

Commissioner McFatridge remarked that the galvanized fence was unattractively visible.  Commissioner Spearing agreed and was hoping some of the foliage would provide a natural screen.  Mr. Stasio agreed that it will be much less visible in spring, summer and fall and there are plans for continued improvements. 

Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting                                            January 30, 2012

Susan Worth-LaManna, 1810 Cathedral Road, Huntingdon Valley, commented that she visited the dog park last Sunday and noticed that the right-hand side of the park was very wet and asked if the top soil would improve that area or would drainage work be necessary.  Mr. Stasio assured Ms. Worth-LaManna that the topsoil and grass should take care of that problem and possibly a French drain, if needed.  There was some discussion as to whether limestone would be used.  

Gift Guide

Pat Stasio commented that the Parks & Recreation Department has had a gift guide in place since 1982-1983.  Mr. Stasio said he evaluated the policy and after researching some other Township’s practices came up with a new policy for the Parks & Recreation Advisory Council’s review.  He summarized the options outlined in the proposed gift guide.

Commissioner McFatridge asked if we are in need of park benches.  Mr. Stasio replied that typically six new park benches are bought each year.    He added that occasionally he is asked to put a bench in an area that does not have a bench.  He emphasized that he receives many bench and shade tree requests every year and summarized examples and prices of what a donation could buy.  He restated what he mentioned in his summary that the gift of $750 for a park bench does not include the bench itself, but is the maintenance cost over a 25-year period.  The cost of the bench is over and above the $750.

Commissioner Spearing commented that he understands this has been a gradual process to put together and he praised everyone who worked on it, as it is easy to read and well formatted. 

The Committee agreed to move forward for full Board action.

NEW BUSINESS:

Young Lungs Request

Pat Stasio explained that Southeast Pennsylvania Tobacco Control Project emailed him a request to enroll Upper Moreland to be part of their honor roll of communities that support young lungs at play.  There is no cost, just an ordinance in place specifying that you do not permit smoking in parks, which we already have.  If we join, we receive free material including signage, literature and recognition that we are on their honor roll and he does not see any downside to this.

Commissioner Spearing asked if there were any comments.  There were none.

The Committee agreed to move this item forward for full Board action.

Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting                                            January 30, 2012

Mr. Stasio said he will check whether the ordinance we have in place can be used for enrollment purposes.

PECO Trail Agreement 

Mr. Stasio commented that last year the Committee asked him to look into the possibility of entering into a lease agreement with PECO for the power line trail from Blair Mill Road across Maryland Road and then back out to Maryland Road, which is the part of Maryland Road that goes to Rt. 611.  The paperwork was submitted to PECO and it has taken approximately one-year for PECO to respond.  They are agreeable to enter into a lease with Upper Moreland Township at $250 per year, however, in order to complete the paperwork they will require a construction document from an engineer defining plans for the property.  He mentioned that originally when the proposal was made it was for a conceptual plan of installing a walking trail.  He spoke with our Township Engineers and the cost will be approximately $3,500 for the construction documents and accompanying paperwork.

Commissioner Spearing said that there were some challenging parts of this trail and he believes that someone else may have a lease on a part of that property.  Mr. Stasio said he was not notified of that information and will confirm whether there is another party that leases a portion of that property.

Commissioner Valenza mentioned that there are some issues concerning the area between Blair Mill and Maryland Avenue that should be avoided.

Mr. Stasio said we could also propose from Maryland to Maryland, which may be neater and cleaner, however, he is not sure if they would object to that section alone. 

Commissioner Spearing said he would like to further discuss the permission of walking your dog along the trail as Horsham does.

Commissioner McFatridge asked whether we could secure the space without the construction documentation until we are able to obtain the $3,500 which has not been allotted to this year’s budget.

Ms. Harper suggested that you could propose an unconstructed trail.  She further stated that it is a little bit complicated as she has worked on a similar matter and they required detailed plans because they are always worried about height and how close you will be to the power lines.

Commissioner Spearing asked if it were a budgetary constraint.  Mr. Stasio said a certain amount of money is set aside for contracted services which did not include this $3,500 because we did not get approval from PECO until December and the budget was already

Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting                                            January 30, 2012

in, however, he can make it work but there is no money for construction.  Commissioner Spearing said he was not looking for the construction, only the plans for construction.   

Jonathan de Jonge commented that possibly adjoining property owners should be asked if they may want to contribute towards making that a usable area for parks.

Mr. Dodies recommended that before further action is taken that Mr. Stasio should have our Solicitor and Engineer review the lease and plans to determine exactly what PECO is looking for.   

There was further discussion as to whether or not to allow dogs or community gardens on the trail.  Mr. Stasio said he would get the documentation to Ms. Harper and Mr. Garton so that next month the discussion could be continued with their input.

Calvary Christian Academy Request

Mr. Stasio explained that Calvary Christian Academy has requested the use of Masons Mill Park for their Senior Sports Day scheduled for Friday night, May 4, 2012.  They would like to use the Mason Mills softball fields for a Junior Varsity and Varsity game and then the Mason Mills baseball field for a Junior Varsity and Varsity game.  Mr. Stasio remarked that Calvary Christian is a non-resident group and the Township policy presently specifies that non-resident groups are not allowed to obtain permits.  Moreover, the only groups that are allowed to obtain permits are resident groups with 75% of the roster from Upper Moreland Township.  Since it was a one-time use, he brought the subject before the Parks & Recreation Advisory Council and they made a recommendation to permit this one-time use for Calvary Christian.

Commissioner McFatridge commented that he recalls a sports group with a request with 60% of the roster from our Township and they were turned-down. 

Mr. Stasio also pointed out that on Friday nights at Masons Mill Park, the Morelanders Baseball group has the permit to use the fields.  He mentioned that on the following Friday, the Upper Moreland High School scheduled their annual Senior Sports night at Masons Mill Park so that would be two Friday nights in a row that the Morelanders would not be able to use the fields.

Commissioner Valenza commented that he was not in favor of this request and Commissioner Spearing agreed that the rules are firm although he can appreciate a one-day request and he would only consider it if the Morelanders were approached and were in favor of it.

Commissioner McFatridge remarked that in honoring this request it may open up other outside requests and the ordinance in place clearly prohibits it. 

Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting                                            January 30, 2012

Commissioner Parsell asked if we could possibly give them dates that are available in accordance with our schedule.  Mr. Stasio replied that the baseball field is in use every single day and on weekends from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and the softball fields are also in use every day Monday through Thursday.  He added that they leave Friday evenings available for people who show up to the park to play kick ball or other ball.

The Committee decided against the request based on their discussion.

Boy Scout Request

Mr. Stasio remarked that the Boy Scouts are requesting a sleepover at Masons Mill Park including 2 leaders and 6 boys sleeping in tents. A similar request was made last year and it is an event that they did for a number of years in the 90’s and are bringing it back.  The event would take place prior to the Freedom Steps, a 5-K Run that is held at Masons Mill Park the next day.  The date for this event is May 5 after which they intend to assist the Freedom Steps Run on May 6.  Mr. Stasio reminded the Committee that it was approved last year without any conflict.

Commissioner Spearing asked if there were any comments.  There were none.

The Committee was in favor of allowing this request and moving it to the full Board for action.

OTHER PARKS & RECREATION ITEMS:

Aerator Donation Purchase via Donations

Mr. Stasio remarked that the youth groups got together and decided to help out the Parks & Recreation Department by purchasing equipment.  Mr. Stasio had suggested that an aerator would be of great service to continue the improvement of the lawn and athletic fields.  The cost of the aerator was approximately $9,600 and the Upper Moreland Soccer Club donated $4,000; the Upper Moreland Little League donated $2,000; the Willow Grove Bears donated $1,000 and St. David’s donated $1,000 for a total of $8,000.  The Board approved $1,600 out of the Parks & Recreation budget from 2011 in order to make the purchase.  They are in possession of the aerator and will begin to use it very soon.

Commissioner Valenza asked about the School District’s fields.  Mr. Stasio replied that the arrangement with the youth groups was that the aerator would be used on our fields only and if other groups wanted to use this machine with our personnel, they would have to make a request to the Board of Commissioners for approval.

Mr. Stasio added that it will save us money as we rented an aerator twice a year and this piece of equipment will allow us use at any time or wherever we need it and is he is very pleased to be working with these youth groups.

Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting                                            January 30, 2012

Commissioner Spearing acknowledged the youth groups for their generous contribution.

Commissioner Spearing asked for any Commissioner or public comments.  There were none.

VISITOR COMMENTS:  There were none.

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS: 

Commissioner Valenza announced that Upper Moreland Little League is hosting its last two registrations on Wednesday night from 6-9pm and Saturday from 9am – 12:00pm.  He also remarked that the website www.umll.org has more information.

ADJOURNMENT:   9:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Heinemann

To view minutes and agendas prior to June 16th, 2008, please visit our Minutes & Agenda Archive.
To view video recordings of Commissioner's meetings, please visit our Meeting Videos page.

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