Parks Advisory Board Minutes April 7, 2010
Broward County > Parks and Recreation > Get Involved > Parks Advisory Board Minutes April 7, 2010
7:30 a.m. - Secret Woods Nature Center - Dania Beach
Members Present: Members Absent: Others Present:
Terry Danger Bruce Edwards Dan West, P & R
Stephen Lawson Stephanie Munson Mike Harlan, P & R
Sharon Kent Jack Mathison Jim Federici, HCED
Marc Kiar Jack Talabisco Chester Pruitt, P & R
Marsha Oster-Levy Bill Gilmartin, P & R
Guy Roper Debra Rose, P & R
Sheila Rose Molly Taylor, P & R
Milette Thurston Laura Frank, P & R
Kay Taylor, Volunteer
Russell Emory, Volunteer

The meeting was called to order by Terry Danger, Chair at 7:40 a.m., after which all present recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Approval of Minutes
Mr. Danger asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of March 3, 2010.  Howard Nelson made the motion, which was seconded by Guy Roper and passed unanimously. 

Debra Rose was congratulated as Employee of the Month (EOM) for April.  She was applauded for her accomplishments and work ethics.  Ms. Rose was awarded a framed certificate of appreciation and a gift certificate to a local restaurant. 

Park Manager’s Report
Molly Taylor, Park Naturalist II, welcomed the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PAB). Ms. Taylor provided the board members with a fact sheet of the nature center and discussed improvements and accomplishments of the park.  Guy Roper asked about the health of animals in the area – read reports of rabies.  Ms. Taylor reported there are no cases of rabies, there are some cases of distemper.   It is a very common viral disease that makes animals act erratically, is incurable.  Howard Nelson asked if the acquisition program is done or are there other tracts being looked at.  Ms. Taylor advised the Griffin tract has been purchased, as well as Pond Apple Slough and Hacienda Flores.  Together it makes up about 300 acres that are being preserved in this industrial area.  Mr. Danger asked if the poetry program is gone.  Ms. Taylor said that the volunteer previously running the program has left and they need a replacement.  Mr. Danger may have a poet and volunteer. 

Parks and Recreation Division (Parks) Update
Dan West thanked the Friends Group and volunteers at Secret Woods, Kay Taylor and Russell Emory.  Parks needs to expand these groups even further and they may help to save the system.  As mentioned last month, Parks hired Pros Consulting (Pros) to do an efficiency and comprehensive analysis study.  Leon Younger, with Pros, will attend a future PAB meeting and Mr. West will keep the PAB updated of their progress along the way.  Staff has already met several times Pros and their first impression from them was we have one of the finest systems in the country; we have great resources, facilities and amenities that serve the public. Some areas of concern are infrastructure improvements and we need updated management practices.  He will also look at staffing issues, partnerships and branding, effective pricing, etc.  They have about three months and will report back with the results and then Parks staff will need to integrate that with our budget.  Staff has gone through the first round of the budget process.  We need to look at reduction levels ranging from 0-30% and when 77% of your operating budget is staff – it becomes a tough issue.  Parks will discuss looking at the revenue side first and then items we can cut internally regarding operation procedures to save on expenses.

Bond Construction Update
Jim Federici provided the PAB with a projects status report handout which is a summary of the bond projects being worked on. Mr. Federici reviewed the prototype projects; they are at the last 10-15% of the contract to close it out. Eight of the sites have been completed and the contractor needs to do a few punch list items before they can open. The last two items are the Tradewinds maintenance facility and corporate shelter.  Stephen Lawson asked if they are not withholding enough money to ensure they complete the job.  Mr. Federici said the contractor ran against unforeseen items with the city. Highlands Park Community Center –a proposal has been received from the architect with a drawing revision.  Staff felt it was expensive so they will meet with the architect and review.  The Carpenter House project is moving along. The contractor has run into a few unexpected items: rotted wood, foundation not solid, the bridge connecting the main house and cottage needs to be replaced.   Quiet Waters project – they are on a tight timeframe to get the water play feature installed and waiting for the new one to arrive.  Target date to open is Memorial Day.  Tradewinds North – looked at the scope again and will try to pare that down due to budgetary constraints.  Staff will meet and decide what direction to go with bond projects. Miramar Pinelands – still in protest stage.  Everglades Holiday Park – the survey crew has been out.  Early stages are plans to build a bridge.  SFWMD wants a bridge and may pay for it, which will help us and possibly get Phase Two started.  Franklin Park does not have a scope yet.

Old Business
Laura Frank reminded PAB of gift certificate donations.    Howard Nelson asked to have the secret shopper forms resent.  Milette Thurston asked when the forms are due.  Ms. Frank will find out the timeframe in accordance with their performance measures.

New Business
Sheila Rose brought forward an issue regarding the Greenway System – a technical issue has come up over engineering and has been causing an increased cost of construction.  The engineering requirement is for pretreatment of water coming off the paths. This requirement is specifically designed for paths that accommodate automobiles and dripping oil.  All the greenways are permitted through EPD and although it is in their code, it warrants consideration to waive this requirement. It creates extra costs for permitting, land and treatment and seems to be irrelevant.  Would the PAB be comfortable in taking up this issue?   Mr. Nelson asked if it is an EPD issue.  Perhaps the District should weigh in and give EPD some guidance.  Marsha Oster Levy asked if FDOT has a part in this also.  Ms. Rose confirmed the county adopts FDOT standards; however FDOT may be adding an unnecessary level in this instance.  The PAB discussed having a workshop with speakers from FDOT, Water Management and technical staff to brief the Board.  Sheila Rose motioned to have a Greenways Workshop to address pathway requirements in the greenway system.  Speakers to consider: Eric Myers – Environmental Protection &Growth Management, Deana Reppin – Water Management, Highway Construction & Management. Howard Nelson seconded, all were in favor.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 A.M.

Next Meeting
The next meeting is at Markham Park Target Range, May 5, 2010 at 7:30 a.m.