Thursday, April 08, 2010
Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
April 8, 2010
Board Members Present: Jim Schwerin, Kent Obee, Richard Eastland, Jill Gaebler, Nancy Hobbs, Mary Mashburn, Kira Pasquesi, Carl Reinhardt, Richard Stettler
Opening: Chair Jim Schwerin called the meeting to order at 7:32 a.m.
Bill Koerner, Advocacy Director of Trails and Open Space Coalition, said that the next Sustainable Parks Initiative (SPI) meeting is scheduled on May 12, 6:00 p.m. at the
Susan Davies, Executive Director of Trails and Open Space Coalition, provided an update on the result of the survey as follows:
- To date, 1,150 responses have been received.
- 98% are very aware or somewhat aware of the budget challenges faced by the City and County parks departments.
- 79% have noticed decrease in services.
- 81% are concerned about the current situation.
- 63% believe that a regional solution is needed.
- 79% will support a new dedicated tax to fund a new regional parks solution.
The SPI Committee will be conducting a poll to verify the above numbers in order to move forward with their effort with sustainable parks initiative.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Nancy Hobbs made a motion to approve the minutes from the February 11, 2010 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting. Motion seconded by Rich Eastland and carried unanimously.
Mary Mashburn made a motion to approve the minutes from the March 11, 2010 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting. Motion seconded by Jill Gaebler and carried unanimously.
Service Awards (Item #1)
The City of
- Timothy A. Pluemer (25 years), Skilled Maintenance Supervisor - Parks Division
- Patrick T. Gentile (15 years), Golf Superintendent - Golf Division
- Kimberly King (10 years), Parks Administration Manager - Administrative Division
Annual Volunteer Report (Item #2)
Kim King, Manager of Parks Administration, said that each year, the Board receives a summary of the Department?s volunteer activities and events from the past year as well as what is upcoming. Ms. King said that volunteerism is a key component of the Department. Volunteers have such an impact on the Department?s ability to offer opportunities to the community. Volunteer staff includes Stacy Stang (Adopt-A-Park and Adopt-A-Trashcan programs) and Sonia Park (coach recruitment, CBI records checks and volunteer database management).
Ms. King's presentation included key statistics and highlights of current programs including the Adopt-A-Park and Adopt-A-Trashcan programs.
The Adopt-A-Park program, which was previously managed by Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful, came back to the Parks Department in 2004. The Department currently has 95 parks adopted throughout the community. One of the key changes implemented last year and continued this year is the requirement for an increased commitment by the volunteers in visiting the adopted sites and helping to maintain these sites.
The Adopt-A-Trashcan program is new this year due to the elimination of trashcans throughout the neighborhood park system. Since its inception of the program, a total of 83 cans in 37 parks have been adopted. A citizen-driven effort, "Proud of our Parks", has provided additional media coverage and further spread the word regarding the Department?s adoption opportunities.
With the reduction of staff and the need to continue key functions within the Department, the volunteer program was evaluated to determine what truly had to continue going forward in 2010. Key considerations included the continuation of supporting the application process by performing background checks on volunteer applicants as well as tracking placement of volunteers; supporting those entities generating revenues; and supporting those areas providing services or programs to the community. Some programs, such as one-time projects, playground builds, teen programs, the Springs in Bloom program, and support to the
Ms. King explained the volunteer trend in terms of hours on an annual basis for the last five years. In general, the hours have been relatively stable during this time period. The number of volunteer hours contributed in 2009 equated to 72 full-time employees. With the reduction in volunteer coordination in 2010, it is anticipated that the number of hours will have a corresponding decline.
Regarding the actual number of volunteers in the last five years, the chart showed that the Department had significant numbers of volunteers in 2005 and 2006. This was due to an increase in the number of one-time projects, especially in
Volunteer opportunities in 2010 include a partnership project with the Phil Long Community Fund and the Wounded Warrior program for the Swing High Universally Accessible Playground in Memorial Park. The Department staff and Phil Long employees will be laying sod around the playground site on May 16th with the dedication following on May 22nd. Other groups offering volunteer opportunities include Rocky Mountain Field Institute's projects in Garden of the
Ms. King thanked the Board for the time and effort they contribute to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department and its programs.
DIRECTOR'S REPORT (Item #3)
Paul Butcher, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, said that the Department received a request from City Engineering to provide a brief presentation regarding a bridge rehabilitation project on
Dan Krueger, Civil Engineer from City Engineering, explained a bridge rehabilitation project on
At the request of UPRR, the City recently installed eight "No Trespassing" signs along the corridor between Monument Creek and
This item was an information-only item and action was not required by the Board.
Mr. Butcher provided the following report:
Closure of Aquatics and
The City will continue to operate the
Therapeutic Program: The Therapeutic program has moved from the Aquatics and
Youth and Adult Sports Programs, City Auditorium and
USOC Grant: The USOC provided a grant in the amount of $225,000, specifically for youth and is being used for sports programs and summer camps offered through the community centers.
Community Centers: Despite numerous efforts to raise funds to continue the operation of the community centers, only a very small percentage of the overall financial goal was raised. On March 23, 2010, City Council approved $450,000 to keep three of the four centers open (
Dick Siever, representing the Westside Community Center LLC, is planning to provide a presentation to City Council in April regarding their plans and services provided through their organization.
North Cheyenne Cañon (
Rock Ledge Ranch: Fundraising by the Living History Association was successful and the Ranch will remain open in 2010. However, the Rock Ledge Ranch Early Childhood Program (Preschool) was closed as of March 31, 2010. This was a heavily subsidized program.
The consultants are planning to visit
Park Adoption List: Per Boardmember Mashburn's request from the last meeting, a Park Adoption List was distributed to the Board members. As of April 8th, 95 parks, trails and open spaces have been adopted, with the majority being park adoptions. To date, 75 parks have been adopted. Out of the 75, 32 are trash can adoptions.
The Department is currently working with Lowes regarding mower discounts.
CSU Connections: An article in the CSU newsletter mentioned CSU working together with the Parks Department regarding water conservation. CSU will conduct a public hearing on April 20th to discuss water rates.
Universally Accessible Playground: There will be a volunteer project (laying sod), on May 16th with Swing High, Phil Long Ford and Wounded Warriors. The dedication for the playground is scheduled for May 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Arbor Day Event: An Arbor Day event, coordinated by
South Slope: After more than a decade of planning and talking, Colorado Springs Utilities would like to build trails in the South Slope Watershed Access Area. CSU will design and provide funds for the project and the Parks Department will take a lead role with the construction and implementation of the access plan.
Resignation of City Manager and
Staff Resignation: Chris Lieber, Manager of Design, Development and TOPS, will resign from the City effective May 21, 2010 and Clay Shuck, Aquatics Supervisor, on April 16, 2010.
Break: 8:55 a.m.
Reconvened: 9:09 a.m.
Land Exchange Between the City of
Aimee Cox, Senior Analyst, said that this item is a request of a land exchange between the City of
In 2009, the Laura Janell Butlin Revocable Trust, property owner (Owner) at
To resolve each party?s land related issues, the Department proposes to convey a 1.25 square foot piece of park property to the Laura Janell Butlin Revocable Trust to cure their existing encroachment on to park property. In exchange, the Laura Janell Butlin Revocable Trust will convey approximately 3.2 square feet of property to the City to accommodate the existing trail access.
Because the Owner?s encroachment is on Palmer-deeded property, the City must comply with the 1971 Stipulation in Kyer v. City of Colorado Springs, Civil Action No. 66897. The Kyer Stipulation prohibits the City from doing or attempting ?to do anything which would cause loss of or diminished use of the park land solely as parks? and is required to ?seek legal counsel before taking an action whatever in connection with said park lands.? It is the opinion of the City Attorney?s Office that the land exchange will not cause loss of or diminished use of the park lands solely as parks and is in compliance with the Stipulation. The City's Real Estate Services is handling the land exchange transaction. This item will be presented to City Council on April 13, 2010. Staff recommended approval of the land exchange proposal.
Kent Obee made a motion to recommend Council approval of the land exchange proposal between the City and the Laura Janell Butlin Revocable Trust. Motion seconded by Carl Reinhardt and carried unanimously.
TOPS Update (Item #5)
Chris Lieber, Design, Development and TOPS Manager, reported on the following:
- The Committee met on April 7th and discussed priority areas for future land acquisitions (i.e. Section 16 area, Corral Bluffs area, etc.).
- A bid for a section of Cottonwood trail, west of
- The Committee received a presentation on new water conservation rate and South Slope.
Board Committee Report
Manitou Incline Task Force: Kira Pasquesi said that the Task Force met with consultants on April 29th.
Pikes Peak South Slope: Chair
Board Committee Concerns
Flowerbed Retaining Wall: Rich Eastland said that one of the retaining walls around the Springs In Bloom flowerbeds in the downtown area, on
Thank You Note: Nancy Hobbs said that Brian Kates sent a nice thank you note for assisting with the Community Centers' fundraising.
Chris Lieber: Vice Chair Obee said that Mr. Lieber has been one of the finest public employees that he has known during his years of working in public service. On behalf of the Board, he wished Mr. Lieber well.
Community Center Yard Sale: Mary Mashburn said that the
Being no further business, the Board adjourned at 9:19 a.m.