City of Harvard Park Board met Aug. 19.
Here is the minutes provided by the board:
Chairman Jay Schulz called the meeting to order and called roll at 6:00 pm. Committee members present: Alderwoman Bona Heinsohn, Alderman Charlie Gorman, Alderman Matt Perkins, Joel Kriete and Scott Logan. Members Jose Saucedo and Mike Vest were absent. Also present were Supt. Ryan Knop, Pete Hall, Kathleen Robson and Torrey Lawin.
Park Board Interviews
Chairman Schulz related that interviews would be conducted individually after which candidates could remain for the balance of the meeting, up until new business, when the Park Board would discuss the candidates and make their recommendation to the Mayor to fill the vacancy. Chairman Schulz will contact each of the candidates to notify them of the board’s decision. Interviews were conducted with Kathleen Robson, Pete Hall and Torrey Lawin. Kathleen Robson and Pete Hall left following their interview.
Fall Park Clean-Up Plans
The Park Board discussed potential fall park clean-up projects. A date was set for Saturday, October 12th from 9 am - 1 pm to repair and stain the gazebos at Northfield Avenue Park.
Northfield Avenue Park Discussion
The Park Board continued discussion on improvements at Northfield Avenue Park based on their July 29th facility tour. Chairman Schulz noted that for the most part, the park is in good shape. Other discussion:
The tennis courts are in use and at some point, should be fixed up. The cost to resurface/sealcoat both courts is approximately $15,000. The nets are relatively new.
The consensus was to remove the upper decorative pieces because they keep getting broken out.
At some point, parking needs to be addressed.
Harvard McDonalds donated three cement picnic tables which will be placed on a concrete pad at Milky Way Park near the Harvard Stingerz Football Concession Stand and along the walking path. Supt. Knop recommended reallocating the $2,000 previously designated for Country Brook benches to cover the cost of pouring the pads. Supt. Knop stated that the gravel area where the dumpster sits in the enclosure will be hard surfaced at the same time. Darrell is working with Gaver’s to complete the project. Joel noted that McDonald’s may donate garbage cans and additional picnic tables depending on whether or not they will be moved to the new building.
The Park Board reviewed a proposal from Francisco Serrano in the amount of $4,000 for a 25’ x 8’ roof over both dugouts; the proposal doesn’t include the cinderblocks. There may be access to have the blocks donated. The consensus was to get more quotes for building the full dugout with cinderblocks provided. Supt. Knop will confirm the donation of cinderblocks. Once we have quotes, the Park Board can reach out to District 50/Booster Club to contribute towards the cost as they are the primary user of the field. Bona thought that HERS should also contribute towards the cost.
Supt. Knop’s Report
Supt. Knop reviewed his monthly report and updated the Park Board on activities and programs he is working on.
Supt. Knop reviewed areas that the Parks and Rec Department would like to conduct controlled burns throughout the parks system this fall and winter before it snows, in particular at Park Pointe Park and along the creek in Lion’s Park. A motion was made by Alderman Perkins , seconded by Alderwoman Heinsohn to recommend to the City Council to approve a controlled burn this fall in the parks before it snows. All ayes. Motion carried.
Alderwoman Heinsohn requested an agenda item at the September meeting to have a conversation relative to whether the Parks Dept. should focus on programming or maintenance/cleanup/taking care of the parks. This will provide direction to Supt. Knop and allow the board to operate more strategically.
Supt. Knop updated the Park Board on personnel and weather-related issues at the pool which resulted in the pool being closed this past weekend. There is an additional chemical issue at the pool. Supt. Knop will try to chlorinate the pool to see if that clears it up. If not, additional chemicals to correct the issue will cost approximately $400. There are only five scheduled days left in the season with forecasted temps in the mid- 70’s the next two weekends. The consensus was to close the pool for the season unless there is a way to fix the issue, without purchasing additional chemicals. Supt. Knop will discuss the situation with City Administrator and make a decision by Thursday.
The Park Board discussed conducting an online public survey by the end of October to solicit community input relative to the future of the pool. Factors to consider are operational costs and the increase in minimum wages. The survey could be branched based on whether or not responders are season pass holders with additional tiered levels of questions. Supt. Knop will work with Katie Sumano to build a core base structure for the survey for Park Board review and direction. A Special Park Board Meeting was scheduled for September 23rd at 6 pm with the pool as the only agenda item with an option to have a secondary meeting if needed on September 30th.
The next regular Park Board Meeting will be Monday, September 16th at 6 pm. Supt. Knop will be out of the country from September 5th -15th and will email the Park Board as to the outcome of the pool closing.
Torrey Lawin left the meeting.
The Park Board discussed the three candidates for the Park Board vacancy. A motion was made by Alderwoman Heinsohn, seconded by Alderman Perkins to nominate Torrey Lawin to fill the vacant position on the Park Board due to his background/experience in athletics, pending an interview with Mayor Kelly. All ayes. Motion carried.
Joel inquired if City ponds should be checked for toxic blue green algae blooms that can be a potential hazard to pets. Supt. Knop was directed to do some research on the topic and report back at the next meeting.
At 7:20 pm, a motion was made by Scott Logan, seconded by Alderwoman Heinsohn to adjourn the meeting. All ayes. Motion carried.