Parks & Rec Minutes April 7, 2021

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Parks and Recreation Committee Minutes for 4/7/2021       DRAFT

 In attendance: Steve Dell, Jim Gurr, Jan Loveland, Bonnie Robbins & Barry Snyder

Absent: Ruth Smith

Non-members in attendance: Butch Peeples, HT Supervisor; Jack Findlay, Alden Volunteers

1.Meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm.

  1. Meeting minutes from 3/3/2021 were approved as presented and will be published on the Helena Township website.

3.No issues were raised nor problems reported regarding Parks and Recreation at the Helena Township Board Meeting on 3/4/21.

  1. Public Comment: Butch Peeples attended the meeting to show support for and interest in the issues as well as to share his ideas with the committee. Jack Findlay attended to present an Alden Volunteers project.

A discussion began regarding the situation at the Alden Safe Harbor. At some point last summer, a large boat hit the dock and fractured multiple welds. As the fall brought in 2-3 foot waves, further damage occurred. Contractors have been contacted to repair the welds before the start of the summer season. New rules are being developed to limit the size of boats that can use the harbor. The uprights will be flagged to increase their visibility.


  1. After Barry Snyder presented a very detailed site plan for the Ball Park at our March meeting, the Township Board responded positively. However, budget constraints will make it necessary to prioritize and decide how to do them in order. It will also be important for public input to occur as part of the process, including the data from the last five-year plan. Barry noted that there is some use of and interest in the ballfield. . Barry, Bonnie and Butch will meet to work on moving Ball Park issues forward and report at our May meeting.
  2. Steve reported that there have been software problems so that work on the Capital Improvement Plan has been stalled. A new software program and an involved vendor mean that the process should proceed in the next month.
  3. The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy has completed its purchase of one of the two contiguous lots, with the second one being held up by the death of its owner. Purchase of the Logee property is complete but purchase of the Johnson property is held up due to the death of Mr. Johnson.
  4. As discussed at last month’s meeting, Jan Loveland will contact each group that has involvement in Depot Park to attend our meeting on May 5th. She has spoken with all the parties and will send a letter out next week. Jan will develop an outline to be passed out at the meeting and guide discussion. Jan will act as moderator for the discussion.

9.The Toddler Playground subcommittee is still in the process of gathering bids from contractors for installation. They hope to complete the application in May.

  1. The Memorial policy for the township was discussed at the last township meeting. Bonnie Robbins reported that she has received calls from relatives looking for a way to make a memorial contribution. Although not every board member liked the idea of memorial bricks, Bonnie said that she would keep that in the policy. Barry Snyder commented that the walk might be easier to install in a new location instead of demolishing the concrete on the platform and replacing it with bricks. Bonnie also reminded us that a sign with plaques could also be considered.

11.Art Walk Project Application was presented by Jack Findley without Laury Stone, current president of the Alden Volunteers. The Art Walk is a tour of downtown Alden that begins at the Depot and extends through downtown to the Alden Mill House. The tour would be accessible with a QR code and a website that detailed all the stops along the way. Some of the art is already in place, some is being installed with contractual arrangements with the artists. The memorandum of understanding was to include the option of cancelling the agreement from either side. Two new sculptures will be installed at the Depot Park and the Alden Safe Harbor. A series of Dinky Doors created by a nationally known artist will be installed at the Depot, the Lighthouse, the Muffin Tin and the Tennis Court Park. One objection was raised by Jim Gurr, that opening public property to a private group would set a precedent that was hard to step away from in future situations. After a review of the application the Committee voted unanimously to approve that the project move forward to the township board.

  1. Budget discussion was passed into May.
  2. Jan and Bonnie are working on a map of existing parks and descriptions of them to be accessed on the website and by QR code.

14 and 15. We will resume discussion of a tribute to volunteers and final public event for the Coy Mountain project until next month. We have had no discussion with Grand Traverse Regional Land Authority and COVID protocols will make the event uncertain.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 5th 2021 at 7 pm in the Community Building.

Respectfully submitted,

Jan Loveland