Lucas Parks and Open Space Board Prepares for 2018
City of Lucas Parks and Open Space Board held their first meeting of 2018 on January 23, at Lucas City Hall.
First on the agenda was to appoint the chairman and vice chairman. After a unanimous vote, David Rhoads was re-appointed as chairman, and Chris Vanhorn was re-appointed as vice chairman. Tommy DeWitt and Debra Guillemaud were welcomed as alternate members 1 and 2. Kenneth Patterson and Bill Esposito were introduced as returning members and council member Tim Baney as the councilmember/council liaison.
Lucas City Manager, Joni Clarke presented the 2018 planning calendar. She recommended moving from a monthly Parks and Open Spaces Board meeting to meeting quarterly. Esposito asked if they would meet again before the Founders Day event, Clarke said they can schedule a meeting if needed but planning for the Founders Day event is coming along nicely. Clarke said that special meetings can be called and need (at a minimum) 72 hours notification given to the public. A motion to change the meeting schedule to quarterly was held, the motion passed unanimously.
Lucas Special Projects Coordinator, Cathey Bonczar provided an update on the 2018 Founders Day event. The event will be held April 14, from noon until 4:00pm (in the past it went until 5:00pm). She said the planning committee has been very busy. They have added an inflatable pony hop this year and instead of one large bounce house, they will have several smaller bounce houses which will have age limits posted. They have also added a photo booth. Collin County Sheriff’s Office will have a booth and will have patrol cars available for children to tour. The parade will be judged by city council. This year the awards will be presented at the beginning of the parade and winners will wear their ribbons as they participate in the parade. Contracts have been signed for most of the vendors. There will be live entertainment, chili cook-off, stick horse rodeo, petting zoo and historical display. There were approximately 700-800 attendees last year.
Regarding the upcoming Keep Lucas Beautiful, Bonczar said it is scheduled for May 12. She said they held two of these events last year and they went very well. Council member Tim Baney requested they confirm that this date is not an SAT/ACT testing date as that could affect attendance. A quick calendar check was made and it was confirmed that testing is not being held that day. A focus area will be chosen within the city to clean. After the cleanup, participants are invited to city hall for hot dogs.
Board member, Ken Patterson provided an update on the annual scarecrow contest. He said the first year there were 16 entries, the second year there were 12 entries and last year there were five entries. He requested that the contest be assessed by the new board members, Debra Guillemaud and Tommy Dewitt, in the hopes that they can advise whether the contest should be cancelled or suggest a fresh approach. He asked that the recommendation be presented at the April board meeting.
Bonczar discussed the status of becoming a Tree City in 2018. She said they meet the budget requirement and need someone on staff who is an urban forester. They have a staff member who is being certified as an arborist, and that will meet the requirement. They need to submit an ordinance to become a Tree City. She said once you have met the requirements, it’s easier each year to be a Tree City. Guillemaud asked if they could look at similar cities’ ordinances to get ideas of what is acceptable.
Joe Hilbourn, City of Lucas Development Services Director, provided an update regarding park improvements to the Lucas Community Park, East Winningkoff Trailhead, Kenneth R. Lewis Park and Forest Creek Park. He said they have removed overgrown landscaping and will replace it after Founders Day. They are using landscaping on their Founders Day parade entry and will repurpose the items after the event. He voiced appreciation for two scout troops who stained benches and built a fire pit. The fire pit was very popular to roast s’mores on during the city Christmas event. A residential survey results proved that the residents are interested in either a basketball court or volleyball court being built at Forest Creek Park. Budget will determine the actions.
David Rhoads Re-Appointed as Parks Chairman
Lucas resident, David Rhoads, was re-appointed as the Parks and Open Space Chairman. He has been a member of this board for four years. He is particularly pleased with the development of the Keep Lucas Beautiful Arbor Day event which originated since he has been on this board. He said he chose to serve because he wanted to be involved in city government and this is a good place to start. Rhoads has been a Lucas resident for 25 years.
Caption: 2018 City of Lucas Parks and Open Space board members (left to right) Ken Patterson. Debra Guillemaud. Chairman David Rhoads. Vice chairman Chris Vanhorn. Bill Esposito and Tommy Dewitt.