Park Board meeting, May 7, 2015

The baseball league has asked if their healthy bank account could be used to improve fields at West Homewood Park. The board president specifically mentioned drainage problems. (A 2013 photo from the league's Facebook page.)

The baseball league has asked if their healthy bank account could be used to improve fields at West Homewood Park. The board president specifically mentioned drainage problems. (This 2013 photo was taken from the league’s Facebook page.)

The park board, with one abstention, passed a final version of an agreement regulating how the Exceptional Foundation could use limited parking space.

The youth baseball board president gave an annual report, asking for help improving the fields at West Homewood Park.

Members present: Tom Blake, Jody Brandt, Chris Meeks, chairman, Becky Morton, Keith Stansell, Marjorie Trimm and Michael Murray.

Members absent: Tyler Vail. Also absent was council liaison Richard Laws.

Staff present: Berkley Squires, public services director, Rusty Holley, Rec Center Supervisor, Jakob Stephens, athletic director, Angie Montgomery and Heddy Fitts, taking minutes.

Audience attendance: 1

Approved minutes of the April 9, 2015, meeting.

Homewood Patriot Youth Baseball League annual report: The League’s board president Howie Myers presented the league’s annual report. Mr. Myers said enrollment increased 3% in Spring 2014 over the previous year, and remained at that level for Spring 2015. Of the total 454 players that season, 386, or 85% were residents, with six receiving scholarships, bringing in $65,060 and fielding 47 teams. Those ratios stayed roughly the same for the fall season, although Fall ball numbers are significantly lower, with 97 players fielding 10 teams.

Giving some detail, Mr. Myers the league didn’t win any Metro All Star tournaments; It is trying new ways to give older players competitive play while still remaining on the park league.

Financially, the program brought in $76,508 against expenses of $66,874 for a net $9,633 in the black. The current checking account balance is close to $80,000. With that, Mr. Myers asked if some of the excess funds could be used to improve the upper baseball fields at West Homewood Park, pointing especially to drainage problems. Mr. Squires agreed. Click here for the 2014 report. Click here for the 2015 report.

Approved two events for Central Park: The board approved 1) The North Star Martial Arts Ninja Fun Run for Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, with food and other vendor booths and a 2-mile course, including a few obstacles; and 2) The Homewood Arts Council’s second annual Pickin’ in the Park bluegrass festival, inviting area musicians to a community jam session, fiddle competition, and for non-musicians games, kite flying and possibly food trucks.

EXCEPTCALENDARAccepted the Exceptional Foundation’s event calendar for June: As part of the ongoing effort to better communicate and coordinate shared parking needs between the Rec Center and the Exceptional Foundation, the Foundation has begun submitting monthly notice of planned events. Here is the June calendar.

Decorative light posts, and construction for streetscapes and angled parking are slated for this section of Oak Grove Road. A proposed deli and bar are asking the council for tax abatements up to $6,000 over several years to counteract the inconvenience.

Decorative light posts, and construction for streetscapes and angled parking are slated for this section of Oak Grove Road.

Approved West Homewood/Patriot Park improvement plans: The council-led project involves installing 21 lamp posts, streetscaping, striping parking spots along the park border and across Oak Grove Road. Construction is scheduled to occur while school is out for the summer.

Approved, with one abstention, a final final shared parking agreement with the Exceptional Foundation. The board made two concessions after the agreement was presented to the Foundation board, 1) A procedure for hearing and possibly accommodating parking requests on short notice. The board agreed that either Mr. Squires or Mr. Holley could rule on any such events that could impact parking but cautioned that they would be denied if last-minute requests became SOP; 2) Agreed to allow Foundation basketball

The Exceptional Foundation's expansion has turned a handshake agreement over shared parking into a big legal deal.

The Exceptional Foundation’s expansion has turned a handshake agreement over shared parking into a big legal deal.

games during the Rec Center’s busy basketball season, December-March, as long as vans and buses were parked on Foundation spaces or offsite and provided the Foundation doesn’t schedule any other events on those Saturdays that the two basketball seasons overlap.

A clause added by the city’s attorney asks the Foundation to move its games to the afternoon or find other remedies if the situation results in parking complaints to the Rec Center. Park Board representatives Meeks and Stansell said the suggestion wasn’t well received by the Foundation.

As in the past, Ms. Morton objected to some of the provisions, saying it would be practically impossible to monitor whose cars belonged to Foundation drivers and whose belonged to Rec Center drivers.

Click here to read the proposed final agreement.

Abstaining: Becky Morton, saying some provisions were unenforceable.

There being no further business, the board adjourned at 6:45 p.m.

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