March 4, 2021 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
APEX PARK AND RECREATION DISTRICT
13150 West 72nd Avenue – Arvada, Colorado 80005 – 303.424.2739
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
March 4, 2021
CALL TO ORDER
President Pyne called to order the March 4, 2021 meeting of the Board of Directors of Apex Park and Recreation District, held at 6:30 p.m. in the Apex Center Randall Room, 13150 W. 72nd Ave., Arvada, CO and virtually online via Accession video/audio meeting. Board members in attendance in person were Vicki Pyne, Ken Harrell, Stephanie Allen, and Rich Garrimone. Director Tomsula was absent; her absence was excused. District staff members present in person were Lauri Dannemiller – Executive Director, Rheana Rogers – Executive Administrator and Recording Secretary, Hillary Roemersberger – Direction of Recreation Services, Mark Baird – Director of District Services, Kay Palmer – Assistant Recreation Manager, Nancy Wellnitz – Recreation Manager, Laura Schwenker – Recreation Coordinator, and Roxie Augustine – Recreation Coordinator. District staff members present virtually were Jeff Leniger – Director of Finance, Brent Anderson – Director of Recreation Services, and Theresa Hynes – Assistant Recreation Manager. Members of the public present included multiple members of the local pickleball community.
MOTION: Director Harrell moved to excuse Director Tomsula from tonight’s meeting. Director Garrimone seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
MOTION: Director Allen moved for approval of the Agenda. Director Garrimone seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY 18, 2021 BOARD MEETING
MOTION: Director Allen moved for approval of the Minutes. Director Garrimone seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. George Bethel is a long-time resident of Arvada and addressed the board tonight regarding his concerns and frustrations around the pickleball courts at Simms Street. He shared the importance that the social aspect of the courts has had in the lives of him and the friends he has gained because of the community. He expressed his concern that fees that were instituted during the past year due to COVID are being continued and that is an unfair burden on low-income users, SilverSneakers users who scan their cards but then must pay the fee, and “an exploitation of the circumstances of the pandemic on the part of the district.” He also feels the fee structure excludes users who are not tech savvy for making reservations and for new players and visitors who would just prefer to drop-in to play. He asserts that Apex is the “lone ranger,” the only facility in the area requiring reservations and charging a fee to play. He did suggest as a solution that some courts are always kept open for drop-in play while some courts are always kept for reservations and pay-to-play use. The board thanked Mr. Bethel for his comments.
1. SCFD Grants – Nancy Wellnitz and Laura Schwenker
Ms. Wellnitz and Ms. Schwenker presented to the board asking for their yearly support of the District’s 2021 application for grant funding from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District for 2022 for the summer concert series, cultural community events, and art shows.
MOTION: Director Harrell moved to adopt APRD2021-03 Resolution of the Board of Directors of Apex Park and Recreation District Stating Their Complete Support for a Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Grant Request for the Humanities Enhancement Series. Director Allen seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
2. Pickleball Discussion – Lauri Dannemiller
Ms. Dannemiller provided a brief background of the history of the funding and construction of the pickleball courts at the Simms Street Recreation Center site, as well as the process whereby the Board approved the charging of fees for court usage this past year during the pandemic. Ms. Dannemiller reported on the costs the district to run, manage, and maintain the courts and that it costs an average of $50,000 per year to resurface just 1/3rd of the courts. In response to Mr. Bethel, Ms. Augustine and Ms. Dannemiller clarified that the district has not been charging SilverSneakers for pickleball players once reservations were accepted by individuals wanting to reserve courts rather than having to wait to “play in” on an open court. Ms. Dannemiller explained the rationale behind the charging of fees for usage of facilities across the district, including the pickleball courts. Pickleball was the only program the district has ever provided where a fee was not charged and that this is not equitable to users of other programs and facilities. Upon researching on the speculation that due to a Jefferson County Open Space Grant to build the courts, that the courts must remain free, JCOS staff refuted this assertion, and there was and will not be any such stipulation as a part of the grant. Comparable court usage fees for neighboring districts were also shared with the Board and it was noted that there are many surrounding jurisdictions that are charging for outdoor pickleball courts, many with fees much higher than Apex’s fees. For example, South Suburban’s fees are as high as $30/hour for non-residents, not free as was suggested by Mr. Bethel. Ms. Dannemiller pointed out that the Apex courts have many more amenities provided, such as heated bathrooms, lighting, water, shelters, benches etc. that most free city facilities do not provide. She reported that the district has a work team establishing a formal framework of cost recovery that will be used in the future to determine program pricing for all district programs and amenities to ensure fees are equitable and reasonable based on benefits to community and individual users. District leadership is recommending to the board that pickleball programming should have a cost recovery goal of 175%, placing it somewhere between a community benefit and an individual benefit. Staff also reported that there is strong demand from users who do want to be able to make reservations to guarantee court time to them and their friends. Ms. Dannemiller recommended to the board that beginning April 1 through October the district will charge $8 per court for 10 courts during prime-time hours. 4 courts will be for free open play drop-in and the other courts will be reserved for district skills and drills classes. If no classes are being run, open courts will be made available equally for drop-in and reservations. The remainder of the day when programs or leagues are not scheduled, all courts will be available for free drop-in play. It is anticipated that no fees would be charged October to April. This means only 16% of available court hours would be subject to fees for use. Ms. Dannemiller also reported that indoor drop-in is available and expanding at Apex Center, Simms Street, and Secrest Recreation Centers. Capacity limits are still in effect so reservations will still be required, along with a reduced usage fee ($2 vs. $7 or $9). These recommendations will yield the desired cost recovery of 175%. She also reported that fees will be assessed based on resident/non-resident status as is done for all other district program/facility uses. Director Harrell asked for clarification of how courts are being maintained, and the expense the district incurs for that. Ms. Augustine provided information regarding the skills and drills classes, mixers, and leagues the district programs and provides.
MOTION: Director Harrell moved for adoption of the proposed pickleball fee structure as presented. Director Garrimone seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
3. 2021 Budget Adjustments – Jeff Leniger
Board members were provided last week with information regarding revised budgeting for 2021 where there are some unexpected opportunities for increased revenues and staff is seeking direction about how the district may alter operations as a result. Multiple recommendations were presented to the board for their consideration including re-opening facilities and programs; reclassifying capital funds for operating uses; strategically investing a portion of available funds in guest experiences, in capital, in staff, and in the golf fund; and restructuring the most imbalanced financial components of the operating budget (i.e., improving cost recovery for programs that have historically operated at a huge loss for the district and the IGA with the City of Arvada).
MOTION: Director Garrimone moved for adoption of the four proposed recommendations for adjusting the 2021 budget. Director Harrell seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
There was none.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REPORT
Ms. Dannemiller reported that our summer camp registrations are already full. The Marketing team has several earned media mentions and is working hard to generate great content on social media channels as well. A contract has been signed for the work on the sewer lift for Indian Tree. She also provided an update from the School Board meeting earlier this evening where the Meyers Pool project was discussed.
BOARD MEMBER REPORTS/INPUT
President Pyne reported how much she enjoyed the Secrest Park and Playground groundbreaking. She also asked a clarifying question around policies for food trucks and vendors at Stenger. She reported that at the coordinating committee meeting today they discussed the Meyers Pool project, field maintenance financials, the IGA with the city, and pickleball in Whisper Creek.
Director Harrell attended today’s coordinating committee meeting with the city.
Director Allen expressed her congratulations to Director Tomsula on the birth of her daughter earlier this week.
Director Garrimone reported that the Foundation met this morning, and they are proceeding with the Memorial Day Pickleball Tournament but are cancelling the Car Show. Plans are to hold the Golf Tournament in September. They are also proposing a change to the bylaws to increase the number of directors and that the Board of Directors representative would become a voting member.
MOTION: Director Harrell moved that the meeting be adjourned. Director Garrimone seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
President Pyne adjourned the meeting at 8:57 p.m.
Rheana Rogers, Recording Secretary
Liz Tomsula, Secretary/Treasurer