Parks and Recreation Committee Minutes – July 7, 2016

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Parks and Recreation Committee Minutes for 07/11/2016  Approved 8/8/16 In attendance: Mike Crawford, Steve Dell, , Jim Gurr, Jan Loveland, Ken Masck, Dave Peterson, & Ruth Smith. Absent: Brad Gerlach

1. Community Input: Laura Westerman updated the Committee about walkers cutting down the bank to gain access at the southeast end of Ball Diamond Park. She had felt a handrail might improve safety as people were going down an unsafe slope. Laura said that she noticed that the behavior of cutting down the slope cut way back after the grass got taller.

Laura told us that with the swim buoys not being present there were pontoons anchoring in the usual swim area. One pontoon was anchoring on shore and causing erosion to the shoreline.

  1. Minutes from the 06/06/2016 meeting were reviewed and approved as presented. They will be published online.
  2. Information from the monthly Helena Twp. Mtg. The board approved needed upkeep of the volleyball courts not to exceed $1,000., 10 yds. Of wood chips in the playground at Tennis Court Pk., and the Juniper Garden Club sculpture. I reported that having the pickle ball lines put on the basketball court is on hold & future action is dependent on solving safely issues. There was some discussion of road ending and enforcement of HT ordinances.


  1. Recreational Passport Grant from DNR – tennis court resurface + sidewalk: Four new posts have been installed at the tennis courts. Thanks to Mike and Steve for their work on this. Bill Baumgartner has volunteered to pay this expense. Ken, Mike & Steve also deserve a thank you for putting the fencing back up after Elmer’s removed the old posts.
  2. Juniper Garden Club request. HT Board has approved the sculpture project.
  3. The kayak launch grant application to Paddle Antrim was approved
  4. Report from Mike on Handrail safely issues at the Ball Park. Mike and Jim both looked at the site and agree there has not yet been enough foot traffic to cause a pathway. Laura mentioned that she believes this was mostly an early spring issue and as the grass became higher people stopped cutting down the bank.

8a. Requests for memorials. Steve and Ruth brought a rough draft of a proposed memorial process. Jan offered with the help of a friend who worked with this type of project before to take the proposal and rework it or come up with another process. She will report back at the August meeting.


8b. Mike would like to see us move rocks from various township sites where they are not being used and place them at Safe Harbor. This should improve the dock and make it safer. Mike is to get an estimate on the cost of this project so that we can further discuss this proposal.

  1. There is very poor drainage for the tennis courts. Ken agreed to look into what type of improved drainage system we might be able to install.
  2. Copies of surveys for HT Parks. Dave has been in touch with the surveyor and the surveyor is going to send copies of all completed surveys to Dave. These will be kept on file in the HT Offices. Dave will also check with the surveyor about having our surveys registered with the Antrim Co. Register of Deeds. The survey would then be on record along with the deed.
  3. Revision of our five-year-plan. Moved to the Aug. agenda. We will be reviewing Depot Park. Ruth has been in contact with Tamara Jorkasky, our current DNR advisor. Tamara stated that the process for the new five year plan will be the same process used previously. There is an application and an explanation of what is needed online. There might be some changes in the process as of January 2017 so we will want to check this out.

We need to check our current Five year plan, look at completed improvements in each park, discuss an action plan for improvements still needed, and propose what needs to be included in the new Five year plan.

For the August meeting committee members are being asked to:

  • Meet at Depot Park at 7 pm on August 8th.
  • Prior to the meeting review information in our current Five yr. plan that has to do with Depot Park.
  • Review the list of the improvements Mike has previously suggested.Pk & Rec Committee




  • 12. Report on our 5-year-plan progress. Most committee members want to review the parks as a unit and not individually. We will begin our group review at Depot Park Aug 8th.
  • Tom Clement, the invasive species coordinator for the Antrim Conservation District, will present a program on invasive species on Sun., July 17th at 2pm at the Community Center.
  • A discussion of biking and hiking in the community. The 2011 survey indicated that residents are interested in having hiking and biking trails with the one purpose being easier foot & bike movement between parks. There was a general discussion of biking in Antrim Co. and specific challenges in Helena Township. Elder Road and possible use for biking was discussed. Biking in HT is on the future agenda items list to be further discussed in September.
  • The poor condition of the ball field was mentioned but no plan of action was discussed.
  • There were two items mentioned concerning the Veteran’s Memorial Jan Loveland is going to discuss both with Jack Findley of Alden Volunteers. 1. There does not appear to be a light on the flag at night 2.We are wondering what further landscaping is planned at the Memorial.
  • The committee approved putting signs at Coy Mt.. Wording on the signs to be: “ BE AWARE You are now entering a natural area with potential hazards: falling limbs and trees! Walk the trail at your own risk “.
  • The next monthly meeting is scheduled for:                             Monday, August 8th, 2016 – 7pm at Depot Park respectfully submitted by Ruth Smith 07-22 -2016