Chair Miller called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Commissioner Dalton led the flag salute.
Kathleen Baier-Dalton, Virginia Han, George Miller, Sharon Quirk, Craig Russell, Nancy Spencer, Neil Swanson
Staff Present: Ron Molendyk, Community Services Director; Community Services Managers Alice Loya, Randy McDaniel, and Grace Carroll-Miranda; Dan Sereno, Landscape Superintendent
Director Molendyk announced that Community Services Manager Joe Felz became a new father. He also congratulated Commissioner Quirk on her election to City Council. He said that the Department had checked with the City Attorney and learned that Commissioner Quirk can vote on Commission items except those that might go to the City Council. He noted that the only item tonight in this latter category was the lease agreement with the YMCA.
Commissioner Dalton MOVED to APPROVE the Minutes of the October 11, 2004 regular meeting as written, and Commissioner Spencer SECONDED the MOTION.
Per Chair Miller, the Minutes stand APPROVED AS WRITTEN.
Prior to the introduction of the agenda item, Commissioner Quirk recused herself. Director Molendyk said that there would be a presentation regarding the YMCA capital improvement plan and a staff report recommending an extension of the lease agreement.
Senior Analyst Alice Loya went over the terms of the YMCA agreement. She said they are going into a new agreement because the City isnt allowed to have more than a 55 year lease. Most of the terms will be the same, but will be updated for indemnification, insurance, etc. The City is also changing the terms to 10 years, which will automatically renew for another 20 years if the YMCA is able to complete its capital campaign, for a total of 30 years. Analyst Loya said the lease agreement asks for $1 per year from the YMCA, a normal practice with non-profit organizations, and a way of subsidizing and participating in the community effort. She opened up the item for questions.
Commissioner Han asked about and was told the new contract will supercede the old contract which was going to expire in 2009. Analyst Loya said the terms and conditions are similar to the 1961 contract but with a few routine updates. Commissioner Spencer asked if there were expenses for the City in changing the agreement. Analyst Loya said the City only pays for administrative costs in administering the agreement, so it would be similar to a contract extension, and that the costs for administration are already written in the budget. She agreed with Commissioner Spencer that the YMCA will be responsible for the costs of insurance and improvements. Analyst Loya said the only cost was for administering the agreement which was her responsibility, and that she did not have an estimate of the cost although the cost would go into the current budget.
Commissioner Dalton asked if the ten-year lease was established to ensure that the capital campaign is completed; Analyst Loya said yes. Commissioner Miller said ten years was a long time to complete the project and Ms. Loya said the YMCA is fairly certain it will complete the project prior to that, and that it was just a five-year extension of its current lease. She also said the City used a standard formula for determining the length of lease extensions based on the amount of capital improvements proposed.
Commissioner Han asked for clarification on the terms of the contract, and was told that if the YMCA doesnt want to exercise the 20 year option, the property would revert back to City. Commissioner Han asked if the $1 per year rent would remain, and Alice said that it is City policy for non-profits benefiting the community; the City might look at it, but it will comply with this policy for now. She noted that the City pays the Army Corps $1 per year for the entire Brea Dam. Director Molendyk added that the YMCA Executive Director intends to complete the project sooner than later because the facility has been in need of an update for several years. He said that the YMCAs presentation will show how it will upgrade the structure to meet current needs and also try to be more trendy.
Jim Lapak, Executive Director of the YMCA, introduced Fran Muller, Chair of the YMCA Board of Managers; Rick Price, incoming Chair; Bern Andrews, Chair of the Facility Committee; and Lannie Kuvian, retired YMCA Director, assisting as a project consultant.
Because of problems with the computer screens and overhead projector, YMCA Director Lapak provided a paper presentation regarding proposed changes to the facility. He sited the proposed plan and said exterior changes would include regrading, mostly for ADA accessibility, repaving, striping, and beautifying, with a few additional parking spaces created. Other major changes to the exterior were gates that the Fire Department asked the YMCA to install to control access to the back property, a new cement walkway because the entrance is being moved, moving the existing skate park to a new concrete area to improve usage, a new three-lane outdoor lap pool which will be cooler than the recreational swim pool, and a new spa outside.
The revised floor plan will include courtyard walls being moved to accommodate an aerobics studio, thus, moving aerobics out of the gym. The YMCA is changing the lobby and the front desk to increase its control of visitors. These changes will require taking out the offices and building a new strength training and cardio room. Because the YMCA is a family facility, the free weight room and board room will become the kids zone with dance, play and computer equipment. There will also be a new multi-purpose room made from various storage spaces. Everything will be up to ADA standards; anything not meeting code will be taken out.
The locker room facility will also be updated; the womens locker room is already undergoing an $80,000 renovation. The mens locker room still needs to be stripped down and renovated. Director Lapak said they are also replacing all the HVAC systems which will also require replacing the roof.
Director Molendyk said the City has also been working with the YMCA to improve signage between the Tennis Center, Guidance Center and the Y. He noted that the City wants to increase partnerships with organizations, and that with many grants, partnerships are encouraged which would eliminate duplication of services and enhance resources. With the new YMCA facility, the City will also expect more partnering.
Director Lapak agreed, but also said the YMCA must solidify its core first. He said the Y wants signage on Harbor Boulevard, but the property there is not theirs, so it will be an issue. Commissioner Swanson asked if there were no signs on Harbor, and Director Lapak said the only one is on top of the hill. He also noted that the entry to the Tennis Center, hospital and Y is confusing, so signage must be improved.
Commissioner Han asked if the YMCA would have to close during construction. Director Lapak said they hope to continue business by constructing in phases. When asked how long construction would take, he said six months, with plans to begin construction by Fall 2005 and completion by Summer 2006. Commissioner Spencer asked about the chapel room. Director Lapak said the structure would stay the same, but will be a free weight room with enhanced lighting. Commissioner Spencer said she would support signage as her daughter got hit riding a horse due to the signage confusion.
Commissioner Swanson asked if YMCA membership is growing. Director Lapak said his core group which would support the building and are adult and family members who pay monthly fees year-round, is stagnant, which is why they need the building renovations to attract this core group. He said for 150 years, the YMCA has depended on its core group to pay the operating costs and supplement the youth work the Y does. They are struggling and have had to defer maintenance. They want to strengthen the core and double membership, which would provide the base for the future. Regarding the Ys youth work and off-site programs, it is growing 10% - 20% annually. Sports programs are also growing tremendously.
Commissioner Spencer asked if the YMCA is buying new equipment to attract more adults. Director Lapak answered that they have been making investments all along, buying $80,000 worth of strength training equipment one and a half years ago, last year bought a whole line of tread mills, and completed $60,000 in pool improvements recently with a new shell and pumps. He noted that the Y has been investing in the pieces they could without the major facility renovations needed, especially given the changes in fitness trends.
Director Lapak said that YMCA market studies showed that Fullerton is a very strong market. One study predicted that with a new 40,000 s.f. facility, the Y would have 6,600 members within the first 18 months; however, they are only renovating a 23,000 s.f. facility. Nonetheless, he noted that any advertising the Y does brings in a lot of people. Commissioner Miller asked what the numbers of facility users are. Director Lapak said they have 1,300 physical facility members, and 1,200 families with 3 or so members. With community work, there would be up to 3,800 users, some who use other non-Y facilities. He noted off-site work at schools which have 1,000 children. Commissioner Swanson asked if the YMCA provides funding for Indian Guides and Princesses, and was told yes, but that this was off-site and not directly related to the facility.
Commissioner Swanson asked about the estimate of pledges for the $3 million one-and-a half year campaign. Director Lapak said they are in the quiet phase of a campaign, appealing to their best supporters. By Spring, the YMCA hopes to have a public announcement for fundraising. The Y can also obtain loans to meet goals. Commissioner Swanson also asked if the Y has a timeline attached to its fundraising. Director Lapak said the Y asked for 30 years, but the City structured the lease with the initial ten-year lease and the additional 20-year lease upon building completion. However, he said they have internal benchmarks that are not part of the lease.
Director Molendyk said the City wanted to make sure the Y didnt lease for 10 more years without improvements, and the Y wanted these improvements also to better serve the community. He explained that grants require a 25-year lease so the City was also trying to assist the Y with obtaining grants by developing a long-term lease.
Commissioner Han asked if there is a dry or steam sauna in the pool building. Director Lapak said this is not part of Phase 1, but is in Phase 2. He said Phase 1 will meet the needs of Y members and those surveyed. He agreed with the Commissioner that this would be considered in the future. Director Molendyk encouraged the YMCA Director and its board to maintain communications with the Community Services Commission, perhaps on an annual basis, to provide a status report. He further noted that if the Y were to close its doors, the building would revert back to the City.
Commissioner Swanson said he was a positive person but also expressed concerns if the construction was not completed and the City would have to come up with the funding to complete it. Director Lapak said the YMCA will not move forward until all funding is secured through pledges and donations or loans. They already have a source who would lend them all the money needed, but they dont want to do it that way. When asked about a timeline for raising the money, he said their plan is to start bidding and construction in one year. Six months from then, they plan to invite the Commission to the dedication.
Commissioner Han suggested the Y invite the Commission to a special event once a year so that commissioners would be more familiar and friendly when approached. Director Lapak agreed.
Commissioner Quirk excused herself prior to the voting process due to her newly-elected position on the City Council.
Commissioner Russell asked Analyst Loya what would happen after the ten years, and the project is done, if the 20-year agreement is automatic, or if Council or Commission would review it. Analyst Loya said the agreement would be automatic except for the YMCA sending a certified letter of completion, inspection, etc.
Commissioner Russell also asked if there were plans developed to check that the project was being completed as promised. Analyst Loya said plans are in the conceptual stage and would have to go to Planning Commission after the Community Services Commission. The YMCA would then have to go through a process, obtain permits, and then get approval for its conceptual plan through Planning Commission and City Council. Then they can develop working drawings and continue through a capital project process. Analyst Loya also offered to have the YMCA provide updates as it goes through the process.
Commissioner Russell asked what would happen if the YMCA did not get all the funding needed and decided to reduce its plans, and asked if this would affect what would happen after 10 years. Analyst Loya agreed, saying that if the YMCA did not complete everything as proposed, it would have to come back for renegotiation.
Commissioner Russell asked if the leases were for the exclusive use of the Y, or if the City could do programming at the Y. Analyst Loya said there is nothing specific in the lease that allows this, however the Y works with the City, and both are in the Fullerton Collaborative. Thus, there is nothing that would preclude the City from working in the Y. Commissioner Russell noted the lack of City programming space. Commissioner Swanson asked if National Junior Basketball would be able to use the space. Director Lapak answered that, frankly, if hes doing his job, and his staff are programming as they should be, there wont be time for outside user groups. However, he noted that the Y has helped spawn three or four new churches who had initially used their chapel, grew and moved on. The Y has also done cooperative programming with Crittenton, home schoolers, and Cal State Fullerton with handicapped swimmers.
Commissioner Dalton stated that, having been to the Y in Fullerton and others in the country, she could say that this YMCA definitely needs renovation. However, she said the Y is well-used, an important component of the community, a fabulous project, well-researched, exciting, very much in favor, and a great addition to the community.
Commissioner Dalton MOVED to APPROVE recommendation of the lease agreement to City Council, and Commissioner Han SECONDED the MOTION. There was no discussion or further comments.
AYES: Dalton, Han, Miller, Russell, Spencer, Swanson
The MOTION carried unanimously.
Director Molendyk thanked the YMCA representatives for their attendance at the meeting. Commissioner Quirk returned to her seat.
Director Molendyk provided the Commission with a background on the conversion of Field #1. He noted that staff met with youth league representatives and commissioners Dalton, Russell and Swanson twice since the previous Commission meeting to come up with a resolution to complete the work agreed upon, and to relocate the groups affected by the conversions.
Director Molendyk explained the difference between Options #1 and #2, stating that Option #1 was the youth group recommendation in which work could start in November and the fields could be ready in Spring 2005. If coordination with the existing leagues wasnt possible, Option #2 would have been necessary. Staff also recommended Option #1. Director Molendyk noted that, whereas earlier, the leagues were asked to share the costs of completing the work, staff was able to find money in the Citys capital funds - $28,000 - $35,000 for the Sports Complex.
Fullerton Hills Softball would be relocated to Woodcrest and, thus, $11,000 will be spent to improve the field at Woodcrest, and restrooms would be cleaned twice daily instead of only once. $5,500 will be spent at Lemon Park to accommodate the needs of the mens softball league. The total amount for improvements at the Sports Complex, Lemon Park and Woodcrest would be $51,500. He then turned the meeting over to Park Projects Manager Randy McDaniel to provide details on the field conversions.
Manager McDaniel provided a Power Point presentation with a budget for field improvements at the Sports Complex and Woodcrest and Lemon parks. He reiterated the costs for a total of $51,500 in improvements. He noted that the Department is only considering changes at Field #1 at the Sports Complex, saying that the changes would include new portable fencing ($13,000) that can be stored in the bull pen, infield sod and mound to convert the field into a baseball field ($12,000), irrigation ($5,000), a gate at the bullpen ($2,000) and a 10% contingency for unforeseen change orders for a total of $35,000 or less.
Commissioner Han asked for clarification on the 10% contingency which Manager McDaniel explained was included to allow for any unforeseen costs or change orders.
Manager McDaniel provided an aerial view of Woodcrest Park, noting the property boundary with the Fullerton School District. He listed the improvements including sod replacement ($6,000), grading modifications ($2,000), irrigation modifications ($2,000), and a 10% contingency ($1,000) for a total of $11,000. Commissioner Han asked if this area was where the Wednesday Farmers Market is located and Manager McDaniel said yes. Chair Miller asked if this was also the park that Sprint is using for the telecommunications equipment, and Manager McDaniel confirmed this, saying that Sprint is almost finished with the construction, that a walk-through is still needed, and that new bleachers can be seen there. Commissioner Dalton asked what the rental agreement with Sprint was, and Manager McDaniel said he believed it to be $2800 per month.
Director Molendyk said that with the approval of Option #1 by the commissioners in the field conversion subcommittee, the Department could award the contract on the Sports Complex in the next couple of weeks, and review and accept bids for the other two parks. Manager McDaniel agreed, saying that the Department has bids on all the projects, has the funding and can fast-track all the projects once they receive the commissioners approval. He said the contractor has agreed to expedite the project.
Manager McDaniel then reviewed the improvements at Lemon Park, listing the costs including sod replacement ($2,000), re-grading ($1,000) and irrigation modification ($2,000) and a 10% contingency for a total $5,500. He said the costs for improving all three parks was $51,500.
Commissioner Quirk asked if Girls Softball was agreeable with the changes, and Director Molendyk said that the leagues realized this was a cooperative effort and that it was the best time to complete the work, so in consideration, Girls Softball asked for the improvements in the field, which were needed anyway, and clean restrooms at Woodcrest. He said he understood that the President was satisfied. Commissioner Russell said Girls Softball was to be commended for their cooperation because it wasnt the ideal solution. However, they saw the big picture, and realized that this was the best option; he further noted that Softball will have Bastanchury Park when it is completed. Commissioner Dalton agreed with Commissioner Russell, saying the group worked really well together, was willing to compromise, and that this seemed to signify a new era of cooperation. Commissioner Swanson agreed with Director Molendyk that Woodcrest needed improvements anyway, and that one couldnt spend too much money to improve Lemon Park. He said that the improvements would benefit everyone in Fullerton.
Director Molendyk noted that Adult Softball has been asking for improvements and that this would enhance the Citys reputation among adult softball leagues. He also complimented Community Service staff, Randy McDaniel, Grace Carroll-Miranda and Carol Whitaker, for working out the scheduling, and also Judy Peterson for her cooperation. He expressed appreciation for the Committees time. Commissioner Swanson said the leagues really appreciated the fact that they didnt have to shoulder the burden of the improvements.
Commissioner Russell said that while this was a great solution and he didnt want to take anything away from it, it was too bad that one year after the Sports Complex was in place, changes have to be made. He also noted that there are still some other issues that need to be resolved. He said there was some poor planning but that they might never know why Field #1 was developed in a way that did not meet the needs of the youth leagues.
Commissioner Dalton MOVED to direct staff to implement Option #1 for renovation of the Sports Complex, Woodcrest Park, and Lemon Park, and Commissioner Russell SECONDED the MOTION.
AYES: Dalton, Han, Miller, Quirk Russell, Spencer, Swanson
The MOTION carried unanimously.
Commissioner Han asked Manager McDaniel about income from the Farmers Market, and he directed the question to Analyst Loya. She said the Farmers Market is one of the few contracts she doesnt administer, and that Senior Center Supervisor John Clements does. Director Molendyk said staff would find out what the income is and send the commissioners a memo with the pertinent information.
INFORMATION ITEMS (Item 4 - 7)
Director Molendyk introduced the park improvement update, noting that everyone was aware of the problems in completing Bastanchury Park in a timely manner. However, it appeared that Bastanchury Park improvements are back on track, and that Manager McDaniel would provide more details later.
Manager McDaniel provided a timeline for project completion by July 2005 and actual usage of the fields by September 2005 to allow for a maintenance period, the seed to grow and to become hardy enough for public use. The developer wanted to expedite the process, but the City wanted to ensure that a high quality of hybrid grass is used which isnt available until March 21, 2005.
Items that are or have been completed are the walls with stonework and pilasters, drainage, curbs and gutters, and electrical underground. The concession stand is being built and will be completed mid-February, the sidewalk and horse trails are being worked on and scheduled for a December completion, and vegetation is being planted. Items scheduled for November include chain link, lighting, and shade structures, December items would include bleachers, setting the infields, paving the parking lot, and January would include interior sidewalks. Manager McDaniel said the Department has implemented weekly meetings to keep on top of the developer, help them through the process, get permits, and expedite change orders or other changes needed. Director Molendyk reiterated what Manager McDaniel said about needing to allow the grass to get established in case the commissioners get pressure from the public to open up the park earlier.
Commissioner Swanson asked if irrigation is planned in case the softball fields are later converted to grass infields. Manager McDaniel said that pull boxes and available wires are being installed for that contingency.
Director Molendyk then reviewed progress at the Amerige Heights Community Center, acknowledging the committee involved with it. He said plans are about 90% complete, which Manager McDaniel would detail. He also said staff met with the contractor today and told him that although there is a budget for the project through the Community Facilities District, they want to get the Bastanchury Park project completed prior to starting on the community center.
Director Molendyk then turned the meeting over to Manager McDaniel who agreed that the schedule is contingent upon substantial completion of Bastanchury Sports Park which should occur around March or April. After that, the Department would proceed with site work at Amerige Heights Community Center with a March 1st start date. He said the parking lot and landscaping/paving will be started first, some overlap with building the facility which will start June 1st for the 8,000 s.f. building. The site work will be completed in August 2005, and the building completed March 2006.
Director Molendyk said the Department will involve commissioners as the project moves along. He added that the developer believes this is still a $3 million building, and that the Department is hoping that construction costs will go down a little as it will also have to find money for interior furnishings.
The Landscape Division Monthly Report for October 2004 was received and filed. Landscape Superintendent Dan Sereno said that he had pushed for the turf at the Bastanchury Sports Park because it is high quality but it can only be germinated and grown during the warm months. He said he faced pressure because of his decision but stayed firm and also got support from Director Molendyk. Superintendent Sereno reported that the leaky main line at Byerrum Park noted at the last meeting by Commissioner Dalton was fixed a couple days later.
The item was opened up for comments and questions and Commissioner Spencer asked about the time period for the trees referenced in the report. Superintendent Sereno said the time period was July 1 to October 15. Commissioner Spencer said she noticed they removed 175 trees but only planted 49. Superintendent Sereno agreed, but said the contractor has been given a list of over 200 trees to be planted during the winter, and answered that the removed trees were dead, diseased or dying, but also that one-third was from storm damage. He also answered Commissioner Spencers questions on where the median work was being done. Commissioner Spencer asked if the City is redoing the monuments at City entrances, and Superintendent Sereno said there is a study on this with hopes to put money aside to mimic the monuments at Euclid at the 91 Freeway, but he wasnt sure how far the Engineering Department is on the project. Commissioner Spencer also asked about the median under construction across from St. Jude and the golf course. He said he believed the existing newer median was just being extended; however, there was a CIP to beautify the north side of Bastanchury along the fairway. Manager McDaniel said that Engineering is working on it, and should be done in one to one-and a half years.
Superintendent Sereno also answered Chair Millers questions about the Orange County Probation crew, saying they help disadvantaged youth and work well, do all hand work, and are well-organized and supervised for $400/day for a ten-man crew. He said the City has a $70,000 annual budget, and that they use them all over the City. Commissioner Spencer said the crews work hard and well, and are well-supervised. Commissioner Russell asked if it was City crews painting trails at Skyline Drive, and Superintendent Sereno said he believed so, and would check.
Commissioner Russell asked about the bees, saying that he has yearly problems with bees in his street trees. He asked if the trees were trimmed by the homeowners association, if the City would take care of the bees also, but Superintendent Sereno said since the trees there belong to the HOA, the HOA would be responsible for the bees. Commissioner Spencer congratulated Dan Sereno for installing the plumbing at the Police Departments sunken courtyard, and announced that the fountain donated by Fullerton Beautiful for the Centennial is in, as are the plantings which were designed and mostly donated by Priscilla Stead. She also acknowledged Randy McDaniels help in selecting the fountain, especially as the Police Department didnt like the first fountain installed. Dan Sereno thanked Commissioner Spencer and Fullerton Beautiful for giving a check for $2,500 to Maintenance Department for the work they did in the courtyard. Chair Miller and the commissioners thanked him for his report.
There were no questions or comments regarding the Council agenda items.
Commissioner Quirk thanked the Community Services staff for the flowers and thanked the commissioners for the valuable experience she gained, saying that she will call them often for their input, enjoyed working with them, and thought they worked well together. There was discussion regarding the new commission/committee process with the agreement that it might change again due to the new Council. Director Molendyk reminded the commissioners that the swearing-in ceremony was December 7th, and Chair Miller congratulated Commissioner Quirk on behalf of the Commission on her new Council position, saying that they would miss her.
Commissioner Han asked about a brochure on which the previous director had worked with the commissioners. Chair Miller said the previous director said budget considerations halted the project. Director Molendyk said this project could be reconsidered during the next budget process.
Commissioner Swanson asked about the $1 per year lease and if money actually changes hands. Analyst Loya said the organizations do give a check for $1 to the City, and said this is normal in other cities as well. Director Molendyk said the $1 lease is symbolic and done in most communities.
Commissioner Russell asked when there would be a drawing of lots. Director Molendyk said that his understanding is that as a result of the election, the procedure might be changing. However, if the process is to continue, the Department will notify the commissioners. Commissioner Russell expressed concern because his term and that of another commissioner were ending soon. Director Molendyk responded that the commissioners should just continue until further notice.
Commissioner Russell said he wanted to publicly say that working with Director Molendyk has been like night and day, a much more pleasant experience, and that Director Molendyk seems committed to working with and listening to everyone, providing input and giving updates, taking phone calls, and sending office e-mails. Director Molendyk expressed appreciation for Commissioner Russells thoughts and for the Commissions support, adding that the Department is still trying to sort issues and will spend more time with the Commission to evaluate the budget and priorities for the near future. Commissioner Swanson said he would like to add onto that, saying he has received more informative literature in two months than ever before. Commissioner Han said she also appreciated the information which makes her feel like she is closer to the community. Director Molendyk thanked the commissioners for their feedback.
The meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.