Parks Board reviews new youth association contracts

During its regular Jan. 15, 2020 meeting, the Forney City Parks Board met to discuss Facility Use Agreements and Pinson Farm:

  • Public Comment -
    • Ms. Cariann Bradford introduced herself, running for 422nd District Judge.
    • 2020 Facility Use Agreement and Tournament Agreement - Mr. Rouvaldt said agreements have been sent to all associations, only Kickball has not responded.   Talks are going well, resolving problems.   City did not extend agreement with FYFL, as only have one practice field on city land, game fields are FISD.   Mr. Detmer asked where the numbers for tournament fees came from, as Forney Softball state champions are hosting a tournament in Mesquite instead of Forney due to high fees.   Mr. Galiano said their last tournament required more than one field, high fees hurt scholarship efforts.   They filled about 60 hotel rooms, many people at restaurants, please rethink the costs.
          Ms. Whitsell confirmed lost state championship team to another city; in past only non-profits were allowed, cutting them at the knees now.   Mesa quit having tournaments here as the fields rained out too easy, Forney has a bad name now because cancel too quickly.   Facility agreements - there was discussion about how the lights would be controlled; if they go off, it takes 20 minutes for light to come back on.   Mr. Detmer confirmed that.   Mr. Rouvaldt said a park employee would be present during games; there was discussion about how to find them.   Ms. Whitsell said now they have a key to turn on lights; that will no longer be true, Ms. Witt said she will leave the lights on longer than games are scheduled.   Use agreement doesn't address Wed. and Sun. in Fall HS league, she discussed with Mr. Carson, they need to know.   There was discussion about paying for practice fields that get rained out - credits could be issued.   There was discussion about league usage vs. practice.   Ms. Lawrence said agreements only address seasonal use, don't address field allocations, so will be back to free-for-all for fields, should all be defined.   She questioned why the per-player fees are different for youth vs. adult leagues.   Mr. Rouvaldt said it was based on number of games.   The issue was debated for a while.
          There was discussion about policing scheduling of fields now - this will be a cluster-mess.   Permits will be issued for field use, to prove who should be on a field.   Wed. and Sun. are special days as open to public.   There was discussion about the scheduling program "Rec 1" - Mr. Rouvaldt said it's been live about 8 months, on city website, similar to buying tickets online for a concert.   Ms. Witt have to approve reservations.
          Mr. Jones revisited the variable fees - Mr. Rouvaldt reviewed how the different teams affect the fields.
          The subject of field maintenance was brought up, as the associations have been doing and paying for that - Mr. Rouvaldt said this only came up this morning.   Ms. said all the fields at Mulberry are mowed at once, that's all the maintenance done.   Mr. Rouvaldt said wear and tear on adult fields are less, the field is only used for adult games and practice.
          Mr. Luna asked if considered tiered fees - Mr. Rouvaldt said yes, the agreement doesn't have it.   "If it's not in writing, it doesn't exist." Mr. McNear noted this is not an action item - Mr. Rouvaldt said yes, just discussion.   Mr. McNear asked if it will come back at next meeting - Mr. Rouvaldt said he believes this is just going forward, they will consider changes for next year's agreement.   Ms. Lawrence asked why they were discussing it, if agreements were already in place - Mr. Rouvaldt said they have not received any signed agreements.   Mr. McNear requested the data gathered from peer cities be presented at the next meeting.
          Associations currently pay for trash pickup and restroom care - the city will pay for that now.
    • Architexas presented their plans for Pinson Farm.   They went over the history of the property, how restorations could be done, possible modifications to barns and outbuildings to allow use for events, have a farm incubator, might stock the pond for fishing.   Estimate $3.8 million to construct, annual operation costs $227k, including personnel.
          Members of the Pinson Farm Committee spoke in favor of the plan.
    • Board communications: greatly summarized: members were displeased with the recent sudden changes and feel that the board is of limited use, even as an advisory board if they are being told what has happened, instead of having input on what will happen.   The volunteers on the board have a lot of experience that shouldn't be wasted, they might have more influence speaking to the council as citizens.
    • Adjourned at 2111
Wednesday, 2020, January 15