TOWN OF OREGON PARK COMMITTEE
Monday, February 22, 2016 @ 6:30pm
Present: Steve Root, Robert Johnson, Josh Nordstrom, Al Miller
Absent: Jeff Nelson
Also Present: Pat Blake, Mike Batka and thirteen (13) people
The meeting was called to order.
Pat Blake and Mike Batka appeared to discuss developing a disc golf course in the Oregon Town Park. The people in attendance were there to support the course. Pat is a disc golf course designer and works with Mike who owns a disc golf pro shop called Glide. Steve reported that Amy Miller from the Oregon School District was unable to attend, but told him that the Community Education Fund has committed $18,000 to support this initiative. There was a slide presentation on disc golf. All age groups and skill levels play disc golf. The game provides low impact aerobic exercise. The course will be designed around the existing desirable trees and will clean-up invasive species and trees. The course will increase use of the park and provide more oversight to deter vandalism. The course will utilize under developed areas of the park. The schools will have access to use the course for kids to play. Disc golf is being promoted at the schools to include kids that are not already playing other sports. There was discussion regarding the other disc golf courses in the area. There is an increase in the popularity of the sport. The sport originated in the United States, but has gained popularity worldwide. The equipment cost to play disc golf is minimal, usually starting with one disc that costs $10.00. The disc styles vary depending on use.
The plan is to create an 18-hole disc golf course at the Oregon Town Park. The cost to develop the course was discussed. Some items could be covered through Eagle Scout projects where the town covers the costs, but the scouts provide the labor. There are 14 acres of a heavily wooded area that would require considerable amount of tree removal and brush clearing. The clearing would be a large part of the budget to hire heavy equipment operators over several days. Pat and Mike talked about the materials used to build the course. There are several variable costs depending on the type of materials used and services needed. The course will require ongoing, yearly maintenance. The tee signs could be covered through local business sponsorship to contribute to course maintenance. The course will take two (2) years to develop, possible opening in 2017. There is a potential for discounted or donated services and materials. The cost of annual maintenance includes additional mowing and trash collection. An aerial view of the course was reviewed including the potential paved bike path to the village. The fairways will be fifteen (15) to sixty (60) feet wide. Each hole requires about one (1) acre of land. This course is friendly with outdoor walkers. It is important to have professional disc golf course designers to plan for walkers and other uses at the park. There was discussion regarding the creation of the course on the surrounding neighbors of the park. The potential bike path would provide the course as a destination amenity in the park. This is a really nice piece of land that would lend itself to being a nice course that would make people from outside of the area come to play at this park. This would increase the traffic for local businesses. One of the reason the sport can continues to grow because of its low cost and low impact. Steve needs to know what the exact costs of hardware and labor.
A realistic number to develop the course is $40,000 depending on the amount of labor needed. The arborist cost will be variable. The town public works employees would not be able to do all the labor because their schedule can be unpredictable. There was discussion if the group could start with a smaller course, possibly 6 or 9 holes, and plan for a larger course. The option to have a pay to play course is difficult to police, so using a donation box is suggested. The course will be designed as two 9 holes disc golf course loops. Nordstrom suggested taking the course plan with an arborist and heavy machinery operator to determine the cost. They should be able to move relatively quickly in getting bids.
Dave Frankson, 875 Hillcrest Lane, asked if the town board has approved disc golf in the park. Root clarified that this is the first meeting with the park board on disc golf. Root said this is something that would increase use of the park and a partnership with the school. Frankson said that the Town of Oregon sent a survey to all the town residents which indicated that the people in the town did not want an athletic facility in the Town Park. Root felt that what was unique with this activity is that disc golf is open to all ages and while still maintaining a rural environment. Frankson has trouble seeing the use of the park between disc golf and people walking the trails. Currently the park lets the downed trees lay to create a natural atmosphere. Root said that the park board has limited opening up the town park because of the vandalism. Hopeful the creation of the course would eliminate vandalism. Root said the park board is interested, but they need more budget information before presenting to the town board. The next town board meeting is April 12, 2016.
The next park meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28, 2016.
Steve Root shared the plans from Arlan Kay for a walk up signage for the Oregon Town Park entrance. Plan B was picked with the stone wall. Root will get the cost of construction of the signage to present at the April town board meeting. Dave Frankson discussed the impact paving materials have on bikes. Dane County has agreed to make the bike path at Anderson Park with crush limestone. The town has a recreation transportation budget that will be used for this project. Frankson asked about signage within the subdivision to the Town Park. Steve asked Bob to look into the costs of signage for route indicators.
Steve talked to the property owner of the Madsen park property and she is not interested in going forward at this time. Steve is only willing to take the property as a donation, but not purchase the property. The park equipment has been removed.
The minutes from the previous month were approved as written.
Al moved to adjourn and Bob seconded the motion. Motion carried.