MINUTES OF THE RAYNHAM PARK & RECREATION COMMISSION
Regular Monthly Meeting, Nov. 1, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
South School, 305 South Street East, Raynham, MA
In Attendance: Chairman Jim Brow, Commissioner Chris Shaw, Director Elizabeth Francis, and Administrative Assistant/Recording Secretary SJ Blanchard.
Absent: Commissioner Jim Sullivan.
Chairman Jim Brow called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. Chris S. made a motion to approve the minutes of the Oct. 4, 2016 meeting. Jim B. seconded the motion and the two voted in favor.
The Chairman read into the record undated correspondence (postmarked Oct. 21, 2016) which was received from former Commissioner and Raynham resident Robert H. Smith. In his note Smith offered thanks to the organizers of the community gardens and praised this resource for town residents.
The town’s Capital Planning Committee has placed the Department’s request for funding to refurbish the town’s outdoor basketball courts on the Nov. 14 fall town meeting warrant. Voter approval for a $23,000 transfer from free cash is being sought, which Liz noted is $7,000 less than she had requested. She is hoping that should the article pass town meeting approval, the shortfall can be somewhat made up by obtaining the necessary asphalt at a reduced cost through the regional bid system utilized by the Highway Dept. If the funds come through, Liz is hopeful that this work can be scheduled for the summer or early fall of 2017.
Liz noted that another fall town meeting article requests a $15,000 transfer from free cash for the cleanup of the invasive wetland plants at Johnson’s Pond.
The Board of Selectmen asked Liz to look at the four sites being proposed as possibilities for a future Raynham dog park. Of the four, only an area located off Titicut Road near the sewer department seems reasonably suitable. The drawback there, however, is that it is wooded and would require some clearing and trail making. Liz suggests making it a walking and “off-leash” area, designed with an open area and a trail system. She noted that grant money is available through the Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation for such projects.
The other sites considered and not recommended by Liz included:
- Adjacent to the North School, where there is a small, irregularly-shaped parcel with a great deal of encroaching pavement.
- Behind the South School, which Liz wants to maintain as a sports practice field.
- Borden Colony, which is totally maxed out for recreation uses.
The following fall field-use permit requests were acted on:
- Christ Community Church requests the use of the Bettencourt football field for its annual flag football game on Sat., Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon. Chris made a motion to approve this request; Jim B. seconded and the two voted in favor.
- Raynham Giants Football requests the use of the Bettencourt football field, as well as Field #3 (for warmups), for the Division II Super Bowl on Sun., Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chris made a motion to approve this request; Jim B. seconded and the two voted in favor.
Liz distributed copies of the Department’s 2016 field-use application to the Commissioners for their review prior to the next meeting, where any changes for the 2017 application will be proposed and discussed.
The Chairman reported that the 50-gallon steel drums being used as trash barrels near the Merrill athletic complex concession stand have rotted out and need replacing. Liz indicated that she will contact the Highway Dept. about the possibility of obtaining more.
Chris Shaw noted that the annual Department staff and commission holiday gathering will take place following the Dec. 6 monthly meeting at Harry’s La Casa Mia.
Liz reported on the following:
- Grounds crew worker Norm Sturtevant has been promoted to grounds foreman, replacing Tom Bullock.
- The annual Borden Colony tree lighting will take place on Sat., Dec. 3.
- The Crosstoberfest bike event took place on Oct. 19 at Borden Colony and was well-attended with no problems occurring.
- The Oct. 29 Halloween Trunk or Treat event organized by local Boy Scouts had a good turnout for its first year, with 20 vehicles having decorated trunks which children visited to receive candy. Liz said that she is considering expanding on the event next year with Department participation in lieu of its annual Halloween party.
Lip reported that in obtaining a quote for the re-siding of the garage at the 2000 King Philip Street rental house, she learned that the roof is also in bad condition. The quote from local contractor Keith Mosman to strip and re-side the garage is $7,500, with an additional $3,500 for a new roof. In addition, windows on the garage are broken and the garage door needs to be replaced. She said that in light of these expenses, she questions whether it wouldn’t be prudent to raze the structure, rather than fund the necessary repairs.
The Chairman opined that if the garage is structurally sound, do not take it down.
Liz will seek other quotes for the job.
Liz has received a request to attend a meeting with B-R Supt. Derek Swenson and Facilities Director Al Baroncelli regarding the upkeep of school grounds and playgrounds. Liz advised them that the Highway Dept. should also be included in this meeting. She has looked at the lease agreement with the schools and has also met with Raynham town administrator Randy Buckner about the matter. While there doesn’t seem to have been a joint discussion on the matter since 2006-2007, it has always been the responsibility of the schools, not the Department, to maintain the playgrounds. Liz and Highway Supt. Ed Buckley will meet with the district about the matter.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:43 p.m.
Administrative Assistant/Recording Secretary