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Parks and Recreation Commission

Meeting Minutes

April 7, 2015

6:30 p.m.


Present: Becker-Finn, Diedrick, Heikkila,Holt, Doneen, Gelbach, Newby, O'Brien, Stoner

Absent:  Bogenholm, notified staff about being unable to attend

Staff:    Anfang, Brokke, McDonagh





Public Comment was postponed until park classification discussion.

Lisa McCormick and Council Member Willmus in attendance for tonight's meeting.



March 3, 2015 minutes passed unanimously with the rewording of lines 48 & 49. Corrected verbiage reads... Doneen added a reminder that a key objective when managing wildlife is to ensure that deer populations do not get too large so that they impact native vegetation.



New Parks & Recreation Commissioners, Jamie Becker-Finn, Luke Heikkila and Nancy O'Brien were sworn-in to their positions. 



Community member Lisa McCormick joined the commissioners to summarize the "Citizen/Neighborhood Petition to Reclassify Langton Lake Park" submitted to the commission for their consideration. In summary, McCormick asked the commission to consider classifying Langton Lake Park as a Conservation Park similar to Owasso Hills Park. McCormick explained the request for reclassification is in an effort to clarify and recognize how the park is used. By classifying Langton Lake Park as a Conservation Park the City would create an image for the park and how it is used and demonstrate the passion for the natural aspects of the park. Looking to protect & preserve what is there and expand the park if possible.

·         Commissioner Holt inquired into clarification, wondering if current activities are driving the request to reclassify Langton Lake Park.

o    McCormick responded that she has not been moved by any recent actions at the park or near the park has driven this request.

·         McCormick pointed out that she feels the Langton Lake Park aligns better with Reservoir Woods, a conservatory park than Central Park, an urban park.

·         Brokke provided a brief overview of the Park Classification system. The classification system is consistent with national standards.

·         Newby inquired into whether the classification of a park impacts maintenance tasks or maintenance funding.

o    Brokke responded that the name does not impact how we operate or manage a park.

·         McCormick suggested that perhaps Langton Lake could be divided into 2 classifications, recognizing the active aspects as well as the natural areas.

·         Brokke spoke to the fact that the Nature Center Grounds is recognized as a Conservancy Park while the remaining Central Park Area is classified as an Urban Park. This makes sense because of the size of Central Park and the divider of Dale Street for the Nature Center.

o    Becker-Finn voiced her concern for setting precedence by splitting the park and the effects on more areas throughout the City.

o    Newby inquired into a way of arriving at the preservation sense of the park without dividing it up.

An active discussion around the Commission table continued, with commissioners inquiring into how classifications of other parks around the City were recognized.

·         Gelbach commented that he views how the City cares for woodland areas as conservancy parks no matter what they are classified.

o    Holt commented that he feels that reclassification does not affect how properties are viewed and considered for development & management. Changing a classification does not have any impact on how a park is dealt with. All commissioners are concerned about our natural resources.

o    Stoner summarized that the neighborhood is concerned about Twin Lakes and impacts on Twin Lakes. And recognized the petition from the community and look to have future discussions on whether the commission should make a recommendation to the Council.


Commission Recommendation:

·         Motion by Doneen, second by Gelbach, to accept the community petition.

·         Nomination passed unanimously.


Lisa McCormick asked for information on the park dedication process and recent actions by the Commission.


Anfang recognized a commentary from Rita Mix supporting the petition submitted by McCormick.



Golf Course Superintendent joined the Commission Table for the Golf Course discussion.


Brokke summarized the upcoming discussion explaining capital needs, shift in course usage and Council requests to review operations, uses, financial position, capital improvement needs and make a recommendation.


Cedarholm was built in 1959, it was acquired by the City in 1967 and operates as an enterprise fund.


Golf Course staff are shared with other areas within the Parks & Recreation Department including turf management and marketing services.


Commissioners questioned why we can't just raise fees to expand revenues. McDonagh explained that our fees are based on the local market for similar courses and the philosophy to serve the local golf community. We achieve the revenues we do because of our strength in rounds played. If we raise green fees do we chase away the young golfers or the family golfing together.

·         Gelbach commented that an additional $2/round will balance the budget. How do we recognize that increase without raising the fees.


Holt inquired into bringing together a brainstorming group from a range of industry professionals to share information.



·         4 Park Buildings are completed and opened for use, 2 more buildings are coming online in April.

·         Work continues on the Park Shelters with facilities opening April 15.

·         Interior completed at HANC, boardwalk installed.

·         Contractors are working on the bridges in Villa Park.

·         Tennis Courts and Rink Lighting is wrapping up. Color coating on the courts is scheduled to take place in the fall.

·         Field improvements on numbers 2, 4, 5, 6 at Victoria are finished. Fields 1 & 3 will be worked on in the fall of 2015 & 2016. Work at Evergreen Park continues.

·         The next Natural Resource volunteer effort is scheduled for April 15 at Villa Park.

·         Seven playgrounds will be replaced in 2015.



Staff shared upcoming Park Building Neighborhood Preview dates.


9.    OTHER



Meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Jill Anfang, Assistant Director