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April 18, 2005 Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
PARK & RECREATION COMMISSION

Regular Meeting
April 18, 2005


DOCUMENT approved via Commission review

   
The Meeting was called to order at 7:02 P. M. by Chairwoman Foster in the Park & Recreation Office, East Windsor Town Hall, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

PRESENT:  Chairwoman Foster, Commissioners Briggs, Hayes, Szymanski; Groundsman Tetro;  William Raber, Community Liaison.

ABSENT: Commissioners Simpkins.

GUESTS: Sharon Brown, resident; Kenneth Crouch, Selectman.

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:

A quorum was established as four members were present.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:     None.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION:

*       Public facilities for use by dog owners:

Resident Sharon Brown had requested to appear before the Commission to discuss the lack of  Town owned public space available for residents to exercise or walk their dogs.  Ms. Brown reported that over 400 residents (or 15% of the families in East Windsor) paid fees in 2004 to license their dogs.  $1300 of those fees is put into the Town’s General Fund; the remainder goes to the State to fund rabies clinics, shelters, etc.  Ms. Brown suggested perhaps that $1300 could be put into the cost of addressing other residents concerns.   Ms. Brown, and others, would like to be able to use East Windsor Park because of the pond, and the associated parking.  She noted they used to be able to use an area at the East Windsor High School but that has been closed; she noted she realizes there are some irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their dogs.  Ms. Brown suggested if they could use East Windsor Park receptacles specifically designed for dog waste could be purchased as she wouldn’t expect Groundsman Tetro to clean up after their dogs.   She wouldn’t have a problem picking up after her dog if the plastic bags were there for them.   Ms. Brown suggested this is a quality of life issue for herself and others; she felt the signs presently posted don’t keep irresponsible people out of the park.

Chairwoman Foster indicated that the Commission rents East Windsor Park to leagues for baseball games, and rents the pavilion to families and organizations.   People bring their young children to the park with them; there are also many children taking swimming lessons at East Windsor Park.   She noted that most Town properties have ordinances to not allow dogs in parks.

Chairwoman Foster noted the Town recently purchased 157+/- acres across the street from East Windsor Park, she suggested that location might be a possibility.   Another resident indicated there is a lot of garbage over there.  Chairwoman Foster noted it’s not yet developed, and has a lot of farm roads running through it; perhaps if this group requested use of that property to the Board of Selectmen something could be worked out.        

Commissioner Briggs reported she is at East Windsor Park a lot; many children are afraid of dogs.  Chairwoman Foster noted there is not a lot of Open Space land; she suggested the Town owned land along Mill Street where the decommissioned filter beds are located, that land has roads and paths used by fishermen.  

Ms. Brown reported she wants to walk her dogs on weekends; presently she has to go out of town.  She requested the Commission research what surrounding towns do.    Commissioner Briggs reported there is the problem of people who    don’t pick up dog waste; she is concerned with that situation, especially around        the waterfront at East Windsor Park.  Another resident felt that was the problem        at the high school, as up until last year they could walk their dogs over there.        Commissioner Hayes noted the Commission doesn’t control the high school.   Mr. Raber concurred, noting the reason the sign went up at the high school is         the area was becoming a dumping ground for dog droppings.  

Chairwoman Foster suggested it may take time to get a larger group of people to agree on a place.   She noted the Commission only controls 7 facilities, and    all have always been posted.  Chairwoman Foster noted there is also insurance concerns.   Ms. Brown felt if you made it more convenient more people would pick up after themselves.   Chairwoman Foster noted again that the area on Mill  Street has walking paths, and is near the water.  Ms. Brown suggested East Windsor Park has the waterfront.  Chairwoman Foster indicated that there are other people who have the right to use the park without the fear of dogs, etc.       Chairwoman Foster noted the Town also owns property along the Scantic River  near Scantic Glen, and Volunteer Park along the Connecticut River has parking  nearby.  

Selectman Crouch requested clarification that Ms. Brown was looking for a place to walk dogs?   Ms. Brown suggested she is here to start a discussion;  she’s not expecting any results tonight.  She’s attended the meeting to show the Town that there are others who feel as she does.   Chairwoman Foster requested if Ms. Brown does any research about facilities in surrounding towns to pass    that information on to the Commission before the next meeting.  

Selectman Crouch noted that when people use the Field Trials they turn their dogs loose and then follow them around; other people want access to water.  He suggested people shouldn’t let dogs run loose at East Windsor Park, but the land    across the street has paths and farms roads.  He felt he could get the Town to mow a parking area, and to remove the briars, etc.   Selectman Crouch suggested Ms. Brown and the others get themselves organized and request to appear on the Board of Selectmen agenda.  

*       Removal of barn at East Windsor Park:

        Selectman Crouch reported to the Commission he feels they are making progress on removing the old barn at East Windsor Park.  He felt he can utilize the Town Public Works crew to pull the bracings out and collapse the remaining framework; they would then need money for a bulldozer to pile the   material up for burning by the Broad Brook Fire Department.  Fire Marshal Simpkins will need to issue a burning permit.  Groundsman Tetro will remove Park & Recreation materials inside the remains of the barn.  Selectman Crouch noted he has had the shingles checked; there is no asbestos in the shingles.  


        
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (continued):

*       Maintenance of Park Facilities (continued):

        Selectman Crouch noted current budget funding for capital improvement   projects is limited, he suggested the Commission come to the Board of Selectmen with specific proposals to maintain the parks.  Chairwoman Foster noted when she appeared before the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance    for budget hearings she indicated the Commission would have to close the tennis         courts at East Windsor Park as there is not the $65,000 funding to repair them, and they are becoming a safety issue.  Selectmen Crouch suggested returning to the Board of Selectmen with that proposal.  Discussion followed regarding other maintenance items, including dredging the waterfront at East Windsor Park,        and obliteration of algae at East Windsor Park and Broad Brook Pond.

NEW BUSINESS/a) Park Director’s Report:

        General:

        *       Mr. Raber is looking for direction from Commission regarding community donations for Summer Concerts.  Commission to provide list of last year’s contributors.

        *       Articles for the Town Newsletter are needed by next Tuesday;  Chairwoman Foster will prepare an article.   Groundsman Tetro suggested reminding people of the concern for vandalism at all parks, and the responsibility of the citizenry to report incidents.

        Leagues:

        *       Registration is going well; Kevin will provide a list of the various teams;             the increase in the cost of the leagues seemed to be no problem.

        Programs:

        *       Enrollment for the Mad Scientist Program is going well; two sessions            are being scheduled.
                        
        East Windsor (Reservoir) Park:

        *       The Commission decided to open the park for Memorial Day Weekend                without the snack bar, and will continue to open the park every weekend                 

NEW BUSINESS/a) Park Director’s Report:

        East Windsor (Reservoir) Park:

                thereafter.  Mr. Raber noted he needs to train people to run the snack          bar.

        *       The Commission agreed to allow the East Windsor Senior Club use the             pavilion for an outing free of charge.

        *       The Broad Brook Angling Club will hold the Kids Fishing Derby on                Saturday, April 30th.

        *       Mr. Raber reported Volari Martial Arts Centers has been using both              sides of the pavilion one weekend day.   The have 40 centers, and are now asking to rent the entire park for use by 400 to 500 people for an entire day.  Chairwoman Foster indicated the Commission couldn’t close the park to the townspeople, but if this group wants to use the park before Memorial Day or after Labor Day the Commission may be able to accommodate them.   She noted the park has been open at the same time that other groups of 200 to 300 people have been renting the pavilion, and there have been no problems.  Staffing needs to be worked, especially for those wishing to swim, and the charge should reflect use of the waterfront.

        *       Need to hire more staff with WSI; cost of course is $300; Commission            to pay half up front and remainder if staff stays for the entire season.

        Prospect Hill Park (Warehouse Point):

        See discussion on lighting under comments made with regard to Volunteer Park.

        Volunteer Park:

        *       Selectman Crouch noted they have installed fences at Volunteer Park,            and noted they are thinking about putting in an electrical pole and running a line to the pavilion.  Mr. Raber reported he has been asked if the Town would install a canoe launch at that location.   Selectman        Crouch felt they would not be able to do that as many people fish there because of the open access to the river.  Groundsman Tetro suggested the need for a ramp to bring the garbage cans across the street; Selectman Crouch felt they could install a ramp on the bridge side of the park.  Selectman Crouch questioned if the Commission would hold any of the concerts at this location; Chairwoman Foster suggested holding the Saturday night concerts at East Windsor Park and possibly holding week night concerts at Volunteer Park.   Commissioners Briggs, Hayes, and Szymanski noted a problem with parking conflicting with people parking for the Little League games, and also reiterated the problem with the smell from the sewer plant.  

        *       Chairwoman Foster noted the need to install power at Prospect Hill Park also. Selectman Crouch suggested adding more lighting to the street pole as the Town pays for that anyway.  Chairwoman Foster noted concern for impacting neighbor’s properties with the park lighting.

Abbe Road Soccer Complex/Broad Brook Pond Park/Osborn Park (Warehouse Point)/Pierce Park (Windsorville):

        No discussion this evening.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of Special Meeting dated April 4, 2005 as                written.

Briggs moved/Hayes seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:   Unanimous

LET THE RECORD SHOW Commissioner Szymanski left the meeting at 8:30 P. M.

NEW BUSINESS/b) Groundsman’s Report:

        General:

        *       Working on cutting out fields for various schools.

        Abbe Road Soccer Complex:
        
        *       Received letter from CGSA, looking for play dates for Saturdays and             Sundays.
        
                
        *       Graffitti was painted on the basketball court and one entire side of the                roof at the pavilion at East Windsor Park.  Chairwoman Foster spoke to the Police Department.  Groundsman Tetro noted an electrician is looking into a wireless security camera; they hope to have something in place before the start of the season.  Estimate of $3,000 to $4,000 for repairs submitted to CIRMA.

        Osborn Park (Warehouse Point):

        *       Water system had leak between road and building but the water never             surfaced; hired contractor who found it was a plastic line.  Repair of line and installation of sump pump estimated to be between $1,200 and    $1,300.

        Leagues/Programs/Broad Brook Pond Park/Pierce Park (Windsorville)
        Prospect Hill Park (Warehouse Point)/Volunteer Park:

        No discussion this evening.

OLD BUSINESS:

MOTION:  To APPROVE $1,500 to replace the shingles at the snack bar at          Warehouse Point Park.

Hayes moved/Briggs seconded/VOTE:  In Favor: Unanimous

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of Regular Meeting dated February 22,            2005, and Regular Meeting dated March 12, 2005 as written.

Hayes moved/Briggs seconded/VOTE:  In Favor: Unanimous

CORRESPONDENCE: None.

MISCELLANEOUS:  None.




ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 9:00 P. M.

Hayes moved/Briggs seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:   Unanimous

Respectfully submitted,

_______________________________
Peg Hoffman, Recording Secretary