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