Parks and Recreation Minutes – January 20, 2015

Meeting date: January 20, 2015                                                              approved  02-17-15

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

  1. Community Input: None.
  2. Minutes from 10/21/2014 meeting -approved as presented and will be published on the HT website.
    3. Information from the November Helena Twp. Mtg.:  Ken Masck discussed the idea of buying land that is adjacent to Coy Mountain Park. This land would be used in part as a parking lot.
  3. Report on our 5-year plan progress for each park – no reports at this time. Archie Valleau landing, the Alden Safe Harbor and the Community Center do not have anyone assigned to work on a specific plan of action at this time. The decision was made to move this to the Future agenda items list with an April date when it would be on the agenda to review.
  4. Application for Recreational Passport Grant.  Steve reported that Helena Township did receive a DNR Recreational Passport grant of $29,000 to be used toward the resurfacing of the two tennis courts and also a side walk leading to them. There is a lot of work to be done to complete this project but it has been energizing to receive the grant.

    6. . . . Walking path request from the Friends of the District library group. Steve and Ruth Smith talked further with Ken Masck about what would be required to pursue this request.  The request has been withdrawn.

  5. Offer from Brad Gerlock to help with possible Coy Mtn. redesign. We cannot yet move on this item as the survey has not been completed. We still need a report on any deed restrictions that might affect the project. Also needed is a review of the Coy Mt. DNR Trust Fund land acquisition grant. We need to be sure there are no restrictions tied to the receipt of this previous grant which might influence current plans.
  6. Possible improvements in the design, content, and verbiage on Twp. Signs. This was discussed and will be placed on the February agenda as a working item.

    9. Fee schedule for Depot Park. It was decided to continue with the system currently in place during 2015. This item will go to the future agenda items to be reviewed in August.



  1. Ask to partner with the Alden Volunteers to have an account set up where funds going to that account are line items for maintenance and equipment for the Alden tennis courts.  People could contribute to this fund through the Alden Volunteers under their tax free status. In a preliminary discussing with Jack Findley this idea was favorably received.  The Committee was in support of pursuing this partnership with the Alden Volunteers.  Steve, Ruth, and Dave will work on a Memorandum of Understanding to be presented to the Alden Volunteer group.


  1. Buy two lots adjacent to Coy Mt. Park. This was discussed. It was felt that the Township could put a parking lot on land already owned by the township with less cost than purchasing these lots. There was some discussion that without the survey having been completed we don’t really have all the information we need to make an informed decision concerning a possible purchase.  The decision was made that we will not pursue the DNR grant or the purchase of the land currently for sale at this time.  Hopefully if we later decide that purchase is a good idea the land will still be available.
  2. The future agenda items were discussed and an updated

Other Agenda Items: None
Action Items needed / Individual Assignments to be completed:


  1. Did talk with Heidi Shaffer about meeting with us to look over HT properties and discuss water access. A date to meet will be worked out with Heidi when the snow is off.
  2. To work on action steps for the Ball Park to move toward the goals and objectives stated in the Five Yr. plan.
  3. Will work on getting some quotes on prices for possible signage for road ending and parks.
  4. Work with Ruth & Steve on Memorandum of Understanding concerning establishing a fund with the Alden Volunteer organization for maintenance of and equipment for the two tennis courts.
  5. Jan:
  1. 1.  To work on action steps for the Depot Park to move toward the goals and objectives stated in the Five Yr. plan.
  2. Ken:
  1. To work on action steps for Coy Mountain to move toward the goals and objectives stated in the Five Yr. plan.
  2. After the survey is completed – work with Brad Gerlock to help assess issues of trail maintenance and possible trail development at Coy Mountain.
  3. Action Items needed / Individual Assignments to be completed continued:

     Plans to get the abstracts for the HT Coy Mt. and Ball Park properties. They are ready for him.

1.The approved October. Minutes are to be sent to Joyce Looman for publishing online.

  1. The January minutes are to be prepared for review by the Committee.
  1. To work with Steve on action steps for Tennis Court Park to move toward the goals and objectives stated in the Five Yr. plan.
  2. To work with Dave & Steve on a MOU for establishing a maintenance & equipment fund through the Alden Volunteers.
  3. To send a memo to HT Board asking that they have Mike Crawford determine if the cement and re-rod around the Safe Harbor is as safe as possible. At this time potentially harmful re-rod is sticking out.
  4. Work with Joyce Looman to update the Parks and Recreation pages of the Helena Township web site.
  5. Check with Kathy Rice – $ amount ¼%  or ½ % millage would potentially secure for HT Parks.
  6. Report to the HTB that we would like to look into relocating the parking area at Coy Mt. Park.

1. to work with Ruth on action steps for Tennis Court Park to move toward the goals and objectives stated in the Five Yr. plan.

2.  Work with Ruth & Dave on a MOU for establishing a maintenance & equipment fund for the two tennis courts. This would be presented to the Alden Volunteers for considertion.


  1. Will work on the resurfacing of the tennis courts and completion of a sidewalk.

Actions completed:

  1. Has further update the project evaluation paperwork. It is ready for Committee review.







These items will continue to be carried forward until they are discussed by the Committee
1. February – Discuss signs at our Parks and Road Endings.
2. March.  Discuss responsibilities of Parks and Recreation Committee as outlined in the HT Master plan.

3 April – Discuss possible action steps for meeting goals of 5 Yr. Plan for each Park during the P&R Meeting.

  1. April – Deeds for Helena Twp. Park lands are to be reviewed for any use restrictions.
    -Discuss possible relocation of the Coy Mountain parking lot
    4. May – discuss possible requests – park benches/work at Safe Harbor & Archie Valleau beach.
  2. June – Discuss handicap parking in Helena Township.
    6. June – Talk about a possible future request for a low % millage to help fund our Parks. Stand alone or with a HT operational millage request.
    7. August – Review possible fee scale for the Depot Park
    These items will be kept in a notebook for future review if needed.
  3. Mike mentioned the AAU Sports / Recreation Complex – Morey Complex- and suggested that they may be looking to locate a similar complex in Northern Michigan.
  4. Look into the possibility of current grant writer for MI Assoc. of Counties helping with writing any Pks. And Rec. grants.
    C. Any new equipment (picnic tables, benches, etc.) should not be made of wood (Rick)
  5. Consider Keith Charters as a resource for Pk. & Rec. projects (Natural Resource Comm.)

Items that have been completed or are no longer pertinent.

  1. Maps we use for Pks & Rec. Five Yr. Plan + are correct? – keep contact with Dan Roketenetz on this. Be sure the signs at the Lake St. and other sites give the public a clear idea of what is public and what is private land.
  2. Riparian rights / possible review by township attorney (Dave)

Further discuss Alden Safe Harbor and its park status / ownership – memo to Board?

  1. Research rules and laws governing road ending lake access sites (Steve, Ruth)
    D. Contact the Helena ‘Community Tennis Association’ to see how they are doing with fund raising for tennis court resurfacing and maintenance.
    The next monthly meeting is scheduled for:
    Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 – 3 PM at the Helena Township Offices.

    Respectfully submitted by Ruth Smith