Parks and Recreation Commission
January 11, 2018
Town Hall, O’Brien Meeting Room
26 Bryant Street, Dedham, MA 02026
Board/Committee members in attendance
Jim Maher, Chuck Dello Iacono, Sal Ledda, Jon Briggs
Parks & Recreation Master Plan section review & vote
Old/ New Business*
*This item is included to acknowledge that there may be matters not reasonably anticipated by the Chair that could be raised during the Public Comment period by other members of the Committee, by staff or others.
In Attendance: Jim Maher, Chuck Dello Iacono, Sal Ledda, Jon Briggs
The meeting was called to order at 6:06 p.m.
Public Comment: None
Parks & Recreation Master Plan section review & vote
Bob Stanley provided draft sections of Master Plan. The Commission wants to distribute it to the community and post it on the website. They want to give it to FinCom before 1/17/18. Commissioner Ledda commented that it is a lot of information. He read from the plan: Page 151 says that the Manor has already gone through the design process; the highest priority is public support for the fields, the dog park, and some other items. He said Dedham still lacks fields and has a problem with field allocation. Commissioner Delloiacono commented that the Steering Committee did great work. Commissioner Briggs commented that the plan contains what is needed and what is best for the town. He said the plan supports the Striar Field build out. He said there were a couple of enlightening items about expanding child play, enjoying nature, tennis, basketball, and a dog park. He said he wished they had the rest of the document, which would show a lot more support. Commissioner Maher commented that other parts of the plan show a lot more support. He said it is the beginning of good things. He said it is the community direction to make improvements, have trails, connectivity and parks. It is a road map for Dedham’s future. Commissioner Briggs asked about growth and management. That is not in this draft but is in open space goals piece. He commented about more input for open space preservation.
Each of the three sections was reviewed:
Section F Needs Assessment (pages 118-137). Motion to accept Section F in draft form, subject to correction of typos and clerical errors. Motion passed unanimously.
Section H Recommendations (pages 150-159). Commissioner Briggs said it has changed from the original. Page 157 has the school directive on their parcels. This changed the P&R priorities. Motion to accept Section F in draft form, subject to correction of typos and clerical errors. Motion passed unanimously.
Section J Capital Improvements (pages 176-180). They mentioned greenway plan, Dedham village, landfill. Commissioners Ledda and Maher commented that the maintenance impact number looked low. Bob Stanley said it could be looked at a number of ways. Commissioner Ledda asked if $300,000 seemed fair for a new playground cost. Bob Stanley said the Condon pour and play playground was $240,000 seven years ago. He was fine with the number. Motion to accept Section J in draft form, subject to correction of typos and clerical errors. Motion passed unanimously.
The Commission needs to deliver the draft sections to FinCom and the community. Bob Stanley said it would go on the website on the Manor Fields Project page. All documents would be posted by tomorrow. They would post parts of the Master Plan that are pertinent to the Manor Fields as they are released. They would also post survey results for the project. Commissioner Maher said the survey results were handed out on 6/6/17. Commissioner Briggs asked if people could get to the Manor Project from the town website. Bob said it is on the P&R site. He also said that contact information has been fixed on the website.
They discussed a public meeting prior to the special Town Meeting. It was noted that a Women in Democracy Dedham meeting on town government was scheduled for 1/31. They said they would go for Monday 1/29.
A resident asked where the first 150 pages of the Master Plan are. Commissioner Maher said they are still in draft. He said they were only approving the three sections tonight. The first 150 pages discuss national, Dedham and historical trends, and how the plan was developed. The pages have statistical data with national, Norwood, and Westwood population growth comparisons.
A resident asked if the whole Master Plan would be available before mini Town Meeting. The commissioners did not know. They are pushing the consultants to have it before February 5th. They want to make sure the two documents are in line with each other. The loss of Rich McCarthy set back the open space piece. One more piece is needed from the Commission on Disability. Bob Stanley said it would not have been their choice to do the two parts together. They put it out to bid twice. By combining with open space, they were able to leverage resources, but it took much longer. The Parks & Recreation part is done. They are waiting for the Open Space part.
A resident commented that the first half has numbers on the use of recreational facilities. He asked about prior concern about a decline in use except for swimming and diving. Jim Maher said that was about Parks & Recreation programs. Commissioner Delloiacono said that was a question to the assistant director about what they are doing to improve numbers. The resident said he presumed football had declined because of concussions. Commissioner Ledda said the high school football numbers have never been higher at 102. Pop Warner football has decreased but flag football numbers have increased. The resident asked if the document addresses this. The response was that the document shows trends.
A resident asked if the first 150 pages have changed. They have not. Clarissa Robins has edited it. It shows the same need for fields.
A suggestion was made to change the language referring to “families with children and other” to something like “households with and without children.”
Old/New Business: None
Notes taken by Jean Zeiler
Keywords: Arts in the Park Policy, Manor Fields, Special Town Meeting
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