Hanson Recreation Commission Year End Report 2017

Report of the Recreation Commission 2017

To the Honorable Board of Selectmen and Citizens of the Town of Hanson.

The Hanson Recreation Commission was established in 1990 and the established duties were:

“It shall be the duty of this commission and each of its members, to oversee the total operation of the current Camp Kiwanee and the current Cranberry Cove and other recreational activities deemed proper, including, but not limited to the setting of priorities, the hiring and termination of employment of necessary personnel, the handling of and the accounting for funds entrusted to their care, the maintenance of the facilities, the planning of future operations and all other duties that normally fall within these responsibilities.”  A review and upgrade of these duties will be necessary in the near future.

The newly appointed Recreation Commission held its first meeting at Camp Kiwanee on January 26, 2017. The commission consisted of Chair, Annmarie Bouzan, Vice Chair, Rachael Gross, Secretary, Diane Cohen and members Sondra Allen, Brian Fruzetti, Brian Smith and John Zucco. Also in attendance was Town Manager Mike McCue who briefed the new commission on the Open Meeting Law and other issues facing the camp such as the septic system and dangerous tree issues.  Meetings are always open to the general public, and usually held every other Monday evening, but please check the town web site for exact dates.

The commission discussed the Policies and Procedures and concerns about the reduction of fees.  It was made clear that all requests for fee reductions must be approved by the Recreation Commission and then be approved by the Board of Selectmen . It was also agreed that all Lodge Rental Applications are not subject to change.

Hanson Chief of Police Michael Miksch attended our February 16th meeting to provide an overview of security procedures, policies, and equipment at the camp. Also, everything was re-keyed and an inventory list needed to be compiled and a spreadsheet of who was allowed to have keys. Chief Miksch also attended a meeting with our current staff and reviewed security procedures and policies with them also.

In March the costs for Phase 1 of the new Septic System were being finalized and plans were being made to let clients know when the construction would begin.  Funding had been approved at the October, 2016, Town Meeting.  Mary Beth McKay was also voted in, per recommendation of Town Administrator Manager Mike McCue, as the new Recreation Director for the camp.

April saw the approval of a new Yoga contract with Deb Blauss and the approval of a new logo for the camp.  The commission also approved the job descriptions for the Gate Keeper, Lifeguards, Water Safety Instructor, Beach Director and Caretakers.  Member Sondra Allen resigned due to a work conflict. A date for “Camp Cleanup” was approved for May 20th and the docks would be re-installed on May 20th.  It became clear as the planning for the Septic System moved along that the costs for the project were under-estimated.  The commission decided to seek additional funding at October Town Meeting and do all 3 phases of the project at once beginning in the late fall.

Activities began ramping up in May and Diane Cohen attended the first Community Preservation Committee (CPC) meeting on the 10th. Funding is available for the camp as long as the repair work meets with the historical standards recognized by the CPC.  Camp Clean Up Day was a success. Volunteers included the Boy Scouts, the Highway Department, local residents and the Brockton Area Multi Services, Inc. (BAMSI).  The dock pilings were also put back into the water but further issues arose, causing maintenance and realignment, which was done in partnership with the Hanson Dive Team and the Commission making sure that were safe to use during the 2017 season.  Some new safety equipment for the caretakers was also ordered and the Cove Kickoff date was set at June 23rd.  

June the Commission reviewed the CPC money left in the account to repair the North End Cabins.  Annmarie Bouzan suggested that we should look into having 2 cabins, one in each end, be ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) compliant. Trees were removed from behind the Lodge on 6/20 and 6/21, with the assistance of the Tree Warden and the Highway Department. Theresa Cocio was sworn onto the Commission to take the place of Sondra Allen. The Cove opened its season with new lockers, a donated new refrigerator and repairs to the windows at the bathhouse.   June 21st saw an extremely successful Cove Kickoff event complete with a DJ, food, refreshments, a bouncy house, a slip and slide and a dunk tank. A good time was had by all. The Cove bathhouse electricity was repaired and new lighting at the boat house was installed to protect this area during the night hours.

Both Sounder Systems and ADT were brought in to give estimates on updating the security and fire alarm system at the Lodge and surrounding out buildings.

In July we saw the Cove season get underway and weddings were in full swing at the Lodge.  The commission also put in for a grant with the CPC for repairs to the Caretakers Cottage. A perc test for the septic system was also scheduled for July 28th. 115 Season Passes to the Cove were sold, 77 enrolled in Swim Lessons and 16 children signed up for the Swim Team.  We hosted two recreational programs during the Summer Season; a birds of prey show and a reptile show, both were a huge success and brought to us by Marla Isaac. 

A Water Department truck with a plow has been earmarked for the Camp and will be a major asset.  The all terrain vehicle was sent for repair work, estimated to be over $3000.00. Commission members agreed to log activities on the gator as well as documenting drivers.

In August, Recreation Director Marybeth McKay resigned from her position.  Meetings with security companies were also scheduled and the commission approved a motion that all non-wedding events can only be booked within 10 months of the date during peak season (May 1 thru October 31) and within 6 months during off-peak season (November 1 thru April 30) .  Structural deficiencies were also noted at the Pavillion and a walk through with a civil engineer noted Gate House issues as well.  The Commission asked the Building Commissioner to review the back deck and the Pavillion. Soon after, the Commission hired a contractor to fix the structural issues on the back deck and also to make repairs to the Pavillion. The Cove dumpster needed to be re-evaluated.   Seasonal activities the Cove continued and the implementation of an on line payment option kicked off.

It was noted that the Docks are falling into a state of failure and will eventually need to be replaced. We were informed by the Conservation Commission that in order to pull docks and pilings you would have to file state notice of intent and an engineer needs to draw out plans. It was not done last time and the process for this is about 9 months.  The motion to accept a Warrant Article at Town Meeting for Dock Engineering for Cove by Diane Cohen, was unanimously approved.

In September the commission voted to approve an event for the Hanson Business Network on St. Patrick’s 03/17/18. Caretaker fees and a security deposit would need to be covered by the HBN.  It is scheduled to be a fundraiser from 6:00pm – 10:00pm for Panther Education Trust.  Job decriptions for the Administrative Assistant position and the Recreation Director position were both revised and approved. Cranberry Cove official closed at the end of the day on September 4th and a year end report was presented to the Recreation Commission by Beach Director Emma Moussette.  A new “Needles Lodge” sign was designed by Deb Blauss and installed at the Lodge. Diane Cohen and Brian Smith were confirmed to attend the Board Of Selectmen Meeting on 09/26/17 to read Articles for the Recreation Commission that will be on October Town Meeting. A septic walk through was conducted on 9/14 and bid documents went out as well.

The Articles brought before October Town Meeting were approved.  These 3 articles included additional funding for the septic system, certified engineering plans with the DEP for the dock system and pilings at Cranberry Cove and an engineered study of the grounds and buildings at Camp Kiwanee including exterior, interior, gas, plumbing and underground services to determine a matrix system for upkeep, repairs and maintenance.  Diane Cohen updated the Recreation Commission that the camp qualified for applying for a grant for docks at Cranberry Cove to install new pilings and coverings. She has been working on the pre-application forms.  The Hanson Fire Department “Breakfast with Santa” fundraiser was approved for December 9th from 7:00am to 11:00am. Repairs continued and all repairs were inspected by Building Inspector Bob Curran. The generator for the Main Lodge went out and service was called. The generator had to be serviced and a new service agreement was arranged.

Dandel Construction received the bid to install the new septic system. The schedule of events included 33 trees to be taken down. The project got underway on October 23rd and letters of notification were sent to all upcoming renters.

In November John Zucco was approved by the Commission to be the new Vice Chair, after Vice Chair Rachael Gross resigned.  Plans also got underway for an Open Mic Night to be scheduled for multiple dates after the holidays. One of the gas furnaces at the lodge that heats the office area stopped working and had to be replaced. Review of contracts to have a service agreement for the new furnace is underway. Applications were being submitted for the Recreation Director position and processing will begin in early December. Winterization of plumbing in the North End, South End and Cove also got underway. Some algae was discovered on top of the pond and a sample was taken for analysis by the DEP.  The Commission will also be going over rates in January, i.e., Cove, Payroll, Lessons and Rental rates to try to enable the camp to get to a break even point.

Among the items discussed at the first REC Commission meeting of December were adding service animals to our Policies and Procedures, jump starting the job posting for Beach Director and hiring a Beach Director in January 2018 to teach a class in March.  We had 28 applications for Recreation Director and the screening process has begun.

We would like to thank our Administrative Assistant and all our caretakers and beach staff for all of their help and assistance during this first year of a brand new Commission.  We would also like to acknowledge all of the town entities that came to our aid and support this year, specifically the Conservation Commission, the Highway Department, the Board of Health, the Fire Department, the Water Department, Police Chief Mike Miksch and the Town Administrator as well as the Board of Selectmen.  We are grateful for the citizens of Hanson who have helped support us in our mission to maintain, preserve and protect this beautiful diamond in the rough.

Respectfully submitted by:

Annmarie Bouzan, Chairperson
John Zucco, Vice Chairperson
Diane Cohen, Secretary
Brian Smith, Commission Member
Theresa Cocio, Commission Member
Brian Fruzzetti, Commission Member