Russ Schuster, citizen, addressed the board voicing his concerns about the youth soccer program including: “Why is MPR not utilizing park fields and playing on the new pitch at Northwest?” “What are we teaching our youth if we aren’t playing on properly marked fields?”
Another resident, Chad McCollough voiced his concerns about MPR’s policy regarding the field reservations and quality of all the fields in general. He was concerned about: “What is MPR’s policy on field reservations and how it is determined who gets to use the fields and when?” “The overall quality of all the fields, soccer and baseball, are horrible and need to be addressed!” “What is the rain-out policy and how is it determined?” “MPR needs to add batting cages at Donaldson Westside Park.” “Can we have a couple of fields at Donaldson with 80’ bases so the traveling teams can utilize the fields also?”
The board thanked Schuster and McCollough for their comments/concerns and said they will take them into consideration as MPR moves forward with the recent master plan while also being fiscally responsible to all of MPR facilities and programs.
Director Jeff Stubblefield reported that both the monthly revenues and expenses are really comparable to March last year as the city went into shelter in place on March 16, 2020. He said sales tax numbers continue to be strong, which is encouraging. For the year-to-date comparison, Stubblefield said the revenue is comparable to last year while fees and services are closing the gap left from COVID-19. Expense figures are down but as the programs move into the busier months, expenses will increase.
“Moving forward, we must continue to be very diligent with taxpayer monies while providing the services needed by our community,” said Stubblefield.
Monica Ottman, recreation supervisor, told the youth spring soccer had over 250 participants, itty bitty baseball has 25 participants with clinics held on Sunday afternoons, youth baseball/softball has over 275 participants making 30 teams, youth sizzlin’ hoops registration has started and games will start end of May, youth summer camp registration has started and camp will start late June, youth wrestling camp registration has started with the camp to be in July and adult men’s softball registration has started with games starting soon. There are two summer interns and one with field experience helping this summer.
Facilities Supervisor Maggie Rockwood shared the daddy/daughter dance went well with the help of volunteers from a Northwest class and Sweethearts of America Pageant Queens, preparations of the Maryville Aquatic Center and Maryville Community Center for summer with staff, a new partnership with Mosaic and Kawasaki for a “Commit to be Fit” class. She gave the attendance and membership numbers: community center up 32.9 percent and membership revenues up 142.5 percent over 2020 with class participation, Hughes admittance due to vaccination clinics and actual number of membership all showing a decline.
Steve Griffith, facility maintenance, reported all systems are currently working as they should and the switch over process to cooling will be done soon, had to replace the laundry machine and staff is still working hard to stay on top of the cleaning protocols for COVID-19.
Kavin Dew, parks maintenance supervisor, told all park restrooms are open and staff have applied field conditioner and fertilizer to baseball/softball fields.
Stubblefield reported the MFA Foundation has granted MPR $2,500 toward new bleachers at Beal Park ballfields. He announced the board should determine the priorities of the master plan, noting each park has issues that need to be addressed. He said currently there is approximately $350,000 in the park fund and an 18 to 20 percent should be held for contingences. The list of items needed to be replaced or repaired is well over $100,000 such as the floor scrubber, water fountains bleachers, fitness equipment, etc.
“Also, before we can address the ADA accessibilities within our park system, we should have the Universal Accessibility Study done as 90 percent of our facilities have ADA issues,” said Stubblefield.
He estimated the study will cost anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000.
Stubblefield said, “I feel we need to do some of the ‘low hanging fruit’ within the master plan as we proceed with a possible bond/sale tax issue in the future.”
He also hopes the American Rescue Plan allocations will be able to recoup some of the lost revenue from COVID-19.
Stubblefield also reported Bailey Fergison has been hired as special event and marketing manager and Rockwood has been reassigned to facilities supervisor for the community center and aquatic center.
The board decided to purchase the remaining bleacher for Beal Park $3,900 and to purchase new floor scrubbers for community center up to $10,000.
Went into closed session for the topic of personnel.