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Parks and Recreation Commission


Meeting Minutes

April 2, 2013

 

PRESENT:   Azer, Boehm, Diedrick, Doneen, Gelbach, D. Holt, M. Holt, Simbeck, Stoner and Wall

ABSENT:     None

STAFF:         Brokke, Evenson

OTHERS:    Jason Etten, Michael Schroeder, LHB  

 

1.    INTRODUCTIONS/ROLL CALL/PUBLIC COMMENT

None

 

2.    APPROVAL OF MINUTES – MARCH 5, 2013 MEETING

Commission Recommendation: Minutes for the March 5, 2013 meeting were approved as presented with Commissioners Azer and Wall abstaining because they were not at the meeting.

 

3.    Administer Oath of Office to New Commissioners 

Chair Holt administered the Oath of Office to newly appointed Commissioners Philip Gelbach and Jerry Stoner. The Commission welcomed the new Commissioners.

 

4.    Recognize Former Commissioner and Chair Jason Etten

Staff presented the 2012 Board and Commission Award on behalf of the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) former Commission Chair, Jason Etten. The award is presented annually to one member of a citizen advisory or policy making park board in the State of Minnesota in the parks and recreation field. Mr. Etten received this award for his leadership in working with the Commission, the community, City Council and City staff to help create the future direction for Roseville Parks and Recreation through the Master Plan and Parks and Recreation Renewal Program.

 

Mr. Etten thanked the Commission and the MRPA as he accepted the award on behalf of the Commission and the community and that it involved a lot of people. Mr. Etten mentioned that he looked forward to working with the community and Commission again on furthering the vision for the implementation effort.

 

Commissioners congratulated Mr. Etten for this much deserving award.

 

5.    PARKS AND RECREATION RENEWAL PROGRAM

Staff introduced Michael Schroeder from LHB. Schroeder explained the process used to get to the preliminary plans and presented the following first sets:

·         Harriet Alexander Nature Center (in collaboration with FORHANC and FOR Parks)

·         Lexington Park

·         Villa Park

·         Autumn Grove Park

 

HANC

The Commission discussion, comments and considerations on the HANC plans included items such as the boardwalk railing, overall accessibility compliance, wetland water levels, environmental design efforts including use of recyclables and reclaimed steel, indoor and outdoor lighting, storm water management and area educational signage. Questions were raised as to the scope of the Renewal Program and funding levels. Doneen noted from the summary notes that there was an appearance of interest in enhanced programming and volunteer efforts.

 

Schroeder responded to questions about the summary notes and explained the weight and priority system.

 

Schroeder offered his time to meet with any Commission members or members of the public at City Hall or a park to better understand their ideas/issues/interests. Staff indicated that Schroeder has also been meeting with affiliated groups and has encouraged others to come in and share their thoughts and ideas. 

 

Commissioner Diedrick indicated she was present at the HANC meetings and others and is encouraged by how people can have an impact on the park system.

 

LEXINGTON PARK

Commission discussion and comments on the Lexington Park Preliminary plans included questions on the overall budget and scope, building location as it relates to current area utilities such as sewer and water and interest in the interior trails.

 

VILLA PARK

Commission discussion and comments on the Villa Park Preliminary plans included questions on the parking lot displacement, trail enhancements and what all was being done as part of the Renewal project. Commissioners felt it was unclear as to what projects were being completed as part of the renewal phase and what was not. Schroeder explained that each preliminary plan conceptualizes the park in a “big picture” in order to bring to light any issues and/or ideas that may have been missed or that may be able to be incorporated and also sets the park up for the future.

 

Schroeder expressed the interest of the community and guidance in the Master Plan to suggest that the parks in Roseville be elevated to a new level with the Renewal Program.  This effort is not treated like a shopping expedition but rather a thoughtful, diligent approach to the future.

 

D. Holt commented that what is being done now as part of the Renewal Program aligns with the Master Plan and is not intended to be the end of improvements to the system in the future.

 

AUTUMN GROVE PARK

Staff reviewed the Renewal Program projects and budgets. Commission discussion and comments on the Autumn Grove Park Preliminary Plans included the need to provide a balance for parking needs and the potential safety hazards with on road parking. Gelbach suggested discussing shared parking with Advent Lutheran Church located across the street. Schroeder indicated that these were similar topics and discussion at the neighborhood meetings.  

 

Azer indicated that it was evident that pedestrian transportation is of high importance in the community and it keeps coming up. There was discussion on the feasibility of a bridge or tunnel for safe moving. Schroeder expressed some of the challenges to this including span lengths, expense and necessary ramps. D. Holt encouraged commission members to go out and visit the site and provide ideas and input to Schroeder and Evenson.

 

Referencing the meeting summaries, Doneen mentioned the overall appearance on the popularity of internal park trails and how they may claim some dollars from the pathways and trails Renewal Program budget and should be considered by the Natural Resources and Trails Subcommittee (NRATS).  

 

OTHER

Commissioners discussed and commented on the preliminary plans in general and the appearance of confusion on the scope of the specific renewal projects. Schroeder indicated that each preliminary plan creates a conceptual “big picture” including the renewal program. They also help to identify other potential issues and ideas that may be able to be addressed with the renewal program at no cost or very low cost. It also continues to build on a vision for the future. After discussion, it was suggested that all preliminary plans include a call out to the Renewal projects that are funded so that people understand better what is being done as a part of the Renewal phase and what is not. There was also interest in providing an estimate for projects that are outside the scope of the Renewal Program but are included in the preliminary plans.   

 

Doneen indicated that the NRATS met once since the last commission meeting and reviewed feedback from the B2 sidewalk meeting. They are in the process of developing a frequently asked questions list for this project. He also pointed out that B2 is a significant part of the Renewal Program budget but internal park trails look pretty popular so may hold off on other prioritizing of projects to see what all comes out of the preliminary park plans.  Reservoir Woods meeting will be on April 13, 2013 to discuss Natural Resource Projects and in particular a pilot buckthorn project that will be happening soon, weather permitting. The group is waiting for the Natural Resource Consultant to be on board.

 

Staff reviewed the process and outlined the next step from the preliminary plans reviewed tonight. They will be brought to the City Council in May for their review prior to the preparation of final construction documents, then construction to begin in the fall.  Following the completion of preliminary plans, the next neighborhood interaction will include a construction inform notice to the nearby park neighborhoods. Another set of preliminary plans will be brought to the May commission meeting for review.  

 

Staff provided an update on the selection process for the Playground Vendor and the Natural Resource Consultant. Both are in the final clarification stages with a recommendation expected to be made to the City Council in April. Thanks to Commissioner Wall for being part of the playground process and Commissioner Doneen for being part of the natural resource process. Wall commented on how the process requires vendors to be

diligent and that they clearly understand the project and what is expected of them.

 

6.    Park Board Discussion

D. Holt introduced the topic and indicated that this was a topic of interest by the City Council

and that it is was important that the Commission provide an analysis and recommendation to the City Council.  

 

Wall indicated that he, Simbeck and staff have been working to compile information. He reviewed the draft #1 research and analysis report dated 4/2/13 that included the background, history, park board characteristics, a start of a pros and cons list. He also mentioned that he and staff met with the Director and Board Chair of Maple Grove Parks and Recreation and attended their meeting. His observations were that it appeared to operate in a similar way to Roseville.

 

Wall suggested that further discussion and analysis of what is in the best interests of the City of Roseville and its residents occur in May in preparation for the June 10th joint City Council/Commission meeting.

 

Wall communicated his impression of the Maple Grove visit as follows:

·         They appear to operate similar to Roseville even though they are a Park Board

·         Users and stakeholders appear satisfied

·         They like the system that they are operating under

·         Maple Grove is a very good model

·         Appointments are made by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council which is similar to Roseville

·         The community center is very impressive

 

Staff indicated that procedurally a Park Board is more involved in staffing and budget development with the City Council approving a levy. It would operate similar to the Roseville HRA.

 

 According to the City Code, the Roseville Commission is advisory only and is probably going beyond their scope of work.

 

Further discussion included how long Maple Grove has been a Park Board, questions on board members pay and how the City Council is kept informed. Response included that Maple Grove has been a Park Board since inception, board members are not paid but it is believed that Brainerd Park Board Members are paid a stipend of $25 month and the City Council in Maple Grove is kept informed through a quarterly report provide by the director. Larger items such as land acquisition and certain level of projects are reviewed by the City Council.

 

Diedrick wondered about the interaction with other City Departments in Maple Grove. Response was that the director attends department head meetings and the need for interdepartmental coordination and cooperation still is important and exists.

 

Doneen provided his analysis on the primary difference between a Park Board and Commission. Specifically, the day to day operations and project development moves away from the City Council with the responsibility given to the Park Board. A Park Board would be a more focused, separate board relieving certain duties from the City Council.

 

Gelbach questioned whether increased accountability and responsibility means increased liability for board members.

 

Azer was complimentary of the existing Commission structure but is interested and would like to learn more.  

 

D. Holt reiterated that the charge of the Commission is to research the topic and provide information to the City Council so they can make a decision.

 

Responding to D. Holt, staff indicated that because of the importance Roseville residents place on their parks and recreation system, that at some point, the consideration of a Park Board may be advantageous for Roseville. As guided by the recently updated Master Plan it is suggested that Roseville consider a Park District, which is not currently allowed by State Law. A Park Board seems like it could be a logical progression for Roseville.

 

The Commission thanked Wall and Simbeck for their work. More discussion will occur at the May meeting.

 

7.    Josephine Heights Park Dedication

Chair D. Holt introduced the item and indicated that the information was in the packet and wondered if there were any detail questions. Staff provided a brief review of the site and project.

Commission Recommendation:

Doneen moved, Simbeck seconded to recommend that cash be accepted in the Josephine Heights proposed development to satisfy the Park Dedication requirement. Motion passed unanimously.

 

8.    STAFF REPORT

·         Ethics training is scheduled for April 10

·         City Attorney will be meeting with the Parks and Recreation Commission on May 7. City Attorney to review data practices, open meeting law, electronic communications.

·         An update of Emerald Ash Borer was given that it is now in the NW Quadrant with more cases identified.

·         Announced the upcoming annual Ice show on April 26th, 27th and 28th.

 

9.    OTHER

·         None

 

Meeting adjourned at 9:30pm

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Lonnie Brokke, Director