Parks & Streets Meeting Take-Aways, 11/9

The Parks & Streets Board Meeting on Nov. 9 was attended by approximately 13 people. Willshire was on the agenda as a New Business item and very briefly discussed. The Parks Board said they have yet-to-be contacted by Miller & Smith, but it will be their job (when the time comes) to weigh in on: 
  • Road setbacks
  • Street access (to Rt. 107, etc)
  • Forest Conservation Easement / Fee-in-lieu
  • Park space
  • Access to existing parks
They asked the audience for comments on the above. People expressed the need for green space and a playground, another raised concerns about long-term rain garden maintenance, and one encouraged the Board to not take any fee-in-lieu offers (should they be presented). After hearing/noting audience feedback the Board moved on to the next agenda item: the synthetic ice rink.



Synthetic Ice Rink


The Board discussed the proposed ice rink at length. They are torn between recommending a 4,000 sq ft rink or a 9,600 sq ft rink. The location will be Dr. Dillingham Park. Although the county has committed funds to assist with building the rink the cost of maintenance will fall to Poolesville. Costs were discussed only briefly. The larger rink will cost the Town $76,000 more than the smaller one. High maintenance costs are expected, but numbers were not provided. Several Board Members stated that revenue from league/team use would not be able to cover maintenance fees. The members indicated that the county is pushing for the 9,600 sq ft option. Issues and questions raised included:


  • Fees for use/permits - teams, leagues, residents
  • Would rink be primarily for teams & leagues
  • Do coaches want their teams to practise on synthetic ice, which is significantly different than the ice typically played on--it's worth checking
  • Noise impacts
  • Seasonal use/under-use
  • Need for facilities such as bathrooms, changing rooms, water fountains, concessions, skate rentals (as hockey skates are needed for synthetic ice);
  • Rental equipment - administration and maintenance
  • Staffing concerns, supervision
  • Misuse during off-hours
  • Concern for damage to synthetic ice from wrong skates, misuse, vandalism
  • Do we prefer a small community rink for residents and visitors or a larger one that could bring in people from surrounding areas?
  • Only hockey skates can be used on synthetic ice, or regular footwear, but it wouldn't be safe to have both in the rink at once.

Dog Park Lights


Preston King discussed options for adding two street lights near the dog park with LED lights that would provide greater illumination than others in town. The approximate cost for the two additional street lights will be $5,000. Willing to explore options for adding flood lights on the pavilion to illuminate the corners of the park for evening use. The pavilion lights would work on a timer and be automatically turned off after a certain hour to avoid overuse of lighting at night. Also willing to explore and consider solar power for the pavilion lights. There is a Boy Scout Eagle Scout project planned to add steps from the sidewalk to the entrance gate of the park. 


(*Please note that we strive to make accurate records, but this is a human taking notes during a fast-paced meeting.)