Park and Recreation Commission


(meeting taped)

Regular meeting: Monday, February 14, 2000 at the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m. By roll call, members present: John Walsh, Al Felice, Beverly Moran and David Mikos. Adam Greco was absent.

Parks and Recreation Director Dennis O’Connell was present. Athletic Director Kenneth Marcucio was absent. Youth Soccer Director Mario Tessitore was also present.



There were no changes to the agenda.


election of officers:

Chairman Walsh opened the floor for nominations.

A motion was made by Beverly Moran and second by Al Felice. Move to nominate Jack Walsh as chairman of the Parks & Recreation Commission.

Members commended Mr. Walsh for his accomplishments in pursuing the recreation plan and felt he should continue as chair. There were no other nominations and the floor was closed. Ballot was cast for Mr. Walsh as chairman.

Public portion:

No one came forward to speak. Soccer representatives will be allowed to participate in the discussion of item 10(a) on the agenda.

Approval of minutes:

A motion was made by Al Felice and second by David Mikos. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting held on January 10, 2000. All in favor. Motion carried.



Chairman Walsh received a phone call from Joe Benanto requesting use of the baseball field for the Shelton American Legion team seeking to be able to play two or three home games at Ryan. It was noted that Derby students are eligible to play on the valley team although Derby has the Senior Babe Ruth team for this same age group of players. Members discussed this request and were not opposed to the use as long as there was no conflict with the scheduling of Derby programs. It was noted that Derby may need use of out of town fields during proposed construction and this sharing would foster a cooperative atmosphere for the future.

A motion was made by David Mikos and second by Al Felice. Move to authorize Mr. O'Connell to pursue the scheduling of games for the Shelton American Legion team, as requested and as it can be accommodated within the scheduling of local programs. All in favor. Motion carried.

Mr. O'Connell noted that the over 35 league is also seeking field use. Being that this is a valley league, Derby players do participate but there may not always be Derby players on the local field as their team may be playing out of town. Mr. Mikos noted that the league has been playing for many years. The past few years the games have been primarily in Shelton and it has been requested that Derby offer field time.

A motion was made by Beverly Moran and second by Al Felice. Move to authorize Mr. O'Connell to pursue the scheduling of games for the Over 35 League, as requested and as it can be accommodated within the scheduling of local programs. All in favor. Motion carried.

Ms. Moran questioned whether the Valley Woman’s softball league was part of the scheduling. Mr. O'Connell indicated that field time has been reserved.

Nothing further was presented.


Youth Soccer - Program Director’s Report: Without objection the Commission went out of order on the agenda and welcomed Mr. Tessitore to speak on the program.

Mr. Tessitore stated that there were 317 participants last year and also 40 volunteers helping with the program. The program has increased to four (4) divisions, up from three (3). The program is very active with spring and fall programs. During the summer, a free clinic was held twice a week for six weeks with college students running the program. The students were alumni of the Derby program. The clinic was wonderful and thoughts are to expand the clinic further this year to allow for more participants.

Plans are to hold a coaching clinic on first aid and Mr. Tessitore asked if gym time could be reserved some time in March for this clinic.

Speaking to the financial and administrative aspects of the program, Mr. Tessitore indicated that all continues to go well. The biggest concerns for the program are the lack of sufficient field space and the poor conditions of the fields they are now using. He noted that the hooks on the goals have yet to be replaced.



Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O'Connell reported that soccer sign up is underway and Little League will be starting their signs ups in the next few days. The regular season for Biddy basketball is finishing this evening and girl’s basketball will be done in another week.

The girl’s softball will be starting preparation for the season shortly. A new program director is being sought. Mr. O'Connell noted that Ansonia is starting a girl’s league affiliated with Little League and this will be beneficial for widening the level of team play.

Regarding Bradley’s bathrooms, Mr. O'Connell has been working with Mr. Parker and Mr. Gilmore, City Engineer, to develop designs and determine the appropriate location. He will also be talking with Principal Duggan about the plans.

Maintenance and improvements are needed at the Ryan fieldhouse but Mr. O'Connell and Mr. Marcucio are awaiting a decision on the field plans as the building will be impacted by the necessary field changes and an allowance for the work has been incorporated into the design costs of the fields.

Mr. O'Connell has discussed the purchase of the Irving School scoreboard with the Mayor. A bid waiver will be sought with partial funding coming from the line item for the Irving School after hours program listed in the Parks & Recreation budget. Regarding the after hours program, it is uncertain when the program will start.


Athletic Director’s Report: Mr. Marcucio was not present.

Committee Reports:

Recreation Facilities Enhancement Committee - Chairman Walsh reviewed the final report (attached). He indicated that one change was made from last month. A bathroom/storage facility was added to the Ryan complex plans, increasing the projected costs slightly. He noted that the current plan is tied to the designs for the new High School and a portion of the construction costs will be reimbursed by the State. With this shared interest, the entire plan would have to be adopted by the City in order to satisfy the needs of the various programs. With Little League planned to be housed at Witek Park, if one portion of the plan does not pass, then the rest of the plan is askew. Total costs for each of the complexes:

Ryan Complex $3,400,000.00 (with 1/3 reimbursement expected)

Witek Park $3,300,000.00

Bradley School $350,000.00

Chairman Walsh noted that the projected costs for the Ryan Complex is now higher due to the increased level of work but with the reimbursement, the overall cost to the City will be less. This plan does meet the overall needs of the programs, as did the other plan. He noted that this revised plan was changed from that which was presented in November. Changes were in part due to the design of the High School but also due to the public comment received. The artificial turf has been deleted from the plans. Witek Park has been clearly identified as a youth orientated facility with the change from baseball to Little League.

A motion was made by David Mikos and second by Beverly Moran. Move to endorse the Recreation Facilities Enhancement Committee master plan for the outdoor recreational plans. All in favor. Motion carried.


Youth Advisory Council - A meeting will be scheduled in the near future prior to the referendum.

Other business:

Nothing was presented.

The next meeting will be Monday, March 13, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. If the Aldermanic Chambers are unavailable then the Veteran’s room will be requested.

A motion was made by Al Felice and second by David Mikos. Move to adjourn this meeting at 7:58p.m. All in favor. Motion carried.

Respectfully prepared,

Karen Kemmesies, secretary

Send your e-mail questions or comments to Derby Recreation Commission

Back to Parks Rec Home Page

Back to City of Derby Home Page