Park and Recreation Commission


(meeting taped)

Regular meeting: Monday, March 12, 2001 at the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:11 p.m. By roll call, members present: John Walsh, Beverly Moran, Al Felice, Matt Cripps, Karen Izzo and new member Edward Handi. David Mikos was excused.

Parks and Recreation Director Dennis O’Connell was present. Athletic Director Kenneth Marcucio was absent.


Without objection, the agenda was accepted, as presented.

Public portion:

James Mascolo, director of Derby Pop Warner, was present to give the yearly report on the program. He introduced Ron Slowik, newly elected director of the program. He stated that the season went well. He noted that Southern Connecticut is now divided into two divisions, small towns and large towns and Derby is in the small town division. Derby’s program placed three of the four boys teams in the play-offs for this division and the Junior Midget team won the league championship. In the girl’s teams, three teams were placed in the play-offs and the Junior Midgets won the league championship and placed third in the State championship. It was noted that the Derby program has five levels, four team levels and an instructional level. There were 112 boys and 100 girls in the program this past year, slightly higher than the previous year. A financial report was submitted detailing income and expenditures, which balanced out for the year.

Mr. Mascolo noted that at the start of the season there was a problem with the alignment of the lights and their wiring and also the fields were not completely lined. He hoped that next season, the fields could be set prior to the start of play. Fall baseball used the Little League field for practice on occasion that caused some inconvenience. There was a small gasoline spillage during maintenance being done by the baseball program volunteers. Mr. O’Connell indicated that he was unaware of any practice schedule at that field in the fall but he would explore the matter and Mr. Marcucio has requested a storage facility for the gasoline.

Mr. O’Connell questioned the extent of the use of the Ryan field house. Mr. Mascolo stated that the program uses the varsity room and the coaches’ room during their home games (four games this season). The refreshment stand is also utilized. Mr. Mascolo noted that locks have been changed and he is unable to access areas in the field house.

Mr. Mascolo indicated that the program may desire to explore additional lighting at the picnic grove as this is their practice area. He will speak further with Mr. O’Connell on this matter.

Approval of minutes:

A motion was made by Al Felice and second by Matt Cripps. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting held on February 13, 2001. Motion carried with Edward Handi abstaining.


Nothing was presented.


Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O’Connell stated that the Little League baseball clinic, under the direction of the High School baseball coaches, was held at the Veteran’s Community Center during school vacation on Thursday, February 22, 2001. It went well with 60 participants. Registration for Little League is approximately 90% complete with 170 participants to date. The numbers appear to be higher than last year.

Biddy basketball is finishing. The All-star games are now being played.

Mr. O’Connell indicated that he is preparing for the Summer Playground Program. Plans are to use Irving School and the playground equipment rather than holding the program at the picnic grove. He will be exploring installing a basketball hoop at the school. The Irving School Playground Committee has surplus funds for this purchase and the matter will be explored with the Board of Education.

Scheduling of the men’s three on three basketball program is progressing. Indoor games will be held at the Center and the picnic grove court will also be used.

Preparations for girl’s softball are underway. Mr. O’Connell is awaiting further information.

Soccer has not expressed their intent for use of the picnic grove or the Seymour facility. Communication with the program director is ongoing. It was noted that with the weather conditions, the Bradley School field repairs are delayed. The Commission maintained their position that the Amendola Field should not be used by soccer this spring . The spring school programs utilize the area. Also, due to the extensive use last season, the field is in need of repair. Once again, the issue is the need for additional fields and the burden of overuse of the current fields.

Mr. O’Connell stated that the Center has begun scheduling birthday parties at the facility on the week-ends. Hopefully this will generate revenue and interest in the Veteran’s Community Center. Currently, the gymnasium and pool are being used. With the anticipated move of City Hall, hopefully additional space will become available for a service room for this use as well as others.

Mr. O’Connell has had conversations with the Mayor and the Mayor intends to recommend that recreational staff take over the duties of scheduling the events for the Cultural Commission. This would entail adding a part time position. In the new budget, it is proposed that there be three (3) part time supervisory positions, morning, afternoon and evening positions. One would be charged with overseeing the scheduling of the Cultural Commission events such as the concerts, Derby Days, etc. This person would also be working on programs for the Center and planning trips similar to those offered by other town’s recreational departments. The position would also coordinate the trips for the Summer playground program.

Consideration is also being given to creating a Parks and Recreation Department building maintenance coordinator position. Mr. O’Connell stated that the department oversees the Community Center, picnic grove facilities, the Ryan Field house and announcer’s booth, as well as general maintenance at the Little League field house. A new bathroom is proposed at Amendola. Looking at the City budget, there are funds in various departments covering maintenance that could be incorporated into this position thus resulting in no increase cost to the City.

Athletic Director’s Report: Mr. Marcucio was not present this evening. He did submit a list of needs at the field house, which will be reviewed by the Budget Committee.

Committee Reports:

Facilities Committee – Members attended the Neighborhood Committee meeting and opened discussion on exploring the transfer of the Ryan field house to Board of Education jurisdiction. Regarding additional fields, the report on the landfill site is yet to be received. Discussions are on hold until the report is received and also until the school expansion issue is decided. Chairman Walsh felt that the Witek Park proposal for fields still seems to be the most viable solution for the recreational needs.

Programs Committee – A meeting has been set for March 19, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. at the Veteran’s Community Center.

Budget Committee – A meeting will be scheduled in the near future.


As the budget has not been finalized, it was decided to hold a special meeting on March 26, 2001 to review and accept the Parks and Recreation budget for 2001-2002.

A motion was made by Beverly Moran and second by Karen Izzo. Move to adjourn this meeting at 8:32p.m. All in favor. Motion carried.

The next meeting will be Monday, April 9, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. If the Aldermanic Chambers are unavailable then the Veteran’s room will be requested.


Respectfully prepared,

Karen Kemmesies, secretary

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