Antrim Parks & Recreation Commission
February 20, 2014
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm.
Parks & Rec Commissioners: Joan Gorga, Peter Lamb, Sam Harding, and Isaac Lombard
The minutes from the January 9, 2014 meeting were approved with suggested changes.
ConVal Fee Schedule. Peter attended the School Board Budget & Property meeting on January 28, when a discussion of community use of school facilities took place. Peter asked the B & P committee to remove both the Antrim Town Gym and Shea Field from their fee schedule, and it appears that they agreed. The amended recommendations will be forwarded to the School Board Policy Committee.
ConVal/Antrim Agreement Subcommittee. After some scheduling challenges, all members of the ConVal/Antrim Agreement Subcommittee finally managed to get together for a mutually constructive meeting on December 19 at the Rec Office. Committee members were Celeste Lunetta, Isaac Lombard, Mike Genest and Joan Gorga representing Antrim, and Ann Allwarden, Rich Cahoon and David Martz representing ConVal. Tentative agreements were made concerning sharing utility costs, defining school hours and maintenance. We plan to meet again after David Martz takes some of the issues back to the School Board for discussion. Celeste will contact O’Sullivan Flooring for an estimate on replacing the failed gym floor.
Flooring. Jim O’Sullivan of O’Sullivan Flooring came to examine the current state of the gym floor. He confirmed that it has lifted up off the supports in the main traffic areas, is most likely going to continue to do so, and cannot be repaired. The damage is most likely due to moisture seeping in from the surrounding higher grade land, even after the drainage improvements. The floor was installed over the existing slab, which was neither level nor smooth. There does not appear to be any buckling due to swelling of the supports perpendicular to the floor boards. Although the floor is not completely smooth, it is not considered dangerous at this stage. Replacement would cost $75,000. Jim O’Sullivan promised to send a written report, but it has not yet been received.
The consensus of the Commission was that we really haven’t learned much of anything new from this latest evaluation, and we need to decide where we’re going with this. Even though the floor has failed, it is not dangerous at this time. Is it possible to estimate how much longer it might last? We will have to negotiate with ConVal over the cost of replacement, as well as repair of drainage issues, when replacement becomes essential.
GBS use. Joan and Celeste met with Scott Baldwin and Jim Elder on January 21 to discuss that fact that few students in Scott Baldwin’s gym classes and basketball teams were carrying their gym shoes across the parking lot from GBS, and thus were tracking large amounts of grit and salt onto the gym floor. Jim and Scott explained that it is hard to get middle school students to plan ahead, but Scott agreed to make a renewed effort, including carrying his own gym shoes across the parking lot or leaving shoes at the gym. Celeste reports that compliance has gone from about 25% to about 70% since then.
Home and Harvest Days. As a follow-up to last month’s brief discussion of sponsoring an event during Home and Harvest Days, if the letup in skateboarders continues, we tossed around a few thoughts. First of all, any plans should be made in collaboration with the Home and Harvest Festival Committee. Official Soap Box kits cost in the range of $500 each, which might be prohibitive for many. Would something else work, say mountain bikes? To really consider sponsoring a major activity, we would need someone who was passionate enough to take on organizing it.
Budget Hearing 2/6. Article 6 to go before Town Meeting includes $25,000 for “Recreational Fields.” When questions arose at the Budget Hearing, Joan explained that these funds could be used for field improvements such as lights, and that our current plan is to continue to accumulate the funds to be able to pay outright for lights at Shea Field, rather than having to finance any part of the installation. This $25,000 will bring the total to $70,000. Article 14 asks to use “$13,000 from the general fund balance for the purpose of improvements to Memorial Park, such as drainage, fencing, and crack repair of the tennis court.” Since we did not see the wording of the article until a few hours before the Budget Hearing, we explained that the intention was to use some of the funds to
engineer long-term park plans so drainage work and initial repairs could be performed in a manner consistent with long-term plans.
Nets. The nets still have not been ordered.
New Ordinances and Park Rules. Joan presented the proposed new ordinances to the Selectboard on February 18. The “Tobacco-free” ordinance was approved as written:
The Parks and Recreation Commission recommends that the Selectboard adopt an ordinance banning the use of all tobacco products from Antrim’s parks, including Memorial Park and the Public Beach and Point. The parks will be declared “Tobacco Free” areas.
The “No Trespass” ordinance was approved with a slight modification, shown in bold:
The Parks and Recreation Commission further recommends that the Selectboard approve an ordinance allowing the police to temporarily limit park access to individuals who are not using the park for its intended purposes. An individual seen violating park rules or using the park for unintended purposes will be issued a citation by the police including a temporary order of no trespass, effective for up to 60 days from the date of issue. Within 24 hours, the police will notify the Recreation Director and the Town Administrator of the issue of the no trespass order. The individual will have the opportunity to appeal the no trespass order at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission. The appeal process will include a session closed to the public, in which the individual, the
Parks and Recreation Commission, the Police Department, and the town administration/government are allowed to have representation. The minutes of these proceedings will be sealed at the Antrim Town Hall. The Parks and Recreation Commission can recommend extension or early release of the order. Any such recommendations will be passed to the Select Board for final approval.
After some discussion, it was decided that the “No lights after 9 PM” ordinance was redundant, given that there is already an ordinance stating that all parks are closed at 9 PM.
The first two proposed ordinances were approved with 2 ½ votes out of three. There was some unease with the term “using the park for unintended purposes.” Joan and Scott Lester explained the intention, and it was agreed that if issues arise regarding the interpretation, the ordinance can easily be changed.
Signs can now be posted with the new park rules.
Tennis Court. Joan has begun writing a grant proposal for rebuilding the tennis court. The goal is to meet a September 1 deadline for a Letter of Intent, and an October 15 deadline for the full proposal. In the meantime, we will make a few repairs to try to make the court safer, and post it “Play at Your Own Risk.”
The next regularly scheduled Parks & Recreation Commission Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 20th at 7:00 pm at the Rec Office.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:18 pm.
-Joan Gorga, Chair and Secretary