Park and Recreation Commission

Minutes

(meeting taped)

Regular meeting: Monday, March 13, 2000 at the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. By roll call, members present: John Walsh, Beverly Moran and David Mikos. Al Felice was excused. Adam Greco was absent.

Parks and Recreation Director Dennis OíConnell arrived later in the meeting. Athletic Director Kenneth Marcucio was absent.

ADDITIONS AND DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA:

There were no changes to the agenda.

Public portion:

Judy Bailey of Mohawk Avenue came forward to speak on the After Hours Program. She explained that the Board of Directors of the After Hours Program have been very appreciative of the support received. Due to the change in principal at Irving School, the program was postponed for the first semester to give the principal ample time to adapt to her new position. The program did begin in January. Two six week sessions have been planned for the remainder of the year. The first session has finished and the second session is now starting. The session includes two to three classes held four days per week. There are fewer instructors this year. Enrollment focuses only on Irving School students at this time. Due to staffing limitations and the fact that the other schools end their day at different times than Irving, it was difficult to extend the program further.

Chairman Walsh noted that funding is available in the budget. Being that the program will only be running half of the year, it is presumed that only half of the $4,000 allocation will be needed. He noted that the intent was to see this program expand to all Derby elementary school age children and he was hopeful this goal could be achieved in the future.

Mrs. Bailey indicated that past Principal Rubin was a driving force in implementing this program. Principal Forte has brought forward many new ideas and desires to see the program continue. The Board of Directors is now in the process of developing strategies for next year. A schedule and budget is being prepared.

Mr. OíConnell arrived at 7:15 p.m.

Discussion continued on the program. Staffing primarily are teachers within the school system. They receive a small stipend. It has been difficult to attract parents as many work during the time this program runs. Clinics have been held, one being a wrestling clinic where High School students volunteered their time. Another, a basketball clinic held by Mr. Orazetti.

Chairman Walsh encouraged the program to submit their budget as soon as possible as the Board of Apportionment and Taxation will be deliberating in April. He felt it would be helpful if information about the program could be included. Details as to how this program benefits the children would support their request for funding.

No one else came forward to speak.

Approval of minutes:

A motion was made by Beverly Moran and second by David Mikos. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting held on February 14, 2000. All in favor. Motion carried.

Correspondences:

Chairman Walsh received a letter of resignation from Adam Greco. Mr. Greco indicated that due to scheduling conflicts and work and school obligations, he was unable to continue as a member. The Commission thanked Mr. Greco for his involvement and wished him well.

Chairman Walsh noted a guest editorial in the Valley Times speaking on Witek Park. He took exception to the anonymity of the author and to many of the comments mentioned. Public hearings were held on the plans for field improvements, contrary to the comments in the editorial. The revised plans were presented during meetings of the School Expansion Committee as well as at meetings of the Recreation Facilities Enhancement Committee. Public hearings are planned once the new referendum date is set. He noted, for the record, that the Commission will be presenting facts not fiction and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. He stressed that the development of these plans were an intense process that explored the needs of all the programs and then worked to design a plan that would effectively address these needs on a long term basis.

Nothing further was presented.

DIRECTOR REPORTS:

Parks & Recreation Directorís Report: Mr. O'Connell reported that Little League registration is completed. Numbers are not yet available. Girlís softball will be meeting in the near future to plan for their upcoming season. Registration is slated to begin next week. Girls and boys basketball are finishing and banquets have been scheduled for the near future.

Plans are continuing on the bathrooms at Amendola Complex (Bradley School). The City Engineer is working on design and cost estimates. Site analysis is being done now. The intent is to gather all this information for presentation within the next few weeks.

Mr. O'Connell indicated that unauthorized use of Ryan field is a chronic problem. He was notified, after the fact, that a number of people utilized the field for a soccer game one Sunday afternoon. While the ultimate goal is to allow all residents to enjoy the recreational facilities, at this time, with limited space and overuse of the fields, he stressed the need to curtail such unauthorized use. He felt police involvement may be needed to discourage this type of use.

The part-time attendant will be starting his duties in April and will work through October. He will be maintaining the fieldhouse at Ryan and will also be assisting at the Little League fieldhouse.

It was noted that soccer registration reached 340 participants, a consistent increase over last year. With this ever increasing interest, it certainly supports the need for soccer fields in the City. Taking into account these numbers and the customary numbers for Little League and softball, Mr. O'Connell estimated that over 750 city youth will be participating in recreational sports in the spring season.

Mr. O'Connell noted that the Downtown Committee of the Board of Alderman will be meeting tomorrow, March 14, 2000. On their agenda is discussion of the Veteranís Community Center. Mr. O'Connell will be attending and invited the other members.

Being that the Board of Apportionment and Taxation will be deliberating on next yearís budget in April, it was decided that Mr. O'Connell and Mrs. Moran will work on the Parks & Recreation budget for 2000-2001. Programs will be contacted to obtain their funding requests.

Athletic Directorís Report: Mr. Marcucio was not present.

Committee Reports:

Recreation Facilities Enhancement Committee - Chairman Walsh indicated that, to his understanding, the plans will be presented to the Board of Alderman during March, presumably March 23rd. A referendum date can then be set.

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

NEW or OTHER BUSINESS:

Nothing was presented.

The next meeting will be Monday, April 10, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. If the Aldermanic Chambers are unavailable then the Veteranís room will be requested.

A motion was made by Beverly Moran and second by David Mikos. Move to adjourn this meeting at 7:42p.m. All in favor. Motion carried.

Respectfully prepared,

Karen Kemmesies, secretary

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