Park Board, April 7, 2016

Three of Homewood’s youth leagues presented their annual reports at this meeting, with football showing the first increase in three years despite a corresponding increase in lacrosse, its rival for players. Urban Cookhouse, a chain of “farm-to-table” themed restaurants with a location in Homewood, persisted in its effort to hold its summertime farmers’ markets at Central Park. The park board, originally reluctant to approve such space for a commercial enterprise, relented under condition that vendors keep vehicles off park grounds, which could be a deal breaker for the restaurant.

Members present: Chris Meeks, chair, Jody Brant, Gary Isenhower, Michael Murray, Paula Smalley, Keith Stansell and Marjorie Trimm.

Members absent: Chris Meeks, chairman, and Paula Smalley.

Staff present: Berkley Squires, public service superintendent, Rusty Holley, Rec Center director, and board secretary.

Audience attendance: 0

Minutes approval not reported.

Under certain conditions, the board will allow the Urban Cookhouse chain to host its Homewood Farmers' Markets at Central Park this summer.

Under certain conditions, the board will allow the Urban Cookhouse chain to host its Homewood Farmers’ Markets at Central Park this summer.

Allowed, with conditions, Urban Cookhouse to hold a series of summer Farmers’ Markets at Central Park: The question before the board last month was whether the public park would be an appropriate location for a for-profit business to sponsor a promotional and long-running event (11 Saturdays from June 4- Aug. 13, from 8 a.m.-noon). The first answer was a probable no, given the impact of vehicles on the park grounds and the amount of public space and time to be dedicated for a commercial purpose. At this meeting, the board was persuaded to approve, but only if the vendors understand they could not bring trucks and vehicles onto the grounds. Furthermore, a conflicting event is scheduled for one of the Saturdays requested, June 18. With those caveats, the board is awaiting an answer from the event spokesperson.

Homewood's 6A team was were the season champions, with 8 wins and 0 losses.

Homewood’s 6A team was were the season champions, with 8 wins and 0 losses.

Homewood Patriot Youth Football report: The program’s annual report showed the first increase in participation and corresponding rise in revenue after three straight years of decline. The 2015 enrollment totaled 110 players compared to only 74 the year before. The three largest groups were the 120 lb. and 130 lb. categories, with 32 and 30 players respectively, and the 80 lb. group, which typically has the highest enrollment, with 29 players. In 90 lb., there were 19 players and no teams were made in the 105 lb. group.

Financially, the league brought in $21,191 in registrations, admission and merchandise sales total, spending $29,336 in expenses (mainly for equipment and uniforms – $13,914 – merchandise, $5,819, in merchandise and $3,551 in ‘miscellaneous,’), for a negative $8,145. That amount, taken from a $15,683 starting balance (exactly the same as the year before) left the account with a balance of $7,538 at the time of the report.

The league also performed better on the field, with a 21/11 win-loss record compared to only 10 wins and 14 losses the year before.

Enrollments are off due to the popularity of soccer and lacrosse and concerns over concussions. There was one concussion reported in the 2014 season. The board is open to offering flag football for younger players, he said.

Financially, the program brought in $14,593, which was also down from last year, against expenses of $31,089, primarily for new helmets ($15,000), plus equipment, uniforms and merchandise. The program started with a positive carry-over balance for the year and has $15,683 in cash in the bank. Six scholarships were awarded to financially needy residents.

Click here to see last year’s report.

Lacrosse is catching on in Homewood, with its relative low impact compared to football.

Lacrosse is catching on in Homewood, with its relative low impact compared to football.

Youth Lacrosse –

The four-year old program has been self-sufficient so far but once again requested a concrete rebounding wall upgrade for the six-acres field (upper field) at West Homewood Park for teaching passing and catching to new players.

The mid-season, or spring, report showed an enrollment of 121, a slight drop since spring 2014, when there were 136 boys and girls on 8 teams. This was nevertheless a large gain since the league was organized four years ago with just 50 players on 3 boys teams. At the time of the report, Lacrosse fielded four girls teams totaling 37 players, with most (17) in the grades 6-8 category, and four high school girls, who play for Mountain Brook. That is compared to 84 players in five boys teams, fairly evenly spread across the grade levels, but with 25 players on the high school-age team.

Financially, the league listed a balance of $16,801, after revenue of $9,070 from registration fees and against expenses of $7,781, for park and rec fees ($1,170), uniforms ($5,511) and insurance ($1,100).

Five players were given fee waivers.

Click here for pdf of 2014 season budget.

Homewood Youth Cheerleading

Homewood Youth Cheerleading

Homewood Patriot Youth Cheerleading

The cheerleading program is an adjunct to Homewood Youth Football and enrolls Homewood girls in grades 1-6, who are organized into five separate squads. The 2015 report doesn’t list enrollment, but past years have averaged 85, ranging from a low of 64 in 2011 to a high of 101 last year. [Update with most recent, 2015 enrollment:   85 total with most (36) in the 1st-2nd grade squad and the least (14) in sixth grade.]

Financially, expenses of $35,482 for 2015 slightly outran income of $34,005 from registration, three fundraisers and donations from 10 sponsors, not broken out in the report. With a beginning carry-over balance of $3,601, the organization ended the year with $2,123 in the bank.

For last year’s report, click here.

Approved a 5K and fun run from Patriot Park to benefit a backpack giveaway: The Homewood Church of Christ is hosting a third annual backpack giveaway for local school children on Saturday, June 18, with the 5K starting at 7:30 a.m. and the fun run at 8:30 a.m., and the course going throughout West Homewood neighborhoods. Parking will be at the church with participants taking shuttle to the event. Expected attendance for the run is 150.

Approved a Pumpkin Festival at Central Park to benefit Grace House Ministries: Grace House hosts this third annual fundraiser to raise awareness for the organization and girls in foster care. The festival will have food trucks, live music, bouncey houses, and pumpkins to purchase and decorate. Previous years have attracted up to 500 in attendance.

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