South Hero Recreation Commission Meeting
Date: September 9, 2021
Time: 6 pm
Location: Town Hall
Commission Members Present: Chuck Hulse, Linda Burger, Marion Palermo, Phil Scott, Dylan Degree, Guy Maguire, Carbol Tremble.
Members of the public present: none.
I. Acknowledgement of previous meeting minutes
II. Changes to current agenda: added a “public comment” item, and added an item about the Try-athalon
III. Public comments: none
IV. Old business:
A. Vote for officers: Chairman, Co-chairman, Secretary, Treasurer. Motions were made and accepted unanimously to approve Linda Burger as Chairman, Carol Tremble as temporary Co-Chairman, and Guy Maguire as Secretary. Chuck Hulse will continue as Treasurer.
The commission initially invited Guy to be co-chair for the next year, however there were questions about whether that would be possible as a non-resident, and whether South Hero Land Trust would want Guy in the position. For the time being until Chuck can get advice from the selectbroad and Guy can confer with the SHLT board on this, the commission accepted Carol as temporary co-chair, with the idea that if Guy cannot be co-chair, Phil Scott offered to assume the co-chair position.
B. Beach parking plan: Chuck shared some reflection and notes about how the parking went, and the commission discussed potential tweaks to the plan to improve for next year, including creating better training and orientation materials for beach attendants. Chuck said he would prepare a more formal report from the year to present and discuss at a later meeting. Carol Tremble organized a group to remove the swimming area buoys today with help from Luke Tremble and resident-volunteers.
C. Boater Safety program: There were a few people who showed up for the August class but due to a communication mixup the teachers were not present. The class did not go forward and those participants were encouraged to attend the September series.
1. Phil said he would continue with promoting the event including using some new outreach outlets mentioned by others.
2. The next class starts Sept 21st. Info can be found on the rec commission website.
3. The group discussed holding the events again next summer.
D. Treasurer’s report
1. The commission discussed whether some of funds raised through beach parking permits go to Rec Commission budget, minus whatever it costs the town in staff hours to manage the permitting process, rather than to the general fund?
2. We have about 11k unspent funds allocated for rec programs, that the commission discussed and encouraged be used for the following:
a) Supplies for the soccer camp (balls, etc)
b) Supplies for Yogi Baseball
c) Supplies for basketball program (uniforms, t-shirts for younger kids, balls, etc)
d) Offering stipends for program leaders such as Tristan Hobbs, Dylan Degree, and Andy Chevrefils to honor and respect the time they spend running these programs
e) Making funds available so that any South Hero kid can attend a youth sport camp for free.
E. Town activity waiver form needs final approval and made accessible to anyone via town website
V. New business:
A. Available funds to support current and future programs
1. Dylan mentioned the idea to put a disc golf course somewhere in South Hero. The Commission encouraged him to look into how much space it would need, and what it would cost to install and he will bring more information to a future meeting.
2. The idea of installing a “pump track” course at the South Hero Recreation park was discussed. Carol and Dylan said they would look into what this would take in terms of space and funds. Guy mentioned there may not be space and/or correct soils at the rec park, and recommended a site visit to assess suitability.
3. Carol said she would compile a list of town-owned properties for assessing potential sites for recreation assets like a disc golf course or other ideas.
B. Try-Athalon: There was discussion about the feedback from this year’s event and potential for organizing three events next summer, one each for June, July, and August. There are a few residents who are interested in helping, so the idea is that one person or couple could be in charge of one of the three events. This would give parents and kids more opportunities to sign up, if they are away during one of the events, they can attend another. This will be discussed in more detail at a future meeting.
C. COVID money projects/proposals for Rec. Com.
1. There was discussion about applying for ARPA funding through the town to do some repairs and improvements to the South Hero Recreation Park. Items discussed included replacing some or all of the boardwalk, which is failing in numerous places, causing it to not be accessible to those with wheelchairs anymore, as well as creating a safety hazard for all users. The picnic bench by the pond has also fallen apart and could be replaced. The gravel path has become grown-in, so we would need to consult with someone whether the best course would be to replace the gravel, or dig up/weed the grass to uncover the gravel using a machine, or some combination of both, and what that would cost. Guy said he would look into this and prepare a statement of need and budget to the town.
D. VOREC grant update
1. Guy reported that Local Motion and SHLT, with support from the selectboard, have submitted a letter of interest to the state for funds to complete a recreation survey assessment, which would help SH leaders and partners develop and implement an informed plan to manage the growing reality of SouthHero as a recreation destination, to serve local residents and visitors who have helped SH grow and thrive in recent years. Guy and Chuck will keep the commission informed as this progresses.
E. Programming for next year/ should survey be repeated
1. Phil said he would re-send the survey results to members of the Commission and include some new questions regarding potential programs for seniors to discuss at the next meeting.
VI. The Commission decided to stick withthe 6pm meeting time, the next meeting will be November 11 at the Town Hall.
A. Some members mentioned they will not be in town for the next meeting, but could attend via zoom or speakerphone. Chuck said he would look into how to set up the town conference call equipment so members and the public could call in to attend.