CITY OF GLENS FALLS RECREATION COMMISSION September 27, 2006 Meeting Minutes A regular meeting of the Recreation Commission was held at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 in the McEchron House Conference Room, 65 Ridge Street, Glens Falls, NY 12801. Present: Commissioners Nancy Hudnut, Nick Taylor, Jason Buckley and Daniel Hall. Absent: Commissioner Timothy Graham. Also Present: Supt. Tobey Gifford and Councilmen James Brock. Supt. Gifford opened the meeting. She stated that the first item on the agenda is approval of the minutes from the June meeting. RESOLUTION NO. 31 On the motion of Commissioner Hudnut, seconded by Commissioner Taylor, all voting affirmatively, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Recreation Commission hereby approves the minutes of the June, 2006 meeting. Supt. Gifford stated the summer was great – their programs were full. Everything was well attended. They had large numbers at almost everything they did. They added some extra tennis programs this year. The pavilions were used almost every weekend and still are. There are a lot of people at the Parks, which is what they like to see. She stated with regards to Cole’s Wood, recently the second bridge was repaired. They had two critical bridges that needed to be addressed. Commissioner Hudnut stated they look fantastic and as if nothing is going to move them. Supt. Gifford stated there is a third and a fourth bridge that are on tap to get done in the spring. They have to stay away from Halfway Brook with regards to construction beginning October first until the spring because of the trout spawning. The critical bridges are taken care of – it looks a lot better. The bridge that was in the water is completely redone and the support system the put in underneath the bridge will keep from further erosion. Commissioner Hudnut noted that they’re big cribs, full of rocks. Supt. Gifford stated the other one is the one done not to long ago as an Eagle Scout project. It was shifted about 6 feet from the water last spring. That’s all been resecured. The extensions are a lot longer now. They have the Eagle Scouts and the Rotary Club to thank for that work. They had some donations from National Grid and Jointa Galusha gave them the stone. She doesn’t know if the project got into the newspaper. Pg. 2 Rec. Comm. 09/27/06 She stated further that she recently addressed the Rotary Club about club about the work. Warren County Soil and Water was also a large part of that. Commissioner Hudnut stated an article should be done, considering all the people who were involved. Supt. Gifford stated at the Rec Center, the ice time has been pretty much completely booked for the season. Senior Hockey is coming back. There are a lot of programs for instruction through the Rec Dept. Youth Hockey is doing what they have in years past as far as their schedule goes and the same with the High School. The parking situation is moving. They have a tree surgeon coming in to start that work, but she doesn’t know how quickly that’s going to happen because they’re doing it on their own time. She stated the next item is she just wanted to go over the policies for using the fields and facilities. With the new administration there was a request to streamline how things are coming through the parks and the permission process you have to go through. Every person or organization that wants to use a park – City Park, Crandall, East Field, etc, has to go through an application for use procedure through her office. It needs to come to a Commission meeting for approval, then to the Board of Public Safety or directly to the Common Council. There is still some question on what needs to go to Council – she thinks it will depend on the size of the event. The idea is to have better communication and make sure everyone knows what is going on at all the parks. Commissioner Hudnut stated for instance the Balloon Festival in Crandall Park. There were thousands there. Supt. Gifford stated yes – if they were following the procedure they would have come here. They did come to the office right before. She’s working on trying not to make exceptions to needing to go through this procedure. We want to make sure we can serve everyone and that we’re understanding what everyone needs at our end and they’re understanding the expectations the City has, such as insurance required and that all those things are addressed and gotten to the proper department. She stated further that there is a gray area on when to require a Certificate of Insurance from some of these groups. Commissioner Hall asked what the City has for insurance? He suggested asking the City’s insurance carrier for some direction. Supt. Gifford stated that she has asked if it has to do with how many people attend. She’ll try to find out more. They want to serve the residents, but make sure the City is protected. Commissioner Taylor stated that they have to know what the City’s policy says. The Common Council should say when a Certificate of Insurance is required, based on that. Supt. Gifford stated that the Soccer Program has started – they have 250 kids registered. They had a couple of events in the past weeks at Crandall Park – the Balloon Festival and Colors of Fall Art Show. Pg. 3 Rec. Comm. 09/27/06 Commissioner Hudnut stated she was a little upset about the art show’s signs. They had signs all the way along Glen Street. It was sort of tacky. She doesn’t know what the policy is on signs. She doesn’t think they ever talked about signage for events in the parks. Supt. Gifford stated she had spoken to Mike Mender about the signs – Arlene Schiek wanted to put them up earlier. They are still up by the way and need to come down. Any signs are usually only up there the day of the event. She stated she wanted to talk about the vandalism – they probably all heard about the fountain in Crandall Park. There is a dedication today. The DPW came in yesterday and fixed it as well as other volunteers to get that fountain back up. It’s beautiful. They had a lot of vandalism over the summer – more than she has seen in previous years. Montcalm Street has been hit over and over again. She’s been working with the Police and the individual who had actually signed her name to all of the graffiti that she decided to do all over the Park - she is 15 years old. She has been working with her with some Community Service work – she’s working in the Park right now, doing clean up and has been doing ok with that. She is also working with Matt Condon at the Youth Center with the kids over there. At Crandall Park vandals are even trying to pull the rocks out of the retaining wall around the Bandshell, one by one. Commissioner Hall asked if the Parks have signs that say “closed” after a certain time? Supt. Gifford replied yes, at the entrances. She knows the Police patrol the area and they have lighting – they could use more. The Mayor has suggested getting surveillance cameras. She thinks holding the kids responsible is important too. She stated that the next item is a request by the Kiwanis for the Taste of the North Country to be held in Crandall Park in 2007 because of the Crandall Library’s construction. She got a call from Jared Ogden requesting use of the Park until the Library is done. They have time before that comes around next year. The next item is the Murray Street Protect Our Parks group, requesting permission to paint the Murray Street Fieldhouse. Lisa Hansen addressed the Board, stating they’re in the early stages of forming a not- for-profit group to raise funds for improvements to the Fieldhouse, Park and to purchase equipment. They would also like to see the basketball and tennis courts resurfaced, a pavilion and additional fencing. She stated at this time they want to paint the Fieldhouse – volunteering both the time and the paint and clear the brush around the basketball court. Commissioner Hudnut asked what color they had in mind? Ms. Hansen replied any color they’d like – green or red? Commissioner Hudnut stated it sounds good to me. Don Harrington a resident of the area stated they also have a sewer problem over there and teenagers in the brush. After further discussion, Supt. Gifford stated that the neighborhood getting involved in the Playground is great. Pg. 4 Rec. Comm. 09/27/06 Ms. Hansen stated they would like to get the painting done before winter. RESOLUTION NO. 32 On the motion of Commissioner Taylor, seconded by Commissioner Hudnut, all voting affirmatively, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Recreation Commission hereby gives permission for the Protect Our Park group to paint the Murray Street Fieldhouse at no cost to the City and perform general lawn maintenance at Murray Street Playground. Mr. Harrington asked Supt. Gifford if she was aware there has been a broken sewer pipe into the Park since January? Supt. Gifford replied that she was not aware of it before, but she is now. She stated the next request is by the Open Door Soup Kitchen for a fundraiser bake sale on 10/21 at either Crandall or City Park. Elvis is here representing the Soup Kitchen. Elvis stated they’re open to having the event in either place. The Soup Kitchen’s operating expenses are high – they’re serving over 3000 meals a month. They would like to have a couple of tables with baked goods and possibly a raffle. All donations would go 100% to the Open Door. He stated further that insurance is not a problem. Commissioner Hudnut stated that she thinks City Park would be better for more traffic. She thinks the Chronicle Book Fair is that weekend also. RESOLUTION NO. 33 On the motion of Commissioner Hall, seconded by Commissioner Hudnut, all voting affirmatively, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Recreation Commission hereby approves the use of either Crandall Park or City Park on Saturday, October 21, 2006 for a fundraiser bake sale benefiting the Open Door Soup Kitchen, contingent on a Certificate of Insurance being provided. Supt. Gifford stated the next item is a request from the Domestic Violence Project to use the City Park for their October 13th rally event. They have done this on previous years. They’ll have a vigil march on the sidewalk around the block, then back to the Park for music. Their clothesline project will also be on display at the time. Theresa and Carol, representing the organization stated they’re expecting about 50 people and that it is their 4th year for the event in City Park. RESOLUTION NO. 34 On the motion of Commissioner Hall, seconded by Commissioner Hudnut, all voting affirmatively, it was Pg. 5 Rec. Comm. 09/27/06 RESOLVED THAT, the Recreation Commission hereby approves the use of City Park for a Domestic Violence Awareness Rally in City Park on October 13, 2006, beginning at 4:00 PM, contingent on their providing a Certificate of Insurance before the event takes place. Supt. Gifford stated that she got a phone call from Steve Chadman, an avid chess player who would like to donate a life-sized chess game to the City to generate interest in the City for chess. It is a portable game. She stated further that he’s thinking the interest may generate a national tournament, maybe at the Civic Center. She’ll be meeting with him on Friday to discuss the particulars. Commissioner Taylor stated that as a Commission they have to let the Common Council know they have to do something about the bleachers at East Field. It’s horrible. It’s part of what the community is and the City is taking in $500-600 per High School game. Supt. Gifford stated she talked to Mike Mender today about where those repairs are at. He suggested talking to Tom Donohue to see what their prospects are, as the person in charge now. She spoke to him briefly about it. She was under the impression those were going to be repaired for at least part of the football season. She doesn’t know why they weren’t. Commissioner Taylor pointed out that normally they get a certain amount from Warren County every year - $50,000. It seems to him that regardless of the High School staying there or not, certainly they’re going to be there for a while and the Greenjackets are there and ACC. Is it just wood that needs to be done? He can’t think of another stadium they go to in any city that has them look like that. Commissioner Hudnut noted that the school voted down the turf for the High School but they are getting new bleachers over there. Commissioner Taylor replied yes, as part of the school’s project. He thinks the vote is going to come up again, but that’s a separate issue. Commissioner Hudnut stated we’re all taxpayers here. If we had a very good facility at East Field they might not need to do that work over at the School. Commissioner Hall stated that this administration has basically said they don’t want High School football at East Field Stadium. They had a meeting and came out and said that’s a baseball field. The thing is it doesn’t matter if they had a really good baseball team and packed the place – where would they put them because they can’t use a lot of bleachers. He stated he’s been over there and they have them taped off – you can’t use them. Councilman Brock stated Commissioner Hall said the administration – who? Commissioner Hall replied the Mayor and others had a meeting at the beginning of the year and said that they didn’t want the High School football there anymore. That’s what we were told. Pg. 6 Rec. Comm. 09/27/06 Councilman Brock stated the biggest problem over there is just that the bleachers are unsafe. He was talking to Councilman Mike Busch about it last night. He’s real concerned about it, but the money is the problem. Commissioner Taylor stated he told him they had the money – that there was extra money left from the Regan administration. Councilman Brock stated that they’re very concerned about the budget. Money-wise there are funds they thought they had, but they’re not where they expected them, like in Community Development they thought there was going to be money in and now they’re not sure it’s there or not. Commissioner Taylor stated they know they have another $50,000 coming from Warren County. When it gets here the repairs of the bleachers have to get a higher priority. It’s been a while now to have that place look like that. Supt. Gifford stated she’s not sure where they stand on the Stadium, the Authority and the County. But they have to think about safety first for the groups coming in today. The facility has to be ready for whatever they’re deciding is going to be there. Commissioner Hall stated that when he was a County Supervisor the amount was $100,000 sent to the City for Recreation purposes. He doesn’t know where that exactly goes, but he doesn’t think it goes to the Rec Dept. He suggested speaking with the County Supervisors to up that amount. Commissioner Taylor stated now they have a great field and a great score board but nobody can watch the game. As a resident, he is paying a boatload of taxes, but when you get down there it’s almost laughable to see the home section for the High School team and there are only 4 rows you can sit in. If we can’t handle it, lets’ turn it over to the County. Let’s not let it end up looking like a dump. Councilman Brock stated further that they been trying to talk to the County about the Civic Center and now they’re balking at that. The Authority is losing momentum. He stated further that there was $40,000 allocated to East Field. Councilman Mike Busch didn’t know where it went all of a sudden – he wanted it put into the Fieldhouse this year. He hopeful our grant writers are pursuing monies that might be dumped at the end of the year. He suggested the Commissioners talk with the Mayor and give him their recommendation. RESOLUTION NO. 35 On the motion of Commissioner Hall, seconded by Commissioner Hudnut, all voting affirmatively, it was RESOLVED THAT, the Recreation Commission hereby adjourns the September, 2006 meeting.