NEENAH, WI  54956


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PARK COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES                                           MAY  12, 2004

Park Commissioners Present: Richard Gawinski, Roy Kuehn, Glen Allen, Herb Horn John Zaborsky,

Judy Holtz, Commissioner Clarence Peterson


Excused: Recreation Supervisor Becky Thone


Also Present:

Director Michael T. Kading                            Bookkeeper Mary Heiting

Town Chairman Arden Tews                          Jim Evans, Palisades Athl.  

Town Supervisor Barb Hanson                       Cal Tesch, Palisades Athl.

Cathy Tesch

Commissioner Candidate:                               Mike Lynch

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The Commission meeting was held at the Community Center and was called to order by President Richard Gawinski, at 7:03 p.m.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and roll call taken.



MOTION: Commissioner Roy Kuehn, seconded by Commissioner Glen Allen to approve the minutes of April 14, 2004.  Motion carried unanimously. 


The Commissioners reviewed the expenditures in the amount of $9,224.87.  Discussion ensued about a few invoices.   MOTION: Commissioner Glen Allen, seconded by Commissioner Herb Horn to approve the expenditures as listed. Motion carried unanimously.  It was noted that the 2005 budget should include an estimate to repair the Community Center sewer problem or include a monthly repair bill amount in the 2005 budget.



Cathy Tesch had concerns about her son who was signed up for the Outdoor Adventure Camp.  She had concerns about the number of teachers per student ratio and the location near Fritse Park.  Her remarks concerned some deviant behavior which the police have been reviewing.  It was noted that the Town changed it’s ordinances to include citations towards anyone in violation in this park or any park in the Town of Menasha.  Mrs. Tesch was relieved to hear about the enforcement and thanked everyone for listening to her concerns.  She also noted that the Rydell Center was difficult to find.  In calling the office, it was explained that the property is currently changing hands as part of the NRDA award grant.  When this grant is complete a sign will be erected to display the future site of the Rydell Environmental Education Center.  Director Kading said it would be possible to display some temporary signage in the area for the convenience of new registrants.


Jim Evans, and Cal Tesch, representing Palisades Athletics were in attendance to discuss some previous issues and current issues about Palisades Park and the Athletic Association.  They reviewed the upcoming Palisades rummage sale and requested an early 4:00 a.m. start and a waiver in pavilion rental fees.  MOTION: Commissioner Judy Holtz, seconded by Commissioner John Zaborsky to approve the early start and waive the fees on the park rental for this event.  Motion carried unanimously.


Palisades Athletics had concerns about the drainage tile questions and the current status of this project.  The Association has vendors and volunteers to install the “batting cage” and may possibly pull out if this offer if a location is not resolved.


Further discussion ensued about the location of the neighboring property being a possible solution to the drainage problems for the Association and neighborhood storm water management.  There is an application for grant monies which should receive an answer if awarded after June 30, 2004.   


Palisades Athletics reported that the scheduled May 1 volunteer day for special clean-up and cutting the sod on the playing fields worked wonderfully.  May 1 had been scheduled and the park staff had a dump truck, tractor and volunteers to aid the Association on their projects.  Many thanks to the staff and volunteers to accomplish everything that needed to be done.


Discussion ensued about how to improve on weed control under the bleachers.  It was noted that weed killer and raking may alleviate the immediate needs in the area, but more ideas need to be addressed for long term care.


The Association requested a review about the policy of having porta potties rented by Palisades to accommodate the early practice season.  It was made apparent that the “practice season” starts some time in April and the bathrooms are not operable until very early May.  Director Kading stated that he would conduct a survey with other municipalities to compare this issue.  Mr. Tesch stated that he believed that the City of Menasha park had bathrooms open before May 1 and wanted to know the industry standard. 


Then Mr. Evans and Tesch inquired about the policies that are used to decide who uses the playing fields and when.  It was noted that the fields are open to a first-come / first-served basis.  Palisades  has an agreement to use the fields from Sunday through Thursday for any practices or games.  It was noted that Palisades Athletics stated that on the weekends it was rare that any games were scheduled.  Director Kading agreed that the Town does not reserve the fields for any specific entity, especially on the weekends even if the pavilion is reserved for a party.   






The park report was prepared by the Foreman Pavlak and reviewed.  Director Kading commented on the items which will need attention in the near future.


The Recreation Supervisor Thone is on maternity leave, and her replacement Kristin Wegner provided a report on the status of the programs.  The hand out was reviewed by all of the Commissioners.   It was announced that Supervisor Thone had a baby boy and everyone wished Becky and her family well with their new arrival.


Director Kading discussed projects that area organizations have been volunteering for planting and clean-up projects.  He confirmed that the next meeting of the Fritse Park Master Plan will be meeting May 20th with a walk through at 5:30, and the meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m.


Director Kading had a summary of the hours and work detail and estimates of what the staff had to complete the Palisades Athletics clean-up day May 1. 


Discussion ensued about how to schedule the upcoming park tour.  It was decided to conduct the next Park Commission meeting early at  6:00 p.m. and then start the park tour immediately following.  Any parks not viewed will be addressed at the next meeting.   A summary of questions and things to review at each park was suggested including an itinerary estimate.



  1. Environmental Education Coordinator

It was noted that several organizations such as UW Oshkosh, FVTC and the Valley NEW School are interested in this posting and further discussion and options will be reviewed.  This item has been postponed.



A.    Palisades Athletics – Rummage Sale – June 19

 This item has been addressed in the public forum when Palisades discussed this request.  It has been approved. 

B.    Palisades Drainage

This items was also addressed in the public forum and at this time a response to the grant application will delay this decision.  An answer is anticipated for early July. 

C.    Budget Committee Mission/Vision Goal Setting Sessions

Director Kading explained that a mission statement has not been created for the department.  A mission / vision / goal setting would help alleviate questions and aid decisions for budgeting and purchases in the future.  It was suggested by Commissioner Glen Allen that we research for an independent agency to help in this regard.  He felt that a neutral interest with no preferences toward any project or affiliation would be helpful.  Director Kading and Commissioner Glen Allen would research this issue and see who they can find to assist us.

D.    Present Athletic Group Comparisons

The staff has prepared a summary spreadsheet explaining which sport organizations have been paying the Town for use of the parks or made substantial contributions for the operational needs in their areas.  The Commissioners reviewed this summary and would like further break-down of information on expenditures such as electricity and water/sewer charges at each and or number of registrants that an Association has. 


Music / Tent Requests:

The letters for music and “bouncy gym” requests were reviewed.  MOTION: Commissioner John Zaborsky, seconded by Commissioner Judy Holtz to approve the requests as submitted.  Motion carried unanimously.



Motion by Commissioner John Zaborsky, seconded by Commissioner Roy Kuehn to adjourn the Park Commission meeting of May 12, 2004.  Approved unanimously at 9:00  pm.





John A. Zaborsky,  

Secretary Park Commission