January 22, 2013 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Minutes

January 22, 2013



January 22, 2013


Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the Saint Peter Parks & Recreation Advisory Board was conducted in the Conference Room of the Department of Public Works in the City of Saint Peter on January 22, 2013.

Lewis Giesking administered the Oath of Office to re-appointed Board Members Mike Meffert and Stuart Douglas and to newly appointed Board Member L. Lee Alger. Introductions were made.  

A quorum present, Lewis Giesking called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

The following Board Members were present: L. Lee Alger, Steve Alger, Charles Burgess, Stuart Douglas, Jennifer Leslie, Mike Meffert, Michael Myhra, Larry Potts and David Ringler. The following Board Members were absent: Bill Kautt and Jeff Brand. The following ex-officio was present:  Lewis Giesking, Director of Public Works. Also present, Tim Mayo, Maintenance Superintendent.    

Selection of Officers – Larry Potts made a motion, seconded by David Ringler to nominate Stuart Douglas as Chairperson.  With all in favor, the motion carried.  Jennifer Leslie made a motion, seconded by Larry Potts to nominate Steve Alger as Vice-Chairperson.  With all in favor, the motion carried.  Larry Potts made a motion, seconded by Charles Burgess to nominate Jennifer Leslie as Secretary.  With all in favor, the motion carried. 

Approval of Agenda – Larry Potts made a motion, seconded by Jennifer Leslie to approve the agenda.  With all in favor, the agenda was approved.

Approval of Minutes – Steve Alger made a motion, seconded by Larry Potts to approve the minutes of the November 19, 2012 meeting.  With all in favor, the minutes were approved.

Levee Park – Levee is a small, historical community park with access to the Minnesota River.  Under planned improvements the following recommendations were made:

  • Priority A. –
    • Item 1 Maintain overlook on river – change to read: Clean up the brush to maintain the overlook on the river
  • Priority B – Add priority
    • Add Stage
    • Add Benches
  • Priority C -
    • Delete item 6 – this was changed and moved to a priority B
    • Delete item 7 – this was moved to a priority B

 Jeff Brand arrived at 7:35 p.m.

McGill Park – McGill Park is a 9 acre community park developed with a Native Woods theme.  Under planned improvements the following recommendations were made:

Nature Park:

  • Priority A –
    • Add second item to read: Establish Arboretum/Tree Identification Program – work to develop partnerships with Gustavus Adolphus College and the Saint Peter High School Ecology Club.  Larry Potts will make contact with Jim Donjte at Gustavus Adolphus College and Steve Alger will make contact with the Saint Peter High School Ecology Club to determine what interest they might have in forming a partnership.
    • Add item from Priority C #3 to read: Provide handicapped curb access on Woodland Street at each end of the main trail
  • Priority B – No change
  • Priority C -
    • Delete item 3 – this was moved to priority A


  • Priority A –
    • Add item from Priority C #8 to read: Install sidewalk from Howard Street to Church Street with handicapped curb cut accesses.
  • Priority B –
    • Add the word fixed in front of benches to read: Install fixed benches near the play equipment.
    • Delete item 7 – and move to Priority C
  • Priority C –
    • Add item from Priority B #7 to read: Install drinking fountain

Recommendation for Adding Advertising in Parks – Russ Wille indicated he was responsible for enforcing the sign rules across the city.  He said that the request for signage to advertise in Gault Park as a means of raising funds for park improvements had been brought to his attention.  He would consider approval of this type of signage assuming it was: 1) Not visible from the street; 2) the logo of the corporation/sponsor was not the predominate part of the signage.  A discussion was held and a number of issues were brought up. 

The Board has requested that the following be brought back to them at a future meeting: 1) a uniform design that could be used throughout all city parks and by all organizations; 2) a policy to be developed by the City that addresses the sign design, placement and who can and cannot advertise (example – would we permit advertisements from companies that sell alcohol or tobacco?); and 3) the advertising policy should have a sunset clause that is reviewed in X number of years at which time it could be revised and/or terminated.  Examples of the guidelines and sign design from other communities would be beneficial as well as any policies the City has for advertising in the Community Center or on the transit buses.  The Board also felt that any potential policy should address whether the revenue from advertising comes directly to the City and the City in turn pays for the service (example fertilization of fields) or if the revenue goes directly to the Association and they pay for the extra service.

Update the Trail and Sidewalk Master Plans  -  Lewis Giesking gave an overview of the Trail and Sidewalk Master Plans.  Russ Wille suggested that the items shown in the memo dated January 17, 2013 be highlighted on the Master Plans as he had done for the Planning and Zoning Commission.  He will provide that highlighted map for the next meeting.  The Board will review the copies they have and bring back recommendations concerning potential trail and sidewalk additions and or deletions to the Master Plans.


Recreation and Leisure – Lewis Giesking reported on behalf of Jane Timmerman that 70 people were already signed up for the Freeze Your Buns Run and it was anticipated that number would grow to 100 by Saturday.  The run is 4 miles long.    

Department of Public Works – Lewis Giesking and Tim Mayo

  1. Safe Routes to School Grant – Lewis Giesking advised the Board that the City and School had developed a project for sidewalks around the Minnesota Valley Education District (MVED) Building, which houses the Alternative School.  The City Council will take formal action to authorize the application in late January with the School Board will be taking similar action in early February.  If approved, a grant application for a project of approximately $200,000 would be submitted by the February 15th deadline.  If awarded in the spring the project would be constructed in 2014.
  2. Ice Rink Maintenance – Tim Mayo and David Ringler reported that the ice and the participation by the Hockey Association this year was significantly better than last year.  It was noted that many people are enjoying the outdoor ice rinks.
  3. Electric Utility Vehicles – Lewis Giesking indicated that a request to City Council would be considered in late January for the purchase of electric vehicles to maintain city parks.
  4. Minnesota Square Pavilion – No changes at this time.

Adjournment – Jennifer Leslie made a motion, seconded by Steve Alger to adjourn the meeting.  With all in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 9:09 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Leslie, Recording Secretary