Minutes – November 1, 2017

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The FETCH Fall Meeting was held Nov. 1, 2017, 5:50-6:30 p.m., at the Danville Public Works and Urban Development Building, 1155 East Voorhees Street, Danville, IL.


New FETCH Chairman John Linville welcomed new leadership-team member Shelley Cox and new park rangers Brad Weaver and Connie Kittell. Attending the meeting were FETCH founder and past chair Dr. John Mason, Jr. and past chair Brad Wheeler.

The FETCH leadership team is grateful for Dr. Mason’s generous and effective leadership and look forward to his continued input as ex-officio member. The team also extends its thanks to Brad Wheeler for his service as co-chair during this past year, as well as his past and continuing service in maintenance of the park.

Also in attendance were leadership-team members Elisabeth Grzelak (secretary/treasurer), Kevin Fretty, and Terri Clayton; and park members Vince and Kitty Koers. Steve Lane, from Danville’s Public Works Dept., stopped in prior to the formal start of the meeting to answer some questions, but was unable to attend.


Minutes of the June 2017 Spring Meeting were approved, as was the Fall 2017 Financial Report submitted by Treasurer Elisabeth Grzelak. See the Financial Report, to be attached to these minutes, for details. The total number of memberships sold in 2017 as of this date is 212, 59 of which are new members.


Mower: The mower currently is working well, since the City did some repairs. Some repair needs to be done on a tire. The team thanks Kevin Fretty for donating a small mower that allows mowing in hard-to-reach sections of the park.

Brad Wheeler submitted documents from a John Deere dealer as to the cost of purchasing a new mower. The cost would range from $3000-$10,000. FETCH has started a special “Mower Fund” of money set aside specifically in anticipation of a future mower purchase. Dr. Mason donated the first $200 to the fund.
Fence Rails: Some fence rails have broken since the last meeting. Shelley Cox conveyed the message that Kori Bowers will volunteer to replace the broken rails—the landscape team will make the rails available to him. Concern was expressed that some of the posts are decaying and will need to be replaced in the future.

Darrel Jacobs generously donated sealant for the rails of the special needs area. Initial sealing has been completed, but spraying the sealant did not work effectively on the side of the rails that is faced by wire fencing; sealing on that side will need to involve brush painting and a lot of manpower, perhaps next spring or summer. John Linville will contact member Dave Williams, who had some previous ideas about manpower to help with painting.

Weed spraying: The issue of when future weed spraying will need to take place and who will do the spraying was unresolved.

Erosion: Concern was expressed that erosion has been expanding the gap between the turf and the bottom of the fence—a problem that in the future could enable dogs to escape under the fence, or make it easier for wild animals to get in, unless it is addressed. This issue was tabled for the time being.

Sweeping: The cement walkways and the handicap parking pad periodically need to be swept. All members are encouraged to sweep when there is a need. A broom is available at the park.


FETCH members are encouraged to be patient if they experience difficulty with the electronic gate. If an electronic problem has occurred at the gate, the lock will automatically reset itself in ten minutes, and members should then be able to get in. Since the sign that informs members to avoid punching the numbers on the entry key pad has been up, there has been only one known incidence of a member having difficulty getting into the gate—in that case, the lock reset within 5 minutes.


FETCH rules dictate that female dogs in heat are not allowed anywhere within the park. At this time, although male dogs who have not been neutered are allowed in the park, neutering is strongly encouraged (members to follow the advice of their vet as to timing) because the presence of intact male dogs in the park can precipitate conflict. The leadership team weighed the pros and cons of possibly requiring male dogs to be neutered after 1 year as a condition of membership; however, it was decided that such a requirement is too broad a prohibition. All park members are encouraged to report (to any leadership team member or park ranger) conflict within the park that involves an intact dog so that appropriate measures can be taken to prevent future incidences.


According to Steve Lane, the City will address the following soon: potholes and signage.

It is unclear exactly when the City will be able to address the following: garbage toter for the special needs area; water for the special needs area; umbrella for the special needs area.

Dr. Mason inquired about the status of making revised posters to be hung in vets’ offices. He will be contacting a family member as to whether she still has the electronic file for the original posters; if he can locate the file, he will send it to Elisabeth Grzelak, who will then ensure that the posters are made.


Brad Weaver witnessed the need to have parking stripes painted on the handicap parking pad to ensure that enough space is available between cars so that individuals can exit and enter their vehicles. It was agreed that painting should be done. John Linville will contact Steve Lane regarding such.


Minutes – June 13, 2017

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Co-Chairman Mason was late for the meeting so the meeting was initiated by EGrzelak, Sec/Treasurer. Following her report Co-Chair Mason returned. The Treasurers report will be displayed in its normal location.

Presesnt: VKoers, KKoers, SCox, KBowers, TClayton, JLinville, JSchatz, KFretty,
JMason, BWEheeler Co-Chairs, EGrzelak Sec/ Tres
Absent: SBarney, SHoughton, DJacobs
WELCOME: Co-Chairman JMason The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM by Sec/Tres/ Egrzelak. Co-Chairman welcomed and thanked all in attendance. He reminded the group that we had come a long way since our meetings to gauge interest and start raising funds in 2007. From our formal memorandum of agreement with the City of Danville in April of 2009 to the Grand Opening Gala in June 2010 and now the completion of the Special Needs section and Security on June 13, 2017. All of us here tonight along with many others aided with their time and money. Now all in the City of Danville and the surrounding area have beautiful Fetch Dog Park to enjoy. I feel sure the Espenscheid family would appreciate the beautiful addition within their gift. One of our valued early members of the Leadership Team, Ruth Schatz passed away recently. We want to recognize her memory and her contributions to our park with a tree in her honor. We share her loss with her husband and member Joe Schatz.

Review of 2016 (April 12, Nov 14 meetings) Co-Chairman JMason, DJacobs (review prior to meeting)
⦁ New projects: Special Needs Area, Security system. These are completed and have enhanced the appearance of the entry area. New signage to be discussed in present meeting. The safety and cleanliness of the park has benefited. Thanks to efforts of members and the community anonymous donors we are now debt free.
⦁ Maintenance: A special thanks to the volunteers who have performed all the work necessary: KBowers, KFretty, DJacobs, JLinville, BWheeler
⦁ Fence rails repaired and discards being left at base to discourage digging under, preservation spraying to be done on special needs fence by DJacobs soon.
⦁ Drainage working great on north end of park. Thanks to the “Bridge and Lake Mistake “engineered by JVenute.
⦁ Grass, weeds tallgrass: The weeds are being monitored and sprayed by DJacobs. Anti-Crabgrass efforts of past seasons have decreased the amount to manageable. No further action planned. The tall grass is being monitored and mowing has been contracted for. Concern about future and reliability of present mower led to decision to begin stockpiling funds for eventual replacement.
⦁ Membership: Retention and promotional effort done in past were reviewed. EGrzelak has colored brochures available for members to use and disseminate. DJacobs has made presentations to requesting clubs such as Rotary. Providing information material to stores for “stuffing” is no longer considered-not cost efficient. Development of a trial partnership with the Vermilion County Adoption Van to accompany them and have information on Fetch available to this population needs to be further evaluated. Having Leadership available in case of prolonged absence has been successfully dealt with utilizing a Co-Chairman (Brad Wheeler) and volunteers taking over areas of the Sec/Treasurer function assisting EGrzelak.
⦁ Review concluded and after a brief discussion the report and previous meetings were approved by voice vote.

TREASURER REPORT: EGrzelak report dating from November 12, 2016 to June 13, 2017. Copy of report to be attached to minutes.
Cash balance $ 3238.67
Income from membership sales $2350.00
Donations $442.00
Expenses $1734.38
Issues of fob loss, deactivation of fobs, and projected expenses were discussed and will be addressed at current meeting.
Following discussion the report was approved.

MAINTENANCE REPORT AND DISCUSSION Co-Chairman BWheeler presented and all volunteers as mentioned in summary are active and much appreciated.
⦁ Fence rails nothing new to add
⦁ Drainage worked very well during our heavy rains
⦁ Grass The weeds, tall grass, and crab grass previously discussed nothing new
⦁ BWheeler wanted to know what the Team and SLane thought about the park mowing in terms of frequency and appearance. The Team unanimously expressed support and appreciation for the mowing being done by KFretty and BWheeler. SLane concurred. Mowing would continue to be done as they judged it necessary. SLane was thanked for safely providing the gas needed and he was asked that since park was debt free should it be purchasing the gas. SLane reported the City was getting more than their money’s worth as a result of the availability of this new asset to the city parks and the mowing of the trails. The same reasoning applied to use of weed killer.
⦁ Signage TClayton presented the signage changes planned for the park. Over the past 3 months she has worked to rework the present signage to simplify the wording and reduce the number of signs. All of her efforts were communicated via email until the present format was agreed on. It was now presented to the team in its complete form as Plan 1. Printed descriptions of Plan 1 along with the Plan 2 option was provided by TClayton for clarification. All Team Members then participated in a question/answer discussion moderated by TClayton and SLane. After thorough discussion Plan 1 was formally accepted and TClayton was applauded for her excellent work and presentation. She then stated that with the help of the SLane and his department one of the signs had been completed with a slight change and she handed it to EGrzelak to present to the group.Fetch Dog Park - Dr Mason Special Needs Area

JMason was quite surprised and honored. He reflected on the history presented in the opening remarks of so many who worked to achieve the dream thanking all.

MEMBERSHIP Co-Chairman JMason
⦁ Fee Changes. With added amenities, especially the security system, and anticipated future expenses such as the new mower it was felt an increase in our fee for 2018 was necessary. The decision: $30.00 for 1 dog, $15.00 for second and any additional dogs would be $10.00 each.
Loss or damage fob replacement $20.00
Reactivation fee $5.00 (failure to renew after 30 days leads to deactivation)
⦁ Publicity and awareness
⦁ Design an updated poster for distribution Vets, etc Egrzelak JMason to pursue.
⦁ Trial event with the Vermilion County Adoption Van to provide information and membership material to interested parties. JLinville agreed to explore idea with Vermilion County animal Shelter Foundation and try to set a tentative date for the trial.
⦁ VKoers suggested we explore developing a video (ie YouTube) that could be used as a link from our Fetch Dog Park web site. Views of the site, entrances, security system, and parking with members and their dogs enjoying the area would be able to be viewed by many. It could also be used at events to illustrate the park in presentations. This suggestion was approved by all and VKoers agreed to proceed with research and development of this exciting idea.
⦁ Rules for Special Needs Area were discussed and it was felt that People with special needs had priority. Other circumstances such as dogs that needed “cool down could also use the area.
⦁ A means to identify Park Rangers other than a vest or cap was discussed. There is a definite need for this in some of the members/handlers who flagrantly ignore the rules. After discussion a lanyard system was approved. It will be implemented by EGrzelak .
WEB SITE EGrzelak The redesign of our web site has been completed and its new format is appealing and much easier to use. Thanks to Christina Hardwick who is now the owner. She has continued the great work of Steve Foster who was the founder and owner of the BEAMSCO Company for many years. He appeared at one of our early meetings and said “you need a web site to achieve your dream and I am giving you one” .Little did we realize what a great gift that was. EGrzelak discussed an additional change coming up that will be a section called Etiquette. This will help potential members become good and responsible members.

OTHER ISSUES OR BUSINESS There was none to present

ADJOURNMENT A motion for adjournment was made and seconded. The meeting ended at 7:30 PM

Respectfully Submitted
John C. Mason Jr. June 17, 2017.


Minutes – November 17, 2016

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5:30-7:15 pm
2016 Voorhees Danville Public Works Bldg.
Leadership Team members: Kevin Fretty, Darrel Jacobs, Elisabeth Grzelak, Shirley Barney, Brad Wheeler, Steve Houghton, John Linville, Terri Clayton. Members: Willa Mineo,Vince Koers, Kitty Koers

ROLL CALL, SIGN IN, WELCOME REVIEW. Chairman Mason opened the meeting and summarized the April meeting minutes and their location for discussion in present meeting. They had been circulated and approved by email. A sign in sheet was passed around. A thank you note received from Brad Wheeler and his family thanking us for our support during their recent tragedy was also recognized.


  • Review costs, projections, status of cost over budget projections
  • Rail fence: Care, repair Tiling and drainage, Weed control, mulching blade for mower
  • Recruitment, brochure, “spreading the word”
  • Humane Society/exercise?
  • Leadership provisions

TREASURER”S REPORT AND DISCUSSION: EGrzelak Sec/Tres ( Copy attached) Copies of the printed report were reviewed and the Sec/Treas summarized salient points. We received $500.00 for a special table for the Special Needs area from AMBUCS. This followed DJacobs informative presentation at their meeting. SLane reported the table is ordered but has not arrived. Thank you letter to be written.

To date there have been 199 memberships sold for an income of $3,340. This compares to 191 in 2015. Total cash assets at this time are $2162.82. DJacobs discussed where we stand on the cost overruns on our security and Special Needs project. Within the City Parks Department Budget has come some assistance, Offut Construction has been very patient and helpful. Appropriate thank you letters will be sent (Ahrens, Offut). He feels that there will be some more funds in grants he is working on. Several of these will add “BONES” to our Donor plaque. He will see that is kept up to date and at this point is comfortable that our debt will be taken care of satisfactorily. The status of our mower, replacement, and mulching blade was discussed at length. Thanks to the care of city mechanics it is still in good running order BUT replacement is inevitable and the Sec/Tres was instructed to set up a fund for its replacement and donations and any extra cash from income/expenses will be diverted to this Fund. There was consensus from our volunteer mowers that a mulching blade was not necessary. We now purchase our dog waste disposal bags

MAINTENANCE Issues: DJacobs, KFretty, BWheeler, JLinville are the principal volunteers that do all this work. Thanks to them. DJacobs reported on the progress and plans for spraying the troublesome thistle. Lot of volunteer man hours involved but going well and with new quick acting spray along with the frost cooperating all seems to be going well. A major delay has occurred due to a tragedy in Milford. There are several trees that may need some special treatment in spring and he will watch for it. John Linville is doing a great job with fence repair and there is a large supply of replacement rails. The preservative treatment on the new special needs fence is planned in the spring. The drainage tile system “Bridge and Lake Mistake” are working pretty well. BWheeler is using Roundup that the city uses in its parks for areas along fence and other hard to mow areas and it is working well. Unfortunately we have a crabgrass problem along the fences and in northern portion of the park that has created large muddy areas after the frost and crab grass death. A discussion was held and several ideas discussed. With the lack of consensus SLane suggested he had some lawn experts in the Parks Department that he would have look at the situation and render a best approach for solution to eradicate the crab grass.

STATUS REPORT: SPECIAL NEEDS, SECURITY SYSTEM: All agreed that the Special Needs area with the new entrance and security system has added greatly to the appearance and appeal of the park. Its appearance–new parking area, the extensive trails that we help mow have transformed Espenschied Park into an addition that we and the City of Danville can be very proud of. Our partnership has come a long way from the idea to fruition. The kinks are now worked out with the security system and all are pleased with the results. Wagner Lock and Key has done a great job for us. This system allows us to deny entrance to a member that has not followed the rules. It has been invoked on one occasion.

COMMENTS SLane. SLane agrees that the Danville Park system has benefited from our work on developing the park and had no adverse reports. Thanks were expressed by all the members of Fetch Dog Park present to SLane for all the assistance, cooperation and advice he has given to us.

Recruitment, brochures, dissemination, Status/Plans. The designed colored brochure (lots of help from Cassie Keister) is a beauty and is being used by DJacobs in his presentations and also EGrzelak on occasion. Unfortunately it is to expensive to hand out as a “throwaway or stuffer” at Pet Supplies Plus, Big R, Tractor Supply and other locations.($0.35/copy) so that has not been done. In the discussion that followed VKoers suggested we investigate making a black white copy and folding our own. If that is feasible we will start with a thousand trial and see if it makes sense to continue this effort. VKoers agreed to pursue this (black&white printing) and KKoers agreed to do the tri-fold. JMason agreed to re-imburse Fetch for this trial. If it appears financially feasible and produces some results we can continue it on prn basis.
Several members have made us aware that posters we put in the community some time ago have the old arrangement with the Humane Society on them. This needs to be dealt with and JMason volunteered to visit the locations where they were placed and change them. At that same time he will offer them a new poster in the future and seek their cooperation in distributing the black&white brochure being developed.
All agreed that with rising expenses and our failure to make more people aware of the very existence of the park we needed to become more aggressive. In the discussion that followed it was suggested that we partner with Vermilion County Animal Control Adoption effort and set up a booth offering memberships when they display their adoptable dogs. An open house similar to our opening gala was also discussed. Raising fees was also considered. After review and consideration the decision was made to pursue partnership with the Vermilion County Adoption van.
In the effort to raise awareness of the park, increase the number of members and Park Rangers EGrzelak and other members designed a new form that members who are interested in joining the Group, Leadership Team or becoming rangers can down load from our web site and use to register interest. This application would then be reviewed by the Leadership Team. The Koers took an application form and are considering.
Fund Raising/Debt: Discussed under Treasurer Report by DJacobs

Humane Society Issues-Signage, dog exercise: Signage discussed under Recruitment. Nothing new to report on exercise.

Behavior Issues: There have been 2 known episodes. 1. An owner ignored the rules by bringing her unruly and aggressive dog to the park and essentially denied entrance to 4 members. The incident was not witnessed but was reported shortly after it happened to two rangers who arrived. The offender has not returned to the park and no action was taken. 2. A member refused to discipline his dog and take action when the actions of the dog were too aggressive. He was warned several times and the problem continued. His park entrance was denied by disabling his security/entry fob and he was sent a registered letter explaining this action and decision. He was informed of the appeals process. He has not responded.

Service Dogs: DJacobs proposed that we offer a free membership to service dogs and their owners. His primary concern was for veterans and their service dogs. This group was one of the reasons the Special Needs area was developed. After discussion it was felt that the “service dog” concept is widely abused and it would not be a good idea to offer a free membership just based on that title. Our fees are low and it is unlikely that would be a significant deterrent. However the group felt that in the event a deserving owner was identified and substantiated we would have no trouble granting membership on a case by case basis.

Officers: A plan to provide for continuity of Leadership on the Team in the event of illness, impropriety, travel plans or other problems was felt to be necessary. After discussion it was decided to change our present structure and create the positions of Co-Chairman. Brad Wheeler was nominated to fulfill this role and he agreed. A motion was made on this idea and the Leadership Team voted unanimously to proceed with this approach. Chairman JMason (now Co-Chair) concurs with this plan. Bwheeler will be informed of all information as the Chairman has been in the past (primarily email communication) and be in the loop-planning, meeting schedule.

With no further business to discuss the Team voted to adjourn the meeting at 7:15 PM
Respectfully Submitted 4:30 PM November 17, 2016
John C. Mason, Jr. MD
Co-Chairman of Fetch Dog Park Leadership Team

Minutes – April 12, 2016

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Fetch Dog Park spring meeting MINUTES April 12, 2016 Voorhees Street City Building

5-7 PM ( 2 hours)

Members present Leadership Team: Grzelak, Jacobs, Mason, Fretty, Clayton (new member), Houghton, Linville, Barney,Wheeler, Venute. Members: Mineo, Rizic, Ewing, Williams

Roll call, sign in, welcome:  The meeting was opened by Chairman Mason who summarized items from our September 2015 meeting.  Those minutes had been circulated by email and were approved. Following the last meeting the Shadly’s resigned. I discussed the issue with her and she had compelling reasons for her decision. The main topic in that meeting was the need to increase membership and we have had very little success and this issue will be addressed in today’s meeting.

Treasurer’s Report was discussed by Elisabeth Grzelak (copy included).  Of note were the bills for the fencing completed in our special needs project (3500.00) and the sale of 98 tags with income from them of $1,650.  Our present balance is $11,141.92.  This is our total (including grants) as the funds in the city account have all been utilized for necessary expenses.  In May our liability insurance premium of $863 will be due and they have been informed of our special needs project and security to see if that will require additional premium. The Treasurer’s report was approved.

A detailed update on the progress of the special needs area and the security system was provided by Darrel Jacobs and Jerry Venute as they have been the lead volunteers in its construction.  Darrel started the discussion by thanking all members of the team and others for their help and wishes that more help could have been available.  The fencing is up and all 3 areas are now clearly distinguished.  The concrete pads (parking and special needs) and sidewalks were just finished.  Consultation with C2 engineers , Paul Offut and others was necessary to ensure all was up to code and could drain adequately. As soon as the City completes the electrical connection near the entry the security system (Wagner Security) will be installed and special gates will be installed for the special needs area.   Access to water will come also to the special needs area.  The good news is that it is almost finished, a distinctive, attractive area that we can be proud of.  The bad news is that the costs went over budget and beyond the grants we have obtained.  While all the bills are not in it is felt that the costs of labor, supplies and site preparation will be in the range of $13,000.00+ and concrete $6000.00 or around $20,000.00.  The security system with installation and 100 fobs should cost around $2000.00.  We will be able to terminate a membership for cause by an adjustment in the control box so that his fob is no longer active. Considering our present balance of $11,000.00 we are going to have to come up with 11,000.00 to cover just these costs.  Following a lengthy question and answer session a motion was made and seconded to approve the report and the vote taken. The report was approved.  Fund raising efforts will be discussed in new business.

Maintenance-plans, projections and projects were presented by Jacobs, Venute, Wheeler and Fretty.  The fence rails (horizontal) are our main problem.  We have been advi9sed to spray them with bleach and then follow with an expensive chemical spray.  This has consumed money and countless volunteer hours but is now complete except for the new fence for the special needs area.  It is anticipated this technique plus touchups will add life to the rails.  This rapid deterioration was a disappointing surprise to all of us that had planned this fence.  The chemicals are on hand .

The drainage for the north end and mid park has been improved with fill and tiling.  The north end now has two new entities “The Bridge and Lake Mistake” One more new tile is planned for east of the Bridge and Lake Mistake.  Spraying of weeds and thistles will be done by volunteers as last year.  Fretty, Wheeler, Venute are the mow volunteers and will be requesting city help to get the mower ready for summer season.     It is hoped we can acquire a mulch blade.  It was pointed out that our mower was used when purchased and one of these days it will be necessary to purchase another.

The abbreviated rule form was presented by Elisabeth Grzelak.  It is essentially the same as the back of our rule book and those posted on the sign at the park.  It was approved as presented by vote.  A copy will be enclosed with minutes.  This lead to our discussion of what type of brochure do we need to develop to promote the park and make people aware of its new improvements.  Much discussion followed as to what should be the contents.  Short rule form? Membership application for tag?

It was finally agreed that a new form be developed with pictures and description such as were developed for our fund raiser with Carmack Car Capital.  Elisabeth will proceed to develop it with Cassie who was very instrumental in the event.  She created a beautiful form and we need something similar   that will emphasize our Special Needs area and new security system.  The members present at the meeting felt that the new security system will be a big plus in encouraging dog owners to join.   Once this new brochure is completed we can approach merchants to “stuff” it with their merchandise.  For example Pet Supplies Plus has been very helpful.  It is so critical that we increase our membership so adequate income is generated to maintain the park.  We must obtain volunteers to re-visit all the veterinarians and groomers to get the word out.  Depending on location and activity the admission and rule forms could be incorporated in the presentation.  We must also make the rounds of all the service organizations with this update and in the presentations a plea for financial help can be incorporated.

The Humane Society inquired about having access to the park so that their volunteers could exercise dogs that are being held.  The Humane Society is only able to afford rabies vaccination on these dogs and many times only a much abbreviated history about aggression or other undesirable traits is known.  The final consensus was that in view of unknowns and potential risk to present members and their dogs we would not be able to permit their entry into the park.  All present members dogs have been vaccinated against Leptospiral virus and the Humane Society cannot afford this.  However this is not a closed issue and if changes  are made it can be re-visited because it could be a good thing for the community.

New Business

The question was raised by Darrel Jacobs about the feasibility of offering FETCH hats to new Rangers or friends of Fetch.  After discussion it was felt it would not be wise to consider any new expenses considering our financial position.  We think it is good for identification of the Rangers but feel we should ask them to purchase their own.  If anyone wants to purchase Darrel has the name of a provider.  This approach was approved by those present.

Darrel Jacobs then raised the issue of membership and Leadership.  The 2 senior members, John Mason and Darrel Jacobs are getting older and are having major changes in their lives that is affecting their availability and capability.  We need to develop succession plans.  Considering our present membership and the ongoing issues of completing the Special Needs area and security it was not felt to be a good time to change anything but it points to the need to increase membership and increase involvement of present membership.  It was suggested that we contact all the present members via their email to inquire about service on the Leadership Team and/?/or become Rangers.   Elisabeth will get this started but all of us must help

The final item for discussion centered on what we could do to raise funds to cover the debt that has arisen in the construction and development of our new project—Special Needs and Security.  Member David suggested that we re-visit the grants from Wheeler and Cadle hoping they could allow some more funds.  It was also suggested we reach out to Foundations such as Presence and Vermilion HealthCare to see if they could help or have suggestions.  We should also make presentations to the service clubs not only for promotion as mentioned earlier but to seek their help with donations.  AMBUCS with their history in the Special needs area will be contacted.  John Mason will make contacts in these areas. The question of forming a 5013C was re-visited.  For the size of our operation and the cost and effort to maintain it did not appear to be a helpful option.

At 7PM the financial topic and its discussion were exhausted with no emergent solutions apparent a motion was made to adjourn.  When all the bills are in it may finally require some type of loan until we can raise the funds.  The Team and its members will continue to search for solutions.

A motion to adjourn was made and approved

Respectfully Submitted

John C. Mason, Jr. MD

Minutes – September 15, 2015

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FETCH DOG PARK MINUTES Sept 15, 2015 Public Services Bldg Voorhees 530 PM

Members present: CShadley, TShadley, JSchatz,RSchatz, DJacobs, SHoughton, JVenute, KFretty, SLane, BWheeler, JLinville , EGrzelak Sec/Tres, JMason Chair

The meeting was opened by Chairman JMason at 530 PM.  The minutes of the last meeting were reviewed and approved.  The dog flu epidemic and our handling of the issue and closing the park were reviewed.  Other items will be part of the present meeting agenda and discussed more thoroughly there.

EGrzelak presented the Treasurer Report.  Copy with the minutes.  Following the presentation it was noted that there has been a slight increase in liability premium.  Gas expenditure for mowing is projected to be slightly over $700.00.  With the planned new security/special needs project it is estimated that an increase in membership fee need be considered (New business). The treasurer’s report was approved.

The status of the special needs/security project was then presented by DJacobs, JVenute.  Their remarks, plans and proposals were also discussed and broadened by the membership and SLane.  The final recommendation that was proposed was that with the funds available we proceed with securing bids and laying out the concrete pads to beat the winter constraints.  Several members felt that to proceed with one portion without having all plans and complete funding in place could jeopardize the entire project in the long term.  The project was then re-discussed and more material regarding the security system was presented.  The fencing for security as well as the bid by Wagner Lock and Key for security card system and their replacement was reasonable.  Lost security card could be replaced for $5.00.   Other issues discussed: special needs requirements specified by the Special Needs legislation were evaluated:  parking, special gates, and water needs. With this reassuring information a vote was taken and the majority felt we could proceed with efforts to get concrete pads poured this season.  DJacobs and JVenute were to supervise the project and give updates.  The Wheeler grant of $6000.00 has to be used for costs as the bills are received. Need for additional funding to be one of the responsibilities for them to be on top of.

The maintenance of the park was discussed.  At present the grass looks great with the seeding efforts and weed eradication successful.  There were no comments regarding grass length and tall grass areas.  It was felt we should continue with same areas and continue periodic tall grass mowing.  The problem of deterioration of the support fence (horizontal) poles with rot and molding continues with several solutions to be attempted.  Tiling the north end where we have drainage issues is still in the “works”. It was felt that BWheeler, JVenute, DJacobs and KFretty were doing a great job and were thanked for their efforts.

Increasing membership for the park and the Leadership Team was discussed.      All agreed more publicity was needed.  One item that was discussed suggested that we increase the number of meetings and make the upcoming dates known well in advance. This will be attempted in Fall, winter, spring cycle.  JVenute had  discussed ways to promote tag sales with Pet Supplies Plus and they are agreeable to cooperate.  Many were concerned that the accuracy of our membership rolls could be compromised and the scrutiny of applicants might be compromised especially based on some of our prior efforts in this regard.  It was the consensus that a trial effort would be developed in cooperation with PSP.  We will prepare a “stuffer” which will have facts about the park along with referral to our web site. The timing and customer selection will be worked out with PSP. It will also have an application form to be filled out and mailed in to EGrzelak for review and tag dispersal.  EGrzelak also agreed to spearhead the development of the form.  Utilizing this same form it was felt we should re-visit groomers and Vets.  This could be a big help in renewing interest in the park.  In the future we may consider putting a desk at the Park, PSP or other locations to promote on-site tag sales.  At the present it was voted to continue tag sale by mail only as we are now doing.    The web site continues to be used adequately.


  1. Dogs digging holes

One of our members injured an ankle after stepping in a hole dug by one of the dogs.

Actions-remind members to stop their dogs doing this.  Stop this action immediately-all members anybody’s dog.

Put a pile of dirt in the park for filling and signage on the pile to bring attention to this hazard and our remedy

  1. Congregation of dogs already in the park at the entrance preventing a member from entering.   They also are entering the gated area as member tries to enter creating anxiety and reaction in entering dog.

Action: Encourage all members to move away from the gate at entry and try and stay in further reaches of the park to prevent these encounters.

  1. We continue to have incidents where non-members with “aggressive dogs” are not cooperative.

Action: Security system as proposed.  Tag purchase with entry key will help identify offender and their entry can be curtailed.

New Business.

  1. Loss of tag: It was felt that with our finances that the loss of a tag should require a replacement cost $20.00
  2. New fees:

With security coming on board and increased maintenance with a security card for entrance it was felt fees should be increased for the 2016 season and beyond.  Loss of security card or entry would require purchase of a new card.  $5.00.  After discussion the following was proposed and voted for.


The meeting was adjourned at 730 PM after it was determined that the agenda items were covered and there was no new business to explore and the motion to adjourn was approved.

Respectfully submitted,

JCMason Chairman Sept 21, 2015

Minutes – April 14, 2015

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April 14, 2015 Danville Public Works Building

5:30 to 7:30 PM     
The meeting was called to order at 525 PM and Leadership Team members present were: JMason Chair, EGrzelak SecTres, KFretty, DJacobs, SHoughton ,TShadly, JVenute, BWheeler . SLane exoffico City of Danville

The minutes of the September 24, 2014 Fall meeting were summarized and reviewed. The plans for tall grass, rail deterioration were mentioned and will be discussed in their agenda item location. The minutes were approved

The Treasurers report was given by EGrzelak and a copy is enclosed with the minutes. Our balance with the City is approximately $10, 5401 and will be used for our liability insurance premium when due. We have a Fetch Dog Park Old National balance of $4626.31 of which $3000.00 is from the Cadle Grant for development of Special Needs Area (agenda item) Expenses: Gas card-$502.95, tags-$73.25, stamps-$108.

There have been 100 tags sold with net of $1101.00. The items were discussed particularly the low tag sales. The mail-in approach seems to be working ok and several felt that membership was being adversely effected by security concerns. After a brief discussion this was deferred to incident agenda item for in-depth discussion and preparation of an action item. The Treasurers report and approval of the Liability Insurance payment was moved, seconded and voted for approval.

Maintenance issue discussion was led by DJacobs. Problems have developed from heavy usage, clover and crabgrass infestation that have caused loss of good grass and led to muddy areas developing. The park was sprayed by Berry’s for clover and thistle. Weather and time permitting aeration (rental) and seeding is planned. 100 pounds of fescue seed was purchased from Berry’s at their cost. This work is being done by volunteers mainly KFretty, DJacobs and JKVenute. Paul Offutt is donating straw covering. The northwest wet corner is to be tiled when weather permits. The city is providing 100 feet of tile and pea gravel for this project.. Some rental equipment may be necessary but again volunteer labor is planned.

The deterioration of the wooden rails in the fence continues especially at the vertical/transverse junction. A trial of wood preservative spray is planned. Deterioration is also noted in the low (bottom) transverse rail where grass clippings and tall grass covers and keeps them moist. Efforts will be made in the mowing, trimming and spraying to minimize this. SLane will help us keep the length of the tall grass cut to minimize the effects of “going to seed”. KFretty and JVenute will alert him when the areas need to be mowed.

The maintenance plans were discussed and approved.

The Special Needs Area plans and project were then reviewed and discussed. The historical development and plans to date were reviewed by JVenute. SLane and members of the City
Team have reviewed the proposed site and plans to date for its compliance with the Disabilities Act. A drawing to illustrate their conclusions was presented and a copy is being kept with the minutes in the log book. The project estimates are fence $3000, installation $2000, gates and special hardware $2000 and concrete another $5000. These rough estimates show the project is doable (with the Cadle Grant) but a fundraising would likely be needed. In the discussion that followed regarding this project and its cost JHoughton and TShadly felt that security was a priority item involving the entire membership and influencing new members and retention of old that should be dealt with and improved before proceeding with the Special Needs project. (See Treasurer’s report above) The decision to vote on the Special Needs Project was tabled and the Incidents and security concerns discussed.

Almost every member of the Team have had experiences with non-members ignoring the rules and creating problems with unruly dogs or children. Non-member usage is increasing and efforts to have these “guests” purchase tags are usually met with verbal abuse that starts (“don’t need a tag”) mild and worsens. Survival of our park is jeopardized with this type of encounter by a potential member. Retention of members is likewise threatened. Most long term successful parks have gone to some type of lock/security system that ties entry to a key or card that you acquire with membership. Our “Ranger Security” only works when a Ranger is present and talking to a responsible owner/handler. After lengthy discussion the Team agreed this was the priority to be dealt with first so no action was taken on proceeding with the Special Needs area until security was explored. It would benecessary to have this to include the access to Special Needs in the future. A motion was made, seconded and voted on to get bids and ideas on the best method to develop. The group felt a common fenced area could be built in front of existing entry gates and could be used to gain secure access to the small and large gates as well as a future Special Needs area. SLane has vendors and suppliers that he can contact and get back to the Team with ideas. A May deadline on our Cadle Grant funds exists and the Treasurer is authorized to return those funds if we will not be using them. The Team then agreed that solving the security issue was a major problem to be dealt with before proceeding with the Special Needs project. A vote on this action was taken and all agreed to proceed with this priority approach. When adequate information is available a Special Meeting will be convened

New business

The Dog Flu epidemic in Chicago was discussed. JVenute’s warning email was discussed. In the article Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD) has infected at least 1100 dogs in Chicago area and there have been 6 deaths. SYMPTOMS: persistent and lingering cough, lethargic behavior, poor appetite and fever. Several Chicago Area dog Parks and boarding facilities have closed. PetSmart has modified many of their operations. EGrzelak has checked locally and as of now no cases have been diagnosed in Vermilion County. EGrzelak will contact local vets to confirm and get their recommendations about closure of Fetch.

FundRaising. A local car dealership has inquired about interest in using our membership-dogs and owners-to develop a sales promotion. The dealer would make a donation to the park reflecting sales relating to the event. The Team was agreeable to exploring the idea and DJacobs, JVenute and EGrzelak agreed to talk to the dealer about the details of the project and will report back. If the project seems doable it was felt plans could proceed with email agreement and a meeting would not be necessary.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 730PM

Respectfully Submitted JCM 4/17/2015

Minutes – September 24, 2014

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The meeting was called to order at 525 PM by Chairman Mason

LEADERSHIP TEAM  attendees: Grzelak,Wheeler, Joe and Ruth Schatz, Venute, Fretty TShadley, Mason

Ex-officio SLane

Guests: Nancy Ruzic, David Williams

Absent Leadership Team: Barney, Collum, Houghton, Jacobs, Linville, O’Neal, CShadley

The minutes of the May 13, 2014 meeting were reviewed and the highlights summarized.  Our new relationship with the city, liability insurance and management of our own funds with the Fetch checking account. Planned 2 meetings per year –Fall and Spring with special needed meeting called as needed.  The 3 dog rule change and mention of our new bulletin board up and in place. (Thanks Steve) After discussion a motion was made by Ruth Schatz and seconded by Kevin Fretty to approve the minutes.  Vote to approve was made.

Financial Report.  The report was presented by Elisabeth Grzelak, Treasurer.a copy will be included with the minutes in the record book and on the website. The highlights are:

Tag sales to date 239  Income                        $2979.00

Significant expenses: Liability Ins $788.00, web site Hosting $118.00, rule books OfficeMax $207.00, gas $703.45,

Donation to Humane Society for fund raiser (WOOFSTOCK) $400.00

Cash on Hand: checking Account $885.45, Petty Cash $200.00

City Fetch Fund approximately $10,000.00.  JMason unable to obtain official figure. This reserve will be used for the new SPECIAL NEEDS AREA (discussion to follow later in minutes) and 2015 liability insurance.

After discussion a motion to approve was made by Fretty, seconded by Wheeler and approval voted. 

Park layout issues Review and Plan:  The presenters were Lane, Fretty, and Venute

The tall grass area was discussed and the following plans formulated.  The areas of tall grass would remain the same. The present areas will be cut soon by city crew to about 10 inches. (good maintenance).  Next year an effort will be made to cut the grass down to approximately 10” before it goes to seed. Kevin and Jerry will alert Steve.  This may require more than one cutting and hopefully minimize dog eye irritation and other problems.

We will not fertilize again this year and continue the spot killing of weeds as DJacobs has been doing.

Mower repair and maintenance will be done in spring and if due to shortage of personnel the city crews are unable to do it we will again consult B&D (purchase location)

Deterioration of rails in our fence. NEW ISSUE  Fungus growth has been noted on some of the rails and those rails seem to be deteriorating. One has actually broken and on inspection a fingernail and pressure will go right into the wood.  No one expected this so soon.  A source of 20 rails and some poles has been found and can be obtained for $100.  This would be a temporary source for repairs.  A motion was made and approved for the $100.00. JVenute and JMason will work on their acquisition and they can be stored in the building where mower is.  SLane will help us check into it.

The web site and its utilization was discussed.  Monthly statistics show it is being used a lot.  Steve Foster provides those statistics. He is great with other services and posting when needed.  Recent update included a picture of the Bulletin Board and a link for downloading of forms that can be printed out and mailed in to EGrzelak (treasurer).  After review of the registration the tags can be mailed to the member.  This item and its capability will be further discussed under membership.  The Team is very grateful for the development and support that we receive from Steve Foster and his firm BEAMSCO.  The Chairman will relay this thanks to Steve in his next communication (posting our minutes)

Incidents. EGrzelak led the discussion and there had not been any incident reports.  Wheeler questioned the status of children and their activity in the park. The section on children in the Fetch Dog Park book was reviewed.  All children under 12 must have adult supervision and it is that person’s responsibility to keep them out of harm’s way. On discussion it was felt the rule and explanations accompanying it was adequate.

Security at night is a concern and there has been an increasing amount of offensive residue found in the parking lot that is concerning.  SLane discussed how it is a big problem in all the parks.  After discussion a motion was made and the Team unanimously approved putting gates up and locking them in the evening as is done in the other parks.  SLane will take care of this. The City has a contracted person for this duty. Responsible early morning park goers would be given a key to open on their arrival and stay open during the day..

Membership The membership discussion was led by JMason who posed the concern about decline in membership.  From a high of just over 300 we registered only 239 this year. Opportunities to increase membership were discussed. Promotional events, radio interviews, newspaper articles  and more posters around the community were all used in the past and need to be reworked.  It was felt we should have a March meeting to specifically plan for initiatives to increase membership for the 2015 season.  This led to a discussion and plan for doing our own tag sales and registration.  In addition to individuals printing out the forms from the link on our web site and mailing them with the checks to our treasurer it was decided we should take an another approach.  We will prepare packets with forms and instructions that could be handed to interested parties so they could be filled out and mailed in.  Veterinarians, groomers and the Humane Society would be good places for the packets to be placed and available.  An event could also be utilized to set up a table for purchase at Park such as we did at our Gala.  This approach would be helpful because of the staff shortage at the Humane Society and enhance our record keeping of “who is a member”.  It is felt we should have this system up and running for the 2015 season tags.  EGrzelak and JMason will get the packets prepared and ready.  Team members will assist in their distribution to appropriate locations

The question was then posed about membership on the Team.  It was felt that our numbers were adequate and representative but if someone shows desire to join the Team they will be considered.  At this time no present member is desirous to leave.

Special Needs Area This presentation was led by JVenute and SLane  For some time the group has had discussion about the development of a Special Needs area within our park  The main purpose would be to provide an area within our Fetch that individuals or groups with special needs would have easier and safer access to a more limited area where they would feel safe in allowing their pets to run and play off leash.  Several individuals whose special needs require use of a wheelchair have discussed this project with some of the Team members.  It is felt that if we had a properly constructed area it would be a great asset to many individuals with special needs. In the future one could envision groups from nursing homes and the Veterans Hospital incorporating it into their activities.  With these consideration JVenute with help from SLane and DJacobs prepared a presentation to the Team for consideration.

Area considered: Utilizing the southeast corner and existing fence and area 30 feet wide (3 post spaces east to west) and approximately 200 feet in length (south to north and extending just past vehicle access gate).  Larger equipment could enter and mow. 3 fence rows would be constructed 1-30 feet to enclose north end, 1-30 feet to enclose the holding area at the south end, 1-200 feet to create a west wall and enclose the rectangular space. Photos were provided at the meeting.

Gates: 4  1 large (existing gate) at the northeast corner for equipment, 1 emergency access gate near the northwest corner of the rectangle.  This would allow entry for someone to assist from the main park. 1 Entry into holding area from special parking area at the north end of the parking lot (existing fence), 1 Exit from holding area into off leash area (new fence)

Paths and Pads: The proposal presented plans for a concrete path from the parking lot through the entry gate to holding area where it would meet a larger concrete pad which would be big enough so the owner/handler could adjust and unleash. A concrete path would then go through exit gate into the rectangular special needs area for a variable distance where it would terminate at another pad which would have some amenities.  Here the owner handler could observe his dog and be away from the gate.

Cost Estimates: These rough estimates were gathered by JVenute to give us a guide into costs and “do-ability”

Installation  $1200.00, Posts and rails $1400.00, fence $500.00, concrete $2000.00

Totals $5100.00

The project was discussed in detail   After discussion a motion to approve was made by KFretty and seconded by RSchatz.. A vote was held and the Team voted unanimously to proceed with the project and report back after all cost evaluations and refinements had been firmed up.  Since the Danville Chapter of AMBUCs has had extensive experience developing projects for individuals with special needs we will consult with them as we fine tune the project.  JMason will talk with individuals in that organization to see what assistance they can provide.  The funds we raised initially that are still in the City Treasurer’s department would be used.  JVenute will be chairman and coordinator of the project with JMason and DJacobs assisting. SLane as a City of Danville administrator is comfortable with the idea and agrees to assist us as we proceed.  In the event that new cost analysis goes over the above figures the project will have to be re-evaluated as to our ability to afford the project.    A successful conclusion could lead to an event to promote more dog owners joining us.

Other Business BWheeler commented on the beautiful flowers at the entrance and the Team thanked SLane and his department for all their efforts on behalf of the Park. The upcoming fundraiser planned by the Humane Society “Woofstock” was discussed.  It will be at the Moose facility on Rt 15 on October 4 beginning at 12 noon.

With business concluded the meeting was adjourned at 715 PM (meeting time 1hr45min)

Respectively submitted JCMason  9PM September 26, 2014

Minutes – May 13, 2014

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May 13, 2014

City of Danville Voorhees Building


The meeting was called to order at 530 PM by Chairman John Mason

Attendees:  Steve Houghton*, John Linville*, Kevin Fretty*, John Mason*, Darrel Jacobs* Joanna Collum*, Jerry Venute*, Joe Schatz*, Ruth Schatz*,

Steve Lane, David Williams, Brad Wheeler* (interested and agreed to membership on the Leadership Team)

Elisabeth Grzelak* absent due to sudden onset illness.

  • Leadership Team Members

Minutes of December 5 meeting on website: review–old business items-grass, 3 dog rule, clamatis

New Relationship with City of Danville

History, Timeline and Conclusions: JMason

July, 2013 we were informed by Gayle Lewis that since our startup was completed we needed to manage our own financial affairs and she wished to conclude our financial dealings with her office.  I met with Gayle, an accountant, Pat Owens, and the city attorney to investigate our options.  None of them sounded as good as our present arrangement. We hoped that we could continue as we were by minimizing our requests for money and re-structuring our accounting.. However that was not the total problem.  Short term accounting solutions were not adequate.

On March 12, 2014 Gayle arranged a meeting with City to address our situation and the future of Fetch Park. JMason and EGrzelak met with Mayor Eisenhower, Doug Ahrens, Steve Lane and Gayle Lewis in Mayor’s conference room at the City Building. We would not be able to continue as we were and changes had to be made where we would be responsible for our own funds and liability insurance would be necessary (Memorandum of Agreement May 19, 2009 3.” Dog Park Group agrees” B. financial management, E. Liability Insurance.  Examples of City startup help were the Soccer Complex, Horse Shoe Pitching Complex and Youth Football were given and their organizational models discussed.  They felt the Dog Park Group and its Leadership Team had developed a nice asset and requested that we try and continue to operate it.  Mr. Ahrens agreed to assist us in the next steps. Seven meetings were held over the next two months to reach solutions.

  1. Liability  New Business Action Item

DAhens, EGrzelak, JMason met with an insurance agent and discussed costs and what organizational changes would be needed. Cost will be at maximum $900.00 per year. Present organization is adequate.  The web site, minutes, rules are adequate evidence of an organization.  We felt this was the way to proceed and we authorized this.

Discussion: The $1,000.000.00 policy and its purposes along with adding the city was affordable

A motion was made by Brad Wheeler, seconded by KFretty to approve this action. A vote was taken and the purchase of Liability insurance for Fetch Dog Park Group was approved.

Discuss waiver of Liability Form:  A comprehensive waiver of liability form used by another park was reviewed.  A suggestion was made that          we develop a similar form and combine it with our other requirements so that memberships to the park could be obtained by downloading forms-fill out, mail in with appropriate check and be issued a tag by mail.

A motion was made by Ruth Schatz and seconded by Kevin Fretty that we proceed to develop this option for our web site.  A vote was taken and this action approved.

  1. Financial Management New Business Action Item

Volunteer groups raising funds (tag sales, donation) for a specific purpose (maintenance and enhancement of the dog park) can have a Tax ID#.   BUT DONATIONS ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE.  WE ARE NOT A 5013C  We have applied for and received a Tax ID for Fetch using JMason and SS#.  However to open an account we need two responsible officers and signature for check privileges.  EGrzelak and JMason agree to assume the responsibility of managing this account.and doing all the necessary bookkeeping and recording.

Discussion held and in view of the lack of timetable on Elisabeth Grzelak availability it was felt  that an acting Sec/Treasure should be named.

Motion made by Darrel Jacobs and seconded by Kevin Fretty that John Mason serve as Chairman, Elisabeth Grzelak serve as Sec/Treas and Brad Wheeler serve as acting Sec/Trea

Vote to approve JCMason Chairman,  EGrzelak Sec/Treasure, Brad Wheeler acting Sec/ Treasure as the responsible officers for Fetch Dog Park Checking account was unanimous.  John Mason, Chairman and BradWheeler, acting Sec Treasure will proceed to open a checking account at the north branch of Old National Bank (near Elisabeth).

Management of Fetch Dog Park and Leadership Team going Forward

With the new structure and officers the following was formulated after discussion

Spring (annual) Meeting May

Review finances, insurance and prepare for summer season, maintenance issues, select officers

Fall October

Review season, consider rules, incidents and actions, maintenance

Review finances,? raise fees

March– meeting or communication to determine agenda items for May interest, availability of new Leadership Team members and officers

Old Business              .

Park Layout Issues: _SLane

  1. Some decrease in tall grass area is planned and will be worked out with Kevin Fretty and Jerry Venute (mowers)
  2. Clamatis issue.  The plants while pretty can cause GI upset in dogs so they have been cut down and will be kept down
  3. Bulletin Board: SLane showed his research on the issue and recommended a style 48×39 with plexiglass covering. .  After discussion of the needs a motion was made and approval given for purchase. Steve will purchase, install and then we will reimburse him from our funds.

Estimated cost $1000.00. Liability waiver and membership forms can be posted.

  1. Timeout area JVenute

Could we have an area within our park where dogs could be calmed down or unpredictable dogs allowed to play in a separate area?. One such area might be in southeast area of park where a separate entrance could be arranged. .The discussion concluded that there was no objection to exploring the idea and its costs.  If not too expensive there could be a trial of it. Darrel Jacobs and Jerry will investigate and report back.

  1. Handicap accessibility: improve entrance stability        .

3 dog rule JMason

In the December meeting a member expressed concern that the Park had a rule that was not being followed.  Several members came with more than 3 dogs.  There have not been any issues with these members or their dogs. After discussion of changing rules, exceptions or waivers on request it was decided to drop the rule by changing its wording and intent.  No owner/handler should bring more dogs regardless of temperament than he can responsibly manage.  Where this does not happen discipline can be instituted.  This action was agreed upon by the group so web site and our guidebook will reflect this change. Motion and vote taken to confirm approval of this change.

Maintenance for upcoming season

  1. Mower maintenance needed-battery,   filters, oil change, sharpening.  Since City to shorthanded for this we have an estimate of around $200.00 from B&D.  Darrel will see it is done and present bill to Steve for payment
  2. Weed spraying being done
  3. No fertilizer this spring

Other Business-New or Old

            There is $12,454.23 in the Dog Park Fund with the city.  From that fund we will owe $788.00 for insurance, and $1000.00 for our bulletin board.  Steve Lane will help us with payment arrangements.  The remaining balance will be transferred to our new checking account when arrangements are made with City Finance Officer..  This account will be opened by Chairman John Mason and Brad Wheeler Acting Sec/ Treas.

Adjournment 730 PM

John C. Mason, Jr  Chairman

Minutes – December 5, 2013

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The meeting was called to order at 530 PM by Chairman John Mason

Attendees: Deb Fridy, Steve Houghton*, John Linville*, Terry Shadley*,Tim Barney, Shirley Barney*, David Williams, Joanna Collum*, Chris Lucas, Nancy Ruzic, Willa Mineo, Teresa Clayton,  Jerry Venute*, Kevin Fretty*, Elisabeth Grzelak*, John Mason*, Steve Lane (shortly after 530)

  • Leadership Team Members

FINANCIAL REPORT: EGrzelak (copy will be attached to the minutes)

Expenses were $1721.16.Dr. Mason is owed $254.00 for establishment of petty cash fund and booklet printing Darrel Jacobs is owed 565.11 for gas, fertilizer, herbicides, and tools.  Additionally planning forward we need to request $50.00 to bring petty cash balance back to $200.00 and purchase a $500.00 gas card.

This totals #$1369.11. This amount will be requested in a letter sent to Steve Lane for approval and then forwarded to the City Treasurer for deduction from Fetch Dog Park Balance.  Elisabeth will make the disbursements and keep the records of petty cash and gas credit card use.

Estimated income from tag sales $3000.00.  Based on an estimated starting balance of $10,000 minus the above expenses and this year’s tag sale income our ending balance should be at least $11,703 (conservative)

We are hopeful that we can manage our finances and will only need to interact with the city once a year


Membership Form (copy will be attached to the minutes)  Steve Houghton presented a concise form that can utilized when purchasing a tag at the Humane Society.  Steve is now on the board at the Humane Society and has presented it to them.  The form was voted upon and approved.  It will be placed on web site so it could be downloaded and filled out prior to going to Humane Society for tag purchase.

Park Layout Issues: _SLane.

Grass-the long and short of it.  At our request Steve discussed some of the issues such as mowing time, drainage, and grass length.  After discussion and input the plan is to map out the tall grass areas in the spring.  They will be similar to what we have now. The mowers will attempt to cut a swath close to the fence to allow a walkway and also increased ability to spot dogs trying to sneak under fence. During the season the City with their special mowers will try and keep the tall grass areas in small dog area 6-8” and in large 8-12” in length,.  This will probably decrease the seed and eye nuisance   This will allow for flexibility and modification as season progresses.  This was felt to be an acceptable compromise.  No one disagrees that the tall grass improves the overall appearance of the park and offers challenge to some of the larger dogs. At least one complete short length mowing once a year is recommended.

Feasibility of another fenced area: JVenute. Proposals to add or incorporate a smaller fenced area in or adjacent to present Fetch Dog Park to accommodate dogs who are young or otherwise needing space to be able to adapt to the regular park was presented with  drawings by JVenute. The group was very concerned that this would mean aggressive dogs would be showing up and using this area,  Our experience with aggressive dogs and their owners has not been very good.  There was concern that this would open up a new “can of worms” ie new rules, new liabilities etc. .Jerry was asked to bring supportive evidence of its usefulness, information from other parks etc and then we could revisit the issue. FUTURE ACTION ITEM

Security: nothing new.  Signage was discussed.

Bulletin Board:  The fence is being used to post notes and there are concerns that this gives an unsightly appearance.  A vote was taken requesting that Steve Lane purchase a bulletin board we can use for all of our informational needs and he agreed to proceed.  He will arrange for purchase from our funds and installation

Trails:  The overall beauty of the Park and its trails were discussed.  The Fitness project of Northridge students along with some widening of the trail has been a very nice addition. Steve Lane was given a vote of thanks for his efforts on behalf of the City to keep our Park so nice.


Web site and booklets have been up dated and updated printings are available.  JMason received input from SFoster about changes that could be made in the page referring to donations.  Is it necessary, considering amount and frequency, to make the donation tax deductible?  At this time it was agreed to leave the page as is.    The use of the park for events such as the recent Bark for Life Cancer Benefit was discussed.  All agreed it is good use of the park.

Incident:  There has been an owner with 2 dogs who has been reported on 3 occasions-April July and November.  There have been other instances not reported.  There have been attacks on other member’s dogs and overall bullying.  The owner has been requested to follow the guidelines-leaving the area, controlling the dogs and using the small dog park if available.  He has not responded in an appropriate manner.  Members are leaving the park when he is present. After discussion it was felt that he should have his membership revoked and denied future use of the park. Chairman Mason will prepare the letter and send it to the Leadership Team members for their approval.  On Approval the letter will be signed by Mason and Grzelak and sent via registered mail to the offender notifying him his membership is revoked, his tags are revoked and the Humane Society is notified by copy also so that he will be denied new tags in future.

Issue: :  Member TClayton had reported that her dog got sick after eating some of the Clematis plants along the front fence of the park.  As a result she had reviewed the subject on the web and it appears the plant has toxicity for dogs.  There may be different strains and since this is the first episode linked to the plant we will review with Berry’s and Darrel Jacobs prior to removal.  Since DJacobs nurtured them through the drought and got them flourishing and beautiful we will certainly want to discuss the issue with him prior to transplantation. SHoughton volunteered to contact a resource he is familiar with at the University of Illinois.  He feels they can provide the information necessary for an informed decision.  Once the issue is clarified the Leadership Team can take action.  In the meantime members should actively encourage any dogs near the plants to move and leave them alone. FUTURE ACTION ITEM

Issue:  Member CLucas asked who was charge of enforcing the rule regarding the number of dogs that an owner/handler could bring to the park. She was concerned that since the rule stated 3 dogs and since some members brought 4 that confusion could result. This could challenge the integrity of the Park and create problems for the Rangers. The Chairman and other members of the Leadership Team discussed how the issue was dealt with.  We have allowed this to proceed because the other members of the park have assumed the owner/handler relationship to the extra dog.  This has worked well and without problems. The member was concerned that this was not an adequate solution.  The Chairman and members of the Leadership Team will talk this issue over with the 2 owners involved.

They are both valued members and we will need to reach a solution that is acceptable to all. FUTURE ACTION ITEM

There was no more issues or business to discuss so the meeting adjourned at 7:10 PM

Respectfully Submitted

John C. Mason, Jr  Chairman

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