Park Board, Oct. 6, 2016

Will Homewood parks offer a different kind of winter recreation next year? Ms. Smalley is leading the way.

Park board members in January didn’t seize on a suggestion by Ms. Smalley to investigate a pop-up skate rink at Central. The topic got new life for next year after Birmingham announced a similar project for Railroad Park.

The board accepted the council’s revised budget for FY2017, elected officers, and promised to reexamine for next year the feasibility of a pop-up skate rink in light of the same being announced this winter for Railroad Park in Birmingham.

Members present: Chris Meeks, chair, Gary Isenhower, programs chair, Jody Brant, Paula Smalley, vice chair, Keith Stansell, Michael Murray, and Becky Morton, arriving late.

Members absent: Chris Bailey and Tyler Vail.

Staff present: Berkley Squires, public services superintendent, Rusty Holley, Parks and Recreation superintendent, and board secretary, taking minutes.

Audience attendance: 1

Approved the September meeting minutes.

Announcements:

There will be a Fall Festival at Central Park, Saturday, Oct. 29, 4:30 p.m., a joint event with city police and fire departments, featuring kids’ activities, bounce houses, etc.

Pickin' in the Park will be merged with the Handmade event, both Arts Council projects, to be held at Central Park this year.

Pickin’ in the Park will be merged with the Handmade event, both Arts Council projects, to be held at Central Park this year.

Pickin’ in the Park, an informal music participation event, is scheduled Sunday, Oct. 16 at Central Park, sponsored by the Homewood Arts Council and presented jointly with the group’s other public event, Handmade, which was moved from Patriot Park this year.

Committee Reports:

There was no Programs Committee report. Under Facilities, Mr. Squires briefly mentioned someone had requested some plantings at Woodland Park, which is a passive neighborhood park not requiring active maintenance. Woodland has a deed restriction to allow green space and picnic tables, but no playground equipment.

OLD BUSINESS

Accepted the FY2017 $4.4 million parks budget returned from the City Council:

OPERATIONS BUDGET

The proposed $4,165,550 was increased $71,499 by the council to $4,237,049 to cover additional insurance costs and wage step increases mandated by the county personnel board.

CAPITAL BUDGET

The proposed $204,350 capital budget was decreased $31,475 by the council to $172,875 after eliminating requested expenses for weight room additions and doors.

Elected officers for the FY2017 year:

  • Re-elected as chair – Mr. Meeks
  • Vice chair – Mr. Vail
  • Facilities Committee chair – Mr. Murray, with members Brant, Smalley, and Bailey.
  • Program Committee chair – Mr. Isenhower, with members Vail, Morton, and Stansell.

NEW BUSINESS

The pop-up rink proposed by Ms. Smalley is based on this one operated by the City of Tuscaloosa. The price tag is high and weather uncertain. Will the Park Board go for it?

The pop-up rink proposed by Ms. Smalley is based on this one operated by the City of Tuscaloosa. The price tag is high and weather uncertain. [The board did not follow up on this suggestion for those reasons.]

Dismissed until next year a discussion about hosting a winter season ice rink at Central Park: Ms. Smalley in January had proposed the board host a pop-up skating rink based on one she had seen in Tuscaloosa. A discussion the following month revealed a hefty pricetag, and the topic wasn’t revisited. Board members raised the subject again at this meeting after the announcement by the city of Birmingham to sponsor a pop up rink this winter at Railroad Park.

The next Facilities committee meeting is set for November 1, 5:30 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:20

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