July Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes – South Hero Recreation Commission
July 19, 2018, 7:00pm White’s Beach
Present: Dave, Carol, Tom, Karin, Erin, Linda Burger, Mike, Jerry Robinson
1) Review of June meeting minutes: All approved.
2) Public Input: see discussion on White’s Beach use/visitor policies below.
3) Treasurer’s Report and finalization of budget expenditures: $494 left in last year’s budget. We are now in a new fiscal year budget cycle.
a) Subsidized State Park Passes – Erin distributed 5-6 passes this year and will save the remaining 4-5 for next year.
b) Swing bench and installation ordered and paid for.
e) Carol purchased and will install heavier anchors and rope for the buoys at White’s Beach (which have blown onto the beach).
4) Recognition of Stefan’s service on committee: Mike will invite Stefan to our August meeting to enjoy celebratory cheer.
5) White’s Beach use/visitor policy:
a) Jerry reviewed his current observations of White’s Beach use and conversations with residents, as well as history of the process we used to make decisions regarding use.
July 4th – 68 cars parked
July 5th – 71 cars parked
13 dogs on the beach, despite no dog policy
2 cars parked within the “no parking/emergency access” zone, kayakers nowhere in site
Port-o-let (one) not sufficient for volume of people, which includes boats anchored off shore.
Jerry called area towns to learn: Charlotte charges for season passes; Shelburne limits to resident only and charges for parking passes; Georgia has pavilion and ball fields, but the beach is weedy – they haven’t had a need to limit use; Colchester has no restrictions, three beaches and reports no problems.
Jerry expressed concern about process. Last spring he attended at least one recreation meeting to discuss options for preserving the beach as a healthy and attractive beach available to town residents. The Recreation committee decided on a Plan A/Plan B proposal. Plan A included adding two large signs “Beach for the Exclusive Use of SH residents”, one at either end of parking/access area, in addition to current signage, for this season (2018) with ongoing evaluation of effectiveness. Plan B included a car sticker system. Selectboard approved Plan A and decided on exact sign language. Signs were purchased and installed. Selectboard ordered their removal after only a few days. Jerry commented that he thought signage, including two new signs installed this year, seemed effective for the short time the signs were up.
b) Committee discussed at length. Final decision: Jerry and Dave will attend the Selectboard meeting on Monday, July 23rd to review process and advocate for returning to Plan A (reinstalling the two signs and evaluating for the remainder of the season). Plan B option: Go to a car sticker system, by sending one sticker out with tax bill – removes the need to go to the town office during open hours and eliminates cost issue. Additional sticker may be purchased at town office for second car. Enforcement was discussed at length – options discussed: ask the Sheriff to monitor, ticket or tow; hire a park attendant (teen for example) to monitor on busy weekends ($15/hr for 16hrs/weekend). Jerry offered to research the job descriptions and pay for attendants in other towns. Thanks, Jerry!!
c) Tom reported that his research previously indicated that the deed for White’s Beach includes language around “for SH residents only”. Dave will try to get a copy before the Selectboard meeting on 7/23.
d) Dave will ask town road crew to trim vegetation from main sign.
e) Mike will purchase more bags to distribute for volunteer clean-up folks
f) Updated signs: Discussed adding a limited number of signs around rules: No smoking, No dogs, No glass, Carry in/Carry out.
g) Erin reported on several questions from residents: Is the water at White’s Beach tested for safe swimming? Carol will pursue the question with the state. Can Folsom middle schoolers get community service hours for clean-up (this would require an adult supervisor)? Response: Point that question to the SH Land Trust who regularly hold clean-up/trail maintenance days with supervision included. Karin will ask SHLT to include White’s Beach in those plans, if not already. Can we provide volley balls at the beach? Decision to try it out, see if they are used and stay at the beach; Mike will order.
6) New Business
a) Tryathlon 2018 –
Karin will submit the following info to FPF (SH, NH and GI) and the Islander now and repeat several more times before the date:
Save the date! The South Hero Recreation Commission is hosting the annual Tryathlon on Sunday, August 26, 2018 at White’s Beach in South Hero. Registration will be at 10:00 a.m. with the race beginning at 10:30 a.m. There will be two age categories, one for children under 7 and another for children age 7-11. Snacks, drinks and T-shirts will be provided.
Come swim, bike and run for fun!