Parks, Recreation and Convervation Board Minutes 20190625

PARKS, RECREATION, AND CONSERVATION BOARD MINUTES
Date:   June 25, 2019
 
Attendance: Present:  Chair Rich Brooks, Mary Mogerley, Liz Kloak, Jean Epiphan, Frank Mortimer, Village Council Liaison Ramon Hache and BOE Liaison Jim Morgan
 Absent:  Vice Chair Dave Sayles and William Riker
Also Present: Director Nancy A. Bigos
Public Comment &
Correspondence: None
Minutes: Minutes for May 2019 were approved with motions made by L. Kloak and Mary Mogerley, second motion.  No questions, no changes were made.
PRC Board Member Appointments/Reappointments
Appointments Frank Mortimer was welcomed to the PRC Board tonight.  He is known as the “Bee Master” of Ridgewood. He is a Certified Master Beekeeper, which he obtained through Cornell University. Frank Mortimer worked together with N. Bigos to have Ridgewood endorsed as a Bee City, USA affiliate.  He currently works in college publishing and is President of the Northeast New Jersey Beekeepers Association.
     
Age Friendly 2019 Survey
Ridgewood N. Bigos gave each member of the PRC one of the cards circulated by Age Friendly Ridgewood throughout the community to inform everyone who and what they are to the Village of Ridgewood.  The survey is aimed at the needs of adults 55 and over, focusing on housing, transportation, safety, health and medical services, community support and services. They wish to do a comparison with the last survey to see if needs have been met.  All were encouraged to take the time to complete a survey.
 
Health Barn Quarterly Report
 N. Bigos has a meeting tomorrow, June 26th with Stacey Antine.
 There have been concerns of animals in the barn, possibly either raccoons or rats and groundhogs for example.  An exterminator has been called.  
 
Tennis Courts Renovation
 N. Bigos was excited to announce that the resurfacing bid contract has been awarded to Sport Tech for $97,000.00.  The renovation of the N. Monroe courts will begin this week.  The sub filler is in and the courts will be surfaced the week after the 4th of July.  Bellair courts will be done next and finally, Somerville if there are still funds available. 
Parks
Kings Pond Park Phase I and II –
 N. Bigos met with J. Mehandzic to discuss Kings Pond, the renovation of the park is moving forward.  The DEP approved the dredging of the pond; they measured for curbing on the Lakeview side and determined perimeters of the park.  There will be just one parking lot with parallel parking for residents along the road.
 N. Bigos informed everyone the Village received an extension on the 2015 grant earmarked for this project.  There is a meeting tomorrow with J. Fricke and J. Mehandzic to wrap this up.
The lower park is awaiting curbing and parking area installation.  A sub-contractor will be scheduled for the Lakeview side of park.
J. Epiphan proposed that an area of the park could be designated for bike use.  Conceivably it may help to deter the vandalism of Kings Pond by the bikers.
A discussion was held about the establishment of a pollinator meadow and a community bee hive operation, perhaps 2 - 4 hives on the property.  Other than the obvious benefits of the hives, they can be utilized as a valuable learning tool.  There were several suggestions:
o Hold classes for children and adults on beekeeping
o Establish a beekeeping course for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts/merit badge
o Assign a hive to a school/paint branding of program
o Public program with focus on acclimation to bees/many confuse honey bees with yellow jackets/State law which protects bees
Ridgewood has 17 beekeepers in the Village, which is a great way to bring a positive influence to the idea of beekeeping. 
It has been determined that a committee will be needed to institute the “Pollinator Center” at Kings Pond.  An area will need to be chosen and established with fencing and bushes to surround the hives and provide security; equipment will need to be purchased.  Finally, the bees will be purchased from a bee farmer in mid to late April of next year, after the designated area has been set up.  J. Mortimer said he will speak with his club members with the goal of beginning the project in the fall.  He further said the Northeast New Jersey Beekeepers Association will donate $350.00 for purchase of the bees.  The cost to establish 2 hives is $1300.00.
Schedler Property Update
 They are going out to bid for tree removal and installation of the berm.  The berm will be 6x6 with plantings.  Council members have asked for fencing to deter people from highway.
 There is $500,000.00 in grants that is being used to complete this project.
Bergen County
Open Space  Maple Park Lighting/ 2019  
  The amount it will cost to have PSE&G continue the electrical line for the new lighting is higher than the expected figure of $50,000.00.  This is an additional financial challenge and the Village is still awaiting word on the acceptance of the BCOS grant application.   There is a meeting scheduled on Friday for the budget review.
 
 It was shared that Rose Court residents are happy to be rid of the diesel lighting, but they are concerned about how the poles will look.  The highest pole will be 70 ft., but there will be no light spill, less than moonlight and no noise, the best solution.  Hopes are to have this lighting installed by next spring.
Community Service 
 Bergen County Probation – Maple Park path, Saturday, June 8th
 We are fortunate to have a relationship with them. The county came June 8th and did labor intensive weeding.
 One Client with Department – Several others with the Village and doing an amazing job with maintenance. 
Community Center
 Slate of Officers for Foundation – New Chair/Helen Leonard
 Comm. Block Development Grant – Delivery ADA accessible tables
 Columbia Bank/Grant Approval – Will receive a check for $10,000.00 for computers for Community Center/tablets for seniors use.  J. Morgan inquired about security/public access on the computers.  It is still being researched.
New Business Ridgewood Duck Pond – R. Brooks is concerned about the lack of progress at the Ridgewood Duck Pond and noted that the conditions at the park are progressively getting worse.  He feels the project isn’t moving fast enough and the water has become stagnant and unhealthy.  R. Brooks stated that Bergen County has not done much to alleviate this problem and that Darlington County Park is in dire straits as well.  R. Hache spoke with Bergen County Executive, Jim Tedesco and was told the liner was not fixed and has not gone to bid yet, maybe September.
 N. Bigos offered to contact Jim Kloth to check on the status/timetable of the Ridgewood Duck Pond project. She will also specifically address the stagnant water and suggest they install aerators/bubblers to help alleviate this problem for the mean time.
 R. Brooks also informed the PRC Board that the Village of Ridgewood, along with the Mayor, Ridgewood Public Schools and RBSA are being sued by a resident.  The resident alleges bullying against children and a hostile environment. He also alleges   conflict on how they apply their policies, claiming they are discriminating against children who are involved in other baseball clubs and selectively choosing which child to punish and which to ignore for absenteeism due to their involvement with the other team(s).
Recreation Graydon Pool 
   
June Group Use – There have been six school groups, Eastern Christian, Ridge, Somerville, Travell, Orchard and the Lloyd School in HoHoKus
Hours of Operation – lack of lifeguards, a concern in early season
Movie on the Beach – June 14th, a successful evening
National Pollinator Week – In collaboration with CRPL, Ridgewood Library and Health Barn for the second year, this national celebration was a success. The weather was perfect and the events well attended by residents and people from out of town.  There were 40 children utilizing the Butterfly Garden, where new discovery was magical.
There was a maypole and each child received a craft to enjoy.
Liaison Reports Village Council – R. Hache  
 The Village will be holding a 125th Anniversary Celebration Gala on November 2, 2019. The official anniversary date for the Village of Ridgewood is November 26th. The Mayor and Village Council are planning an extended celebration with special events and activities throughout the year.  They asked for volunteers and formed the 125th Anniversary Celebration Committee to coordinate programs to make this a memorable occasion for all residents.
 The Village is moving forward in the updating of the Central Business District.  Hopefully, the lighting at Van Neste will be ready for the fall 125th Anniversary Celebration. PSE&G has repaired all the pole lighting in the downtown district; a lot of lights were out.  R. Hache said that a new design is needed for alternate lighting at Walnut/E. Ridgewood Avenue, Hudson/S. Broad Street and Franklin/Walnut Street. 
Other items to improve the CBD: they are breaking ground on the Hudson Street parking garage the 2nd or 3rd week of August and plan to celebrate that in September. They are also completing the redesign of the parking at Train Station Plaza, landscaping is next. 
Mayor Hache stated he would like to establish Ridgewood as a center of excellence.
He would like to see the redevelopment of districts. By re-zoning changes in B1 and B2 he hopes to initiate marketing to attract new tenants for the Central Business District.  The marketing would be funded through the assessment on commercial property owners.
 R. Hache also mentioned how excited he is to establish beehives in Kings Pond and is working with F. Mortimer to accomplish this.  He would like to use different groups in town – maybe each school would get one.  Another thought was to have a contest and each group would have a different label to identify their honey.  The beehives were discussed earlier in the meeting.   
 
 Board of Ed - J. Morgan
 They are in the process of installing the new synthetic field at RHS.
Open Space Committee - D. Sayles
No report
 
                                   Fields Committee – R. Brooks
• Permanent lighting, 5 light poles with LED at Maple Park was discussed earlier
     
                                   Shade Tree Commission - J. Epiphan
• The Shade Tree Commission has money that has been held in trust.  They have not had to pay for replacement trees; therefore they would like to reallocate $50,000.00 of that money towards accomplishing the tree inventory, adding that to the grant money they applied for this year.  It was also mentioned they would like to establish a nursery near the tennis courts.
• CBD Tree Wells – The STC is concerned about the design of the wells and is doing new research on them.  They would like to put in 5 new tree wells on Chestnut St. as the existing wells are falling apart.  It needs to be determined who is responsible for the tree wells.
• J. Epiphan reported that a resident contacted her to make everyone aware Japanese Barberry has been planted at Ridgewood High School; it is on the invasive species list.  She also said we should lead by example by insuring we do not plant anything that is on the NJ Invasive Species list.  This led to further discussion about species that are on the list and why.  A plant or shrub determined as invasive can escape into woodlands and we need to preserve our parklands.  It was mentioned that perhaps a workshop might help to halt the planting of these species and educate landscapers as well.
• The Shade Tree Commission has also been discussing the tree palette for the top and sides of the berm being established at Schedler, maybe Spruce and Firs.
The list will be shared with C. Rutishauser.
 
                                   Community Center Advisory Board - L. Kloak 
   L. Kloak said the mixers and the opening day festivities at Graydon were great. 
 Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee (REAC) - M. Mogerley
• REAC has new appointed members.
• The filling stations installed in the parks are successful
• They wish to have another Styrofoam collection, they had a very successful collection/filled two trucks
• Plastic bag elimination is being discussed
• They would like to have educational events for parents.  One topic mentioned was “Is there Lead in the Water”
• July 18th – There will be a forum hosted by the Mayor at Middlesex Community College. PFAS’s contaminating our water – Who will pay?
  
 
Next Meeting  Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at the Stable, 7:30 pm
Adjournment  9:15 PM
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