Park Board Minutes

November 19, 2007

A regular meeting of the Hopkins Park Board was held on November 19, 2007.

  1. Call To Order
    The meeting was called to order by Park Board Chairperson Doug Datta at 6:30 pm.
  2. Roll Call
    Present were Park Board members:  Ron Helgeson, Molly Cummings, Sharon Paulson, Aaron Kuznia and Doug Datta.  Also present was Hopkins staff liaison Steve Stadler.
  3. Approval of Minutes
    Sharon Paulson moved and Molly Cummings seconded a motion to approve the minutes for the September 17, 2007 meeting.  On the vote, the minutes were approved 5-0.
  4. Business
    1. Neighborhood Park Improvement Planning
      Steve Stadler presented a recommended multi-year park improvement plan based upon the Park system survey results and Park needs.  Necessary funding was briefly discussed and the Park Board approved a revision to the CIP eliminating the $80,000 2009 project that included a miniature golf course and community garden along Excelsior Boulevard.  It was decided to put an article on the park survey results in the January Hopkins Highlights with more detailed park-specific information on the web site.  Molly Cummings volunteered to draft an article for Park Board member review.  Sharon Paulson moved to approve the recommended park improvement plan, seconded by Aaron Kuznia.  On the vote, the motion passed 5-0.
    2. Report on Shady Oak Beach Operations Committee
      Doug Datta presented a handout explaining the proposed 2008 season rates.  There will be two fee structures:  one for pre-season purchases and one for once the beach opens.  Only individual passes will be sold for the 2008 season.  Pre-season individual passes will cost $12 each up to 3 per family, after the third pass each will cost $6.  A family of four will pay a total of $42 for four individual passes.  The 2007 cost for a family of four = $35. Other proposed changes include hiring season pass "specialists", installing a more efficient beach entry gate with dedicated lanes of service.  Molly Cummings made a motion to approve the beach season pass changes, seconded by Sharon Paulson.  On the vote, the motion passed 5-0.             
    3. Hopkins Rugby Club
      The Hopkins Royals Rugby Club has been using a field at Valley Park for the past 4 years.  They have requested that this field become their permanent home field.  Also, they would like to partner with the City to install drain tile under the east end of the field to improve spring/early summer field conditions.  It is anticipated that Bollig Construction will install the drain tile and the City cost share should be no more than $2,500.  Dan Johnson of the Rugby Club is soliciting donations from various organizations to help pay for the work.  Regarding designating this field as their permanent home field, this is problematic.  The Recreation Dept. needs maximum flexibility in programming the various athletic fields throughout the city in order to meet the needs of the many organized sport groups.  Ron Schwartz, Recreation Dept. will send a letter or an email response to Dan Johnson explaining why we cannot dedicate this field to the Hopkins Royals Rugby Club.  Sharon Paulson made a motion approving of the City partnering with the rugby club on the installation of drain tile, seconded by Aaron Kuznia.  On the vote, the motion passed 5-0.  
    4. Update to Park Board on Interlachen Park ice resurfacer shelter project
      City Council approved a lease agreement between the City and the Hopkins Better Ice Company for the temporary storage facility and operation of the ice resurfacer at Interlachen Park.  The neighborhood group changed the design of the proposed temporary shelter to sectional, insulated panels and, when assembled, the storage shelter will resemble a large walk-in cooler/freezer - Stadler showed photos of a similar facility on the north side of the Park Tavern in St. Louis Park.  City staff is working with the neighborhood group to get the electrical service work done.  A letter will be sent to residents adjacent to the park explaining the project and allowing the opportunity for questions/concerns.
    5. Dogs in the Parks
      Discussion on current regulations banning dogs in the parks.  There were many park survey responses that mentioned a desire for the city to allow dogs in the parks.  The Park Board members discussed this issue without coming to an apparent consensus or majority position.  Options considered were:  leave as-is (leashed dogs on regional trails only), allow leashed dogs on Valley Park trail system, allow leashed dogs in the larger parks.  This topic will be taken up again at the next Park Board Meeting.
    6. Park Board Strategic Plan Update
      Steve Stadler provided a review of the plan and status of action items.
    7. Park Area Assignments Reports
      • Aaron Kuznia: Maetzold Field, Interlachen Park and Shady Oak Beach - nothing to report. 
      • Sharon Paulson: Hilltop, Buffer and Burnes Parks - Portable toilet door handle is broken at Burnes Park, question on dumpster container at Burnes Park.
      • Ron Helgeson: Valley Park, Central Park, Oakes Park - no report.
      • Molly Cummings: Cottageville Park, Harley Hopkins Park, Elmo Park - nothing to report.
      • Doug Datta: Park Valley Playground, Shady Oak Nature Area, Downtown Park, Hiawatha Oaks natural area - nothing to report.
  5. Next Scheduled Meeting
    Meeting with City Council: January 8, 2008 at 6:30 pm. The next regular Park Board Meeting is January 28, 2008 at 6:30 pm.
  6. Adjournment
    Sharon Paulson moved and Aaron Kuznia seconded a motion to adjourn.  The motion carried on a 5-0 vote. The meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm.