MINUTES OF THE RAYNHAM PARK & RECREATION COMMISSION
January 7, 2004, 6:00 p.m.
Raynham Senior Center, 2215 King Philip Street, Raynham, MA
In Attendance: Chairman Robert H. Smith, Commissioners Scott Murdoch and Alan McRae, Director Jennifer Hruniak, Program Coordinator Katie Berry and Childcare Administrator Bonnie Brady.
The Chair called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Following a brief review, a motion was made by Scott, seconded by Alan, to accept as printed the minutes of the December 3, 2003 Raynham Park and Recreation Commission meeting. A unanimous vote followed.
RYS president Chris Bodensieck was not present; however, he had spoken with Jennifer regarding the meters at the concession stand. He has identified each and will forward a report of his findings. His board has approved their paying the grass seed bill and will pay the vendor directly. The Burke Field fence project continues, and plans include re-using the old fence at the Legion soccer field. Bob asked that Jen have definitive answers regarding the electrical service prior to the February meeting.
Raynham early childhood principal Tony Caputo explained that the Merrill School playground is outdated in terms of safety and that its equipment is inappropriate for preschoolers and kindergarteners. The Early Childhood Parents Organization (ECPO) has formed a playground subcommittee, and Tony is hoping for a cooperative effort between the town, the Park & Rec. Dept., and ECPO. He holds the opinion that it is difficult to fundraise for another playground in the community, so he has met with Capital Planning Committee chairman John Donahue about placing this expenditure on the warrant for the spring town meeting. Tentative plans call for ECPO to fund the small piece of apparatus for very young children and the town providing the larger piece of apparatus. In addition, there will be the costs of the removal of old equipment, installation, site-prep work and surfacing, new black-top for the back lot, and fencing. Donahue has suggested two articles: one for the equipment and the second for the backfilling, installation and blacktopping, and it is his feeling that these articles should be submitted by the Park & Rec. Dept. Bob, in an effort to attempt to broaden the articles’ sponsorship, asked if there is any interest or sense of responsibility for this project on the part of the School Committee.
Tony recommends using the same vendor, “Game Time,” that supplied the equipment on the LaLiberte playground. He questions whether it is acceptable to have just the one quote. Bob asked Jen to find this out from Randy or Nicole.
Tony asked for a vote of confidence from the Committee, backing the pursuit of new playground equipment, and he sought a Park & Rec. representative to attend playground committee meetings. Bob made a motion for the Dept. to co-sponsor two articles with ECPO for the spring town meeting. Alan seconded the motion and a unanimous vote followed. Jen and Katie will attend the playground meetings.
A brief discussion followed on marketing the kindergarten wrap-around care program; Tony suggested sending out information at the kindergarten screenings in June. He also cautioned to start this program slowly with reduced numbers in the beginning.
Tony proposed the idea of having non-enrolled students spend time in the after-school program until such time that a parent can pick him up, in the event that Tony is unavailable to supervise the child himself. He added that this would be subject to Park & Rec’s childcare fees. It was explained that this is not allowed under OCCS regulations. In addition, there would be the problems of the child and staff being unfamiliar with one another, not knowing the child’s special needs, any health concerns, personality, etc.
Jennifer reported that Eric Olson, who sub-leases Borden Colony farmland, is requesting permission to install a well, at his own expense, on the property for use as a back-up source of water for agricultural purposes. Concerns raised included where exactly the well is being proposed for and would this well water be tested beforehand if it were to be utilized for produce? Bob asked Jen to inform Olson that the Commission is leaning in favor of the well, but does have these concerns which he will have to address.
After reviewing the 2003 Park & Recreation annual report to the town authored by SJ, Alan made a motion to accept it as written and to forward it to Town Hall for publication. Scott seconded the motion and a unanimous vote followed.
Jennifer provided an update on the horse groups: the Vieras are no longer associated with the Gymkhana Club. “Pinkie,” (AKA Joyce) wants the Horse Barrel Racing group to assume responsibility for TMLP bills. Rose Byrd is no longer with this group and has turned over two of the three keys to the Gymkhana building and refuses to give up the third key. The Department will ask that she return the third key to us ASAP; if she refuses, we may need to rekey the doors. The Commissioners were in agreement that only one key should be allotted per group.
Addressing the TMLP’s refusal to allow this office to change billing addresses, etc., Scott suggested that Jen explain the situation to them, that this is our property so what can we do to be authorized to make such changes?
Jennifer presented a quote of $7,626.86 from School Specialty for furnishings and equipment needed in the new daycare space. A brief discussion followed on whether to order cubbies or have them custom built by a local craftsman. The consensus was to go ahead and order them with the other furnishings, given the time constraints and the free shipping offered. Jen has met with a rep from Sign-A-Rama who estimated an approximate cost of $200 for vinyl stick-on letters to advertise the program’s location on the window of the airlock/foyer to the daycare space.
Commissioners unanimously approved the following 2004 vacation times for staffers: Jennifer: April 26 to 30 and for John: Feb. 23 to 27 and March 1 to 5.
Alan noted that “No Dogs Allowed” signs are also needed at the Merrill field complex.
Scott commended Jen and Katie on the Santa Hotline and the basketball program.
Bob warned that the Park Revolving account needs to be watched to avoid $40,000 going back into the Town’s general fund in July. He suggested considering the purchase of a small structure to utilize a portion of these funds.
Jen asked about scheduling a meeting with George Guasconi and John Ralli to discus RMS fields. Alan pointed out that these fields are the school’s responsibility, but Scott countered that this Department is going to have to do it if it’s going to get done. Jen will ask George about the district’s priority regarding these fields.
Mitch has requested that the Commission give some consideration to reconstructing the new garage on the same foundation site after razing the existing maintenance garage. Bob said that Bldg. Inspector Rod Palmer has indicated that he will not allow this and that there is the possibility of oil contamination there.
Highway Supt. Roger Stolte will assist Jen in the purchase of a new dump truck for the Department.
Vertical blinds will be installed in Jen’s office. A local company will measure for the cost estimate on Friday; Jen will also ask for an estimate on blinds for the daycare rooms.
Katie reported that the planning for February vacation camp is underway, with registrations to begin next week. Mr. Caputo has approved the uses of both the Merrill and the LaLiberte Schools for the 2004 summer playground program. Wal-Mart has donated $500 to the childcare program.
Bonnie stated that things are working out well with the staff and children. Bob pointed out that staff development is a big part of her job.
SJ reported on the monthly account balances, as well as on recent information from Nicole Riel, the new town accountant.
· Nicole has stated that donations to Park and Rec. need to go into a special donations account and be utilized strictly for the intent under which they were given.
· The sale of items, such as Christmas ornaments, may be done by a boosters group, such as the “Friends of Park & Rec” and then be donated back to the Department. However, the initial purchase of the ornaments cannot come from Park & Rec. coffers.
· Monies earned through the childcare program must be reinvested in the childcare program and cannot be used for other department purposes. Said debits and credits should be reflected in a separate account.
· No profit is to be made on programs; fees paid by the public should reflect the exact cost of the service.
· The amount in the Park Revolving account is too excessive and by law, any amount in excess of $10,000 will need to be turned over to the general fund July 1st.
Jen passed out information on the Community Preservation Act and noted that Town Planner Richard McCarthy was unable to attend tonight’s meeting to explain it further. Passage of this by voters would result in an average annual property tax increase of $72 per home. Jen will be the Department’s rep to this committee. Bob asked Jen to pass along to Richard that there wasn’t enough information presented to make an informed decision. He would like to hear Richard’s reasons for supporting this, as well as other towns where it has passed.
At 8:35 p.m., a motion was made to table the regular meeting and enter into Executive Session for the discussion of personnel matters. The regular meeting was reconvened at 9:06 p.m. for the sole purpose of adjournment. A roll-call vote followed with all in favor.