Park Board, Feb. 7, 2013

PARKSThe board convened at 5:35 p.m. with three members absent and passed several program changes, including 2013 membership rates, uniform rates for use of soccer and baseball fields, and reduced hours for the Senior Center, effective April 1. Director Berkley Squires introduced the new director of the Lee Center, David Primus.  The board has been searching, so far unsuccessfully, for a summer camp location while the new rec center is under construction.

Members present:  Chairman Chris Mason, Tom Walker, program chairman, Becky Morton, Don Little, facilities chairman, and Tim Baggett.

Absent:  Chris Meeks, vice chairman, Paula Smalley, Keith Stansell, Tom Blake. Also absent was city council liaison Rich Laws.

Staff present: Parks director Berkely Squires, & staff secretary.

Audience attendance:  3

Votes on all measures are unanimous unless noted otherwise.

Approved:  Minutes of the Jan. 10, 2013 meeting.

Programs Committee Report: Mr. Walker said there is no location for summer camp, and a letter to that effect has been sent to parents of past campers, with referrals to other programs.  The Lee Center camp will operate as usual, with about 40 kids. Meanwhile, the board will continue looking for another location, beginning with the schools. [There are gymnasium improvements scheduled this summer at Hall-Kent, Edgewood, the middle school and the high school.] In discussion, Mr. Squires said the Parks and Recreation Department has saved between $155,000-$160,000 on camp salaries and expenses. However, some of that savings is going toward the lease on the temporary building, and the board would have to request extra funds from the city if it operates a camp.

Demolition of the Homewood Recreation Center underway week of Feb. 4, 2013

Demolition of the Homewood Recreation Center underway week of Feb. 4, 2013.

Facilities Report:  Mr. Baggett gave a report and three recommendations for board approval:

Approved:  Temporary “pool only” membership rate structure during construction of the rec center for city residents is $75 for a single and $125 for family; for non-residents, $150 for a single and $250 per family. The rates drop monthly on June 15, and the first of each month thereafter through Aug. 15.

Approved:  Alabama Sports Festival using soccer fields June 21, 22, 23. 

Approved:  Reduction of operating hours at the Senior Center, beginning April 1, 2013, as follows:  Mon.-Thurs. closing at 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. closing at 5 p.m. The facility can be rented on Sundays, 1-6 p.m.  The new hours are acceptable to the center director. It was determined that few, if any, people used the center after 6 p.m., although it was open and staffed until 9.

Approved:  Uniform field use fees, as follows:  $50/hour/field for tournaments and camps sponsored by the park rec leagues and for travel team practices for unaffiliated teams with 100% resident participation; $100/hour/field for tournaments and camps for unaffiliated teams, including travel/select team games, and any private lessons or training programs receiving compensation.

Announced bid opening for next rec center phase:  There will be a bid opening Feb. 19 at City Hall, time to be announced, for the foundation phase of the new rec center. The demolition and abatement phase uncovered some asbestos in the office part of the building, but less than expected. A ground-breaking will be announced for some time in March.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:30.

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