Minutes: Ad Hoc Parks and Recreation Committee 5-22-2023

Town of Iron River Ad Hoc Parks and Recreation Committee
Meeting Minutes, May 22 nd , 2023
Slade-Goldberg Community Center

Call to order: The meeting was called to order by Barb Thorpe, Chairperson, at 6:03 PM.
Committee Members John Sleeman, Town Board Liaison
Present: Barb Thorpe, Chairperson
Carrie Winningham, Secretary
Joe DeRasmi
Kim Hamilton
Julie Ledin
Yvonne Lind
Absent: Bob Evans
Helana Jamison
Guests: Jeanna Penney, Iron River
Cynthia Sandels, Lake Millicent
Brian Matthys, Delta Lake
Andy Jatzo, Road Department Supervisor

Verification of Quorum: Carrie confirmed that a quorum (50% of committee) is present.
Secretary’s Report: Barb provided copies of minutes from both April 20 th and May 8 th , 2023. Due to
time constrains, Carrie made a motion that we defer approval of the minutes until the next meeting so all
members may have an opportunity to review them. Joe seconded. Motion carried.
Appointment of Secretary: Barb nominated Carrie Winningham for Secretary. Motion by Joe to
approve Carrie as Secretary. Seconded by Yvonne. Motion carried.
Committee Contact Info: Barb supplied updated contact info, for committee member use only.
Public Comments:
Pickleball Court: Guest, Brian Matthys, acting as a coordinator between pickleball players , the
Lions Club, and others, expressed a need for at least one additional pickleball court (minimum), citing
towns such as Lake Nebagamon and Cable have 4-6 courts each. Options discussed included sealing and
painting a flat area in the Community Center parking lot, possibly between the existing tennis court and
building, or at the far end of the basketball court, using snow fencing as a temporary boundary to create
a temporary court. This would require Town Council approval. Julie noted that an official pickleball
court is only 44’ x 20’. John suggested that, since we are already obtained the authority (May 11, 2023
Town Board meeting) to reseal and paint the 83 x 40 foot-plus tennis court, we could feasibly create 2
pickleball courts within. Different colors could denote tennis vs. pickleball lines (net is already too low
for tennis). Brain indicated he could provide volunteers to assist and he would provide a box in which a
sign-in sheet could track usage. This same sign-in would also track both tennis and pickleball use. Julie
suggested that we add an option for folks, when signing in, that if interested in making a donation for
future courts, to include a point of contact. Barb and Mr. Matthys will research funding, Barb will be
seeking funding through the Iron River Foundation and the Fig Leaf. Mr. Matthys is going to contact the
Lions Club, which has already expressed interest in this project, with a possible Lions Club fundraiser in
the future for additional courts if the need is determined. Estimated cost to reseal and paint the existing
court with 1 tennis and 2 pickleball courts is approximately $1,000.00.                                                                                                                          Park Clean Up: Guest, Andy Jatzo, advised that the parks around town are in desperate need of
clean-up. Specifically, raking and trash collection need to occur at the cemetery, John Olson Park, and
Wayside Park are especially in need. Crews were scheduled to mow the cemetery on Wednesday, May
24 th and attempts to find volunteers to help rake prior and mowing have failed. Yvonne suggested
Northwestern CEP or the Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation. Barb thought high school kids might need
volunteer hours for graduation projects. Andy stated they are offering to pay $14/hr for work at the
cemetery (only) and he previously contacted the high school and Penny Lavin looking for help but has
not received any help. Julie suggested contacting the Youth Apprentice Program (715-392-6081). Jeanna
Penney (guest) noted the Northwestern wrestling team recently raked her neighbor’s property,
suggesting they might be contacted directly. In conclusion, the Committee was unable to provide a
resolution to the cemetery’s immediate need due to the short lead time; however, John suggested we
would put out a call to the town residents via fliers, Facebook, the Town’s website, and the Lions Club
billboards advertising a need for volunteers to help clean and rake our parks. Carrie suggested volunteers
meet at 10AM on May 30 th at John Olson Park for this event. Andy agreed to act as lead and will
provide trash bags. Volunteers should bring their own yard rake, if possible. If enough people show up
at John Olson Park, some can be sent to other parks, as determined by Andy. Kim will create a flier and
distribute. Carrie will contact the Lions Club, and responsible parties for the Town website and
Facebook pages to have the event publicized.
(a) Dog Park, (b) Fireworks, and (c) Trails: Jeanna Penney expressed a need for a dog park in
Iron River. Her suggested sites included the elementary school skating rink (not in use during summer) or the
fairgrounds. Ms. Penney expressed concerns with parking and accessibility at Moon Lake Park for
those wishing to view the Blueberry Festival fireworks and suggested they be moved to the fairgrounds.
Barb concurred that while the fairgrounds could be a viable location (and there is interest in better utilizing the
fairgrounds), the fireworks are sponsored by the Lions Club, not the Town, thus it would be up to the
Lions Club to suggest a location move. Ms. Penney expressed the need for a walking/hiking trail system
in town, suggesting a trail from the trestle bridge to the fairgrounds as this is Bayfield County land.
Items (a) & (b) exist on the Committee’s list of ideas to be researched and evaluated once formal
surveys are executed.
Recreation Abuse Concerns: Cynthia Sandels, interested in being more involved in town.
Expressed concerns over recreational vehicles including jet skis, boats, and ATV’s speeds, fireworks,
wakes, erosion and more that she is experiencing on her lake. Ms. Sandels noted there is only one DNR
officer and felt this is inadequate to respond to current needs. Kim noted that while her concerns are
valid, they are not within the scope of this committee. Carrie suggested she contact the Pike Lake Chain
Association. Julie suggested that she contact the DNR. Instituting a local crime watch was also
suggested. Barb will pass along Ms. Sandels concerns along to the County.
Committee review and discussion of “Recreation Areas Maintained by the Town of Iron River”
developed by John and Andy. Known amenities at each park follow:
 Moon Lake Park: Camping, boat launch (single-day use), 3 pavilions, 2 docks, swimming area
with raft, fishing, restrooms with showers, changing area, ADA compliant port-a-potty, small
playground, and a free little library.
 John Olson Park: Pavilion, boat launch, volleyball court, 2 grills, 7 picnic tables, town water,
bathrooms, open level areas for events.
 Wayside Park: (aka Howard J. Ferman Park), primarily a parking/rest area, 3 grills, 2 picnic tables, 2 benches, and a small trash barrel (no top).
 Iron River Dam Park: Parking, grassy knoll, and fishing (2 benches planned).
 Iron River Community Center Park: Parking, pavilion, playground, basketball court, and
tennis/pickleball court.
 Ballfields (elementary school): Upper and lower ballfields, skating rink (winter), exercise fitness
stations, walking/hiking trail from upper field to Moon Lake Park.
With regard to these parks: Guest, Jeanna Penny, expressed concern that the hiking trail from the
ballfields to Moon Lake might cross private land (Bert Peterson or others). Yvonne concurred that we
should ensure public access before publicizing this trail. John said he will investigate as this will require
the town have something in writing granting permission to cross private land, if in fact the trail does. Kim
inquired if boat launch at Dam Park was on private land? John stated the road is a Town road, thus boat
launch is public. Barb expressed we also need to reseal and stripe the basketball court at the community
center. A question was asked regarding who is responsible for emptying trash at the parks.
Barb stated she will be sending a thank you card to Carl Kluybertanz, CEO, Superior/Douglas
County Family YMCA. Barb will follow-up to obtain sample surveys and next step suggestions still
needed from Mr. Kluybertanz.
Barb provided highlights from her presentation to the Town Board on May 11 th , reiterating we
received approval from the Board to improve the tennis courts, to hold outdoor movie(s), to add picnic
tables at Dam Park, and to move forward and explore options with the YMCA.
Picnic Tables for Dam Park: Barb reported that commercial tables, similar to those used at Across
the Pond Park, cost approx. $1500, each. Andy said he could build stained pine tables, without the
anchoring and a foundation system for approximately $250 each and benches $150 each. A conversation
around anchoring tables into the dam hillside, as well as other safety concerns (parking, trash, swimming)
concluded that these could potentially compromise the integrity of the dam. Barb noted potential liability
issues have been raised centered, in part, around injuries to a dog but unseen items in the water, and
current of water up against dam. Previously, Helana suggested a Christmas tree be put up there, but we
may not want to encourage high-usage due to dam preservation concerns. Andy suggested he could build
benches with backs (vs. tables) providing a place to rest but not picnic, placed on parking side of fence to
deter excess traffic on the dam. Motion by Joe to have Andy build benches for Dam Park in lieu of picnic
tables. Kim seconded. Motion carried. Barb is working on funding.
Barb thanked Yvonne for her research on the Foam Machines, as proposed last meeting by
Helana. A copy was previously emailed to all members.
Park Clean Up: As noted in Public Comments, above.
Other Items: None
Adjournment: Motion to adjourn made by Kim Hamilton. Seconded by Carrie Winningham. Motion
carried. Meeting adjourned at 7:34 by Barb Thorpe.
Respectfully Submitted,
Carrie Winningham, Secretary
Next Meeting: Monday, June 12 th , Iron River Community Center, at 6:00 PM.

Key: Text highlighted in BLUE indicates an actionable item.