A regular meeting of the Hopkins Park Board was held on July 24, 2017.
Kyle Kaczmarek, Park Board Vice-Chair called the meeting to order at 6:32 pm. Kyle and the other members welcomed new member Mohamed Warsame.
Present were Park Board members: Caroline Rinker, Kyle Kaczmarek, Mohamed Warsame, Laura Cooper and Emma Figgins. Caroline Rinker was out of town but was present for the meeting via audio teleconference. Also present was Steve Stadler, PW Director/Park Board City staff liaison.
Caroline Rinker made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Emma Figgins. The motion passed with a 5-0 vote.
Hopkins Fastpitch Association request for Central Park fields:
Background: Hopkins Fastpitch Association (HFA) is a girls youth softball organization. They have historically used fields within the City of Minnetonka at Hopkins High School, West Jr. High School, North Junior High and at the City park at Gilliam Fields. Scheduling has become a problem with the School District fields. Therefore, the Association is pursuing options for community–based home fields rather than continue to rely on School District fields.
Michelle Kuhl and Sara Jessen, representing the HFA, appeared before the Park Board and presented some background on their organization and a request for Central Park fields. They stated that the softball association was successful and growing, is a feeder program for the Hopkins High School team. They desire to grow and improve the Association to compete with club teams. They would need three fields to accommodate their practices and tournaments. They stated that they have some capability to fund field improvements and have received a $5,000 Twins Stadium grant to facilitate diversity in the HFA. After much discussion with the Board, it was agreed that HFA representatives would meet with City and Jt. Recreation Dept. staff to detail the HFA needs and the impact on current Central Park uses and recreation programming. The goal is to get more detailed information on the HFA field request and its impacts to the park and continue a discussion at the August 28 Park Board meeting.
Central Park planning:
Background: There is a need to take a closer look at the future of Central Park. This is due to several factors, including: 2018 Pavilion Upgrade project which expands the current facility to the north and replaces the current warming house, 2018 Pickleball court project which is slated to add six pickleball courts at Central Park, a desire to enhance the winter ice experience at Central Park, a desire to refresh the park in order to improve and perhaps expand what the park has to offer Hopkins residents and visitors. Stadler shared that a refrigerated ice skate trail in the park would need its own refrigeration plant separate from the Pavilion’s system and would be prohibitively costly to construct.
WSB & Associates, Inc. are under contract to prepare a Central Park master plan.
Jeff Feulner and Jason Amberg, both with WSB & Assoc. attended the Park Board meeting. Jeff gave a presentation on the Central Park master plan effort, including park program elements and schedule. Following the presentation and discussion, each Park Board member indicated their three highest and three lowest priorities regarding program elements to be included in the park by placing red or green dots on a board – see attached results. It was agreed that Stadler would discuss with Jeff how to proceed with master plan options given the new request for softball fields by the Hopkins Fastpitch Association.
Park Board action items and updates:
Burnes Park Improvement Project - Stadler gave a brief update on the Burnes Park project, the 2018 Hopkins Pavilion Upgrade project and the 2017 new play equipment project.
Park fund working capital report:
Stadler explained the report and the updates based on the proposed 2018-2022 Park capital improvement program.
Other topics of interest:
Park Area Assignment Report
The next regular Park Board Meeting is 6:30 pm on Monday, August 28.
Laura Cooper moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Emma Figgins. The motion passed 5-0. The meeting adjourned at 8:43 p.m.