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Village of Bentleyville
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Parks, Facilities and Beautification Minutes

November 14, 2012

The meeting was called to order at 10:15 AM following the Safety and Streets Committee meeting by Christine Comstock.

Present were Christine Comstock, Chair, John Bourisseau, Bentleyville Parks Committee, Tim Pitts, Dale Berger, resident Ed Gray, residents and Garden Club representatives Kathleen Esposito and Tammy Munson

Approve Minutes

The minutes from October 10, 2012, were approved as amended. 

Additions to Agenda
Twitter was added to the agenda

Old Business:
Eagle Scout Project: Dale Berger met with Christian Shimp and they signed papers to start the project. Mayor Spremulli wrote Christian a letter of congratulations and appreciation.

The Service Department has been very busy picking up leaves, brush, branches and storm debris. Some trees and one telephone pole (with its electrical wire still attached) were downed.

New Business
Garden Club.  Tammy Munson and Kathleen Esposito reported for the Garden Club.  The cleanup day had gone very well. They thanked Dale for providing the cones in the road to alert cars of people working in the gardens.

The cemetery:   Kathleen had looked at the cemetery and recommended planting grass on the hill. She said she had looked at other cemeteries and for ease of maintenance, grass made the most sense on that hill – and in most other cemeteries. She suggested that some flowering shrubs such as rhododendron would be beautiful and could be a suitable memorial. She and Tammy thought a good sized rhododendron and plaque could be purchased for approximately one hundred dollars. Concern was expressed about the possibility of deer eating the new bushes. We will talk more about this and think the garden club for their clear recommendations about the grass.

The Garden Club had discussed the idea of more ground cover for the beds. Although the idea of ground cover is a good idea, it is slow to take hold and quite expensive for the first planting. For those reasons, the Garden club is suggesting planting flowers next year similar to the ones they did this year. They think that with adequate watering and weeding, we will have beautiful beds with the flowering vinca and bubblegum petunias.

Weeding and Watering Hours
The Garden Club is recommending that Bentleyville allocate four hours a week for weeding and watering the flowerbeds from May 1 to October 1. They think those hours will help to keep the beds looking their best. 

Christmas Decorations: The Garden Club had talked a lot about Bentleyville and the Christmas decorations. They would love to be able to have Bentleyville decorated as much as Chagrin Falls is but recognized that this year we do not have the funds or the volunteers to make that possible. Their decorating plan is to have 8 wreaths 42 inches across with big red bows.  The wreaths would be on every other post on the Solon Road and the Miles Road bridges. They will make and use more bows this year. They will use evergreen roping and ribbon for the poles. They had talked about using artificial decorations and had done some in the past, but the artificial ones hold the salt and dirt unlike the real ones whose leaves rinse off in the rain and look better the whole time. They will have one wreath for the Village Hall front door. Costs have risen this year and their estimated cost was $743 instead of $600. The committee approved this amount.

Christmas 2013: We plan to set up a Holiday Fund so that people can make donations to be used for next year's holiday decorations. We talked about putting lights in the big tree in front of Village Hall during the summer when the tree would be more accessible. In years past, evergreen sprays had been put on the Village signs entering and leaving Bentleyville which looked very nice. That would be one of the touches it would be nice to have the fund for. Kathleen commented that it would also be nice to have a better-looking menorah. The Committee agreed to set up the fund.

The committee, after discussion, recommends setting up a Twitter account.  The Village staff, the Service Department and the Police Department will be able to keep residents informed immediately and easily about any subject relevant to Bentleyville. Neighboring communities use Twitter to let residents know when and where leaf pickup is happening, changes in trash dates, updates about construction, road work or electric lines down. Chagrin Falls has 281 people “following” them. People can either  sign up from a link on the website or directly from Twitter. 
The website can be thought of as a library, calendar, a Village photographic record – a place where all the information about Bentleyville is posted and remains available.

Twitter is an immediate communication tool that delivers a short e-mail to any person who has signed up. With Twitter it will be easy for the service Department to post immediate information about where leaf pickup is taking place, etc.

Facebook page:
We do not want a Facebook page. automatically sets up Facebook pages for each of the communities it posts articles about. Therefore, created Bentleyville – Ohio as a FB page. It only posts the articles it has already printed in their newspapers.

In summary, although we do not want a Facebook page, we do think a twitter feed would be useful for our residents. 

Landscapers Registration:
The committee recommends that we have landscapers register with the village just as we have contractors and snow plowers register. We want to be able to communicate with the people who service Bentleyville residents and to have an easy way to distribute information about Bentleyville policies and procedures to the service people. We began the discussion by talking about the difficulty the service department has with their equipment when grass is mixed in with leaves and brush for pickup. The grass gets wrapped around the blades and chokes the machines.  Residents can be reminded on the website and in the newsletter not to mix grass with the leaves and brush but often the landscapers are the ones who were doing it. The committee recommends having landscapers register with the village just as contractors and snow plowers already do. That way we can provide them with information just as we do the contractors and the snowplow operators. We also noted that this reminder is a good example of what twitter would be used for –a reminder for residents at a particular time of year.

Task List:
We updated the task list with a few items. There has been a lot to do with leaf and branch pickup in addition to storm cleanup and regular mowing.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 AM.

The next meeting will be held
10:00 AM  December 12, 2012

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