June 17, 2021 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
June 17, 2021
CALL TO ORDER
President Pyne called to order the June 17, 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. Board members in attendance in person were Vicki Pyne, Ken Harrell, Liz Tomsula, Rich Garrimone, and Stephanie Allen. District staff members present in person were Lauri Dannemiller – Executive Director, Rheana Rogers – Executive Administrator and Recording Secretary, Mark Baird – Director of District Services, and Jeff Leniger – Director of Finance. District staff in attendance virtually were Hillary Roemersberger – Director of Recreation Services, Katie Groke – Director of Marketing and Communications, and Dana Bammerlin – Assistant Recreation Manager. Member of the public present was Abby McNeal – APAC.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
MOTION: Director Garrimone moved for approval of the agenda. Director Tomsula seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF THE JUNE 3, 2021 BOARD MEETING
MOTION: Director Allen moved for approval of the Minutes. Director Harrell seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
There was none.
1. Indoor Playground Operations Proposal – Hillary Roemersberger
Ms. Roemersberger provided an update to the Board regarding the plans to re-open the Indoor Playground space at the Apex Center. It has remained closed to date due to hospitality staffing shortages and the increased cleaning standards needed for such a high-touch space. She has drafted a proposal for the Board’s consideration that will provide creative re-imagining of the space’s usage to allow for a balance of drop-in play coupled with offering programming as well as birthday party rental options. The district has seen exploding demand for programming for preschool-aged children; currently there are 10 programs each week for this age groups and all are sold out with waitlists. The programs include Teddy Bear Storytime, Messes and Masterpieces, Gym Jam, and Princess/Fairy/Superhero tea parties. Some of these classes are also being assisted by volunteers from our Community Recreation Center, which has been an exciting intergenerational addition to our programming. With space to run programs in short supply, the Indoor Playground is an excellent choice to activate for this purpose. This will help alleviate some waitlists while allowing for the creation of new programs as well; coordinators already have ideas of new classes they wish to provide.
Fitzmorris and Secrest have seen an increase in fitness users who work out while their children are in class, which has translated to pass sales, and Ms. Roemersberger is confident holding classes at the Apex Center will yield the same.
The proposal is to reserve the space for programming during weekday mornings and open for drop-in play during weekday afternoons and weekend mornings. Weekend afternoons would be available for proposed birthday party options where customers can reserve the Indoor Playground for play and the adjacent Child Watch area for food and presents. To bring the space into compliance with admission fees for usage of all other facilities, Ms. Roemersberger is also proposing instituting a small drop-in usage fee of $2 per child to assist in cost recovery of the increased staffing needs for cleaning the space. Supervising adults would not pay a fee. This is consistent with fees being charged for indoor playground spaces at neighboring facilities and districts; currently Apex is the only one who does not charge for use of the space.
Director Garrimone complimented Ms. Roemersberger for her excellent work in crafting this proposal and appreciates the considerations to balance open play with fee-based offerings for using the space. Director Pyne stated she liked the proposal but is not sold on the fee for drop-in play. She would like to plan for the cost recovery of the programming to cover not charging for drop-in play. Director Tomsula voiced concern it would be a big cultural shift for the district to begin assessing a fee for use of that space. Director Allen pointed out that fees are assessed for all other facility usage across the district, including at Pint-Size Play Time, which is a preschool-aged drop-in time for the gymnastics gym at the Simms Street Recreation Center. Ms. Dannemiller clarified that that program is staffed and that is why a fee was charged.
MOTION: Director Harrell moved to accept the provided proposal for re-opening and programming the Indoor Playground at the Apex Center with the exception of not assessing a drop-in fee. Director Tomsula seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
2. Staffing Challenges Report – Lauri Dannemiller
Ms. Dannemiller reported that a team of staff members recently met to brainstorm creative solutions for the challenges the district has been facing in hiring part-time staff. There is a dire need to provide support to full-time staff, especially coordinators and managers, who have been sustaining exceptional workloads over the past 15 months. The team provided a combination of bonus recommendations to incentivize staff to recruit new team members as well as for current staff to work more hours coupled with a proposal to create some new Temporary Full-Time generalist positions. It is hoped the offering of bonuses and benefits will be helpful in attracting and retaining reliable employees. The generalist positions are hybrid positions designed to divide time across multiple departments. It is hoped these will attract new graduates or individuals looking to transition to the field of recreation with the opportunity to get exposure to a variety of departments and work experiences. Ms. Dannemiller reported that the district is able to consider these options because of the strong financial position our current staff has provided through their hard work. Mr. Leniger provided the Board with an update on district finances through May, pointing out that the district is well under budget for staffing costs. He feels the team’s ideas are creative ways to invest in our staffing future. Director Garrimone asked if there is a need to increase the current full-time staff count. Ms. Dannemiller stated that leadership will be presenting to the Board in August a priority list of full-time positions recommended to be hired in the 4th quarter of 2021. Director Harrell affirmed the need to relieve some of the burden on current staff and supports the proposal.
MOTION: Director Tomsula moved to approve the recommendations provided for the creation of the full-time temporary generalist positions as well as the proposed hiring, referral, and work hours bonuses. Director Allen seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
3. Capital Projects Update – Mark Baird
Mr. Baird provided a status updated on all current capital projects.
4. Pickleball Courts Warranty Work – Lauri Dannemiller
Ms. Dannemiller provided a brief synopsis of the issues with the surfaces of 4 pickleball courts at the Simms Street Recreation Center. There has been an ongoing warranty claim with Sports Courts of the Rockies since 2018. The courts have been unusable and closed for nearly 2.5 years. The vendor disputes the warranty claim and litigation will be costly, therefore the district’s legal counsel is advising to cease legal pursuit. The district has already contracted with another vendor to do the repairs at a cost of around $180k.
MOTION: Director Harrell moved to cease litigation proceedings on the matter. Director Garrimone seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Dannemiller reminded the board of the decision to eliminate funding for staff professional development in the 2021 budget. Considering the district’s healthy finances at this time, she is requesting that professional development training funds for staff be reinstated at 50% of the previous allowance, so $250 per full-time staff member. It is estimated this expense will run around $18k.
MOTION: Director Harrell moved to reinstate the professional development budget as requested. Director Garrimone seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REPORT
Ms. Dannemiller reported there will be a joint stakeholder meeting on July 13 between Apex, the City of Arvada, and Jefferson County Public Schools representatives regarding the Meyers Pool replacement project. Jesse Badder, new Director of Recreation Services, starts this coming Monday and he will be overseeing Secrest Recreation Center, the Community Recreation Center, and the Apex Center Ice Arena. Repairs at the Secrest outdoor pool are in progress and the Aquatics team is hopeful they will be able to open the pool soon; the anticipated operating schedule for open swim is Tuesday through Sunday.
BOARD MEMBER REPORTS/INPUT
President Pyne shared her gratitude to staff for their professionalism and timeliness responding to customer inquiries surrounding the recent shooting that occurred near the Secrest Recreation Center.
Director Harrell reported a concern he has noticed with drainage on field 5 at Pioneer Sports Complex. Mr. Baird responded this is a known issue with historical reoccurrence due to poor design, and that repairs have already been undertaken by his team.
Director Allen offered her compliments to Ms. Roemersberger and her Aquatics team for their hard work and professionalism as they have navigated many challenges opening and operating pools this season.
Director Tomsula will be attending tomorrow’s Chamber meeting.
Director Garrimone had nothing to report; he was out of town and missed the most recent Foundation meeting.
MOTION: Director Harrell moved that the meeting be adjourned. Director Garrimone seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
President Pyne adjourned the meeting at 7:46 p.m.
Rheana Rogers, Recording Secretary
Liz Tomsula, Secretary/Treasurer