PARKS, RECREATION, AND CONSERVATION BOARD UNOFFICIAL MINUTES
Date: February 28, 2017
Attendance Present: Chair Rich Brooks, Lou Lembo, Mary Mogerly
Absent: BOE Liaison Jim Morgan, Parker Weil, Village Council Liaison Ramon Hache
Also Present Director Tim Cronin and Deputy Director Nancy Bigos, Stacey Antine, Gary Cirillo
Correspondence Women Gardeners of Ridgewood: Proposal to create a Women Gardeners of Ridgewood resource room in an unused space in the Gatehouse building at Habernickel Park. The WGR does so much for and around the Village of Ridgewood but do not have a permanent home. They have a wealth of information, books and reference materials on a variety of gardening subjects. These resources will be made available to residents and community groups along with the expertise of the club members at designated or arranged times each month.
They are a self sufficient group that will pay their own expenses. Some shelving, tables and seating would be added over time to create a library working atmosphere.
The next step will be to ask them for a concrete plan and talk to the Village Manager. T. Cronin would like to discuss this with the PRC and staff and if favorable, present to the Village Council.
Approval of Minutes Unable to approve, lack of quorum
Director’s Report Unable to approve due to lack of quorum.
Vice Chair Tabled
Department T. Cronin reported that interviews were conducted and narrowed down to three final
Reorganization applicants. They all possess some municipal experience but varied expertise. He
is waiting for the March 27 budget hearing to approve this position.
Large Special Event There is a need to develop a large special event policy. There was a discussion about
Park Use – Policy the size of groups, frequency, the need to regulate and categorize these groups and have them provide documents. The need for a policy for private use in a public space is important. Need rules and fees, as well as various approvals in planning events. T. Cronin stated policy has been written twice for other situations and it is basically the same. Conduct, liability, permits, permissions, fees, just need to think outside the box and put this together. It was suggested that a sub-committee be formed.
Public Comment Gary Cirillo – Project Pride: G. Cirillo stated that the Central Business District is in decline. His goal is to expand the budget, hopefully to the original amount available to Project Pride before the budget cuts. He would like to add benches and replace the holiday decorations with wreaths as the Village’s decorations are worn and tired looking. There have been complaints that the downtown area is not festive enough.
The next issue is the need to update the watering system. Perhaps a small truck with water tanks as opposed to the carts used twice a day during drought conditions. The trees are in decline mostly because the water diverts from the 119 tree wells. Deputy Mayor Mike Sedon, liaison to Shade Tree Committee is working on them, using synthetic mulch, a rubberized product which is sturdy and takes on water much better than the bricks currently in place. Gary remarked that they would also like the lighting upgraded and maybe add fountains.
T. Cronin mentioned that the Engineering Budget is typically awarded 1.5 million to pave roads – they are using a new concept ”Complete Streets” for paving and planting trees simultaneously. This saves a great amount of money and Chris Rutishauser has allocated $100,000 of the paving budget for the streetscape program.
Project Pride would like to know if the Village Council would use them more often in and around the Village. G. Cirillo is going to the Council and will ask them for an additional $30,000 and would appreciate any help he can get from the PRC Board.
Presentation Stacey Antine – It has been almost a year since opening HealthBarn USA at the Gatehouse and they have achieved a great deal. This includes an increase of participants in their many programs and imparting them with a better knowledge of nutrition and healthy living. They have partnered with Parks and Recreation with various programs as well as the Winter Festival. This has become a public – private partnership, unique, a true win-win.
HealthBarn provides programs for children 2-4, 3-5, 5-7 and 7-12, special needs, seniors, the Fire Department and Ridgewood High School among others. They are rotated through a variety of activities. HealthBarn generates greater use of the park by our residents and also brings people from other areas into Ridgewood. Word of mouth and their multi-pronged approach has made HealthBarn a success on many levels. They have taken on an intern from William Paterson University and another from NYU to assist these students in furthering their education in the workplace.
HealthBarn has integrated into the community and has become a community center as well; they assist local Girl and Boy Scouts in their programs and projects. HealthBarn is very involved with nature, ecology and the Community Gardens. When it came to the attention of Stacey Antine that the seniors at Ridgecrest were not eating properly and were undernourished, HealthBarn stepped up and began a healthy meal program with Healing Meals to provide healthy, nutritious meals delivered to them. In fact, HealthBarn received a Nutrition Gold Award.
A situation with the lights is still a concern, the Village has made several accommodations; parking is dawn to dusk in all parks and the lights are off at 10:00 pm. HealthBarn is following the lease but does not feel welcome by the neighbors adjacent to Habernickel Park. However, the numbers objecting to their presence are fewer.
Stacey stated that they are planning to do a trail map with a guide to plants and fauna reticent of the Celery Farm in Allendale. She would also like to address the stagnant water in the pond. It has turned green, opaque which is a real health concern. The Women Gardeners of Ridgewood proposed an aerator. T. Cronin said that the algae are the result of the homeowners fertilizing their lawns and it runs into the pond. There are two ponds which are connected and it affects both.
Green Acres Diversion Update – T. Cronin advised that the Village is looking at several properties and are moving forward in satisfying this acreage loss.
Parks Maple Park
Turf field Update – We are still awaiting the new pricing structure.
Kings/Gypsy Pond Open Space Grant Application
We have been approved for $68,000 through Bergen County Open Space.
Schedler Property – Noise Assessment
A noise engineer was contacted to produce a noise assessment. After assessment the next step will be to move on to BCOS grant to clean the property.
Habernickel Park Request for Gatehouse Use – Women Gardeners of Ridgewood
This was covered under correspondence.
HealthBarn Presentation was given by Stacey Antine at this meeting.
2017 Budget 2017 Departmental Budget/Capital – Hearing date March 9th 5:30 - 9:30 pm.
T. Cronin and N. Bigos are going to hearing.
• Pool Renovation – Architectural fee (next week), arbor and painting $27,000
• Sanitizing of restrooms - $3,000
• $100,000 tree planting
• Mandatory repair for aerial bucket truck, must be done every 5 years $10,000
• Refurbishment of wood floors in Stable $2,000
• Succession plan
New Business R. Brooks – Baseball grant forwarded from R. Hache. Baseball of Tomorrow, $40,000 is the average award. This can be used for fields, uniforms and training materials. It is for tax exempt agencies, PRC will forward to Field Committee for the RBSA.
R. Brooks was contacted regarding Ridgecrest citizens that cannot afford to go to pool – to come for a day free of charge. A proposal must be done and presented to Council. The Village Manager can waive or reduce fees. There are also a myriad of programs, for example Social Services or United Way.
Committee Reports Village Council – R. Hache
Board of Ed - J. Morgan
Open Space Committee - M. Mogerly
Survey to be delivered the third week of March, the postage and envelopes approved ready and approved by Village. Results will be provided in a month, this was a random sampling of Village residents from the voter list. M. Mogerly also mentioned they are looking for new members for the committee.
Fields Committee – R. Hache/ R. Brooks
The Alumni Association of Ridgewood High School’s upcoming special event was discussed. It is taking place over multiple days and utilizing Upper Vets Field with various tents and a multitude of activities.
There is a conflict with Ridgewood High School Varsity, Ridgewood Hoops and a new group, Ridgewood Community School basketball over lost gym time. There is a question as to why this group was formed when the other already exists; there also remains a concern with non-residents. This is to be discussed.
Shade Tree Commission – T. Cronin
The Community Forestry Plan is underway. The Girl Scout Gold Star Award is to inventory the tree canopy and establish a nursery at Parks. C. Rutishauser has already obtained the DEP permit and the project is moving forward.
Community Center Advisory Board - L. Lembo
Aging in Place presentation was given last week. Housing and transportation were discussed. There is a new treasurer, Lisa Garvey.
Project Pride - Open
There was a presentation by G. Cirillo.
Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands - N. Bigos
They are partnering with REAC for the Daffodil Festival and have met on several occasions to discuss. One Hundred guests to participate, highlighting “Water Conservation - Rain to the Drain.”
Ridgewood Arts Council - L. Lembo
After the Ed Center show they will be dropping off 8 to 12 pieces to the Community Center.
Next Meeting : Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the Stable, 7:30 pm
Adjournment : 9:30 PM