Park and Recreation Commission


(meeting taped)

Regular meeting: Monday, May 8, 2000 at the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:17 p.m.

Prior to the roll call Chairman Walsh introduced new member Matthew Cripps.

By roll call, members present: John Walsh, David Mikos and Matthew Cripps. Al Felice arrived later in the meeting. Beverly Moran was excused.

Parks and Recreation Director Dennis OíConnell was present. Athletic Director Kenneth Marcucio was absent.


There were no changes to the agenda.

Public portion:

James Mascolo of Pop Warner came forward and asked if the fields could be line at the beginning of their season. He indicated that the picnic grove and the Little League field are used for practice but lining does not occur until the school football and soccer season starts which is a month later than their starting time. Mr. O'Connell indicated that he would speak with Public Works. Mr. Mascolo also asked if the fence around the minor league field could be taken down earlier.

Mr. Mascolo asked to reserve use of the football field for a play-off game on Wednesday, October 25, 2000. He noted that this has received approval in previous years and as host of the game, they benefit from the proceeds of the concession stand and gate. He stated that the High School schedules shows the field is free that evening.

Mr. O'Connell was concerned with the condition of the field that late in the season as High School football and soccer will be using the field. Also, if there are rain postponements of the High School games, make up games may be scheduled on that date.

A motion was made by David Mikos and second by Matthew Cripps. Move to allow use of the field for Pop Warner play off games on October 25, 2000 with it stipulated that there be no conflict with any of the High School games, either regular schedule or special event. All in favor. Motion carried.

No one else came forward to speak.

Approval of minutes:

A motion was made by David Mikos and second by James Walsh. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting held on April 10, 2000. Motion carried with Matthew Cripps abstaining.


Nothing was presented.


Parks & Recreation Directorís Report: Mr. O'Connell presented a detailed breakdown of the proposed 2000-2001 Recreation budget. It was noted that the positions being proposed will be strictly part time status.

Chairman Walsh explained that the Board of Alderman have included on their agenda for May 11, 2000 the changes to the Veteran Center with the management of the programs falling under the auspices of the Parks and Recreation Commission. The increases in the budget reflect this change. He stressed that being that this would be the first year for calculating the budget that the Board of Apportionment and Taxation should take that factor into consideration.

Regarding the 1999-2000 budget, Mr. O'Connell indicated that a transfer within the department from Bradley Maintenance to Water was needed to address the higher than anticipated water bills. He has increased next yearís budget and also he has spoken with Public Works to try to monitor the use more closely. Part of the increase was due to plumbing problems at the field house which are being addressed to some degree. The age of the fixtures are a consideration and upgrades will need to be considered. The season was rather dry which also increased the volume of water used. It was noted that the part time attendant has started work for the season and the bathroom facilities will be open for use in the evenings.

Members discussed the Ryan Field Capital account. Mr. O'Connell noted that the fence at the girlís softball ball field is being replaced where currently a snow fence is being used. He will review other possible projects to expend the remaining funds.

The Irving After Hours program has begun their session. As was explained at a previous meeting, they were unable to get the program started at the beginning of school but they have organized and are moving forward. Their request for next yearís budget has been included in the Parks & Recreation request. Plans are to have a full schedule next year.

Little League is underway. Approximately 180 participants registered which is down slightly. Soccer registered 340 participants which reflects the continuing upward trend of interest.

Girlís softball was intended to join with the Valley Little League. This was planned due to the lower number of participants ranging in age from 8-14. Recent changes in the directors for the program have caused this plan to change. The program will be played in-house with 90 participants. Mr. O'Connell noted that playing in-house with the number of girls in the program causes the grouping of a wider spread of age groups. To build a team, ten year olds would be playing with fourteen year olds. Going to the Valley League would have allowed for a closer spread of two years difference. It was uncertain whether future opportunities would arise where the program would reconsider the Valley League.

Mr. O'Connell noted that Derby Days is set for June 24-25 at Ryan Field and the Public Works employees who care for the field have expressed concern for the irrigation system installed. With the heavy traffic or driving of stakes, damage could occur. Chairman Walsh suggested that the placement of vendors, rides, tents and booths be coordinated with Public Works to lessen the possibility of damage.

Al Felice arrived at 7:50 p.m.

Mr. O'Connell apprised the members of a possible problem with Biddy Basketball at Irving School. There have been incidents where unsupervised visitors have congregated outside the gym and vandalism did occur. School administrators have expressed concern with having the program run there if these incidents continue. Mr. O'Connell is working with Principal Duggan to resolve this matter. He is also looking at revising the schedule to possible utilize the Veteranís gym more for this program. He noted that part of the problem is that there are limited activities for the older youth not participating in the program and this is something that should be explored further.

Athletic Directorís Report: Mr. Marcucio was not present.

Committee Reports:

Recreation Facilities Enhancement Committee - Chairman Walsh noted that the Board of Alderman approved the questions for the referendum and the date is set for Saturday, June 10, 2000. There are three questions on the ballot. The first question addresses the High School with the field plan included. The field plans show changes to the football field, a track around the football field, the Little League field would be transformed for baseball and softball and the picnic grove would become another practice field. The second question regards renovating the existing building into a Middle School and this question is dependent on question one passing. The third question speaks to Witek Park and Bradley recreational fields. This would include three multi-purpose fields, three Little League fields, beach volleyball and associated parking at Witek Park. At Bradley, the facility would be upgraded. The soccer area would change to two softball fields, the existing baseball/softball field would remain. Parking would be expanded at Bradley.

Youth Advisory Council - Chairman Walsh stressed that the Council should set a meeting date to prepare for the referendum. Their support is crucial.


Chairman Walsh noted that the Veteranís Center was discussed previously. Members discussed how the period of time to the end of this budget year was to be handled. Mr. O'Connell indicated that plans have not been finalized but work is progressing. This is still dependent on the Board of Alderman vote. First thing will be to work on obtaining the staff listed in the new budget. The fee schedule will be reviewed. Chairman Walsh noted that the W.W.II veterans currently receive a discounted rate and the intent is to continue this practice. This practice will be considered, in some form, for all veterans and this will be discussed further at a later date. Members stressed that the intent is to continue the spirit of honoring the veterans.

Chairman Walsh stated that the Board of Alderman will also be presenting changes to the Parks & Recreation Commission structure. With the provision that an ordinance goes into effect thirty days after publication, this Commissionís regular June meeting will fall prior to that date. Proposed changes would add two members to the Commission with the directors remaining ex-officio members.

The next meeting will be Monday, June 12, 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 David Mikos and second by Al Felice. Move to adjourn this meeting at 8:20p.m. All in favor. Motion carried.

Respectfully prepared,

Karen Kemmesies, secretary


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