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