MINUTES OF THE RAYNHAM PARK & RECREATION COMMISSION
Regular Monthly Meeting, April 5, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
South School, 305 South Street East, Raynham, MA
In Attendance: Chairman Chris Shaw, Commissioner Jim Sullivan, Director Elizabeth Francis, and Administrative Assistant/Recording Secretary SJ Blanchard.
Absent: Commissioner Jim Brow.
Chairman Chris Shaw called the meeting to order at 6:06 p.m. Jim S. made a motion to approve as printed the minutes of the March 1, 2016 meeting. Chris seconded the motion and the two voted in favor of the motion.
In attendance were Tony Merlino, president of Raynham Youth Baseball and Softball Association (RYBSA), residing at 101 Finch Road, Raynham, and Jason Randall, RYBSA field operations director, residing at 464 Pleasant Street, Raynham. Merlino explained that the consensus at a recent RYBSA board meeting discussion was to explore the possibility of renaming Field 4 as a memorial to Jared Monti, in recognition of the upcoming tenth anniversary of his death. The group has lined up a sponsor for a sign, and they would like to have this dedication as part of their April 24 opening day ceremonies. The dedication would include a brief ceremony and having Monti’s father throw out the first pitch.
The Chair called this a “noble gesture,” adding that few dedications are as appropriate as this one. He continued that a street corner, gymnasium, and a playground have already been tagged with Monti’s name in town, and that unfortunately, going forward, Monti is not going to be the last one deserving recognition in a town short on unnamed spaces and facilities. His only concern, he added, is with this lack moving forward 40 or 50 years from now. Jim S. concurred.
Liz said that there have been a lot of requests for dedications and memorials in the 8 years that she’s been with the Department; she added that the town needs to adopt a formal process for them and that she would start working on this. She assured Merlino and Randall that the matter isn’t dead and that it could be revisited once there is a process in place.
Merlino said that while he was disappointed, he did understand the reasoning behind not immediately acting on it; and Randall added that perhaps said dedication could take place at the annual Monti tournament in late July.
Liz reported on the following:
- Relative to refreshing the infield at the McKenney Babe Ruth Field, she has received a quote from Sports Turf Specialties (STS) and she approached the Highway Supt. Ed Buckley about splitting the cost, as has been done in the past. Ed was reluctant to commit funds at this point; perhaps he will be able to pay something once the work is completed and the invoice has been received. It may be 2 or 3 weeks before STS will be able to get here; the scope of work includes turning over the top three inches and regrading to better drain and shed rain.
She has met with Borden Colony agricultural land lessee Tony Arruda and he has decided not to add any additional property to his leases because he is concerned that making the necessary improvements could prove costly with iffy results. Liz encouraged him to combine his current two leases into one, as already approved by town administrator Randy Buckner. Arruda may opt to cut back the growth at the perimeter of his leased property to keep the undesirable weeds from encroaching on his hay product.
- The new Reid Field gates will go in as soon as weather permits.
The following spring field-use permit requests were acted on:
- Revolution coach Remi Roy requests the use of a soccer field for sessions with his private clients, either on Saturday mornings between 8:30 and 10, or more preferably, on Monday evenings from 5 to 6:30 during the 2016 spring, summer, and fall seasons. Jim S. made a motion to approve this request with a field-use fee of $550 per season; Chris seconded and the two voted in favor of the motion.
Raynham Youth Soccer board president Haresh Dayanani submitted a request on behalf of MA Districts Youth Soccer to hold four evenings of tryouts in May and 12 training sessions during June, July and August, which will be held mid-week from 6 to 8 p.m. Jim S. made a motion to approve this request with a fee of $400; Chris seconded and the two voted in favor of the motion.
Mass. Rough Riders Inc. submitted a request to hold horse shows on 18 Sundays between the dates of April 17 and Nov. 20, 2016. The use of the horse ring and the Gymkhana building is requested on said dates between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Jim S. made a motion to approve this request with a seasonal fee of $550; Chris seconded and the two voted in favor of the motion.
The Colonial Road Runners submitted a request to hold their summertime Kids Track Series runs at the RMS track from 4 and 7 p.m. on four Sundays between the dates of July 17 and Aug. 14, 2016. Jim S. made a motion to approve this request with no fee; Chris seconded and the two voted in favor of the motion.
A request was submitted by Raynham Youth Soccer to hold the annual Friendship Tournament on the Burke, MLArruda, and Griffiths soccer fields, the multi-purpose field, and the McKenney Babe Ruth field from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekend of April 29 – May 1, 2016. Jim S. made a motion to approve with a fee of $650; Chris seconded and the two voted in favor of the motion.
- Borden Colony Radio Control Club (BCRCC) requests the use of the flying field at Borden Colony for the daily daytime flying of radio-controlled planes and drones throughout 2016. Liz will provide the group with a schedule of soccer-field use and ask that BCRCC not fly when children are on the fields; she said that this policy worked well last year. Jim S. made a motion to approve with a fee of $550; Chris seconded and the two voted in favor of the motion.
Liz made a recommendation that the fees for the 2016 summer playground program be raised $10 per week over the 2015 rates: to $95 for the half-day program and to $170 for the full-day program. She suggests this increase with the hope of not having to increase the fees again for the 2017 summer season. This increase is precipitated by the rising program costs which resulted from increases in the state’s minimum wage. Liz plans to reduce 2016 summer staffing; by making the ratios tighter, she hopes to save $4,000 to $5,000 over the course of the summer and recoup the losses created by the minimum wage increases. Jim S. made a motion to approve the $10/wk. participant fee increase for the summer playground program. Chris seconded and the two voted in favor of the motion.
Liz explained that the town is getting on board with certifications of its seasonal employees through the Dept. of Labor. This certification process, which takes 60 days, results in the town not having to pay unemployment to seasonal workers when their employment ends. Because of the 60-day processing timeframe, we are left with no seasonal parks and grounds help for the immediate future. As a result, there is no additional help with public area trash removal, field lining, mowing, etc. Both Commissioners present felt strongly that timely trash pickup is vitally important and must be done, even if it means subcontracting with a commercial trash hauler on a short-term basis. Liz concurred that a solution must be found and implemented as soon as possible.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:01 p.m.
Administrative Assistant/Recording Secretary