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8-26-15 Minutes

Recreation and Parks Board
8-26-15 Minutes


RECREATION AND PARKS BOARD:                                                          LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP

REGULAR MEETING                                                                               AUGUST 26, 2015

The following were in ATTENDANCE:

BOARD MEMBERS                                      TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
Greg Mahon, Chairman                               Donna Paul, Township Representative
Richard Grove, Secretary                            Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary
James Kaiser                                              Thomas G. Vernau Jr., Township Manager
Scott Duncanson                                         Peddrick M. Young Sr., Commissioner

Susan Parry, Vice Chairman
Bob Pelles
Carolyn Kohr

Mr. Mahon called the August 26, 2015 Regular Meeting of the Recreation and Parks Board to order at 7:05 pm.

Mr. DUNCANSON made a motion to approve the minutes from the July 22, 2015 meeting. Mr. GROVE seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.

Yellow Breeches Park
Mr. Vernau informed the Board on Monday the Board of Commissioners voted to close the park until further notice. They are looking at measures to put into place for next year to prevent the same issues from occurring like this year. He stated they want the park used for passive recreation due to the recent events. He spoke about the possible options including, having the trail open only, having a picnic and pavilion area, develop the whole thing, and/or sell it. He discussed his memo outlining options for the park for this year and next year.

Mr. Dino Sorbello, 2036 Sheepford Road, stated he is glad the park is closed. He likes the idea of passive recreation and doesn’t want to see it developed.

Mr. George Page, Sheepford Road, spoke about his garden plots and he appreciates the actions taken.

Mr. Richard Schin, 9 Scarsdale Drive, stated he is here as a resident and Commissioner. He stated he walked through the park last night and encountered a group of people using the park. He felt very intimidated walking on the trail. He has now seen and realizes what a problem it has become.

Mrs. Janice Lynx, 2036 Sheepford Road, believes it is a beautiful park and feels bad that neighbors in the area won’t be able to use it. She is hoping with limiting parking it will be able to be reopen in the spring. She spoke about the possibility of making the park for residents only.

Mr. John Eby, Yellow Breeches Watershed Association, spoke about the problem with closing the park with fishermen and residents that kayak. He urged the Board to look at possibly limiting the hours from dusk to dawn, limiting group activities as outlined in Chapter 151 parks of groups less than 25, limit parking and post no creek swimming signs. He spoke about the three parks used for entering and exiting the Creek. He spoke about the issues Messiah College is having similar to Yellow Breeches Park and how he has seen 500 people at one time at Messiah. He spoke about maybe increasing the budget for enforcement next year to help with this park.

Mr. Vernau stated there will be a Facebook posting coming after this meeting notifying the public that the park is closed but the garden plots are open. He stated signs will be posted and enforcement will include a warning the first time and citation the second time. He spoke about Chief Williamson’s ability to restrict parking for a 90 day period and signs will be going up Friday. He stated he met with the residents in the area and discussed the no parking restrictions with them.

Vice President Young stated, for the record, the Board had no intent whatsoever of usurping the authority of the Recreation Board. He stated after listening to the residents they believed immediate action was necessary. Mr. Mahon stated they realize a serious response was necessary.

Commissioner Black was not present at the meeting and there was no liaison report. Commissioner Young was present at the meeting but didn’t have any additional information to share.

Mrs. Paul discussed the following activities from her monthly memo:
       • Fall softball, baseball and soccer has started.
       • New Backstop has been installed at Wass Park (small field). Also, at Wass Park an Eagle Scout will be building dugouts on each side of the player bench location.
       • Fence replacement at the rear of Highland Park and Playground will take place soon and a new pavilion roof will be completed in the near future.
       • Two Eagle Scout projects took place recently at LACP. One was 2 bat boxes installed at Fernlawn Pavilion and the other project was a set of bird houses installed above the Tot Lot play area.
       • A volunteer is painting some of the Fun Fort equipment.
       • Park staff has begun working on items that were listed on the park tour sheets.

Mrs. Paul stated her report outlined the tasked completed by the Parks Operational Staff in July.

Park Tours
Mr. Mahon asked everyone to review the park tour sheets and have their comments ready for the September meeting as three of the members were absent. Mr. Vernau discussed the budget process and timing. Mr. Mahon stated they will meet in September and present their suggestions at the Board of Commissioner’s meeting on September 28th.

Mr. Eby stated Charter will have another presentation for this Board in September/October. They are working on the Master Plan and Highpoint.

The Regular Meeting of the Recreation and Parks Board adjourned at 7:45 pm.

Next meeting is Wednesday, September 23rd at 7:00 pm.