A regular meeting of the Hopkins Park Board was held on April 15, 2013.
Chair Bob Hatlestad called the meeting to order at 6:35 pm.
Present were Park Board members: Norman Teigen, Abbey Bryduck, Bob Hatlestad and Tom Jenny. Also present was staff liaison Steve Stadler. Absent was Caroline Rinker.
Bob Hatlestad welcomed the cricket organization representatives, Prathab Rajsu and Hemanath Chandrasekaran, to the meeting. A very informative discussion ensued regarding the rules of cricket play, field size and requirements, length of play, days and times of park use for cricket play or practice, pitch area surfacing preference, etc. A summary of information gleaned from the discussion: 20 teams participate, 60-70 games are played/season, 8 playoff games, each game is 2 innings and typically lasts 2-3 hours/game, flags are used to mark boundaries for the weekend play, the pitch area is 6 yds wide by 22 yds long and is preferred to be a smooth dirt surface. The cricket players intend to reserve the Oakes Park play area on the weekends only from June 8 – August 10, 6 hours per day, about 9 am – 3 pm. Prathab and Hemanath stated that they had not observed tension at the park between soccer and cricket players. They also stated that they can constrict their practice area during the week in order to accommodate soccer players, as needed. The Park Board requested that a sign be made describing the use of the play area, including: reserved cricket days & times, how to reserve the field – reference to City website and free time play etiquette. Stadler will email Prathab about possible ways to improve the cricket pitch area.
A discussion was held on whether or not to maintain the hockey boards at Oakes Park. Following the discussion, it was a consensus decision of the Board that the hockey boards should remain and that they be shifted directly south from their current location only as far as needed to allow for the lift station.
Stadler mentioned that the Park Board consideration/approval of the MCES lift station site plan is scheduled for the May 20 meeting followed by Zoning & Planning Commission on May 28.
A short discussion was held on the play equipment improvement project scheduled for this year at Oakes Park. Stadler stated that he planned to complete the upgrade this fall and that he will bring at least two possible upgrade designs to the next meeting. The budget for the upgrade is $60,000 and that would include new play container curbing similar to what was done at Valley Park last year.
Tom Jenny suggested the order of the agenda be changed to allow the Oakes Park discussion first as a resident was present to provide feedback on the hockey boards issue. The Board welcomed Jon De St. Hubert, homeowner from 425 Hiawatha Road, to the meeting and invited him to step forward and provide his comments or concerns to the Board. Mr. De St.Hubert stated that he is a Hopkins Youth Hockey Association (HYHA) mites coach and he very much wants to keep the hockey rink at Oakes Park. He will be actively recruiting young 4-9 year old players in the area and hopes to have practice sessions at the park. There is no other available nearby rink as the Interlachen Park rink is already heavily used. He also mentioned that during the summer months the area inside the hockey boards provides a refuge area for other sports like soccer, football & baseball. The refuge is needed as the nearly daily cricket playing uses almost all of the available turf area of the park. The Board discussed the impact to the park of relocating the boards directly south of the current location, the benefit of retaining the boards in order to help accommodate dual summer uses of the park, alternatives to scheduling the park or restricting its use for cricket, soccer or other sports. During the 2012 season the cricket group reserved the park each Saturday and Sunday from 4:30 – 9:30 pm, June – August. They paid $1,260 to the city for the season of reserved use. Stadler mentioned that there is tension between soccer users and cricket users of the park due to the demand and large park area needs of both groups – there is simply not enough space for both sports to be played simultaneously. Unlike the cricket group, there was no organized soccer group in 2012. Prior to deciding the fate of the hockey boards at this park, the Board would like to invite the cricket representative to an upcoming Park Board meeting to discuss their needs and visit the park this summer to make direct contact with the various Park users. Stadler will make contact with the cricket rep and invite him to an upcoming meeting. Mr. De St Hubert requested to be kept informed of any future discussion or actions regarding the hockey rink and he provided his email address to Stadler.
Stadler mentioned that he would have proposals for the Oakes Park play equipment upgrade for discussion at the March meeting.
3. Park System Capital Improvement Funding
The Park Board briefly discussed this item. Stadler stated that he had a rough estimate of the cost of replacing the park items shown on the park capital improvement needs plan, items such as play equipment, warming houses, picnic shelters, lighting, basketball play courts and drinking fountains – the cost = $1.9 million, not including Cottageville Park. Stadler will continue to refine this plan in scope and cost. Stadler stated that he should have a final draft of the city-wide survey questions for the March meeting, including the question on increasing the utility franchise fees to pay for park system improvements. There was a question on the status of reciprocity with Minnetonka for membership at the Williston Center. Stadler will get an update for the next meeting.
The next scheduled Park Board Meeting is May 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm.
Caroline Rinker made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Abbey Bryduck. The motion passed 4-0. The meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.