Park Board Minutes

September 15, 2008

A regular meeting of the Hopkins Park Board was held on September 15.

  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:  Molly Cummings, Sharon Paulson, Aaron Kuznia, Doug Datta and Brian Furan (Brian excused himself from the meeting at 8:00 pm).   Also present was City of Hopkins staff liaison Steve Stadler.
  3. Approval of Minutes
    Sharon Paulson moved and Molly Cummings seconded a motion to approve the minutes for the August 11, 2008 meeting.  On the vote, the minutes were approved 5-0.
  4. Business
    1. Shady Oak Beach Operations - 2008 Update    
      Dave Johnson, Recreation Director and Jenny Garvey, Minnetonka Recreation Asst. Facilities Manager presented a review of the 2008 beach operations.  They reviewed the 2008 season pass changes, including the change to individual passes only and the new pricing structure.  They reviewed the primary goals for the 2008 changes:  improved customer service, improved revenue forecasts and improved technology & system changes.  They explained why they felt the goals were met:
      • designated customer service staff and improved access at the gate
      • improved season pass sales at the beach and prior to the season
      • total revenue increased by 7.7%
      • 21% increase in daily pass sales
      • CLASS registration system linked to LOGIS resulting in smooth computer operations
      • credit card terminals installed in admissions and concessions
      • ID card printer for season pass cards
      Overall beach revenues increased from 2007 by $16,396 and beach total expenditures increased by $8,613.
          The Recreation Staff was very pleased with the 2008 operations and are hopeful for another successful year in 2009.  The ongoing Shady Oak Road reconstruction project may impact access next year as the roadwork shifts to the west side of the corridor.
    2. Interlachen Park Improvement Planning   
      Steve Stadler introduced George Watson, Brauer & Associated, Inc. and explained how he felt that the upcoming 2009 & 2010 capital expenditures at Interlachen Park warranted a neighborhood outreach process that was designed and facilitated by a park planning professional.  Steve Stadler received a $6,800 proposal from Brauer & Assoc. to conduct public meetings and develop a park master plan and implementation plan.  George explained the benefits of a logical, organized planning effort, including:  exposing the neighborhood to ideas, building a consensus in the neighborhood and indirectly educating the neighborhood on the realities of what is feasible.  Molly Cummings asked where the money to pay for the services would come from.  Stadler stated that it would come from the park dedication fund as part of the overall Interlachen project costs.  The Board members discussed whether this level of effort was generally applicable to other parks, as well, as the Park Board plans for future play equipment replacement projects or other improvements.  It was generally agreed that a robust public outreach process to determine short and long-term needs at each park would be beneficial - park system demand and park user demographics have changed over the past several decades.  The Park Board agreed to further consider the planning proposal at the October 20, 2008 meeting.   
    3. Mosquito Control Spraying at Neighborhood Parks  
      The Park Board reviewed the staff responses to Becky Anderson's Sept 4 memo and questions that followed the City Council's action at its September 2 regular meeting.  The Park Board held considerable discussion of the State Law, the absence of regulations for the use of non-restricted use pesticides (RUP) such as the one used at Interlachen Park on July 4, the responsibilities of the City vs. those of the Minnesota Dept of Agriculture for enforcing pesticide use and whether City Code changes should be made to impose restrictions beyond State Law on the use of non-RUP in City parks.  It was decided that the City Code should be revised, as proposed in the Ordinance first reading that was passed at the Sept 2 City Council Meeting, to prohibit pesticide use without written City approval.  Such approval should include conditions to ensure that all area property owners are aware and have an opportunity to comment on a request to apply pesticides in the park, as well as other conditions as applicable.
         Aaron Kuznia moved to recommend City Council proceed with adopting the Ordinance to revise City Code Section 830, as proposed in the first reading.  The motion was seconded by Sharon Paulson.  On the vote, the motion carried 4-0.   
    4. Election of Officers
      Stadler explained the Park Board bylaws as they pertain to terms of office and election of officers.  Both officers, Chairperson and Vice-chairperson, are allowed to hold office for two consecutive years unless replaced through Park Board officer election procedures.  Since the members who hold these offices have served in them for only one year as of July 1, 2008 they will continue to serve unless replaced through a nominating motion and vote of the Board.  There was no nominating motion, therefore, the current officers, Doug Datta: Chairperson; and Sharon Paulson: Vice-Chairperson, will remain in office until the next organizational meeting of the Park Board in July 2009. 
    5. Park Board Strategic Plan and 2009-2010 Goals
      Upon considering this agenda item, the Park Board discussed whether or not to change to monthly vs. bi-monthly meetings or whether a special October meeting should be called to discuss and act on the strategic plan and future goals.  After further discussion, Molly Cummings made a motion that the Park Board holds monthly meetings on the third Monday of each month.  This motion was seconded by Sharon Paulson.  On the vote, the motion carried 4-0. 
    6. Park Valley Neighborhood Feedback
      Molly Cummings mentioned that Park Valley residents brought up the following concerns at their September 6 neighborhood picnic:  renaming of Park Valley Playground to recognize this land as a donation from the Koppelman family, backfilling was needed around the picnic pavilion concrete floor slab to protect it and improve access and handicap access to archery range.  Stadler stated he was aware of the Koppelman land donation but didn't know the specifics of the park naming.  He would investigate it and report back.  Stadler will contact the Park Valley Neighborhood Association rep to discuss backfilling the pavilion slab.  Stadler asked for more details from the requester on handicap access to archery range and shooting lanes, i.e. would one 20-yd lane be sufficient with gravel surfacing?  Molly Cummings said she'd try to get additional information on the request.    
    7. Miscellaneous Updates
      Stadler provided updates to the Park Board as follows: 
      • Central Park land lease from the Hopkins School District and Central Park Tennis Court Rehab project:  the City executed a lease with the School District and the tennis court project is underway.  Final surfacing of the tennis courts will have to wait until spring because the new asphalt has to cure for at least one month prior to sealing.
      • Rotary Oasis project:  the City is in the process of installing water and electrical services into the parcel, Three Rivers Park District has approved project, awaiting HCRRA permit.
      • Blake Road/Cottageville Park Planning:  Stadler will provide results of the August 25 initial public outreach meeting, when available and whether or not the City was successful at obtaining a LCDA grant from the Metropolitan Council.  This grant money was to be used to purchase the duplex properties that separate Cottageville Park from Blake Road. 
      • Central Park Field #4 Improvements:  Stadler reported that he met with the HALL President and the Babe Ruth League President to discuss this project.  While willing to support the project, unfortunately, neither organization believes that there organizations benefit much by moving the adult softball games to Central Park.  Additionally, the field at Maetzold would have to be improved for Babe Ruth play - that cost is estimated at $20-$25,000.  It appears based on this initial meeting that the City would have to bear a large majority of the estimated $150,000+ project cost.  This project is not currently in the City's 5-year capital improvement plan. 
      • 2009 General Fund Budget - Park Board Capital Improvement requests:  Almost all of the 2009 operating budget capital requests have been cut.  The City will attempt to reinstate about $6,000 for tree planting in various parks - this funding won't be certain until the budget is approved in December. 
    8. Park Area Assignment Reports
      • Sharon Paulson: Hilltop, Buffer, Burnes Park - nothing to report.
      • Aaron Kuznia: Maetzold Field, Interlachen Park, Shady Oak Beach - nothing to report.             
      • Brian Furan: Valley Park, Central Park, Oakes Park - no report, had to leave meeting at 8:00 pm.   
      • Molly Cummings: Cottageville Park, Harley Hopkins Park, Elmo Park - abandoned microwave oven in the park needs to be picked up.  
      • Doug Datta: Park Valley Playground, Shady Oak Nature Area, Downtown Park, Hiawatha Oaks - nothing to report.   
  5. Next Scheduled Meeting
    The next regular Park Board Meeting is October 20, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.
  6. Adjournment
    Sharon Paulson moved and Aaron Kuznia seconded a motion to adjourn.  The motion carried on a 4-0 vote. The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.