Parks and Recreation Minutes – July 16, 2013


Minutes Parks and Recreation Committee Meeting – Alden Community Center
Meeting date: July 16, 2013                                                             approved 8-20-2013

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

Community Input:
Non Committee members in attendance: Nancy Brimhall, Carolyn Buxenstein, Paul De Lange, Jack Findlay, Gerry Hollis, Barb Lockrey, & Dave Reck.
The committee published 3-4PM on July 16th as the time slot for public input on the Five Year plan. Since we did not need this full one hour slot for input we moved on to handle other business. The public input session was to be opened again if someone else came for this purpose. No one else came to input concerning the Five year plan.
Input concerning the Five Year Parks and Recreation plan.
1. Nancy Brimhall representing Sunset Estates (property owners N. of Ball Park).

– Possible Donation to township to improve access

– HT parks should serve current residents first before focusing on visitors and non-residents

– Would support Depot Park as site for accessible swimming rather than Ball Park

– DNR will not allow sand to be brought in to form a beach at Ball Park

– Currently there is no method available to enforce order at our township parks. Recently called Police to respond to noise at ball park after park is closed and they said they will not enforce local ordinance 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.


  1. Barb Lockery

– Likes the doggy bag idea for all parks.

– Poison Ivy at tennis court park needs addressing

– Valleau Landing needs to be raked. Concrete barrier at that park is an accessibility issue.


  1. Dave Reck

– Gave written comments in email and attended the meeting to show support. Input received outside of the public meeting. This input is on file and will be included in Five Yr. Plan: Communication from:

  1. Shirley Coleman
  2. Trish Narwold
  3. Dave Reck.
  4. Bob Robbins
    Veterans Memorial:

Jack Findlay again presented the concept of a Veteran’s Memorial at Depot Park and answered questions concerning the project.

  1. A site plan including elevations and setbacks was presented.


Veterans Memorial Continued:

  1. Since the township owns the land the soil erosion permit will need to be filed by the Township. Heidi Shaffer from soil erosion has reviewed the site and verbally approved the design.
  2. A memorandum of understanding including ongoing maintenance of the memorial and the expense of electricity is to be prepared and presented to the Township Board if the Parks & Recreation Committee recommends the Board review the project.

The survey at Deport Park has been completed.
There was a lot of conversation concerning the Veteran’s Memorial proposed for Depot Park.
1. There were mixed feelings expressed concerning the need for a separate memorial in Alden when there is the possibility of enhancing the County Veteran’s Memorial in Bellaire.

  1. There were concerns discussed as to Depot Park being the best location for such a memorial. Concerns about the traffic patterns in that location were sited.
  2. Those supporting the Veteran’s Memorial proposal are hoping that the HT Board will be able to support the project with a financial contribution of approximately 10% ($3,000) of the initial costs of the project. Based on limited Township assets and income the ability of HT to help financially with this project was questioned by some Parks and Rec. Committee members.
    Following extended discussion a motion was made by Carolyn Nowfel and supported by David Peterson that the Helena Township Parks and Recreation Committee recommend to the Helena Township Board that they consider the Veterans Memorial proposal. This was done by roll call vote:
    Mike Crawford -no, Jan Loveland – yes, Carolyn Nowfel – yes, David Peterson – yes,
    Steve Dell – yes, & Ruth Smith – yes.

    from 06/18/2013 -approved as presented & will be published on the website.
    Information from monthly Helena Twp. Mtg
    A treatment was done at Alden Safe Harbor 6-18-13 to try to eliminate the Eurasian Milfoil. Another application is to be applied late in July. A better understanding of legalities concerning riparian bottom rights and possible legal enforcement of HT regulations of such things as mooring restrictions is being pursued.

    Discussion on the Veteran’s Memorial Proposal and public input on the Five Yr. Plan were covered above.
    Actions needed to get the Five year plan ready to present to the HT Board was discussed:
    1. Carolyn will work on typing up the entire Five year plan including the appendix.
    2. Steve will gather all public input and distribute it to the committee for review
    3. The Pk. & Rec. Committee needs to consider all public input to see if ideas presented alter, enhance or add to ideas presented in the current plan. This is to be done at the August Pk & Rec. meeting.
    4. Ruth will notify Rick Teague that we will not be presenting the Five year plan at the August meeting but intend to be ready to present the plan at the September meeting.
    5. Ruth and Steve will work on the Proposal that the HT Board needs to sign if they approve the Five Year Plan.




  1. Steve and any other Pk & Rec. Committee members who are interested & able will plan to meet with Rick (and possibly other HT Board members) to review the plan and go over the DNR plan check sheet to be sure all required items are in the plan.

We looked at the list of future agenda items.
1. Steve is going to write a memo to request that the Helena Township Board take action to acquire jurisdiction over the Valley Street Road Ending from the Antrim County Road Commission.

  1. Steve will arrange a meeting with Rick Teague to review the Five Yr. plan after the Aug. meeting.
    3. Possible grant money through NW MI Council of Government was discussed and the consensus was that there is not time to try to prepare a grant application this year and that we need to check and see if this is a yearly grant as it could be considered for next year.

Action Items needed:

1.   Continue typing new 5-year-plan. Carolyn will work to complete the plan including the appendix.

Mike: Volunteered to obtain some abstracts we might find useful.

1.The approved June minutes are to be sent to Joyce Looman for publishing online. The June minutes will also be sent to Rick Teague. The July minutes need to be prepared for review by the Committee and will be to Rick after feedback from committee members.
Work on the proposal that the HT Board will use when (hopefully) approving the Five Yr. 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, August 20th, at 3 PM

Respectfully submitted by Ruth Smith 07-27-13