BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS MINUTES
Monday, May 20, 2013 5:30pm, Lacey City Hall
Commission: Jason Agtarap, Paul Royer, Gary Hanson, Shawn Smith, Lu Carlson & Glen Crandal
Staff: Lori Flemm, Liz Spiller
The meeting was called to order at 5:33pm, by Chairman Paul Royer.
Additions or deletions to the Agenda
Revised agenda distributed.
The May 20, 2013 minutes were unanimously approved and placed on record.
No additions to the calendar.
a) Lake Lois Habitat Reserve student project:
Saint Martin’s Senior Engineering students have created a beautiful model of the Lake Lois Habitat Reserve and have drafted structural and civil plans to the Reserve and the McKinny House. Lu and Glen attended the student’s earlier presentation of their project and both agreed the students are very enthusiastic and have done an outstanding job! Lori added that the students help the City work through plan alternatives and potentially save the City a great deal of money.
a) Thurston County Specialized Recreation
Thurston County reported that they may not receive the Millage Grant next year, so funds for Specialized Recreation could be significantly reduced for 2014. Historically, Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater partner with the County to provide funds & in kind support (facilities) for Specialized Recreation. With the loss of the Millage Grant and budget cuts to the Division of Developmental Disabilities, the County is looking at options for maintaining service and current programs. If funding and programming is cut, Lori anticipates significant citizen outcry, so the County is asking for suggestions and partners for suggestions and alternatives to meet the needs of the Specialized Recreation population.
b) Vacant staff positions and department reorganization
Lori reported 2 vacancies in the Parks and Recreation Department, the Museum Curator and Sports Recreation Supervisor. Recruitment for both positions will open on Wednesday May 22. The vacancies have provided an opportunity to look at restructuring staffing in the department. We are also reviewing programs/special events that other groups/organizations might be able to take on; for example, the Alternative Energy Fair- most Grand Prix events are put on by high school car clubs, not parks and recreation departments, so it would be a natural move to have one of the local high schools take on the Energy Fair. Another might be the Summer’s End Car show; 12 years ago when the event was started, car shows were rare, so it was truly a special event for the public. Now there are numerous cars shows nearly every weekend, so another group could take over Summer’s End, which would free up LPRD staff for other work, events and programs. Lori asked Commissioners for input on LPRD events they attend this summer. Commissioners agreed that it makes sense for LPRD to ‘bow out’ if other groups can take on some of the events, freeing up LPRD staff for new programs and other events.
c) Recruitment of Youth Commissioner
The deadline for the 2014 Youth Commissioner applications is June 1, and so far no applications have been submitted. Jason Agtarap said he would stay on for another term if there are no applicants.
d) End of Paul Royer’s 2nd term in August
Paul Royer’s 2nd term expires the end of August. Commissioners would like Paul to stay on for another term if there are no applicants for his position. Paul cannot commit at this time, as he is considering the Lacey Planning Commission in January.
e) Change monthly meeting date?
Lori suggested changing the Park Board monthly meetings from Monday to another day, since many national holidays are on Monday and affect the meeting date. Motion: To change the monthly meeting of Lacey Board of ParkCommissioners to the 4th Wednesday the month.
The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. The change will take effect September 2013.
a) Programs & Special Events
1) Summer program registration: May 22
2) WIN & volunteer projects: Earth Day, National Trails Day: about 100 volunteers for each event, student volunteers increasing.
3) Arbor Day: Good turnout. This is a program we are considering asking another group (i.e. Public Works, StreamTeam etc.) to coordinate.
4) Alternative Energy Fair: Good turnout. A student was injured (broken leg) when a vehicle lost its steering mechanism and crashed into the area the student was monitoring/volunteering.
5) Lacey Family Fish In: Great event, but for the 2nd year in a row, only 80% of the fishing spots were taken.
b) Construction Project Updates
1) Senior Center: Lori reported a couple of items left on the punchlist, should all be complete by the end of the month. The Center received the Norcliffe Foundation Grant in the amount of $100,000! The grant will cover costs for tables, chairs, lift to the stage, assisted listening devices and audio/video system.
1) Jacob Smith House: no changes to report, working on grading, storm pond and electrical.
d) Grants & Budget
City Manager Scott Spence has announced the 2014 budget is ‘bare bones’ and requests for new programs, staff, Capital Projects etc, will not be submitted.
1) 2014 Budget: Park and Open Space fund
The Parks and Open Space Fund was established by Council action in 1989 to set aside the revenue generated by a 1% Utility Tax rate to acquire property for future parks and open space. The City maximizes this fund by securing local, state and federal grant funds to finance a significant portion of acquisition and development costs. Other revenues from the sale of bonds and Public Facilities District funds are deposited into this fund to re-develop existing parks and construct new parks. Park development has been accomplished primarily utilizing the 2002 and 2006 park Bonds. Maintenance and operating dollars are transferred from this fund for Rainier Vista Community Park and the Regional Athletic Complex. Lori consulted with former Parks Director Jim Sheler, asking his opinion on land acquisition in city limits. Jim believes acquisition of waterfront property is still a priority, and that land acquisition within city limits is fairly complete. Lori asked Commissioners to think about desired areas for land acquisition within city limits. Glen asked about the land around Hicks Lake. Lori stated that funding is set aside and an offer has been made on the property, but the family believes the appraised value is too low and has not accepted the City’s offer. Paul asked about railroad right of way for extension of the Lacey Woodland Trail. Lori said the active rail line from Woodland Creek Community Park east, to the Nisqually River could be acquired through a rail abandonment process once the rail line is abandoned. Gary asked if there was still a demand for more ball fields. Lori said yes, but the RAC phase 3 would accommodate those needs.
2) Norcliffe Foundation Grant $100,000 awarded to Senior Center: see Director’s Report B1.
1) Acquisition of Civic Center Plaza Land from WSDOT:
Council consideration of conveyance of the deed to the Civic Center Plaza, from WSDOT to the City will occur in June.
2) Re-naming of Long’s Pond
Lori reported that the Fleetwood family has asked the Lacey Historical Commission to rename Long’s Pond to “Fleetwood Lake”. The request was considered and denied in 2012 and again in 2013, as it would be too confusing to rename the pond when it has been known as Long’s Pond for so many years. After researching the name, Lori discovered it, like many other waterways and properties, was never officially named by the Department of Natural Resources. Unnamed properties usually often identified by current or recent property owner’s name. Lori said the Fleetwoods asked the LHC to reconsider. Shawn asked if a historical sign or marker could be posted to acknowledge the Fleetwood’s at Long’s Pond. An interpretive sign with photos will be located along the shoreline trail. Lori said there are numerous historical photographs of the Fleetwood family, with identifying placards to be hung on the lounge wall at the Lacey Senior Center.
No report. Lu asked about recent vandalism at the McKinney House and suggested ‘dummy cameras’ could be installed to ‘trick’ potential vandals. Lori said maintenance is repainting trim on the house this week.
No citizens present.
a) PARC Foundation, Paul Royer
PARC Foundation would like to bring Park Board chairs together to discuss the format of future Regional Park Board meetings, as there were some concerns about past meetings, including the absence of minutes taken or distributed and the presence of too many government/elected officials. Tenino is scheduled to host the meeting in the summer and Thurston County has taken the lead for contact/communication.
PARC also received a request for assistance from a citizen who purchased land on the Westside (Division & Black Lake Blvd) to prevent development of a 7-11 store. Her request was denied.
Meeting adjourned at 7:03pm
Next meeting: Monday, June 24, 2013 at 5:30pm at the Lacey City Hall.