1. Off-leash dog education updates – Paul West
Call To Order:
Chair Poor called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
Chair Poor, Vice Chair Westberg, Secretary Christy, Trustee Bender, Trustee Hildebrandt, Council Liaison Sanderson, and Trustee Olson were present.
Paul West, Park Operations Superintendent
Alaine Sommargren, Natural Resources Manager
Kim Frappier, Natural Resources Specialist
Chair Poor called for a motion to approve the November minutes. Trustees requested minor edits to the minutes, which will be amended by staff. Trustee Bender made the motion, seconded by Vice Chair Westberg.
Approve the minutes of the November 17, 2016 meeting.
Motion passed 7-0.
Public Appearances: There were no public appearances.
Paul West reported that the permanent dog owner education signs are being installed throughout Pioneer Park and the brochures have been widely distributed. Paul shared that Officer Ormsby gave a ticket to someone in violation of the City’s leash ordinance. Officer Ormsby has not given other tickets to date.
Upcoming dog-owner education includes the spring “walk and talk” where community members have the opportunity to learn about dog policies while walking the trails at Pioneer Park with staff. Parks and Recreation is also planning voice control classes this summer with a professional dog trainer. These will be held on the north end of the island as well as at Pioneer Park.
Trustees inquired about the outreach and advertising efforts planned for the voice control classes. Outreach will include flyers, social media (e.g. Next Door and Facebook), and an article in the Mercer Island Reporter.
Trustee Bender inquired about installing additional dog waste dispensers. Alaine reported that staff are in the process of installing two new posts for signs and dispensers. Wherever there is a new “Attention Dog Owner” sign, there will be a dispenser adjacent to it.
2. Draft Annual Report to Council and 2017 Work Plan – Alaine Sommargren
Alaine presented the draft annual report summarizing restoration and trail management for 2016. She also presented the 2017 Work Plan to be presented to the City Council on February 21st. She noted that the Trust needs to add the “Leap for Green” discussion to the work plan.
Trustees asked clarifying questions and made suggestions for adding detail to the 2016 Annual Report including information regarding EarthCorps, as the volunteer contractor, and Natural Resources Staff.
Chair Poor provided an overview of the Trust’s involvement in Leap for Green, which will be added to the 2017 Work Plan. Council Liaison Sanderson suggested clarifying language to replace the bullet item for “off-leash update” since the Trust will be assessing 2016 efforts and developing a plan for the coming year. Staff will make updates and provide the work plan to Chair Poor for final approval. Chair Poor will attend the Council meeting to answer questions.
Vote to approve the annual report and work plan: Vice Chair Westberg motioned; Vice-chair Christy seconded.
Motion approved 7-0.
3. Bike trail resurfacing – Paul West
Paul West made a presentation regarding the bike path along Island Crest Way, specifically regarding tree roots that have pushed up, creating bumps and cracks in the asphalt. The report outlined three solutions to the issue:
- Remove the roots and repave.
- Ramp around cracks and repave over the roots.
- Remove asphalt and replace it with crushed gravel.
Trustees discussed the pros and cons to each option and asked questions regarding cost, maintenance timelines, and effects of root disturbance to tree health. Trustees discussed the importance of protecting the trees along this corridor, which Paul reported are currently in good condition. Trustees also discussed the option of using foam boards under the asphalt, which would further protect trees roots.
Paul suggested doing some public outreach to determine who is using the trail. Staff could develop a sign with a QR code to ascertain user types, similar to our dog sign feedback effort.
Trustees were in favor of a solution that protects tree roots, reduces maintenance, and not cost-prohibitive. Trustees were in favor of the asphalt ramp or a combination of foam board and asphalt. Paul will develop a cost estimate for the suggested solutions and present a plan in March for the Trust to review and vote on.
4. Remote meeting attendance – Alaine Sommargren
Alaine presented the draft policy for remote attendance provided by the City Clerk. A former trustee suggested adopting a remote attendance policy to address the issue of maintaining a quorum. Trustees discussed the advantages and disadvantages to remote attendance and whether Council or other city commissions have similar policies in place.
The Trustees determined that there is no immediate need for the policy. The Trustees agreed to save the draft policy provided by the City Clerk in the Trust Board files should it need to be revisited in the future.
5. Leap for Green Fair
Secretary Christy provided background on the event and said it is a great opportunity to introduce letterboxing to the community. Staff reported that the event is on April 1st from 10 am to 2 pm. Secretary Christy offered to assist with preparation, but will be out of town on April 1st. Trustee Hildebrandt and Trustee Bender will assist the day of the fair.
6. Park Tour for New Trustees
Trustees expressed interest in a tour of Trust properties with staff for new board members. Alaine will set up a Doodle Poll to schedule the tour.
7. Budget Questions
Trustee Bender asked Parks staff about the budget for Trust properties within Parks and Recreation. Paul West offered to present the budget at a future board meeting. This will be added to the 2017 Work Plan.
8. Video Project
Chair Poor asked the board about their interest in pursuing a video project about Trust properties that would serve a public education piece. Trustees discussed the possibility of reaching out to an Eagle Scout or high school group to develop the video. Council Liaison Sanderson will reach out to a contact at the high school.
9. Quadrant Reports – Trustees
SE Quadrant - Trustee Olson and Trustee Hildebrandt
Trustee Hildebrandt raised concern about a downed tree in the SE corner of the quadrant, which he saw there in late December. Staff will follow up and ensure there are no safety concerns.
NW Quadrant - Vice Chair Westberg and Secretary Christy
NE Quadrant – Chair Poor and Trustee Bender
Chair Poor noted that she has observed dog owners adhering to the on-leash policy in the quadrant.
10. Next Meeting – Chair
The next meeting is scheduled for March 16, 2017
Adjournment: 7:10 pm