Park Board Minutes

November 21, 2016

A regular meeting of the Hopkins Park Board was held on November 21, 2016


Caroline Rinker, Park Board Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.     


Present were Park Board members Caroline Rinker, Kyle Kaczmarek and Laura Cooper. Elizabeth Goeman arrived at 6:40 p.m.  Absent was Fozia Ali.  Also present was Steve Stadler, PW Director and City staff liaison.    


Minutes for the October 17, 2016 Park Board Meeting.

Kyle Kaczmarek made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Laura Cooper.  The motion passed with a 3-0 vote.         


Park Board Action Items and Updates

  1. Stadler presented an overview of the Park Capital Improvements Fund (301) working capital report, as included in the 2017-2021 Capital Improvement Program.  Specifically, the various revenues and projected expenditures were highlighted, including the potential dedication fees associated with the Village Apts expansion project and the Hopkins Cold Storage site redevelopment. 
  2. Next was a presentation by Alan Johnson, 32 11th Ave. S. to request that the city consider building dedicated Pickleball courts.  Mr. Johnson represented Hopkins Pickleball players - there were 27 other players in attendance and several attendees spoke during the meeting to comment or respond to questions.  Some of the reasons for the request for dedicated Pickleball courts, as stated by Mr. Johnson, were that Pickleball is the No. 1 growing sport in the USA; the Hopkins Pickleball group is large, friendly and fun; that providing dedicated courts will draw more players who, in turn, will help the local business owners as players typically stay in Hopkins to eat & shop.  Mr. Johnson specifically requested that the dedicated courts be built on the site of the current two tennis courts at Burnes Park.  Mr. Johnson provided a handout showing how the existing tennis courts would be converted to six Pickleball courts and provided some other features to be considered for new courts.  The current group of Hopkins Pickleball players is not organized but there is a current SW Metro Pickleball Club that is active in other communities.  The group currently plays on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays at the indoor courts at the Hopkins Activity Center and frequently play at the Burnes Park tennis courts, which are lined for Pickleball.  Mr. Johnson stated that it is not unusual for there to be a waiting line for courts at the Hopkins Activity Center.  There was discussion regarding parking, loss of the tennis courts at Burnes Park, other potential location/s for dedicated Pickleball courts - Central Park was mentioned as a possibility.  The Park Board liked the idea of creating a recreational opportunity in the parks that would draw a more diverse age group.  After the discussion, the Park Board agreed to request that staff further research constructing dedicated Pickleball courts in Hopkins, including costs to convert tennis courts vs. constructing new courts, locations for future courts, potential for future expansion, how other metro-area cities are responding to this fast-growing sport. 
  3. Stadler gave an update on the 2016 Park improvement projects.  Cottageville Park Pavilion project is completed.  Substantial completion inspections of the Oakes and Valley Parks shelter rehab project are set for Tuesday, Nov. 22. 
  4. Burnes Park Improvement project update.  Preliminary design work is underway getting ready for the planned second public meeting to be held again at Zion Lutheran Church on Dec. 15.  Stadler provided each Board member with a copy of his email response to various questions/comments submitted in an email from Kris Richardson, Park Ridge Neighborhood Assoc. President.  Stadler will provide the Park Board with updated design information as he gets it from the consultant.  The plan is to possibly present the preliminary design at the Dec. 13 City Council Work Session, hold the Dec. 15 public meeting and then seek approval for final design services at the Dec. 20 City Council Meeting. 
  5. Stadler updated the Park Board on the public meetings held on Nov.10.  A design was selected for each site, Hilltop Park and Maetzold Field, and the new equipment has been ordered.  The installation will be done in the May/June 2017 timeframe.  The play area at Maetzold has been expanded to the north to accommodate more play equipment. 
  6. Stadler updated the Park Board on the Hopkins Pavilion project.  Staff is currently awaiting a cost estimate for the proposed improvements.  The improvements include:  replacement of the refrigeration plant and hockey floor and boards, a modest expansion of the facility to include a new warming house area and expanded hockey team rooms.  After the cost estimate is received, staff will meet with Hopkins Youth Hockey Association (HYHA) to negotiate their share of the project cost.  When the funding is in place, final design is next followed by construction in 2018.

Dog Park Request

There have been a couple of requests by residents that the City take another look at the possibility of opening an off leash dog park within the City of Hopkins.  As discussed and agreed to at the October Park Board meeting, Stadler prepared a Staff Report on off leash dog parks and provided a copy to each board member.  Kristin Hanneman, one of the residents requesting an off leash dog park, was present at the meeting for this agenda item.  Stadler read through the report which considered five different sites for off leash areas within the city.  Those sites included:  Valley Park area, the closed landfill site, Buffer Park, an area west of the Hopkins Depot Coffee House, and the hockey rinks in some city parks.  After some discussion, the Park Board generally agreed that the only feasible site of the five considered would be the closed landfill site.  Stadler has approached the management at Westbrooke Patio Homes and they are not opposed to having a fenced dog park abutting their property to the west.  However, after an initial inquiry to MPCA, who has jurisdiction over the entire landfill site, the MPCA responded that they would not support this public use of the area adjacent to the closed landfill.  The Park Board asked Stadler to inquire again of the MPCA and press them for reasons why they would not support this passive, public use of this roughly 2 acre area.  Perhaps they would acquiesce if we agreed to some conditions addressing their concerns. 

Other Topics of Interest

There were no additional topics to discuss

Park Area Assignment Report

  • Kyle Kaczmarek: Hilltop Park, Shady Oak Beach, Shady Oak Nature Area, Minnehaha Creek Preserve – Kyle mentioned that he visited Hilltop Park and Shady Oak
    Beach.  It was his first time at Hilltop Park. Nothing of interest to report.  
  • Fozia Ali: Cottageville Park, Oakes Park, Maetzold Field, Hiawatha Oaks – Absent
  • Caroline Rinker: Interlachen Park, Burnes Park, Harley Hopkins Park – NTR
  • Libby Goemann: Buffer Park, Park Valley Playground, Valley Park – NTR   
  • Laura Cooper: Downtown Park, Elmo Park, Central Park –

    would like to discuss the  future of Elmo Park at an upcoming meeting.    


The next regular Park Board Meeting is 6:30 pm on December 19, 2016. 


Laura Cooper moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Libby Goeman.  The motion passed 4-0.  The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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