City of Vergennes
Recreation Committee Regular Meeting
Vergennes City Hall
January 9, 2019
Present: Tim Cook, Lisa Casey, Matt DeBlois, Erin Roche, Lynne Rapoport, Sierra Bertrand, Heather Simons
- Amendments to Agenda
No amendments to the agenda.
- Hear Visitors 5 min
Can the pool committee be part of the Rec Committee? Pool committee is mayoral committee, a pool committee rep would have to be part of our committee. That would mean we have more members and more difficult to get to a quorum. And they would have to be appointed by the City Council to be part of the Recreation Committee.
- Approve Minutes to Regular Meeting of 11/14/2018 5 min
Matt motions to approve, Lynn seconds. All in favor
Chair’s update 10 min
- City Council recap – read them the list of the goals and some of our ideas. We talked mostly about the grant. The problem with the grant and getting money for the pool specifically. We didn’t have time to write the grant. The grant requires some tangible economic growth. Maybe outreach to local businesses to watch for changes in the “pool” season so that next fall we have some data of people coming in and shopping and buying things. City council agreed to support going after the grant, but we didn’t have the time to put the grant together. It doesn’t have to be the pool but people are most interested in keeping up with we have, not building something new – Veterans Park mainly.
Lisa: there is some confusion about how much it will cost to repair the pool. There has already been some work done to the pool. Part of Champlain Valley League – multiple teams. Swim meets in summer rotate, and league championships at end of season rotates between the teams. When it’s our turn we host all of the teams at one time, but otherwise, it is just one team at a time. We are not scheduled to host that meet again until 2020. Even dual meets might bring 50-100 families but not necessarily coming here to dine and shop. We provide concessions at every meet and that’s what funds the swim team.
Lynn: what about looking at the numbers for the usage throughout the year – all the programs that come and use it. They pay a fee to use the pool. The City has a report of the revenues from the pool – season pool passes and daily pool fee. Every swim team member has to purchase a pool pass every year so that is a generator of revenue.
Erin: How many people work at the pool? Lisa/Sierra: 14 people work at the pool in the summer, employed by the City. Lynn: other income from swim lessons. Lisa: putting programming in place at the pool could generate income – water aerobics, arthritis acquatics. Lynn: a rec director person could help put these in place. Matt: 21C could in theory support that position for this summer – support adult programming at the pool for summer. 21C pays for Fusion (after school programming). Exploring idea of adult programming to see if it’s feasible. This might be a way to tie the two things together.
Tim: we need to get a way to pay for a Rec coordinator. Lynn: grant that Rhonda Williams sent around for a half day workshop and then likely to get $3000 grant learn to create vibrant communities. From AARP – select 1 of 3 applicants. Lynn will look into it, it’s not until March. Tim: we have a real shortage of grantwriters right now in the City. Mike Winslow might be available from the RPC.
- Review goals – work parties at Veterans Park: new roof, painting. Develop plan for the rink: flood it for the year with sandbags – it’s all set for this year with idea that this summer it will be resurfaced. Lynn: maybe we can set some timelines for these. Tim: needs to be at least May for suitable weather. Tim and Matt working on getting materials. Tim/Erin: ideally schedule for before Memorial Day, when pool is open. Tim: hardest part is taking off the old roof. We need to check the school calendar. Lynn: first weekend in May is Green Up Day 4th & 5th – that might be a good day. Sierra: Lowell is the coordinator of that. Tim/Matt: pool roof and warming hut. Lisa: there have been other discussions about the pool roof.
- Grant update – already discussed.
- Other items
Committee priority areas of interest
Veterans Park 10 min
- The Pool
- Veterans Park 10 min
Lisa: there’s been discussion about the pool roof for a few years. It leaks, everyone. The runoff from the roof, no gutters, pours so much water onto the concrete. The drainage on the pool deck cannot handle the amount of water that falls onto the pool deck – comes down from the parking lot, and comes down off of the roof. Matt: we re-bermed the parking lot so it should be less than it was. Lisa: there’s a big drain in the walkway that doesn’t seem to be functioning. Ken looked into it – not sure if it is city or school drain. What if we don’t do the roof, but do a whole new facility instead. Build something new, new poolhouse – it’s easier to get a grant to build a new pool house that will serve the community better. Lynn: where would the priorities lie – would we rather repair pool vs. pool house. Tim: we hope to do the roof with volunteer labor and materials. Gutters are pretty easy too, and they can be quick to do. I was also approached by someone who had access to funds to build an indoor pool. Lynn: could it be used for fixing outdoor pool? Tim: It was conditional at a different location. I had never considered it, but it would be a big draw to bring people to the community. Lisa: there’s definitely been discussion, but it doesn’t seem realistic. Lynn: 3 options: patching up the pool/repairs, more money to level and re-do the bath house and enhance features, and gutting the whole thing and building an indoor pool.
Lisa: the pool has had more attention recently, it had fallen into disarray, it was pretty bad. Mark put many hours into patching the pool. Now it is too a point that it is pretty good, but now it needs to be inspected every year. And maintenance needs to be done every year. Tim: do you have to pay for that? Lisa: we have enough knowledgeable volunteers to do that. Lisa: the sooner we can get the water drained in the winter, when it won’t freeze anymore in the spring, then we need to get the inspection. Lynn: a lot of confusion about whose responsibility this is? Is it the city, the swim team, the school. We need to put together a time line for what needs to happen and whose responsible for work/costs.
Tim: I’m curious how much revenue it creates. Lisa: this year we did well, we were able to reduce the amount of chemicals we needed. I think we netted $10,000. Erin: We can look at the City Budget. Lisa: in the past the point person was Mel and he would notify the DPW. It was always last on the list. There really wasn’t anytime to do the repairs because the pool was drained so late. Tim: the new manager thinks it makes sense to drain it before memorial day. Lisa: annual upkeep. The filtration system was totally overhauled and it works great. Now the chemicals are properly balanced. Rick Chaput of the water district has a lot of experience with this. He created the automated chemical feed system to more efficiently dispense chemicals. He changed all the filters in the pool house, they were the original filters. A lot of the repairs have been addressed, but it will require annual upkeep to keep it in good order. There isn’t a budget for the pool, so no one knows what it will cost.
Tim: going forward – figure out who is responsible, nail down time to drain in the spring and schedule inspection, and get understanding of costs/revenue/budget. Matt: typically week of April break the city hires a crew that could be a great time to drain the pool when they have extra labor.
Lisa: in the past we were trying to make a work party happen and the city turned it down because they considered it a huge liability. Tim: The City Manager didn’t seem that concerned about it.
Lisa: will create a list for bandaid, middle and big dream – 10 year plan
Tim: will take a look at the pool house before we commit to May 4/5 date
Matt: we should consider a way to close it off and a secondary egress for emergency situation
Lisa: who owns the grass area? Matt: that is the City’s that was where the toddler park was going to go. Anything south of the sidewalk is the City’s, more or less.
- Skate park, Ice rink – mostly ice rink. Tim: revisit this next meeting with Robyn Newton.
- Bike path 5 min
Highlighted all the parks on a map, and then connected dots. Points out existing right of ways. Important to note. The connection between Outdoor Classroom is not a right of way, but actually City owns the property. Showed map to the planning commission the map and they are on board. The new municipal plan will reference this as well. So that is moving ahead but just in the idea stage. Lynn: do you know how long it is? Tim: don’t know, but estimate 2 miles? When you address things as a community and put in a plan, then it gives more clout in the public process. Doing that with the plan for the bypass. The Recreation Committee could help nudge this forward if it became a priority for us. Tim Clark, Cory Coffey would both be interested in this.
- Recreation coordinator and programming 5 min
Any thoughts? Revisit when Robyn is at next meeting.
- Outdoor classroom/right of way 5 min
Map of the right of way, right next to Sue Jerome’s house. Not a right of way, actually owned property. Matt: proposes that we can clear it out and make the trail accessible into the Outdoor Classroom. Tim: is there a line item for Outdoor Classroom maintenance. Matt: we ran a Fusion class this fall and did some trail mainenanc class there. Ken has also done some maintenance there. There is a beaver problem in there that we can’t seem to solve. They repaired the bridgework and put a new bridge over a muddy spot. Tim: how can we move forward with establishing the trail access? Matt: walk through it with Ken, see what we have. We can see how wide we want to cut the trees down. I’ll check it in the next month. Trying to reeastablish connection to the Ropes course at VUHS.
- New business 10 min
VUES Community Group – some students and a teacher are interested in building a Pavilion near Veterans Park. There used to be a nice tree by the tennis courts, and this would create some shade. This would be provide some shade, coverage, respite and might provide some recreational opportunities. They are bringing a proposal to the Community Group next month, but it seemed like it would be a good connection. Someone last night pointed out that there aren’t any bathrooms out there. And that is an issue for recreational use of the Veterans Park and programming. There is a bathroom at the skate park, in the warming hut, but maybe it’s locked. It was locked because people were using it inappropriately. Who would be responsible for that bathroom if it was unlocked.
- Adjournment: 7:26