Park Board Minutes

May 22, 2017

A regular meeting of the Hopkins Park Board was held on May 22, 2017.  


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


Present were Park Board members:  Caroline Rinker, Kyle Kaczmarek, Laura Cooper and Emma Figgins.  Libby Goeman was absent.  Also present was Steve Stadler, PW Director/Park Board City staff liaison.


Laura Cooper made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Caroline Rinker.  The motion passed with a 4-0 vote.     


Park Board Action Items and Updates

  1. Burnes Park Improvement Project

    Stadler gave a brief update on the project – construction is underway with site utilities being installed.  The next couple months should be busy with the construction of the new picnic shelter, new splash pad pavilion and renovation of the existing warming house.  

  2. 2017 Play Equipment upgrades – Hilltop Park and Maetzold Field

    Stadler gave a brief update – installation is underway at Maetzold Field with Hilltop Park starting shortly thereafter. 

  3. Hopkins Pavilion Upgrade Project

    Stadler reported that the outside funding for the facility expansion is almost completed.  The Hopkins School District Board has approved their $1 M contribution and the Anchor Bank loan to HYHA is almost certain.  Staff will request approval of the engineering services agreement for the design of the facility upgrade at the next City Council meeting.  The plan is to have the improvement project ready to bid by November 2017 with construction occurring from March – September 2018. 

Hopkins off-leash dog park and City policy on dogs in the parks:
Off-leash dog park
The Park Board received word that the Westbrooke Patio Homes Association Board had decided that they were not in favor of a City off-leash dog park at the adjacent closed landfill site.  A copy of the HOA Board minutes describing the objections to the dog park were provided.  After much discussion Park Board members felt it was not in the best interests of the City to further pursue an off-leash dog park within the City limits.  The reasons given by members during the discussion were as follows: 
- Westbrooke Patio Homes is opposed and they are directly adjacent and would be the property most impacted by this new land use
- Most users of an in-city dog park would drive to the park and there are ample existing nearby off-leash dog parks available, including the extensive one owned and operated by Three Rivers Park District at their Bryant Lake Regional Park
- The best sites for these types of parks are in areas of cities that are isolated from residential properties, often industrial/commercial zoned areas but this isn’t possible in Hopkins

Caroline Rinker made a motion that the City Council not further consider the construction of an off-leash dog park within the City, seconded by Kyle Kaczmarek. The motion passed with a 4-0 vote.

City policy on dogs in the parks

Currently, the City policy allows for leashed dogs on park trails and open areas of the following parks: Central Park, Burnes Park, Oakes Park and Valley Park. After discussion, the Park Board decided to add Hilltop Park, Buffer Park, Interlachen Park and Harley Hopkins Park to the park list wherein dogs would be allowed on leash on trails and open areas.  City Code Section 830 states:  “Dogs are permitted only in such areas as may be clearly marked by the signs bearing the words “leashed dogs are allowed on trails and open areas only"” Accordingly, signs will be added at predominant entrance areas of the additional parks. 

Laura Cooper made a motion to expand the number of parks where leashed dogs would be allowed to include Central Park, Burnes Park, Oakes Park and Valley Park; seconded by Emma Figgins. The motion passed with a 4-0 vote. 

Discuss 2018 Park projects and 5-year CIP, Central Park planning and Park fund working capital report:
The Park Board members discussed the current 5-year CIP and particularly the proposed 2018 park projects.  The Board agreed that the 2018 park projects would be:  Elmo Park 2-5 play equipment, Park Valley play equipment, Play Court repairs and Central Park Pickleball Courts.  Further, the Board agreed that a more refined master plan for Central Park should be developed prior to siting the Pickleball courts.  There was some discussion from a handout of the proposed scope of work for the Central Park refined planning effort.  There was agreement on the 2019-2022 projects as shown on the attachment.  There will be further consideration for Central Park enhanced outdoor ice, a Hilltop park trail and improving the existing Minnehaha Creek canoe landing area near the Hopkins Crossroads bridge over the creek.

Stadler presented a revised Park Capital Improvements Fund (301) – working capital report.  Report updates included actual 2016 project costs and correcting the BSWR Grant received for the Cottageville Park improvements, this $425,000 revenue was included in the net payment to the Watershed District and was inadvertently double-reported. 

Other topics of interest:
Stadler shared information about the Three Rivers Park District plan to add an informational kiosk and a wayfinding sign at the Valley Park/9th Avenue trail crossing area.  

Park Area Assignment Report

  • Kyle Kaczmarek: Hilltop Park, Shady Oak Beach, Shady Oak Nature Area, Minnehaha Creek Preserve – Interest in a Hilltop Park trail project and partnership with MCWD on an enhanced canoe landing area.   
  • Emma Figgins: Cottageville Park, Oakes Park, Maetzold Field, Hiawatha Oaks – Cottageville Park is busy despite the extensive, adjacent construction of the Oxford Village apartment building.     
  • Caroline Rinker: Interlachen Park, Burnes Park, Harley Hopkins Park – Nothing to report.
  • Mohamed Warsame: Buffer Park, Park Valley Playground, Valley Park – Absent.
  • Laura Cooper: Downtown Park, Elmo Park, Central Park – Question about the feasibility of future restrooms at Downtown Park--Central Park is busy!      


Three Park Board members mentioned that they would not be available for the June scheduled meeting due to vacations/travel.  It was agreed to cancel the June Park Board meeting.  Therefore, the next regular Park Board Meeting is 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 24.    


Laura Cooper moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Caroline Rinker. The motion passed 4-0. The meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

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