Parks and Recreation Minutes – August 20, 2013

Minutes Parks and Recreation Committee Meeting – Alden Community Center
Meeting date: August 20, 2013                                                                  approved 9/17/2013

In attendance: Steve Dell, Jan Loveland, Carolyn Nowfel, Dave Peterson & Ruth Smith.
Absent: Mike Crawford & Casey McDowell

Community Input:
No community input.

Minutes from 07/16/2013 -approved as presented & will be published on the HT website.
Information from monthly Helena Twp. Mtg
The policing ordinance that the HT Board approved concerning no overnight mooring at Alden Safe Harbor will go into effect Sept. 8th. A revision of the memorandum of understanding concerning the Veteran’s Memorial is being requested as the Township will not be participating in sharing the initial costs of the memorial.

Review of Public Input about the 5-year plan and discussion of any needed changes to the plan.
Summary of Comments Received:
The below information was written up by Steve Dell and will be included in the 5-year plan. It summarizes the decisions made during this August meeting.
Four Helena Township residents gave us written input about our 5-year-plan and 2 residents offered verbal comments at our July 16 public meeting. Many of the comments were complimentary about the work the committee had done and supported the goals and objectives outlined in the plan. Several however targeted other issues that were not addressed directly in the plan. The specific issue and the action our committee is taking to address it are listed in the following paragraphs.

Issue: Currently there is not a method available to enforce order at our township parks. Recently I called the police to respond to loud noise after closing time for the park and they said they will not enforce local ordinances that govern our parks. The township should not improve our parks in an effort to bring in more people until steps are taken to enforce ordinances and rules we have now.

–          This issue is currently being addressed by the Helena Township Board. For this reason the committee will not include it in the plan.

Issue: It is essential that swim areas [in our parks] be designated throughout the township where markers and buoys assure swimmers of a safe area and where boats are never allowed.

–          This issue is currently being addressed by the Helena Township Board. For this reason the committee will not include it in the plan.

Issue: I am a regular user of Coy Mountain and it is truly a wonderful resource for our community. I…have noticed this summer the undergrowth beneath the large trees along Valley Street where the half-circle drive provides ingress and egress by car to the trailhead is making it impossible to see oncoming cars from the West when pulling out at the East end of the lot.

–          This issue is currently being addressed by the Helena Township Board. For this reason the committee will not include it in the plan.

Issue: I reviewed the inventory information related to the Alden Baseball Park [Helena Township Ball Park] in the plan. In approximately 2001 there was some discussion about changing the land use at this park. I recall from the discussions deed restrictions are in place from the original land donations by the Aemisegger and Chapelle families. I think further research is required on the part of the committee to confirm what deed restrictions exist to include the information in the inventory.

–          The committee has obtained copies of all deeds related to the parks in Helena Township. It will review these deeds at a future committee meeting in order to determine what restrictions (if any) exist.

Issue: The Ball Park [Helena Township Ball Park] …is an area of concern. The ball park is great for baseball, picnics, and swimming. We enjoy hearing and watching the adults and children in the water and the occasional ballgame. However, it has recently become a second “Sand Bar”. Someone usually anchors their boat there most of the summer. Sometimes there is also another one anchored. We don’t know what the rules are, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea.

  • This issue is currently being addressed by the Helena Township Board. For this reason the committee will not include it in the plan.

Issue: The survey conducted in 2011 indicated that Helena Township residents were most interested in walking/jogging paths (57%) and bike paths and trails (55%). Except for the identification of additional property in the Coy Mt. Trail area and a scenic overlook area, this draft does not appear to address the major wishes identified by the respondents in the township.

  • The committee believes that these issues are already addressed in the plan. The acquisition of additional property contiguous to Coy Mountain Preserve and view shed property will lead to additional walking/jogging paths and perhaps bike paths if the terrain is not too hilly. In addition, accessible pathways within both Depot Park and Helena Township Ball Park will increase the number of walking paths available for residents.

Issue: I am guarded about more paving that can lead to increase storm water runoff in the various parks especially at Valleau Landing [Archie Valleau Landing] and the Ballpark [Helena Township Ball Park]. A paved path to the water’s edge is a direct path for storm water and all it carries with it to the lake. In San Diego on the beaches large plastic like squares with large holes are pieced together to allow wheelchair access across the soft sand to the hardback sand near the water’s edge. I also would prefer not to see paving at the Coy Mt. Trailhead [Coy Mountain Preserve]. Please research alternative surfaces from paving that are more pervious to rainwater especially on slopes and near the lake. Adding sand and raking the beach are two items I fear may alter the natural environment…

–          The committee believes this an excellent point regarding the unintended side effects of building pathways at any of our parks. As stated under action/program steps whenever we discuss constructing pathways, we would consult with disability specialists and environment experts before beginning any of these projects.

Issue: If the Township intends to set a goal and /or prioritize land acquisition that reflects the values represented by the survey responses, you [Parks and Recreation Committee] might want to consider adding some language in the recreation plan that states that goal.

–          The committee agrees with this suggestion and will revise the plan under the section titled RESOURCE INVENTORY to reflect this.

Review name of our plan. Make changes if required so Plan name and name in resolution to the board match.
The name decided upon for the Five Year Plan was Helena Township Recreation & Natural Resource Plan. This will be on the plan and the resolution to be approved by the Helena Township Board.

Review plan for completeness:

The plan was reviewed & all present voted to approve the plan as amended at this meeting. The final copy is to be presented to the Helena Township Board for a decision on Thursday, Sept. 12th.

Review memo regarding acquiring jurisdiction over Valley St. access which was sent to board.
Dave said that the memo was received but he is not aware if there was any action taken concerning the memo.

  1. Potential new committee member Tim Fox. Tim expressed an interest in serving on the Pks and Rec. Comm.. Tim responded to an email sent by Ruth stating he was not able to meet during the day most of the year. He did not respond to the follow up email saying that the committee could discuss a possible meeting time that was compatible to everyone if he joined.
  2. List Tina Fields as being a member of the HT Parks and Recreation Committee in recognition of her contributions. The Committees appreciation for Tina’s help with typing and formatting the 5-year plan was unanimous. It was decided that we would be sure to say a public thank you on the HT Website. (Ruth)
    A thank you note will also me sent. (Ruth)
  3. Casey McDowell is still listed as committee member. The HT website still shows Casey as the Committee chair. Action required? It was decided that after the Five Year Plan is (hopefully) approved a copy will be sent to Casey with a thank you email. The email would also state that the Committees plan is to recommend to the HT Board that Casey be removed from the Committee as he is no longer available for meetings. (Ruth)
  4. Schedule meeting with Rick Teague and other board members to review 5-year-plan. Steve and Carolyn worked out a timeline on the 5-year plan being completed so that Steve could arrange a meeting time with Rick T. to go over the mandatory check sheet that goes in with the 5 year plan. (Carolyn & Steve)
  5. Meeting dates not listed on web site. Also, skip meeting in December? The Committee agreed that we will not meet in December. The meeting dates are no longer listed on the HT website. We would like these to be added back on to the website and for the Committee member listing to be kept up to date. (Ruth)
  6. Prioritize list of “future agenda items” for consideration by the committee. Once again we did not get to this.
  7. Other agenda items – none.
    Action Items needed:

Continue typing new 5-year-plan. Carolyn will work to complete the plan including the appendix.
Contact Christie Bayus our DNR Plan advisor to discuss the Plan name the Committee selected.
Mike: Volunteered to obtain some abstracts we might find useful.
1.The approved July minutes are to be sent to Joyce Looman for publishing online. The August minutes need to be prepared for review by the Committee and will be sent to Rick after feedback from committee members.

Action Items needed continued:

2. Send thank you to Tina Fields for her help with the 5-year plan. 3. Send 5-year plan to Casey when it has (hopefully) been approved. Thank Casey and let him know we are recommending to the HT Board that he now be removed from the Committee. 4. Work with Joyce Looman to update the HT website as mentioned under New Business.
Will summarize the public input for the 5-year plan. Review the Five Yr. Plan with Rick Teague and help with the completion of the check sheet that needs to go in with the Plan.

These items will continue to be carried forward until they are discussed by the Committee
1. Deed restrictions for Helena Twp. Parks are to be reviewed. (Steve)
2. Riparian rights / possible review by township attorney (Dave)
3. Handicap parking in Helena Township (Discussion).
4. Research rules and laws governing road ending lake access sites (Steve, Ruth)
5. Discuss possible memo to the Township about developing a plan concerning reservation of usage for all Township Parks
6.Discuss possible memo to the Township concerning placing signs at all Parks to clarify Township ownership                         and whom to contact if there are questions concerning or problems with the Park
7. Further discuss Alden Safe Harbor and its park status / ownership – memo to Board?
8. Work to update the Parks and Recreation pages of the Helena Township web site.
9. The Helena Township Master plan (Jan. 2010) mentions that a member of the planning commission will
appoint one of its members to the Pk. & Rec. Committee. Also check responsibilities of the Parks & Rec.                          Committee outlined in the current HT Master Plan. There is a new plan due in 2015.
10. Mike mentioned the AAU Sports / Recreation Complex – Morey Complex- and suggested that they may be    looking to locate a similar complex in the North.
11. Look into the possibility of Flo McCormick (MI Assoc. of Counties) helping with writing any Pks. And Rec.
grants. (Mike Crawford)
12. Consider Keith Charters as a resource for Pk. & Rec. projects.

                 The next regular monthly meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17th, at 3 PM

Respectfully submitted by Ruth Smith 08-31-2013