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Parks and Recreation


Parks and Recreation Commission Minutes

MAY 4, 2010

 

PRESENT:      Azer, Doneen, Etten, D. Holt, M. Holt, Pederson, Ristow, Stark, Willmus

ABSENT:        Jacobson

STAFF:            Brokke, Schultz

 

1.     INTRODUCTIONS/ROLL CALL/PUBLIC COMMENT

No public comment.

 

2.     APPROVAL OF MINUTES-APRIL 6, 2010

Commission Recommendation: Minutes of the April 6th meeting were approved unanimously.

 

3.    PREPARATION FOR JOINT MEETING WITH CITY COUNCIL

Brokke indicated that there was information in the Commission packet on past Council/Commission meetings on possible topics. Since the meeting is only 30-40 minutes it would be good to choose a few topics for discussion. Stark suggested agreeing on 3-4 topics by the end of the meeting, with each commissioner asking the Council 1-2 questions. Willmus suggested discussion on funding and implementation of steps to follow the Master Plan.

 

Etten said he thought it was important to encourage the Council to be a part of the upcoming Master Plan meetings and that residents have shown a lot of interest in the meetings and support has been overwhelming.  Stark indicated that the Commission will be able to take the Master Plan draft, get feedback from the CAT team and then meet with the Council later on future steps. Pederson commented that the Council has received many updates on the Master Plan process.  After discussion, these topics were agreed upon for the joint meeting:

1.    Master Plan

2.    Budget

3.    Staffing

4.    Forestry

5.    Local Sales Tax Option

Stark will email members information on the joint meeting.

 

4.     FORESTRY ORDINACE DISCUSSION

Commission members discussed the information on the tree ordinance and emerald ash borer that was sent in their packet. The ordinance is now being revised from 1991. Commissioners indicated more money will be needed to address the ash tree situation. Brokke said the department had received a small grant from the Department of Agriculture to update the tree inventory. As part of the grant, the department needs to update the ordinance by next year and have a public hearing. Commissioners were shown a tree inventory map of the trees throughout the city. The grant should allow for the city to identify the most susceptible trees and to take down and replace up to 30 trees. Brokke noted that he had received an alert that no ash trees should be taken down between the months of May 15th-August 31st. The ash trees at Cedarholm will be treated. Overall in the city, a combination of treatment and removal is anticipated.  

 

Brokke indicated Excel Energy had wanted to take down a number of trees in Central Park by the power lines but staff was able to convince them to only take one, others will be trimmed. Brokke said many of the trees are memorials and have been donated by residents. The crab trees have been especially beautiful this spring. A large Cottonwood tree will be taken down in Owasso Hills Park.

 

Brokke explained we have a part-time seasonal Forestry Technician from March–October who will be very involved in the tree ordinance and emerald ash borer. Brokke asked Commissioners to read over the current ordinance and make recommendations on changes. Stark asked how residents can be involved. Brokke said it has been publicized and there will be public meetings. Willmus noted the Commission is on the Tree Board and that it may be time to examine the role of the board. Stark said a possibility for the Board would be to have some Commissioners combined with general public members.

 

5.     MASTER PLAN UPDATE

Brokke indicated the next couple of months will be very busy with many Master Plan meetings scheduled. Three maps were included with the Commission packet indicating the park constellation concept. May 19th and June 2nd are park concept plan meetings. Mailings and emails have been sent out. The concept plan will include 6 park areas plus the Nature Center and the Southwest corner of Roseville. Brokke said staff met with representatives of Falcon Heights, Lauderdale and St. Anthony in regard to the Master Plan and possible cooperative ventures. Falcon Heights and Lauderdale were most interested in future discussions.

 

The April 21st Master Plan meeting had about 100 people in attendance and focused on Programs, Policies and Priorities. There were lots of good ideas and discussion.  Azer said that since some people might not feel comfortable expressing their ideas in a group having other ways of expressing their ideas is important. Brokke said they can email staff or fill out the outline questionnaires and that staff welcome individual ideas.  There will be a new questionnaire soon.  Brokke said the RAHS Survey was very well done, coordinated by Julia Jacobson of the Commission. All students will complete the survey on-site. Commissioners talked about the possibility of expanding the student survey to the Mounds View district but decided against it since a lot of their students don’t live in Roseville.

 

Etten said he would like to see the Council and Commission invited to the June 17th CAT meeting. Stark said the CAT team has done an amazing job. Pederson commented that the consulting team has done a great job and that you want to be engaged.  The May 19th Concept Plan Meeting is from 6:30-9:30pm at the Skating Center.  The June 2nd meeting will show the design ideas from the May 19th meeting. June 23rd is the sharing the draft plan meeting and will probably be an open house format.

 

The Master Plan Technical Advisory Team (TAT) met April 22nd and the discussion focused on land use and project discussion. Brokke said different facilities of the city were discussed in regard to the Master Plan. The Fire Department has indicated they would like to consolidate their buildings in the future and have one location. Brokke said the needs of the other city departments and school district properties will be kept in mind during the process and then it will need to be determined how do they fit or not fit with the Master Plan. The goal will be to find the best solution looking into the future–5, 10, 15, and 20 years or more. We will also have to maintain what we have.

 

Ristow said he thinks the city should look at park land as a possible site for a community center, since the land is already owned by the city and it wouldn’t be affecting any property taxes. The commissioners had a map of potential sites in their packet. Stark asked if future demographics are being considered in the plan. Brokke said yes, the planning teams are looking at demographics. It was noted the demographics of the city and school district has changed a lot and now there is an increasing percentage of minorities living in the area. The school district has demographic data.

 

Brokke said Jeff Evenson and Michael from LHB went to 3 classes at RAHS and the students were very involved and engaged. Willmus said it’s been good to get input from all the different age groups. Brokke said farther along in the process there may be surveys and needs assessment done to identify priorities and help in planning.

 

Azer said it’s important for the city to be competitive in terms of comparisons with other cities. Parks are an important reason why people have chosen Roseville to live, over other cities. She said in planning it’s important to keep in mind “What will attract new residents?”

 

The TAT team has also discussed other properties: the Public Works Garage, Ramsey County Kent Street site, the Recycling area at HANC and private property at County Road C and Dale St, ands Easements/Right of Ways. They had a meeting last week with local business representatives with about 30-40 people in attendance. There was good discussion and the representatives said they are also trying to incorporate green spaces into their business properties.

 

6.    COMMISSION RETREAT DATE

Commissioners agreed they wanted to focus on the Master Plan now and that September would be a good time for the retreat. Saturday, September 18th was chosen as the date, combining it with the park tour. The scheduled time is 9am–2 p.m.  Pederson suggested possibly touring the areas where the park charettes will be done.

 

7.    DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Brokke explained differences in the department’s Staff Charts from 2007, compared to 2009. He said there has been a great deal of teamwork to accommodate these changes.  David Holt asked if technology has helped meet the demands of the department with having less staff. Brokke said the geothermal project is an example of technology that will help now and in the future. Brokke said plans are moving forward on the Reservoir project. The trail will stay open and the project should be complete by the end of June. David Holt said the fence installed is short and is concerned about if there would be any liability issues to the city. Brokke said he would check that out.

 

Brokke gave an overview of upcoming programs:

·         The brochure is out and we’re getting lots of registrations.

·         There is a new Youth Gardening class beginning in May at the Arboretum.

·         Pottery in The Park is at the Arboretum May 15th.

·         Summer Entertainment begins June 1st with an intergenerational concert with RAHS and the North Suburban Choir.

·         Volunteers are needed to help with the concerts.

·         The Rosefest Parade is June 21st and sponsors are still needed.

·         The Run and Roll for the Roses will be June 26.

·         The Arboretum Green team is looking for new volunteers. There are many other volunteer opportunities also available.

·         Reservations are being taken for picnic shelters.

·         The Skate Park at the OVAL is free and opened early this year due to the nice weather.

 

Doneen asked if the idea of mini-skate parks in neighborhood parks has been discussed at Master Plan meetings. Brokke said it could be part of the neighborhood park concept plans. The Puppet Wagon begins in June and the first Discover Your Parks (DYP) is June 9th at Rosebrook. Commissioners asked that the schedule for DYP be sent out.

 

May 20th is the Park and Recreation Roseville U night at the Nature Center and Arboretum.

 

8.     OTHER

Etten said the April 18th Villa Park clean-up went very well. Neighbors, Commissioners and 30 members of the National Guard participated.

Doneen reported that the Roseville Area School District, Baseball Association, and community residents had worked out an agreement  on the Fairview Community Center Fields so that the outdoor space will be reconfigured to  3 ball fields-2 for fast pitch softball and one for baseball.  Ristow commented he’s looking forward to the music in the parks this summer. Stark showed Commissioners the new Rosefest button and Brokke said they would be available for purchase at $2 soon.

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:45pm

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Rick Schultz, Recreation Coordinator