|Board Members Present||Staff Present|
|Denise Shannon||Parks & Recreation Director Holman|
|Peter Ehrlich||Deputy Parks & Recreation Director Lecuru|
|Pam Cremer||Shawnee Town 1929 Director Pautler|
|Jennifer Riggs||Deputy Planning Director Allmon|
|Board Members Absent|
A. ROLL CALL
MS. CREMER: Okay. I’d like to call this March 3rd Parks and Rec Advisory Board meeting to order. So, first we have roll call. Peter.
MR. EHRLICH: Peter Ehrlich.
MS. SHANNON: Denise Shannon.
MS. CREMER: Pam Cremer.
MS. FABAC: Shelly Fabac.
MS. RIGGS: Jennifer Riggs.
MS. DAVIS: Rueshunda Davis.
B. CONSENT ITEMS
1. Approval of the February 4, 2016 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Minutes
MS. CREMER: Okay. And we have Consent Items. First, we have approval of the February 4th Parks and Rec Advisory Draft Minutes. Can I get a motion to approve?
MS. RIGGS: I move that we approve the minutes.
MS. CREMER: Is there any discussion, corrections? No. How about a second?
MS. FABAC: I second.
MS. CREMER: Okay. We have a motion and a second. All those in favor.
BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
MS. CREMER: Any opposed? No. Okay. (Motion passes 6-0)
C. DISCUSSION ITEMS
1. LINKING HISTORIC SHAWNEE DISCUSSION
MS. CREMER: Okay. Moving on. Discussion. It looks like we have a guest speaker today. Welcome, Doug. Linking Historic Shawnee presentation.
MR. ALLMON: Good evening. My name is Doug Allmon. I’m with the Shawnee Planning Department. I’ve been with the City going on 17 years now.
And Neil has asked me here tonight to talk just very briefly that we have ongoing currently. It’s called Linking Historic Shawnee. And to give you a little background of what this has come from, as you all probably know, in 2013, the City did a study of the Nieman Corridor. It was called Community Connections. It was a study to look at the right-of-way for Nieman Road, aesthetic improvements, economic development improvements. And through that we did a lot of engagement with the surrounding neighbors that live in that corridor area.
And one of the interesting things that came out of those meetings was that the residents who in live in Trail Springs and also on the west side on Quivira expressed a real great desire to have connectivity to Nieman Road from their neighborhoods, to the pool, to the amenities, to the restaurants that we have downtown. And so from that we kind of took that and ran with it. And we actually went forward with another grant application to see if maybe we could get a trail connection from Nieman Road clear to Turkey Creek in the City of Merriam. The unique thing about that is that I said that it’s in the City of Merriam. And usually jurisdictions don’t work that well together sometimes. But in this case Merriam has partnered with us and actually supported us in this grant application and we secured this grant to study what you see.
In the project overview on the very first sheet is an aerial view of that Trail Springs neighborhood, Shawnee Mission Parkway, Johnson Drive, Nieman Road and then all the way east over to the Turkey Creek Trail system. That being said, we did secure the grant with the idea of trying to find a multi-modal path where we could get bikes, pedestrians, all types of users from downtown Shawnee clear to the trail system in Merriam. And from that the Linking Historic Shawnee project was born.
And just what these slides and sheets are is kind of a combination of two meetings that we’ve had to this point. Where we are right now we’ve created a steering committee. And as I said, there’s a partnership with the City of Merriam. We actually have the Director of the Merriam Parks and Recreation Department on that steering committee, Neil and myself, a member of your board is on that committee. We have residents from Trail Springs on that committee as well. And so what we’re trying to do is vet through public engagement the best path to get from Nieman to Turkey Creek. And we had a meeting in December. We hired Confluence as the consultant who is the primary on this.
And the process timeline sheet I gave you to show you kind of what we’ve done so far and where we’re at in the process. We did have a meeting in December with the steering committee. We have had a community engagement meeting in February with residents from both the City of Merriam and City of Shawnee to unveil some concept ideas of where the trail may go. But the other reason that I put this timeline coordination sheet in the packet for you is that there are a lot of different things going on in the downtown area that came from that Community Connections study.
It’s not just a trail project that we’re working on. We’re also working on what we’re calling a reallocation of right-of-way study for the Nieman Road corridor itself. There is discussion about the possibility of taking Nieman from a four-lane section road to a three-lane section road to free up space on each side for better sidewalk improvements, for improvements in landscaping, possibly burying the utility lines and those sort of things. And that’s a separate project, but it’s very important that that is in conjunction with the Linking Historic Shawnee project as well because obviously that trail is going to dead-end land on Nieman somewhere. And we want both studies to be thinking about what makes the best sense in terms of meshing them.
The third thing that’s shown on that sheet is also -- the City just recently approved a significant drainage improvement project that is going to hopefully free up more land that’s currently in the flood plain for development along the Nieman corridor. And so coordinating -- it’s like a bunch of fingers that we’re trying to lay on top of one another making sure that they all mesh. And so the coordination aspect of it is probably the most important thing that we’re dealing with right now.
From that meeting in December the group talked about concepts, about what as a body we wanted to see in a trail, you know, connectivity, service to the neighborhoods, cost effective. And from that three main goals were created. We’re calling them the three C’s that the trail, whatever line is eventually chosen will be Connective. It’ll have a Consistency to it in terms of markers and design. And number one, it’ll be Cost-effective. And so those are the main goals that came out of that December steering committee meeting.
And from that there were several design alternatives presented to the group. The grant itself talked about providing four to five potential alternatives so that we were vetting not just one or two options, but making sure that there were several options to digest in terms of cost and effect on the impact on the neighborhood. A lot of things to consider when you’re doing a trail, or a path I like to call it, through an existing neighborhood. You have trees and driveways and utilities and you’ve got to make sure you’re not really making it crummy for the people that live there just in the name of putting a trail through.
So, if you look at the sheet that says Design Alternatives, the consultant came up with these different paths. We’re calling it a north path, a central path, and a south path. And they actually put what they call boots on the ground. They went out and did a field survey of all of these, took pictures, documented existing field conditions, trees, street widths, existing sidewalks and did a really good survey of the existing condition so that we can analyze what the best path would eventually be. And through that discussion you can see on these lines there are obstacles on each route, but there are also opportunities.
The next sheet, I’ll hold it up so you can kind of follow along. They actually analyzed all of these different sections, and I’m not going to read these little boxes to you, but driveway impacts, width of the street, width of the right-of-way, securing easements and how difficult that would be. And that kind of -- this sheet here kind of led the discussion amongst the steering committee. And from that we honed down to three separate alternatives. We went from basically five to three. And there was really good discussion on why we took a couple of those options off.
If you look at this connection that goes up Rogers Road, it was determined by the committee and just through discussion that that road is really too well traveled. It’s very steep and it was not really seen as being wide enough to accommodate some sort of connection to Nieman there. So, the group as a whole kind of voted and that option was taken away. There was a lot of discussion about the southern route. And to be honest with you I had always kind of thought that the southern route might be the option that would be the best because it tied into a potential parking lot down in Merriam today. But the Merriam representative who is on the steering committee had a little bit different idea and had very good reasons that was not a good option, including conflicts with traffic, crossing Mastin at an uncontrolled intersection, things that I hadn’t really considered. There is a lot of retail and auto repair oriented businesses down there. And so after the meeting I went and drove down in there and I thought, no, we really don’t want to be mixing bikes and people in this area. And so that option was eventually taken off.
And from that we came up to our second meeting in February. This was a public meeting with as I said residents from Merriam, City of Shawnee, steering committee members and we determined the best path, based on input from Merriam, was to access the trail actually at Campbell Park that exists in the City of Merriam through 61st Street that has sidewalk improvements on both sides of the road. Merriam has been very clear they don’t plan on doing any capital expenditures for construction of a trail on their side of the city limit line because they feel like they have their improvements in place. And then taking that further the consultant gave us three routes. One, crossing at Stearns and some right-of-way that we have, heading north on Melrose over to 60th Street east to Nieman, down 60th Street. The other was to come across 61st Street over to Ballentine and up and over to 60th Street. And a third path is what we’re calling the southern route is actually Stearns, 61st Street to Melrose, down to 62nd Street, which is a portion of that southern route that we had talked about. And then actually linking to Nieman by a creek crossing, a channel crossing behind pretty close to where the post office is at.
And that’s interesting because that’s the concept that was actually promoted and shown in the Community Connections study. The consultant for that project did what they call the catalyst development site. And one of their ideas was to reduce the area of flood plain on the vacant Byram property around the post office and maybe do an in-fill project of residential and small scale retail. And part of that amenity would be to have that trail come up behind that development and link to Nieman Road. And so that option was still on the table.
And again, this was a much more detailed analysis. You can see on the slide that I gave you the connection at Stearns. There is City right-of-way there. There is basically a, what I would call a cow path, a foot path where the kids are traveling through there today to get to Merriam Park School. So, the idea will be to span that ditch, drainage area with either some sort of bridge or maybe even a whistle or something like that with the trail on top of it. So, that slide shows the connection through Stearns.
They looked at the north alignment and they talked about the potential conflicts that could happen there. If you’re familiar at all with this path, if you go up Melrose to the north, currently there is a foot path that has been there since the 50s, something like that, but the bridge is in disrepair. It’s actually suggested that people not use it today. So, it would have to be replaced and repaired. And then also to get to 60th Street there would be some easement acquisition that would be required on that north alignment.
They also analyzed the central path. It looks easy. Again, you’ve got the crossing at Stearns. All of the path improvements would be within City right-of-way, maybe some additional right-of-way would have to be acquired for widening purposes. But it appears that there is less conflicts there. Interesting thing when we get to some later slides you’ll see that further investigation shows that it could be a difficult pathway as well.
They went to the southern alignment. Again, having to cross Stearns at the right-of-way area that’s currently the cow path as I call it, heading south on Melrose and then straight over to 62nd Street, and again, bridging the channel there with some sort of bridge behind the post office to that developable area. They addressed everything in all three of these alternatives in terms of slope, driveway conflicts and that sort of thing.
And so where we are now in their analysis and approach, they did a trees within the right-of-way survey. And as I was saying that easiest, which appeared as just being aligned on the map being the easiest path would be that central yet north path. You can see there are a tremendous amount of trees that would probably be impacted by that route. It doesn’t mean that it’s not doable, it means that we may have to alternate from both sides of the street to make it work. Actually in terms of this the southern path shows the least tree conflicts. The next page you can see they also analyzed utility poles and sidewalk locations, that sort of thing. The Ballentine, 60th Street conflicts with poles and driveways is a little bit greater.
They took all of these over lane factors and on the next page you’ll see they did a constructability analysis. And there is good news and bad news. Both any of these opportunities, except for the central one, would require some bridge work. There is property acquisition required for the Melrose to 60th Street alternative. But again, it’s not like we’re talking about taking someone’s house. It would just be a matter of securing an easement through their yard.
And with this, they have now turned it back to the public to say what are your thoughts. And there is actually an online survey. There was a vote that was done at the meeting that night with cards and there is actually an online survey now too where you can go in and give your input. What makes the most sense to you. Would you prefer to see a southern route, a central route or a northern route? And part of that too, there is a good description of what the path could potentially look like, whether it’s a share the road type situation, bicycle lanes that are striped within the road or a multi-use path. And my opinion is I think it’s probably going to be a combination of all of these things because it’s in an older neighborhood. And to make it work and make it not have a tremendously bad impact on the neighbors that live there, I think we’re going to be really sensitive in terms of which side of the street the paths/sidewalk/bike lanes, whatever ends up being determined end up going.
And so with that, I would let you know if you haven’t yet, there is a link on the City website. This is a real condensed version. There’s all kinds of information on that website link in terms of the description of the process. There is a lot more informational slides on that to help you make your decision. And I would encourage you to go out and put your two cents in in terms of whether or not you think the north, the central or the south route is the best. And with that, I can answer any questions that people might have. I talk really fast. Yeah.
MS. FABAC: Just in terms of, you know, the grant and the financial backing for the project, is there a financial impact on the paths that are taken and how -- when people are voting do they know that?
MR. ALLMON: There is a financial component. Obviously we don’t want to pick a path that’s $4 million that the City can never afford to spend. And so part of the background conversation with the consultant when they were picking the six alternatives to start and then even gleaning that down to the three was that these have to be pretty compatible in terms of cost. So, they haven’t foot-by-foot costed it out yet. We won’t go to that extent until we come up with the alternative that everybody likes. But I’ve been assured that within a few thousand dollars all three of these will be about the same.
MS. FABAC: So, the options left on the table are all palatable and --
MR. ALLMON: Correct.
MS. FABAC: -- in terms of what needs to happen.
MR. ALLMON: Pretty close to being the same. I had that conversation with the engineer. Confluence is the designer. They actually have Wilson and Company that’s an engineering firm as part of their sub-consulting team who will do the true engineer cost estimate. And I talked to Jim with that group the night of our public meeting. And he said, yeah, we’ve costed these out. We’ve heard you loud and clear from the time we interviewed for this that we don’t want to have something that’s not realistic. I told him from the start when we wrote the grant we want something that’s more than a line on a map. We want to know true impact and we want to know that’s it truly buildable because if you come with the greatest plan in the world and then you stick on a shelf, who cares. We really want to build something. And so we’re very aware and cognizant of the fact of cost. And the great thing is we have good staff that has a good knowledge of bridge construction, trail construction. This isn’t, you know, and Bert who work with Neil, it’s not their first adventure.
MS. FABAC: This isn’t new.
MR. ALLMON: So, to answer your question though, yeah. Any of the three alternatives should be buildable.
MS. FABAC: Perfect.
MS. SHANNON: What’s the timeline for building the trail?
MR. ALLMON: Timeline for this grant is to have the preferred alternative identified, have a good vested engagement and buy-in by the neighbors. We’re going to actually do a door-to-door. Once we come up with the final design of the final alignment, our consultant is going to go door-to-door and talk to people and say, you know, this is coming, do you understand what this means. That’s going to happen in April. The plan is to have this grant and plan ready August. Then this will not be a preliminary engineering design type level of detail yet. This is more kind of the engagement visioning type study, so there will probably be another six months of design. And then it’s a matter of finding the money to build the trail. And there is funding sources through the federal government that we will be applying for. Now, you might be able to answer that better than me. I would hope that we would at least have something constructed in the next two years, something like that.
MR. HOLMAN: Yes. We were hoping.
MR. ALLMON: It just depends on the funding source and the number of competitive applications that come in. But the hope is to have at least a bridge or some -- this is the good thing about doing this way. It can be phased in, too. So, the first leg a bridge, something hopefully within the next two years.
MS. FABAC: Another, one more question. I know, you know, I’m a huge advocate for trails in Shawnee. They’re awesome. So, is this project dependent upon -- you talked about the other couple of activities, the corridor and then the water drainage. Is this kind of independent? It doesn’t have to follow with these others?
MR. ALLMON: It is an independent study because it reaches out beyond, but it’s connected too because the last thing we want to do is, say Cynthia’s drainage project has a property acquisition element and she goes in and repairs a storm pipe on 62nd for instance and does some sidewalk and curb work with that. And then all of a sudden we say, no, that’s not going to work, you need to be on the opposite of the street, so we go and tear that out. That’s not what we want to do. So, we’re coordinating all of her efforts with this. All the consultants are talking. And so whenever an option comes up like that we make sure everybody knows what’s going on. The same is true with the Nieman right-of-way study. They’re looking at how to get this path wherever it ends up, 60th Street behind the post office, wherever, how to get it across Nieman and on over to Flint and up to the pool, Wonderscope and all those things. And Bert is involved with that, making sure that any CDBG work that we do on that side of the street is taken into account where their consultant, BHC Rhoades, is looking at making sure that whatever they determine is the best crossing path makes sense vertically and horizontally for what we’re doing on the east side of the road. So, it’s a lot of coordination, a lot of meetings. But they are separate but combined. It’s not a very good answer, but it’s true.
MS. FABAC: We’re hoping we can do all of them, right?
MR. ALLMON: Yeah. Right.
MS. FABAC: But one won’t stop if the others ones stop?
MR. ALLMON: No, no.
MR. HOLMAN: No.
MR. ALLMON: No.
MS. FABAC: Okay. All right. Good to know. Thank you.
MR. ALLMON: Drainage is a separate funding source from Nieman, potentially doing Nieman road improvements is a different funding source from trail.
MS. DAVIS: The homeowners that are impacted, have they -- do they have a different weigh-in, more weigh-in on the paths, or are they even aware?
MR. ALLMON: At this point we’ve gone through -- we have an extensive e-mailing address list because we have our Trail Springs focus group. So, we keep them aware of anything that’s going on in their neighborhood through e-mail, through our website, through Facebook. We haven’t contacted individual property owners yet because we’re still vetting the several different potential paths. But once we come up with, whether it’s 60th Street or Melrose or 62nd Street, once that’s decided and we say that’s what we’re going for, we’ve got money in this grant to literally go door-to-door and ask them their opinions. Part of that, too, there’s a plan if the weather holds out, this grant was supposed to be happening in the summer, but things at the state kind of slowed down the process. We’re going to do an ice cream truck as an informational type thing. Park it in the neighborhood, too. We’ll advertise that and then it’s almost like a person can come in, grab some free ice cream and also look at the drawings and things that are being proposed. But individually, yeah, we’ve talked about that a lot. We don’t want to -- I won’t say that one person’s dissent would kill the project, but we certainly want to educate them that we’re not coming in to tear up their lives. If anything, this is a hope to make their neighborhood and their activity level and their property values go up.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [Speaking off mic]
MR. ALLMON: We’ve got feedback, yeah. We’ve had I think 60 survey responses so far online. I think the night of the meeting about 20 handwritten cards were turned in. We’ve had one-on-one discussions. Obviously the Stearns path is kind of defined because Merriam said for good reason that’s where we need this to come into because that’s where our sidewalks and our park connection is to the trail. We have had at a meeting a discussion with an adjacent property owner who owns property right next to the Stearns right-of-way where that would go through. And it was not negative feedback. From what I understand the consultant talked to him and his wife and he kind of saw the positive of it because right now it’s a utilized footpath. It’s not improved. People go back there. They throw their cups down. It’s not a public path. It’s simply a path of least resistance. His thinking I think if we go ahead and span that drainage area, light it, mark it, put it on our regular trash pickup which we do on our trails it’ll be a benefit to him. And so he was not, at least at that meeting was not opposed to what we were talking about. So, that’s the most one-on-one feedback we’ve had. But I have a feeling we’ll have more in April when we hone it down to one path and we go door-to-door.
MS. CREMER: And how long will the survey be up online?
MR. ALLMON: The survey is up until --
MR. HOLMAN: Sunday.
MR. ALLMON: -- Sunday.
MS. CREMER: Up till Sunday. I went and tried to do it. I couldn’t see it on my cell phone.
MS. LECURU: Well, I just want to show everybody how to find that on our website.
MR. HOLMAN: Oh, wonderful.
MS. LECURU: So, this is the City of Shawnee’s website. If you scroll down just a little bit you’ll see it in this right-hand column Nieman Road Corridor Projects Move Forward. And you come down a little bit, and again, we’re talking about Linking Historic Shawnee. And you click on that. Then you come down -- it’s right there, Online Survey.
MR. HOLMAN: Yeah. Online Survey.
MS. LECURU: Right in the middle of that page right there. If you click on that it’ll take you to the survey, give you the details, information. And again, that will be live until Sunday.
MR. ALLMON: Live until Sunday.
MS. LECURU: Live until Sunday, so.
MR. ALLMON: And that includes a lot of the background decision-making information that will help you decide, tree conflicts, driveway conflicts, location. It’s all pretty much the presentation from that public meeting is all there. So, feel free to link up and vote. If anybody has any other questions, I’ll be glad answer them.
MS. LECURU: How long does it take for them to complete the survey, do you know?
MR. ALLMON: It’s a very short survey. I think it’s like three questions, north, central, south, trail type, off street, share the road, sidewalk and curb and gutter. I can’t remember. There’s like three. It’s very short. It’ll take you probably more time to go through the background information if you really want to educate yourself on the decision. Is that everything? Anybody have any more questions?
MS. CREMER: Thank you. That helped a lot.
MR. ALLMON: You’re welcome. And we’re excited. When this started in 2011, it was a community visioning study between the City of Merriam and the City of Shawnee. We were barely even to be included in the study to be honest with you. And Carol was very good at leveraging our opportunity for that. And from that perception survey study we found out that people thought Nieman needed help. And from that we’ve got a major amount of things that have been done since 2011. And the next step is going to be start building some things to really make this area nice, make downtown nice -- nicer. And so we’re excited about it.
MS. CREMER: Good. Thank you. Okay.
D. MEMBER REPORTS
Next we have Member Reports. Any Member Reports? No. Okay.
E. STAFF REPORTS
1. DIRECTORS’ REPORTS
MS. CREMER: Moving on, Staff Reports. Neil, Director’s Reports.
MR. HOLMAN: Yeah. I handed out a couple sheets. So, we’re working on, like everything is due this month. We’ve got budget and then we’ve also got a TAP grant, so we’ve got another TAP grant that’s due. And this TAP grant is dollars for 2019 and 2020. So, we’ve kind of named this the Connect Shawnee Martindale, 72nd and Martindale roughly to the Haller Trail, the Johnson County Streamway Trail. And if you see on the map, on top up there is Shawnee Mission Parkway. And then you come down here. The QuikTrip is right there. Martindale you come down and take off 71st Street. And you’re right next to the railroad tracks.
This is stemming from a lot of the quiet zones that the City is trying to do. So, they’re buying these -- they’re trying to shut down some of these crossings. But the crossing that we’re going to is a private one. And it’s a little over a mile trail, but getting right-of-way from the railroad. And the railroad, we do have an agreement with the railroad and they’re okay with it, of having -- we’re not doing a tunnel. This would be an at grade railroad crossing. So, pedestrian and bicycle coming over and then going along the north of the gentleman’s property line, and then the county owns the rest of the property line. And they’ve agreed to give us the land plus be a partner in some of the dollars if it is funded. So, it will come all the way and tie into the Gary Haller Streamway Trail. And this will be a really nice area, a trail for the people in this -- kind of the -- from K-7 to, you know, over to K-7 that area where the -- remember we -- or years ago we talked about a golf course that was going to be built that. Well, now there is going to be a bunch of homes built. They’ve got sewers that are starting to have been put in. And so there is going to be a huge homeowners in this area that now don’t have to go up to Shawnee Mission Parkway, which is a highway, with kids and everyone, ride their bike to get to the Barker access point. They’ll be able to ride right over -- just come down Martindale and then come over to the -- and get on the trail system. And vice versa. If people are coming, you know, it’s recreation. I always like to say it’s recreation and transportation because we have had individuals that have come up from Olathe because you can get from Olathe down there. Using the Gary Haller Trail you can come up. There is industry right up here right behind QuikTrip and all that there -- that people can come for employment. Because I know there was -- used to be when we had Perceptive Software there used to be five individuals that would ride their bikes up and then cut over on the Clear Creek Trail. They’d have to go north and then cut back south. But anyway. So, this is a grant that we’re going to go for. It’s due the 25th of this month. So, we’re trying to put it -- we’re putting it together now.
MS. RIGGS: I have a question, Neil. Do you have to do anything to the -- so that’s -- currently that’s a driveway right there past the railroad tracks, right?
MR. HOLMAN: Yeah.
MS. RIGGS: Do you have to do any sort of improvement there to make -- connecting the trail?
MR. HOLMAN: Yes. We will do a road improvement to the gentleman’s -- he’s got some -- oh, some walls there as you go into his property.
MS. RIGGS: Okay.
MR. HOLMAN: On down further if you go down south you see this little ditch area there. We had had an agreement with the railroad department that they give us a ten-year window to figure something out on tunneling or giving us an easement to get in there. And looking at it, it would be very hard and very costly to do a tunnel there the way that the land sits. And so that ten-year window is now down to six years because that was like four years ago when we had the agreement. So, we’re kind of using that agreement as going up the tracks a little bit and asking them if an at grade at this private crossing. And so far they have agreed. So, it’ll be a lot different with the gates and all. It would be a totally different gate, a pedestrian type gate, but it’s going to be cheaper than, you know, a million and a half to two million to bore a tunnel under the railroad tracks.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [Inaudible; speaking off mic]
MR. HOLMAN: You know, we’re still looking at that. I’m thinking it would probably be like around a mile to hook into that -- to Johnson County. But we’ve got Trans Systems whose done our other -- that did Phases 2 and 3 of Clear Creek, they’re looking at this right now just because of their relationship with the railroads. They do a lot of work with the railroads and they know who to talk to and they just seem to know all the rules. So, hopefully we’ll be able to -- we’ll provide a good grant and we’ll get it along with the competition. I know it’s going to be --
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [Inaudible; speaking off mic]
MR. HOLMAN: On this one, this year, and I’m on the committee of selection for MARC, but I won’t be able to vote on my project. This year you get a five-minute presentation. So, with this you get four slides, four pictures that you would send with your grant, so it’s a little different this year than in years past.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [Inaudible; speaking off mic]
MR. HOLMAN: So, in August, probably, yeah. Because then in the Sustainable Places grant is in May. And we probably for some of -- and at that time we’re hoping that some of Doug’s -- some of the stuff that we’re working on here down with Nieman and that we’ll be able to do a grant on that. Use dollars for that. So, anyway.
MS. RIGGS: I think it looks great. Having been a person who traveled on Shawnee Mission Parkway to get to the trail that’s very scary.
MR. HOLMAN: It is.
MS. RIGGS: So, this area needs something like that.
MR. HOLMAN: They do. Yeah. Thank you. They do. And one thing, we will send out -- we’ve been with all the train horns we practically have everyone’s e-mail address over here, so we will be sending, if you ever want a walking trail or a bike trail in your back yard we need support letters, so that’s going to really hit hard. That will be a good thing if we can get everybody to go to the website and do a support letter. So, any more questions on that?
So, the next one is, the next one I handed out, this year we did something different with staff. We did a retreat and it was kind of fun. It was very well received by staff. There was four things that we looked at. The citizen survey, remember we brought the citizen survey to you. It’s been a couple months ago or so, something like that.
MS. LECURU: In December.
MR. HOLMAN: Was it December? Okay. That’s right. We had Dan Ferguson, our PIO present it to the staff and it was a really good rah-rah for staff, especially having 90-92 percent of satisfactory for parks and what we do. So, that turned out really well.
Then we kind of went over the 2016 projects. And obviously some of these are in here. And then the next thing that we went over is a work plan. We do a work plan. This is just to show you that everything that -- what staff is doing from parks, recreation, events, the pools, Shawnee Town. And it ties to people, it ties back to the staff, then that ties back to their evaluation. So, it’s kind of nice how everything kind of ties in. So, these are very important for staff to look at and to somewhat accomplish. But you can go through here and every department is represented in these. And they go back to the goals of the City, of economic growth and vitality. There’s five of them and we hit every one of them that are the values of what the City Council has deemed for the City as a whole.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [Inaudible; speaking off mic]
MR. HOLMAN: Yeah. We’re very busy getting ready for spring.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [Inaudible; speaking off mic]
2. PARKS REPORT
MS. LECURU: Ramie was not able to be here this evening, but gave me a report. So, I went out and took some photos today just to kind of show you what all the projects that the Parks maintenance staff are working on. This is our sand volleyball courts over at Pflumm-Bichelmeyer. They’ve went in and have taken out all the edging of it and put a concrete curbing on it to help keep the sand in. They’ve re-sodded it. And it’s great. People are going to love it. So, now that this all complete, it’s just been completed this past week, we’ll get the volleyball nets up. And especially with the great weather we’ll see lots of use going on with that.
Also you might have noticed over at Soetaert, Tony Soetaert Park there are -- on the corner near 61st and Pflumm we moved the sign from on Pflumm to 61st Street. And so that was completed this last couple of weeks and looks good, and we’ve got the landscaping in for it.
And then Listowel Park. You know, in December, I believe we had a presentation from some of the neighbors and I hope they can come back now and let you know how pleased they are with everything, but this is our new Listowel Park improvements. So, this is our -- Neil has talked about it a couple of times. Our new sea serpent that’s there all happy with the new pour-in-place surfacing that we talked about that we’re working on the grant for. But there is the sea serpent. And then where the slide that was --plywood over with the hole in it that has been replaced. So, you can tell a little bit of difference in the color, but it looks great. There was a young girl and her mom there playing today and it’s just the “bestest park ever”. And she scared her mom a few weeks ago. They were driving by and she starts yelling as they were driving by, “my park is broke” because she had seen the plywood from the street. So, she was thrilled to see that her park was all better and they were having a good time on it.
And then this picture doesn’t do justice or show it really well, but this is that swale we talked about where the butterfly garden is going to go in and some of those different pieces. So, it’s been cleaned out and is ready now for planting some things like that.
And then also over at Gum Springs Park they’re doing a lot of tree work and a lot of other things, but we talked about one of the projects. And if you look at the work plan this is one of the things that’s listed improvements to the ball fields. The left picture there is the new foul poles that are on all four of the fields which are very much needed especially when we host our tournaments and different activities out there. And then the safety covering for the fences is great right now. This is in the outfield and we had some additional product left over, so we’re actually doing the side fences as well and is a great safety issue for that. And then the third picture there shows the start of the dugout covers. So, that’s the form that’s been created for the canvas that will come at a later time so it provides some shading for the players and stuff when they’re in the dugout. So, but it’s a breathable material, so it’ll -- and obviously the back is open, so it will just provide some much needed sunshade and stuff like that, so those are all the projects that they’re working on right now and so wanted to show you those.
Also getting ready to put in 53 new trees out at Erfurt Park. And he’s working on a KDHE grant program to do some more of this pour-in-place, the playground surfacing. We weren’t sure that that grant was going to be available again this year. There was some talk of that grant program going away and we received notification that it is going to be there and we were kind of prepared for it, so hopefully not everybody is as prepared as we are and we’ll get some good money out of that. So, that’s the Park report.
MS. CREMER: Very nice. Love the sea serpent. Thank you.
MR. EHRLICH: Why did the sign move for Soetaert Park?
MR. HOLMAN: When people drove up, the visual. The traffic triangle, when you stop -- they put the arm up it kind of -- it got in the way of the vision as the cars were coming south -- northbound on Pflumm.
MR. EHRLICH: I thought maybe it was a slow day because I saw them working on it.
MR. HOLMAN: No. We did the triangle. There’s a traffic triangle that you do for vision. But then when they put the -- we should have had it from the tip of the arm. So, when the installer put it up it kind of got -- it was in that vision. So, you just had to stop and then, you know, you kind of inched up, but you were pretty close to the -- so, safety and not wanting anyone to get hurt. I mean, it’s not worth, you know. We ended up moving the sign around the corner. So, it was our fault.
MR. EHRLICH: Also I’d mention, backing up, the resident that was concerned about the condition of Listowel Park.
MR. HOLMAN: He e-mailed. He e-mailed me and he thanked and said it’s awesome.
MR. EHRLICH: I think he’s real tickled.
MR. HOLMAN: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
MS. DAVIS: Are they still going to [inaudible, talking off mic].
MR. HOLMAN: Ramie has met with them and Bailey and her husband and they are looking at getting some -- trying to get some stuff going. So, it’ll be -- we found that there is a pretty good spring there. So, it will be a rain garden/butterfly garden, so. It’ll be nice.
3. SHAWNEE TOWN 1929 REPORT
MS. CREMER: Okay. Now, Charlie.
MR. PAUTLER: Hi everyone. It’s hard to imagine another month has gone by, but we had a very successful leap year dance on Saturday at Shawnee Town at the Town Hall that was sponsored by our friends group, the Friends of Shawnee Town, and we had 120 visitors that paid $25 tickets. So, we had the Grand Marquis band there. We had dance lessons, did the Lindy Hop. We did all kinds of neat stuff. And there was a cash bar, so everybody had a good time. There was a leap year cocktail that was popular in the late 1920s, so everybody enjoyed themselves.
In staff news, our volunteer coordinator Heather Gilpin is retiring. She’ll be gone in about two weeks. And then we’ve hired another person to take her place and we’ve expanded that position. So, Maureen Kronewitter is our -- or Maureen Sullivan, for those of you that are from Shawnee, she is a Shawnee person and her mom worked for the City for many, many years. But Mo, as she is known, she has worked for us for a couple years now and she’s just been great. So, she’s going to step I think seamlessly into the position of volunteer coordinator. She has really great people skills and will be able to recruit some good volunteers for us for a multitude of projects.
We’re also hiring a museum assistant, which is a combination of museum interpreter to help with the education side of things and a collections assistant to help with the artifact side of things, the data storage, the artifacts reconciliation, the donations, that kind of thing. So, we are going -- we are poised to offer, make that offer to the candidate right now. She just needs to pass her background check and drug test and I’m sure she’ll do just fine, but then we’ll make the formal offer.
And we are booked -- we are booking up very fast for school programs in May and late April into early June. So, those are filling up. We’ve had very successful school programs the last two or three years and those are coming along nicely. And the museum interpreter will be stepping into that. So, kind of drinking from a fire hose when she first starts, but it’ll be good.
We are open for the season. We opened March 1st, so we have had one visitor so far and we expect many more this season. We are open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 to 4:30, and then we have tours on the hour if anybody is interested in coming. Most people are waiting for the warmer weather to visit us.
We do have a volunteer open house coming up this coming Monday. This is our first time that we’ve had an open house where we’re trying to recruit volunteers. If you’re interested or you know of anybody that’s interested, please mention that. It’s from 6:00 to 8:00 on Monday at Town Hall.
And like Neil said, we’re all working on the budget for 2017 and the revised 2016, so that’s occupying all of our time across the Parks Department. So, it think that’s all I had. Any questions? Peter, nothing?
MR. EHRLICH: [Inaudible; talking off mic]
MR. PAUTLER: Yeah. Yeah. That’s our speakeasy program and we’re going to talk about the scandals in the 1920s with a Kansas City flavor. So, I’ll just leave that there.
MS. CREMER: Thank you.
4. AQUATICS, CIVIC CENTRE & RECREATION REPORT
MS. CREMER: Then Aquatics, Civic Centre and Recreation.
MS. LECURU: Right. Got all kinds of reports for you. Aquatics, we are going to be replacing the awnings at the Soetaert Aquatic Center. That went out for bid and we’ve received -- we received two and so that memo will be going to Council for approval on the 14th, and so we’re looking forward to getting that project underway and hope to see that completed prior to opening the season. If we can’t complete it before the opening of the season based on whatever issues that may come up, we’d wait until after the end of the season, but it will happen in 2016.
We’re looking for a window to paint Splash Cove. It’s its turn this year to do all of the painting down there. We received the paint this week, so we’re ready to go forward on that.
We’ve got our first spring break lifeguarding class in two weeks. Sean is getting prepared for that. We need 40 more lifeguards and ten swim instructors. This year is very unique in the fact that we have a very high retention rate with our staff and we keep them for a very long time, but they all tended to start I guess at the same time and so they’re all becoming real people and graduating from college, and so we do have quite a big turnover this year. And we’re not the only city that’s in this situation. So, everyone is in dire need of looking for lifeguards. So, lifeguards 16-plus, swim instructors, 15-plus. So, if anybody knows any teenagers that are good candidates for either one of those positions, please let them know that the application is online at the cityofshawnee.org and Sean will be ever in your debt. So, they’ll be great. Season passes go sale April 1st.
And the brochure is out. I gave everyone a copy of it and Pam has already mentioned she received hers in her mail yesterday. Has anyone else received theirs at their house? Jennifer? Today. Okay. So, if you would let me know when you receive that publication at your house just send me an e-mail. That helps us know with distribution when certain areas to make sure that they’re getting distributing correctly and stuff like that.
The Royal Ball was the first part of February right after our last board meeting and was very successful. We had over 325-330 people there on Saturday. And the girls and their escorts had a good I hope. Mike had a good time?
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [Inaudible; speaking off mic]
MS. LECURU: Great. So, those pictures have been mailed. It takes a little while to get those and stuff, but they’ve been mailed out to all of our participants, so that’s going forward.
We’ve got our final design for the seating area at the Civic Centre and we’re working fabric choices at this point and we’ll be moving forward with that.
Then starting this Sunday we will have Life Mission Church officially starts at the Civic Centre on Sunday mornings. They have a full building rental with us until one o’clock, from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday mornings. It did a few hours that we had been closed just because of lack of use on Sunday mornings. But because it’s a full building rental this has been a very good impact financially to the Civic Centre with minimal impact on our staff. So, I think it added about $25 a week in staffing and generated -- over the year should be about a $50,000 revenue source. And they’re great to work with. They’ve got all kinds of volunteers that are helping with a lot of those pieces and we had a run through practice with them a few weeks ago and it went real well. So, we’re actually looking very much forward to having them at our facility.
And we did survive baseball rentals last Friday. We opened baseball field rentals with our coaches last Friday. They started at 7:00 a.m. These are from the lottery results. And as always it’s very smooth. They have their time, they have their windows. It was just very unique this year. It also coincided with a full building gymnastics meet that started at the same time, so our coaches got a little panicked when they got there at their time at eight o’clock and there was 150 cars on the parking lot and they’re like, wait, am I late, but it went really well. And it was just there -- we were together for a few hours, but other than that it went really well.
And Kate would like to report that we had our TAKE training on Saturday the 13th. We had 57 women participate in that safety training. Rebecca and her daughter Addison participated and said it was great. It was very intense, but was really good for them. So, 57 women participated and they raised $509 for the Ali Kemp Foundation. So, it was a good project that we do every -- we sponsor every February.
We had our Pickleball Tournament then on the next weekend. February has been a very busy month. We had a Pickleball Tournament. We had 28 people compete in the morning and the afternoon with men’s, women’s and mixed doubles. And this year new we had Brookdale Assisted Living and Brookdale Memory Living help us sponsor that event. So, they helped us with providing the awards which were the much coveted jars of pickles. People had a great time. A rep was there and she spoke with them and I see us doing some more activities and sponsorships with Brookdale coming up, so that’s good.
Kate taught two classes yesterday for Freezer Meals in a Flash. And we have people returning each season that we offer it because it’s a great way to prepare ten meals in a couple of hours and they haul it all in and haul it out and have some fun doing that. We have a rain barrel class this Saturday at the Park maintenance facility if anyone would still like to sign up, there’s a few spots left and it’s $50, so that’s coming up. And we also have two more beekeeping classes this month which they are filling up crazy. People really want their bees. So, that’s going. While we had 18 participants take it in February and the other classes are doing well.
Two spring break camps coming up with Mad Science, At the Scene of the Crime and NASA Journey into Outer Space. So, if anyone is looking for spring break camps, those are the two we have going up.
And the e-subscribers are up to 338 participants using that and the February newsletter had almost a 50 percent open rate. So, that’s really good and over a 15 percent click through rate. So, once they opened it they went to something else, one of the programs or activities. So, we’ve seen a lot of success with that and a lot of sign-ups.
So, I think 50 percent of the crockpot class or the Freezer Meals in a Flash class that we offered came through Facebook which came through those links through our newsletter, so those are all really good.
Then my last thing is the prioritization exercise that you guys participated in December. We also our Civic Centre supervisors participate in December during the retreat. The staff also did it. So, all 19 of our staff folks worked. So, we’ve got people with very different, you know, uses of our special events or understanding of our special events, so it’s been interesting to see their comments as well. We have one more group, focus group we’d like to complete before we compile all that information and that is actual users. So, class people who participate in classes, activities, parks, outside of the -- somehow connected to Shawnee Parks and Recreation, more of the general public. So, we’re looking for 20 individuals to volunteer for that, so we’ll start gathering information. So, if you know of anyone who would like to put some input in the activities and special events we’ve got going on that’ll be great. We’ll probably do it in a later afternoon, early evening. It takes about an hour, about an hour when it’s a bigger group like that. So, that’s coming up to. That’s all I have.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [Inaudible; speaking off mic]
MS. LECURU: 11 a.m.
MR. EHRLICH: [Inaudible; speaking off mic]
MS. LECURU: Seven.
MR. EHRLICH: Seven. [Inaudible; speaking off mic]
MS. LECURU: Rentals, other rentals and activities and things like that. And it’s surprising. I think once you have activities on Sunday it tends to build more activities because then we’ve got a lot more rentals coming in at one and two for baby showers and birthday parties and wedding showers and things. So, Sundays have become one of the busiest days we have up there, very consistent. So, we’re looking forward to having that continuous activity going on. So, we’ve got a big Pickleball group on Sundays. We’ve got a volleyball group that plays on Sundays. We have open gym on Sundays. And then every room I think for the month of March has some sort of activity or facility reservation on it as well. And then we have dance lessons downstairs in the dance room.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [Inaudible; speaking off mic]
MS. LECURU: Yeah. It is. Very good. Good use of the facility.
MS. CREMER: Okay. Anything else? Can I get a motion for adjournment?
MS. FABAC: I motion we adjourn.
MS. LECURU: Make sure you use your mics.
MS. FABAC: Yep. It’s on.
MS. CREMER: Shelly motion for adjournment. Can I have a second?
MS. DAVIS: I second.
MS. CREMER: Okay. Thank you. All in favor.
BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
MS. CREMER: Okay. We’re adjourned. (Motion passes 6-0)
I certify that the foregoing is a correct transcript from the electronic sound recording of the proceedings in the above-entitled matter.
/das March 22, 2016
Deborah A. Sweeney, Recording Secretary
Tonya Lecuru, Deputy Director Parks and Recreation