Park and Recreation board, Jan. 8, 2015


Rec Center courts are “overrun” with kids these days.

Tonight the board passed three member and guest policy changes to make event room rentals more affordable, cut down on unknown kids gaining gym access as “guests,” and allowing younger minors to use the inside track.

An expected vote on a shared-parking agreement with the Exceptional Foundation was postponed, as more issues accumulate.

Members present: Chris Meeks, chairman, Keith Stansell, Becky Morton, Marjorie Trimm, Michael Murray, and Tyler Vail. Also present was council liaison Richard Laws.

Members absent: Tom Blake and Paula Smalley, who is recovering at home following very serious injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident in late December. Ms. Smalley was a pedestrian.

Vacancies: At-large vacancy created by term limit of Tom Walker, whose last meeting was in December.

Staff present: Berkley Squires, public service director, Rusty Holley, park and recreation superintendent, Dianne Rice, board secretary and her assistant Angie Montgomery.

Audience attendance: 1

Approved minutes of the December 4, 2014, meeting.

Postponed action on the shared parking agreement: In his chairman’s report, Mr. Meeks said there were still issues to be resolved with the Exceptional Foundation before the board signs a revised shared-use parking agreement. That agreement was to be presented for approval tonight, but will be postponed until February. Mr. Meeks didn’t specify what problems remained, but both parties are supposed to give one-month’s notice of upcoming events involving parking and Mr. Holley said the Foundation had just turned in February’s calendar on Jan. 7. Parking was at capacity at meeting time.

Facilities actions

Approved changes to membership and guest policies: In his report, Mr. Squires explained reasons behind asking for the following policy changes, which were granted:

  1. Reduce from 3 to 1 the number of member guests allowed in gym: The current policy allows each member to have 3 guests in the gym, an idea passed to allow members to invite friends to play basketball, but which has created a problem of adolescents hanging out around the Rec Center and soliciting members to let them in as guests. Mr. Squires said the gym is already overrun with people. The staff may  experiment with tracking and getting information from those kids who are repeatedly in the gym as “guests,” and limiting their visits. For now, staff will use their judgment in allowing members to bring extra guests, such as for out-of-town company, relatives, etc.
  2. Reduce the rental rate on the event room. Staff have seen a decrease in birthday party rentals since the new facility opened, which they blame on the $300 rental rate for a 6-hour time block. The new policy reduces the rate to $200 for a 4-hour period, with residents/non-residents charged $50/$100 for each additional hour, if needed.
  3. Reduce the age limit for using the track from 14 to 12. Mr. Squires said age 14 was the industry standard limit for allowing unchaperoned minors facility access. However, there have been a lot of requests to let younger kids in so they can practice and stay fit over the winter.
Run benefitting Camp Smile A Mile, 2014. This year will be the fifth for the childhood cancer fundraising event in Homewood.

Run benefitting Camp Smile A Mile, 2014. This year will be the fifth for the childhood cancer fundraising event in Homewood.

Approved a Camp Smile-A-Mile 5K and fun run at Central Park. The event is planned for Saturday, Sept. 19, from 4 a.m. (including set-up) to 11 a.m. and will include children’s games, inflatables, photo booth, news coverage, etc., with an expected attendance of 1,400.

Set Facilities and Programs committee meetings at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively. Mr. Meeks noted that a new Program chair would have to be chosen as Ms. Smalley will be recovering long-term from her injuries.


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