Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee Minutes 11-15-2023

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                              Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee
                           Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 5:30pm
                                  City Hall Commission Chambers

Present: Roberta King, Aaron Bodbyl-Mast, David Ruck, Sarah De La Rosa, Hillery Ross-Furse, Lynette
               Marks, John Burt, Sidney Long, Leann Heywood, Mayor Ken Johnson
                            Absent: Jequan Brown, Anthony Olshansky
 I.      Introductions
         a. The present committee members shared introductions about themselves that included
             which Ward they were representing and why they were connected to or interested in
             the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee.
 II.     Committee Responsibilities
         a. Staff liaison and Parks & Recreation Director Kyle Karczewski went over his expectations
             and plans for the future of the Committee meetings as well as the Committee’s
             responsibilities. He discussed how he plans to consult the committee when it comes to
             the policies and procedures for the new programs the department is putting on as well
             as promoting activities that will benefit city parks and programs.
         b. Mayor Johnson decided that for productivity moving forward the committee should aim
             to keep meetings 90 minutes long and future agendas should be planned accordingly.
             The first meeting is the exception to this.
 III.    Master Plan & Funding Details
 IV.     Raw Survey Data
         a. The Parks Master Plan survey data was briefly presented by showing the raw data from
             the ZenCity website. There are plans to share the full data reports to the committee at
             the next meeting.
 V.      Presentation – Biggest Park Needs
         a. Campbell Park – Could be developed into many different things. Plans to interpret
             survey results to see what the community would like to see at this park.
         b. Smith Ryerson Park – The biggest issue identified at this park was the Community Center
             Interior that is in need of upgrades. Staff sees potential to turn this space into a hybrid
             recreation center as well as event center for rentals.
c. Bathroom Upgrades are needed at numerous parks. The examples shown in the
     presentation came from Beukema Park (no stalls in the men’s or women’s restrooms)
     and Seyferth’s Park (graffiti and old stalls, floors, etc.). there are many other parks in
     need of bathroom upgrades.
d. Reese Playfield – There are three parking lots at this park that are all deteriorating.
     There is an ADA-Wheelchair accessible playground located at this park but the parking
     lot presents potential issues for wheelchair users to access the playground.
          i. Committee members brought it up that the new playground at this park was
             paid for by the Pere Marquette Beach Parking revenue, and they suggested that
             we add a sign to the playground area stating this.
e. McGraft Park – This Park identified multiple projects including irrigation updates,
     playground upgrades, tennis court renovation, and updates to the bandshell. The
     priority of which of these is most important or financially make sense.
          i. The school board representative on the PRAC mentioned that when MPS is able
             to put together a tennis team, they use McGraft Park tennis courts for their
             matches and would like to continue this partnership moving forward (and to
             consider this before taking out tennis courts completely or changing them into
             other sport courts). She also mentioned that the Cross-Country team uses
             McGraft Park trails for their meets and practices when they are able to put a
             team together.
f.   Kruse Park – The main concern at this park is the lack of beach access.
          i. New boardwalk will cost $1,025,000 that has a ramp that is ADA compliant. The
             board considered other options included putting temporary stairs in the
             location for a lesser cost to provide that beach access. This will be on the
             agenda at the next meeting to discuss again.
g. Sheldon Park – There is a building at Sheldon Park that houses restrooms and a
     concession stand however both are unusable at this time.
          i. Karczewski included the proposal to completely tear down the current facility
             and build a new one at the cost of $400,000. This would be more cost effective
             than trying to renovate what is currently there.
         ii. Bodbyl-Mast mentioned that this could be
h. Pere Marquette Parking/Boardwalk – DPW Director Dan VanderHeide presented on this
     topic for the expansion of Pere Marquette Parking.
                    i. $1.8m for DLZ proposal that included an increase in just over 90 parking spots
                        and the addition of Indiana Ave. expansion.
                    ii. Ruck mentioned that he talked to residents about there not being enough
                        signage about Park Rules.
           i.   Richards Access – The Ottawa St. Bridge is not accessible by vehicle and City Engineers
                were looking to a way to offer a walking path or bridge into that park to provide an
                additional entrance into the park other than coming in off of Shoreline Drive.
   VI.     Individual Parks Master Plans RFP
           a. Karczewski proposed that individual Master Plans could be done for specific parks and
                suggested the following: Richards Park, McGraft Park, Kruse Park, Campbell Field.
   VII.    Next Meeting Action Items
           a. Parks & Recreation Capital Plan
           b. The committee decided to push this agenda item to next meeting.
   VIII.   Programs Update and Outlooks (if time)
           a. The committee decided to push this agenda item to next meeting.
   IX.     Any other business

Adjourned at 8:09pm

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