Parks & Recreation Committee - Minutes


Call to Order

Chairperson Cortaberria called the regular meeting to order at 5:33pm. Present at the meeting were Stahlberg, Severs, Councilor Myers and Davis, Director Fetter and Wicks.


There was not a quorum present so minutes from April, May, June and July will be voted on at October’s Parks and Recreation meeting.

Public Comment



A) No Smoking in parks

Director Fetter stated during a recent visit from Barry Trapp he expressed a need for re-visiting the No Smoking / No Tobacco on Oxbow Trail because of a recent fire that occurred in the open field this summer that burned down a home. Since the fire, Mr. Fetter has meet with the Bureau and Fire Department and they have agreed to have a 50’ buffer to keep the brush knocked down between neighborhood and field. The director stated his plan will be to keep the brush cut down on the easement along the trail. His concern relates to the walking path of the trail when there is a fire! The surface of the path was not intended for firetrucks and heavy equipment use. The question presented “Should Parks and Recreation have a No smoking policy in all the parks”? R. Sever questioned how many fires are started by cigarettes and he stated “”generally fires are started by fireworks, sparks, and trains”. Director Fetter stated the only facilities that have a No Smoking ban in place is Funland and the Hermiston Family Aquatic Center. Both Director Fetter and Committee members agreed it would be difficult to enforce and monitor the effectiveness of the enforcement.

B) Blazer Clinic / Moda Sunset Park Dedication

The Sunset Park dedication was scheduled then the Trail Blazers notified Director they could not make the commitment because of the recent forest fire along the Columbia Gorge that closed I-84. They asked that the ceremony and basketball clinic be rescheduled. The first week of October is being considered however date has not been confirmed. The director stated the Blazers are advertising the event on a bulletin board along Hwy 395. With playground equipment being on back-order and pieces coming in every week, Mr. Fetter stated the longer the dedication is put-off the more complete the playground will be. The Director reminded the board the new playground is an All-Ability’s playground which will include modified swings and a wheel chair rollup musical panel. J. Meyers stated the landscaping is looking nice. Chairperson Cortaberria asked what the final check was given to the city for winning the contest which Mr. Fetter stated the check received was for $20,000.

C) Harkenrider update

Director Fetter stated the walls are up and the trusses will be on site Monday, September 18, 2017. He hopes to give the seniors a tour of the facility the first Wednesday in October. Once the date has been confirmed the director stated we would invite the committee on the tour as well. Page 2 Now that the walls and windows are in place, Mr. Fetter stated you can really define the space. Mr. Fetter was complimentary to the council in many wise choices of including the elevator and the basement in the construction plans. Mr. Fetter informed members a time-lapse camera is mounted on a pole and taking pictures of the progress.

D) Steelhead Park

Director Fetter stated the Steelhead Park land acquisition closed on Wednesday, September 13th. The park is now officially deeded to the city. ODOT is in property acquisition so all the property owners are currently being talked to about extending the right away with a recreation 15’-20’ easement. Preliminary plans for the trail coming from West Highland will sweep into the park allowing an ADA 5% deep line. Now that the city has ownership of the property the department will begin some winter planning and design on what the park might look like. Director Fetter indicated there has been conversations with the neighbors as to when they develop their property would they be willing to allow some type of access to our new park. Director stated neighbors are excited about the parking and clean-up of the area which will make their property more valuable.

E) Interpretive Panel, printed copies of the panels information passed out

Giving background on the process and development of the panels, Mr. Fetter said originally there were to be three interpretive panels on the trail however additional ones were made to place in specific locations. The director stated he hired a graphics consultant then after a year a new graphics consultant was hired. Mr. Fetter explained the graphics consultant is the person that organizes the content of the information. This summer the department hired an intern to research and work with the Extension Office and Bird Society to gain material and information that is specific to our area to use on the Invasive Species and Hermiston Wildlife panels. The panels are made from a high quality material which will be mounted and screwed onto a frame.

Historical Panels and placement location

1) History of Hermiston Panel: Panel will be stalled in McKenzie Park giving the history of the original town.

2) The Beginning Panel: Approved by property owner of Nookies, the panel will be placed approximately in the same spot of where the original photograph of Downtown Hermiston was taken.

3) Union High School Panel: Panel will be placed at the base of the ARCH and will include history of the building which was the original high school in Hermiston.

4) Invasive Species Panel, Hermiston Wildlife Panel, and Hermiston Desert Disc Golf Panel: These panels will all be placed along Oxbow Trail and Disc Golf Course

5) Hermiston Irrigation District Panel: HID has signed off and approved information on the panel.

Committee member R. Sever asked if there would be some type of recognition on the panel to the two local contributors that donated the property to use for the course. Mr. Fetter stated he would enhance the opening paragraph to include a “Thank You” to both Hermiston Irrigation District and Good Shepherd Hospital.

F) Disc Golf Dedication, Wednesday September 20th

Director Fetter stated that all 18 baskets have been purchased and will be delivered on Monday with only the front nine to be installed at this time. The tees, pads, and brackets are installed so baskets will be set, locked in place, then the course will be ready for the Ribbon Cutting. Mr. Fetter will inform the community at the dedication that the city is now fund raising for the back nine that will be added next summer and offer $500 for a full sponsorship to help raise another $9,000 to install remaining baskets and enhance the facility. Total money spent on the project so far is around $10,000 leaving approximately $5,000. to use for the remaining nine holes.

Several committee members commented on how well the pool was staffed and organized this year. There were some minor concerns that Director Fetter noted would be addressed at the October meeting along with the 2017 pool finances.

Program Highlights and announcements addressed by Gina Wicks and Larry Fetter.

Meeting adjourned at 6:34pm

Minutes and Agendas