Parks and Recreation Minutes – September 15, 2015


Parks and Recreation Committee Minutes for 09/15/2015   -approved 10-20-2015

In attendance: Mike Crawford, Steve Dell, Brad Gerlach, Jim Gurr, Jan Loveland, Ken Masck, Dave Peterson, & Ruth Smith.

    1. Community Input:
      See attached sheet.


  • Minutes from 08/18/2015 meeting:  reviewed and approved as presented. They will be published online.

  • Information from monthly Helena Twp. Mtg.: Sheriff Bean reported that one ticket has been issued for a boat left too long at Safe Harbor. He has issued “soft warnings” to others in an educational effort. Due to downed trees Coy Mt. is posted “keep out”. This was done under advisement of Mike Merriweather, Antrim Co. forester.  I informed the board that we would be looking into what bids had been received concerning the tennis court renewal and would hopefully take action to move the project forward. 5. Recreational Passport Grant from DNR and bid received:     9. HT assessing park fees in parks where DNR grants were used:  This item will be moved to the October agenda for discussion.10. Changing Meeting day:  Mike said that this is no longer a problem and the meeting day / time will remain the 3rd  Tue. 3-5pm. 11. Revision of our Five Year Plan:  This will be moved to the October Meeting.  INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENTS TO BE COMPLETED Brad:  Continue work on getting quotes on prices for signage at road endings and parks. When ready send quotes to Ruth to be presented to the HT Board for approval of funding. Parks and Recreation Committee Minutes for 09/15/2015 continued      approved 10-20-2015Report on assignments/research/activities since last meeting continued (Brad, Dave, Jan, Jim, Ken, Mike, Ruth, Steve). Jan:
    Will contact Mike Crawford and work with him to evaluate the safety of the ‘Southern’ steps at Depot Park.

    No current assignmentKen:  Get abstracts for Coy Mtn. and Ball Park properties, which are ready for him.Ruth: Send approved Aug. meeting minutes to Joyce Looman to be published online. Work with Ruth and Joyce Looman to update the Pk & Rec online information 1. Work on prioritizing projects in our parks / look at funding needed. (OCT.)3. Discuss the need for a rules and a process including a Memorandum of Understanding, for the Ball Park and other parks similar to the one used for Depot Park.  The committee will consider working on a process and guidelines for requests for events to take place in our parks. This will be placed on the future agenda Items (OCT.).5. Updating of P & R website (Sept. yearly)


  1. 4. Bathroom doors in community center and ADA issues.
    This item is being moved to the future agenda items (Nov.)
  2. 2. Parks and Rec. Budget to be done by April 2016 – look at HT Master Plan for guidelines. (Jan.)
  4. Prepare agenda for October meeting.
  5. Steve:
    Continue as point man for working with the project engineer and the DNR to resurface tennis courts and do walkway in Tennis Court Park.
  6. Work with Steve and Joyce Looman to update the Pk & Rec online information
  7. Complete Sept. meeting minutes
  9. Mike:
  10. Look into types of signage possible for Coy Mtn. – joint with Brad
  11. Jim:
  15. Dave:
  16. Contact Heidi Schaffer.  Find out how Helena Township can be included in grant funds received to help combat invasive species.
  17. Look into types of signage possible for Coy Mtn. – joint with Ken
  18. Report on assignments/research/activities since last meeting (Brad, Dave, Jan, Jim, Ken, Mike, Ruth, Steve).

  23. 8. New sign for Coy Mountain: This will be moved to the October agenda
  24. 7. Requests for memorials issue:  We still need to determine during what future meeting this will be discussed.
  25. 6. Juniper Garden Club / sculptures at Depot Park:  During the October P & R report to the HT Board we will notify the board that we have approved the Juniper Garden Clubs placement of sculptures in the Depot Park garden.
  26. Only one bid was received concerning the tennis court renewal. The bid is over the grant amount. The project engineer will be contacted to discuss how we can best move forward.
  27. 4. Signal light project by AV/DABA.  We continued review and discussion concerning the Safe Harbor light signal project request. In a five to three vote the committee approved the project request. This P & R approval information will be sent to the HT Board with a recommendation that the MOU include the need for zoning, building, and electrical permits. We will also recommend that start and end dates for completion of the project be outlined in the MOU.

  1. Handicap parking in HT (discussion) to be discussed when each Park is evaluated.

The next monthly meeting is scheduled for:
Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 – 3pm at Helena Township Offices
respectfully submitted by Ruth Smith








Notes from community Input Sept. 15, 2015 – to the best of my memory and note taking ability…. Ruth Smith
In attendance:
Harvey Bartel, Fletcher Carter, Dorothy Clore, Jack Findlay, Patty Findlay, Jonathan Harbaugh, Lucy Mc Artor, Mindy Morton, Jim Schilling, & Bob Widmer.

Jack Findlay and Bob Widmer were asked to present the project.
Jack Findlay began by explaining the project. The purpose is to improve safety. They wish to put in a light that has a replica lighthouse design as its base. The purpose is to make Safe Harbor more identifiable. There will be the structure to see by day and a light to help at night. The idea of a structure to help boaters identify the entrance to the harbor is in the Five Yr. Plan. The light would replace the previous light and would be on from dusk until dawn. The replicas they are looking at now are from 9 ½ to 12 foot in height. There would be a shield on the light that would shield 180 degrees from shoreline. It will be of lesser wattage than the previous light.

Bob Widmer, project executive, also explained there are only a few providers that they feel building a good light house replica. Bob feels that the company they would be working with builds very durable products. There is a stucco cover on the outside that is colored all the way through. The structure would replicate an existing light house. There would be a 4 or 5 watt LED light so it should cost less and last longer. Bob would like to see the structure at least 13 foot tall.

Open comment:
Harvey Bartel:
He feels the light house structure for the light will beautify the area. The dock area looks unfinished and this would improve the look. People have mentioned to him having trouble finding the harbor entrance.
Fletcher Carter:
Many people have mentioned to him that they had wanted to come in by boat but could not locate the harbor entrance.
Dorothy Clore:
Dorothy questioned whether the police marine patrol had been contacted for an opinion on this project. The answer is no.
Patty Findlay:
Is in support of the project.
Jonathan Harbaugh:
Several of his friends have discussed this project and all agree that it is not a good idea for Alden. They feel the project is too Disney like and too much tinsel for Alden.  It is not needed and not in keeping with the quaint historic nature of Alden. If a light is needed we should fix the light currently there. There is also the concern that the corner near the Safe Harbor is a dangerous spot to cross and we should not encourage more people to be in this area. A further concern is that a structure like the light house replica would give drunks a destination spot where they would be encouraged to hang out.
Lucy Mc Artor:
There are already two large orange glows shining on her property from the Safe Harbor area. She finds them offensive and does not want another light to add to this. If an emergency light is needed she would like it to be a simple plain light. There is also the concern that there is no way to clean boats coming in to Safe Harbor. Anything that encourages more boats means more potential problems (such as invasive species?) brought in to the harbor.
Mindy Morton:
Mindy gave the committee a very comprehensive write up that explained the effects of light pollution on humans and animals. She also agreed that Alden would not be improved by the light house structure and even more light.
Jim Schilling:
Jim feels that the light is needed for safety. He says many people have told him they have a hard time finding the entrance to Safe Harbor.

Previous Public Input:
Karen Mitchell
Karen attended the August P & R meeting and stated she was concerned with light pollution
Robyn Miller:
Robyn attended the August P & R meeting and stated she was concerned with light pollution