Recreation and Parks Board
RECREATION AND PARKS BOARD: LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING: JULY 24, 2019
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
BOARD MEMBERS: TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL:
Susan Parry, Vice Chairman Wendy Hayden, Township Representative
Robert Pelles Tom Vernau, Township Manager
Scott Duncanson Erin Trone, Assistant Township Manager
Charles Angelo Tom Stambaugh, Parks Superintendent
Tina Thomas, Recording Secretary
Ms. Parry called the July 24, 2019 Regular Meeting of the Recreation and Parks Board to order at 7:00 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. PELLES moved to approve the minutes from the April 24, 2019 meeting. Mr. ANGELO seconded the motion. Mr. Duncanson noted that Creekwood should be spelled as one word. Motion carried 4-0.
Mr. ANGLEO moved to approve the minutes from the May 22, 2019 meeting, with the addition of Mr. Pelles to members in attendance. Mr. PELLES seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Mr. PELLES moved to approve the minutes from the June 12, 2019 meeting with a spelling correction of Kaiser. Mr. ANGELO seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Mr. PELLES moved to approve the minutes from the June 26, 2019 meeting. Mr. ANGELO seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
PUBLIC COMMENT: SHEEPFORD CROSSING
Amy Grube and Leanne Bryant were present, each with some of their children, at the meeting representing the Sheeford Crossing neighborhood. Mrs. Grube spoke about some research she has done into installing a gaga pit into the playground. She stated that the playground was good for small children but now there are over 20 kids in middle and high school, as well as more that will be growing up in the neighborhood. She found that the price of gaga pits can range from $450 to $1200. Mrs. Grube also spoke about a neighbor who is a carpenter and is willing to build and install the gaga pit at cost with his son. Therefore it would not need to be installed by Township employees. She would like the Township to purchase the materials with money budgeted for Parks and Recreation. Mr. Duncanson asked where the gaga pit is proposed to go in the playground. Mrs. Grube stated that there is plenty of room in the grassy areas behind or beside the basketball court. She said that they are looking to put it on grass for safety reasons. Ms. Parry asked what the $450 would pay for; that would cover the supplies and installation of a permanent structure. They prefer a permanent one so that it cannot be moved or taken but it could be disassembled if necessary. Mr. Vernau stated that the cost of the materials is not the issue but rather the available time for the Township to build it. He said a partnership would allow the Township to pay for supplies if the neighborhood could be responsible for getting it built and installed. Mr. Angelo asked how large the gaga pit would be. Mrs. Grube said they are looking at 20 feet.
Mr. Duncanson stated that the Recreation and Parks Board will create a letter for the Board of Commissioners endorsing the project. Mr. Vernau stated he will be happy to bring it up at the next Board of Commissioners meeting on August 12th. Ms. Parry thanked Mrs. Grube for coming and presenting the idea.
David Otteson presented his Eagle Scout project to the Board which involves building and installing a gaga pit at Highland Park. He explained the origin of the game and what is needed to play it. David outlined the supplies he will be using to build it and cost in a hand-out. He anticipates it being 20 feet in diameter and costing approximately $750.00. It will be installed on half of the existing tennis court but the end of the court with the backboard will be left intact. Ms. Parry asked the time frame for the project to take place. She was told that they are hoping to be finished around the end of November. The plans must be approved by the scouts and fund raising is required. Mr. Duncanson asked if it would be better to build on grass rather than a hard surface. He was told that the scouts prefer to use a hard surface because the ball bounces better. Mr. Vernau stated that the Township was looking for an alternate use for the tennis court. There is no cost to the Township for this project. The Recreation and Parks Board will recommend the project at the next Board of Commissioners meeting. The Board thanked David for his presentation.
Mrs. Trone spoke to the Board about the Pedestrian Bike Committee, which was created by the 2018 Comprehensive Plan. The Township received two $10,000 grants to improve connectivity and hired Simone Collins as consultants. They also completed a bike tour of the Township. Mrs. Trone is presenting the Draft Report. The group has been meeting since January. Simone Collins gave their recommendations in a lengthy report. The Ped/Bike Committee is seeking to prioritize projects. The draft plan will also be presented to the Planning Commission for comments which will be passed along to the consultants. The consultants will then address all the comments and provide a final report.
Mrs. Trone highlighted a few of the findings from the study. She stated that the committee was not interested in the “share-a-lane” but would rather just have a line along the shoulder of the road, even if it’s not called a bike lane.
Some larger projects called “Special Crossings” were recommended. One of the bigger projects would involve putting in a pedestrian tunnel on Carlisle Road where the railroad is. Norfolk Southern Railroad has not been willing to go along with that in the past and there are houses in existence there. The Committee is hoping to meet with the railroad to discuss making the crossing safer for pedestrians. Mr. Angelo suggested additional signage in the tunnel to alert drivers to pedestrians and bikers.
Creating a pedestrian bridge at 18th Street where it enters into Camp Hill Borough was also discussed. This is a congested area with confusing traffic patterns. A pedestrian/bike bridge could go alongside the bridge. Camp Hill is also looking into better connectivity with Lower Allen Township. Collaboration between multiple municipalities would be most successful.
A multiuse trail was also proposed. It would be made of crushed stone and run from Lisburn Road, through the prison property, and eventually connect to Lower Allen Community Park. This would require land from the prison.
Some smaller scale projects were suggested such as a pedestrian landing or island around the Lower Allen Middle School, a loop trail in the Community Park, bike riding education for kids (used to be done by the police), creating a trail map, and possibly taking a lane from Gettysburg Road for two-way bike traffic.
Mr. Angelo stated that the Committee is seeking a way to keep it going after they stop meeting. It is helpful to get business owners involved.
Mrs. Trone stated that the Ped/Bike committee hopes to present their results at the second meeting in August for the Board of Commissioners. Mr. Angelo will create a letter voicing the support of the Recreation and Parks Board.
LIASON REPORT – COMMISSIONER HOLTZMAN
Commissioner Holtzman is absent so there is no liaison report.
RECREATION AND PARKS STAFF REPORT
Mrs. Hayden provided the following Parks Operation Staff update:
- Regular park maintenance has been performed all summer including mowing, trimming, and wood chipping. Township parks are mowed once per week and ball fields every other day.
- A new swing set was installed at Lower Allen Township Community Park at the lower pavilion. Eventually all metal swing sets will be replaced by plastic ones.
- The Township Manager, with Commissioner Approval, amended the pavilion application to allow alcohol in any of the Township parks. A security guard must be present.
- The well pump broke at the Lower Allen Community Park’s lower pavilion. Water was unavailable at the Dog Park, restrooms, and water fountain at the lower pavilion. Portable toilets and wash stations were brought in. The pump has since been replaced.
Mrs. Hayden provided the following Activities update:
- The Gardner’s Gathering held on April 28th was a success.
- Trinity High School has wrapped up their baseball and softball seasons at WASS Park. They will be back at LACP for Cross Country season this September. The PA Softball League held its annual tournament over Memorial Day weekend.
- Yappy Hour will be held Thursday August 1st from 5:30 – 7 pm. There are some new vendors there this year as well as a DJ. There will be treats for both dogs and humans and it is a BYOB event. It is being advertised in the newsletter as well as on Facebook.
- Angelo spoke about forming a volunteer coalition within the neighborhoods to come up with some small activities in the pocket parks. He and Mrs. Trone have met with Mr. Vernau to go over some ideas that would not create more work for the Parks Board or Mrs. Hayden. A small event would hopefully bring neighbors out to the parks. This could provide volunteers and ideas of what they would like to see at their parks. Mr. Vernau suggested that Mr. Angelo draft a letter that explains his recommendation. He stated that depending on the event, Township staff may be able to help. It was suggested that Board members could get in touch with neighborhood organizations. The Board decided to hold of until the springtime, which would provide more time for planning and letting the neighborhoods know about it.
- Park Tour Recommendations:
- Cedar Spring Run – Concerns about invasive species coming into park; some of the rails along the trails on the municipal building side are rotting.
- LACP – Ms. Parry asked why there are not recycling containers in the park. Mr. Vernau stated that it is mostly due to contamination which is charged to the Township. The main recycling company is China and they are accepting a lot less. Ms. Parry said that she thinks local businesses will pick up on the recyclables China does not want. Mr. Stambaugh stated that in the past, the recycling containers got used for dog waste. The drainage is better at the dog park with the silt sock. The deck of the concession stand is in really bad shape.
- All parks need weeding and mulch under the play areas. The weeds are being mowed in the flower beds. Mr. Stambaugh said they are trying to get caught up.
- Highland Estates – Mr. Duncanson noted that the play structure is getting old and the tic- tac –toe game board is coming apart. Benches need to be replaced or new boards installed and park signs are rotted but are being switched gradually to composite signs. Mr. Stambaugh stated that replacement of the play structure is in the capital budget.
- Allendale – The pavilion roof is rotting in a corner. Mr. Stambaugh stated that maintenance is aware of this.
- Pete’s Field – There are broken boards in the stands. This has been fixed.
- Sheepford Pavilion – There is a missing outlet cover.
- WASS Park – The blue partition is damaged on the third base side.
- Windsor Park – Vernau is creating a survey of the neighborhood around the park with the IT department. There is not a strong push to develop anything currently.
The Recreation and Parks Board thanked Mr. Stambaugh for attending the meeting. They will provide the notes to him from the Parks Tours when they are collected.
The Regular Meeting of the Recreation and Parks Board adjourned at 8:37 pm.
Next meeting is Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm.