PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
City Council Chamber
Monday, November 13, 2006
CALL TO ORDER
Chair Russell called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m.
Commissioner Dalton led the flag salute.
Present: Kathleen Baier-Dalton, Kathleen Dasney,
Staff: Parks and Recreation Director
John Seminara, Vice President of the
Chair Russell said both he and Commissioner Swanson were involved in East Fullerton Little League and understood Mr. Seminara’s concerns, and that he would follow up on these concerns. He asked why
Scott McAulay, Board Member of
CONSENT ITEMS (Items 1 - 3)
Vice Chair Dalton MADE A MOTION and Commissioner Dasney SECONDED THE MOTION to approve the Consent Calendar items as corrected below.
The MOTION PASSED unanimously.
1. MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 9, 2006 REGULAR MEETING
Commissioner Dasney asked that the Minutes of the October 9, 2006 regular meeting be corrected on Page 3, last paragraph, third line, by striking the word “at.”
2. LANDSCAPE DIVISION MONTHLY REPORT FOR OCTOBER 2006
Commissioner Spencer asked Landscape Superintendent Dennis Quinlivan why tree plantings were not noted on the October report, and he replied that about 30 trees were planted but the report and billing from West Coast Arborists weren’t complete. Commissioner Spencer then asked about erosion, weed abatement and brush clearance, and whether the winter rains would have an impact, and Superintendent Quinlivan said they cut down the brush to reduce fire danger, but do not pull the roots out.
Commissioner Dasney noted the nice white swing gate at the Laguna Lake Recreation Riders corral, but asked about the horse trails along
3. BUILDING AND FACILITIES DIVISION MONTHLY REPORT FOR OCTOBER 2006
Vice Chair Dalton asked for an update on the Museum project, and Cultural and Events Division Manager
REGULAR BUSINESS (Items 4 - 8)
4. OVERVIEW OF “FIRST NIGHT”
Director Molendyk introduced Cultural and Events Division Manager
Director Molendyk provided a brief overiew, saying that Park Bond funds are being used to renovate some of the older parks including
He then introduced Parks Manager Dave Alkema, who said he came on after public input was elicited, although he was aware of the improvements through the Master Plan. He described the recirculating system for a spray pool that was planned, and said the water-to-waste system was not appropriate due to environmental reasons; rather a re-circulating system with filtering and chlorination might be better albeit more expensive. Manager Alkema described the newly proposed spray pool, estimated at $168,000. However, since staff thought the pool needed to be staffed, and with the increased cost, the pool should be available to the general public, not just the immediate neighborhood. Maintenance gave estimates for maintaining the pool which included the need for two staff when going down into a vault feature for safety measures. Due to these unexpected considerations and costs, staff wanted to bring this back to Commission for review and recommend that the spray pool become part of the
Commissioner Dasney asked for the historical background on
Commissioner Dasney had concerns that the improvements at
Chair Russell provided a little history on the pools, saying the pools were closed during his and Vice Chair Dalton’s eight plus years as commissioners. He thought the plan was that one day there would be a new water feature and that there would be smaller spray parks throughout the City besides
Commissioner Spencer asked for clarification on whether or not spray pools would be installed. Director Molendyk said Manager Alkema was saying that spray pools at
Commissioner Spencer asked if those issues weren’t considered before, but Manager Alkema said there were unforeseen issues and that recreation staff is being consulted more, so they are learning more about maintenance and supervision needs at a pool. Commissioner Spencer asked if staff didn’t want to build spray pools but Manager Alkema said they want to, but they have to build it in a different place and staff and maintain it properly. Director Molendyk noted that the money is there to build it, but staff wanted the homeowners to know that the original concept was an automatic, non-staffed pool; however, any recommendation now would need to include staffing.
Chair Russell said common sense would say staff was needed, but asked if Risk Management is mandating this. Manager Alkema said staff’s experience at
Chair Russell asked about the spray pool cost, and Manager Alkema said it would probably cost close to $200,000, and that the estimate was provided by Vortex, the premier company for water parks in
Director Molendyk said they were here to update the Commission on the cost, and to update the community to the fact that the spray pool might be considered an attractive nuisance. He said he wouldn’t want the neighborhood or Commission asking, after it was built, to turn the pool off. However, if both parties want to go ahead with the project, they can do so with the understanding of the increased costs.
Commissioner Dasney said she’d visited
Chair Russell opened up the meeting to the community for feedback, saying they would then return for Commissioner comment.
The following individuals spoke in favor of a water feature at
Rob Britten, resident across from
There were no speakers against a water feature at Adlena Park although some provided additional input as to what kind of water feature they would like to see including a smaller spray pool or a wading pool and possibly closing on Sundays as well as input on additional amenities such as trees, more play and picnic areas, and play opportunities for younger children. Mr. Britten said he wouldn’t want to take his son to an
Chair Russell confirmed with Mr. Britten that there were three alternative designs, that the neighbors didn’t want a large Lemon Park-like spray pool, and that costs could be partially offset by renting the picnic area.
Chair Russell brought the issue back to Commission, and asked Manager Alkema to provide an overview of other park improvements. Manager Alkema said the picnic area shelter and restrooms would be renovated as would the play area, basketball court lighting, landscaping and walkways. However, the baseball fields won’t be touched. He said 99% of the plan check is back from Engineering, along with the
Chair Russell asked what the Commission options were, i.e., if the spray pool wasn’t built, what would be put there instead. Asked if smaller spray ground could be installed, and if so, if there would be delays, Manager Alkema said landscaping with turf and trees would be installed if a pool wasn’t approved. He said a pool with fewer play elements could be built, but it wouldn’t be much more cost-effective because there is still need for chlorination, filtering, holding tank, etc. When asked about something like the
Director Molendyk said staff was prepared to move forward and wanted to do so because of grant deadlines. Manager Alkema said downsizing the pool was possible, but this would cause some delays. Commissioner Spencer asked if staffing would still be necessary, and was told recreation staff would have to be consulted.
Director Molendyk reminded the commissioners and audience that the spray pool could bring additional people into the area, and that if that wasn’t seen as a problem, they could go forward with the plans. Manager Alkema said any minor changes would require another Health Department review, causing a two- to four-week delay.
Commissioner Shanfield said she appreciated the discussion of a filtered wading pool, asking if it was possible. Manager Alkema said he could explore a chlorinated and filtered pool with the Health Department, and Commissioner Shanfield said she didn’t know if a spray pool versus a wading pool had been worked out or not. Manager Alkema said this issue had probably already been worked out during the conceptual plan stage.
Director Molendyk said most cities have gotten away from wading pools due to liability and costs. He suggested that commissioner support would be helpful if they thought this was important, and that budgeting for maintenance was important. Commissioner Shanfield thought supervision was needed at a water feature, regardless, and Manager Alkema agreed. Director Molendyk said times had changed, and that people now want supervision at the parks.
Commissioner Swanson said it was refreshing to consider maintenance, and that he supported keeping the spray pool at Adlena rather than taking it to
An audience member asked about operating hours at the proposed spray pool and was told 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. daily during the summer from Memorial to Labor Day.
Vice Chair Dalton asked about the Capital Improvement budget, and was told by Director Molendyk that the costs were included in the budget for the three parks although Manager Alkema said he was always leery of estimates from architects. She then asked about the additive alternatives and was told the alternatives were additions dependent on the bids that come in, especially the base bid. She received clarification on the items included in the plan. She noted that the current play equipment was poor. Manager Alkema said the Commission can prioritize what features it wants at the park.
Vice Chair Dalton asked about maintenance costs, expressing concerns about $27,000 being added for operating and maintenance at Adlena, and what
Vice Chair Dalton said she wasn’t in favor of a water feature due to costs, but agreed to it because of neighborhood support for it. She was concerned the Department could get “burned” because its budget is getting cut all the time, that they might not have the money to operate it or that Risk Management might want to close it. She also had concerns about others coming into the neighborhood due to an active water feature. Manager Alkema said staff was concerned about those exact issues, and was told by Building and Facilities Supervisor
Chair Russell agreed with Vice Chair Dalton’s and staff’s concerns on maintenance but felt that it was owed to those parks with water features in parks to keep them there. Also, since the community supports the project, the Commission and the City would have to take on the maintenance issues.
Commissioner Swanson MADE A MOTION to continue with the proposed
Commissioner Dasney asked if the motion would die if Council voted against it, and was told “yes.” She said that, in that case, the motion should not say “with the proviso,” but rather “with full knowledge that the Council must provide funding…”
Chair Russell said he would prefer to make a motion to approve the spray pool at
Commissioner Dasney suggested a motion starting with “With full knowledge that there are ongoing maintenance costs involved…” Vice Chair Dalton said she was inclined to support the motion, but that Commission would have to come up with a way to budget those costs and might need community support when looking at the budget. Commissioner Swanson said Council will see there are maintenance costs, and MODIFIED THE MOTION to state that the Commission would like to approve construction of the spray fountain at Adlena as presented by staff tonight. Commissioner Dasney SECONDED THE MOTION.
Chair Russell called for the vote.
The MOTION PASSED unanimously.
Chair Russell asked when the item would go to Council and was told by Manager Alkema probably in January 2007.
6. DIRECTOR’S UPDATE
Director Molendyk noted the Civic Center Plan, and said when it was ready for Commission, this would be brought to them.
Aimee Aul, Museum Educator, will receive an exceptional employee performance award. Former Recreation Coordinator Aaron Orozco has been promoted to Recreation Supervisor.
The Fairway Village Home Owner Association had concerns about golf balls hitting their homes. Department staff is working with American Golf to conduct a study analyzing the trajectories of balls. New netting will then be installed in the next month.
7. REPORT ON CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS
Director Molendyk said staff submitted an application for grant funds from the California Department of Parks and Recreation Recreational Trails Program in the amount of $250,000.
Chair Russell asked new Commissioner Shanfield for her comments, and she said she felt very welcome to be at the meeting.
Commissioner Dasney asked for a
Commissioner Dasney made a recommendation that staff make a presentation at City Council similar to the one they did at last month’s Commission meeting. She said she was “blown away” at the Outdoor activities and the sheer number and types of activities Parks and Recreation does. She felt certain Council didn’t know half of what Parks and Recreation does, and that it should “toot” its horn at an upcoming meeting.
Vice Chair Dalton suggested the Department go to the Council to make them more aware of maintenance needs and costs at the parks, i.e., a lobbying effort. Commissioner Spencer said it helped when Superintendent Quinlivan and she took the Mayor on a three to four-hour tour that educated him on the maintenance needs at the City.
Director Molendyk said he appreciated Vice Chair Dalton’s thoughts and agreed that educating the Council was important. He said he could also provide Commission workshops to provide information on costs and the budget. He noted that besides the three parks, Lions Field would also require higher maintenance.
Commissioner Spencer said the Commission should advocate at the budget hearings. Chair Russell said more effort should be put in before the budget hearings, noting that the politicians often tout the things related to Parks and Recreation, and said he’s willing to assist with this educational effort. Vice Chair Dalton said Bob Ward Nature Preserve is closed because of the City’s inability to maintain it safely, just as West Coyote Hills maintenance will be an issue. She said the issues are getting bigger each year while the budget is getting smaller, and that besides making the Council aware, it was important to make the public aware of the resources and their needs. Chair Russell noted that two former Parks and Recreation commissioners were voted onto Council; thus, perhaps the community was seeing the importance of Parks and Recreation.
Commissioner Dasney said she was told Parks and Recreation has hired an architect to look at the Hunt Branch Library for the dog park, and Manager Alkema said Peter Weisbrod would be putting together a concept plan in a month or so. He said they will meet with the Library Board this week which seems to support the dog park as a way to reduce the homeless problem. The plan will then be brought to Commission.
Vice Chair Dalton asked about the Commission positions and the reappointments. Director Molendyk said he hadn’t been told, and would notify her as soon as he knew anything, hopefully in January. There was discussion on Commissioner Shanfield’s appointment which was a completion of George Miller’s term. Commissioner Shanfield explained the guidelines since she was on the applicant review committee, saying everyone has to reapply when a term comes up. It was agreed that the process requires clarification, but there was a chance that commissioners
Chair Russell said there was an effort to follow-up with groups leasing City properties, and asked how they could find out the status of the leases. Manager Loya said the commissioners could call her to get updates and they could also ask Kiwanis to make a presentation. She added that Kiwanis went through the plan check and had 17 items to be approved, and are moving along as expected per Council’s wish although there were no firm dates per Council’s wishes. Commissioner Dasney confirmed that Kiwanis had raised sufficient funds for three phases. Manager Loya noted the Building Department didn’t approve some of the materials donated, causing some delays; however, those issues were addressed. Chair Russell asked if the City shouldn’t be more lenient when non-profits are using donated materials; Manager Loya said tenants still have to meet the building codes. Director Molendyk noted that, in this case, a City park is still having improvements made that are not under the purview of the Department.
Chair Russell said he would talk with staff next month to have Kiwanis make a report to Commission early next year.
Chair Russell said per the Maintenance Report and his own observations, the
Commissioner Spencer MADE A MOTION, and Commissioner Shanfield SECONDED THE MOTION to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 p.m.
Grace Carroll Lowe