Park and Recreation CommissionMinutes
Regular meeting: Monday, April 9, 2001 at City Hall. The meeting was held on the stage in the Veteran’s Community Center due to scheduling conflicts with other meeting rooms.
Meeting was called to order at 7:53 p.m. By roll call, members present: John Walsh, Al Felice, Matt Cripps, Karen Izzo and Edward Handi. Beverly Moran and David Mikos were excused.
Parks and Recreation Director Dennis O’Connell was present. Athletic Director Kenneth Marcucio was absent.
ADDITIONS AND DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA:
Without objection, the agenda was accepted, as presented.
Eric DeGregorio of 50 Olivia Street questioned whether the land at Field View Farms would be considered for fields even if the proposed construction of the new High School did not move forward.
Chairman Walsh indicated that the purchase of the land is being considered in conjunction with the new High School but he was unaware of any discussions for purchase for other uses. He noted that the High School proposal does detail areas on the parcel where field development is suitable. He stressed again the urgency for additional athletic fields.
Approval of minutes:
A motion was made by Al Felice and second by Karen Izzo. Move to accept the minutes of the meetings held on March 12, 2001 and March 26, 2001. All in favor. Motion carried.
Nothing was presented.
Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O’Connell stated that the Little League has started practice. Nearly 200 children have already signed up and additional applications are still being received. This is an increase over last year.
Girl’s softball has started their registration with approximately 50 participants signed up. They will be playing on the large field at Bradley School and Ryan softball Field.
Mr. O’Connell noted that there may not be a 7th and 8th grade girls softball program due to lack of interest.
Babe Ruth will be starting their registration this week. The program will regionalize with the Ansonia and Orange programs due to the small number of players. He noted that many of the players also play on the High School teams thus making scheduling somewhat difficult.
Mr. O’Connell stated that adult soccer players have been going on the field at Bradley School. Signs are being made to state that only authorized use will be allowed. The Police Department has been asked to monitor the area more closely. Members regretted having to limit use of any field in the City but due to the limited space and overuse of the existing fields, unfortunately this is a necessary action.
Mr. Handi questioned whether the Board of Education has any financial involvement in regards to the DeFlippo field being that revenue is received from gate proceeds and concession stand sales during the football games. Chairman Walsh indicated that there are in-kind services charged to the Board of Education for some maintenance costs. Ms. Izzo noted that the Booster Club runs the concession stand during the games and proceeds are used to purchase equipment for the High School programs.
The soccer program has presented a schedule to the director. Mr. O’Connell noted that he has scheduled the picnic grove for them seven days a week but he was hoping that any down times could be used by other programs. The program has utilized the Seymour field to some degree. An indoor league at the Boy’s Club is currently running and some players from Derby are participating.
Mr. O’Connell reported on maintenance issues. The new structure for Public Works employees seems to be going very well. Maintenance at the Little League field is underway. Some fence work and safety measures have already been done. A new post has been installed at the picnic grove so as to prohibit vehicles going on the field. The swimming pool has been a concern trying to maintain the proper water PH balance. This is being investigated and water quality is being monitored carefully. The Health Department is being called to assist in the monitoring. The whirlpool is functioning well since upgrades were done. The members use it quite frequently.
Reviewing the budget, revenue is nearly at 50% with payments from the Boy’s Club expected. To bring in additional revenue, the gymnasium has been rented two nights a week for the next three months to a AAU team. Also, the birthday party rentals are encouraging.
Athletic Director’s Report: Mr. Marcucio was not present this evening.
Programs Committee – A meeting was held on March 19, 2001. Soccer reported 320 participants for their spring program. Their fall program had 359 participants. Little League had 180 at the time of the meeting and as Mr. O’Connell reported the number has increased to close to 200 participants. Pop Warner had 98 girls and 114 boys in their fall program. Senior Babe Ruth had 16 participants. Regular Babe Ruth had 40 participants. Girls softball had 90 participants. Girls softball (14-16 yr olds) had 16 participants. Biddy basketball – girls had 90 and boys had 170 participants.
Discussion at the meeting included consideration for a code of conduct policy both for the participants and coaches and for the attendees at the games. Pop Warner and Little League have policy from their national organizations. Customarily, the player is removed from the game for bad conduct but if his parent is causing the upset, then the child is also asked to leave. Discussion was as to the fairness of this practice and it was felt that further exploration on the subject is warranted.
The Committee discussed conditions at the fields and the plans for maintenance. Program Directors presented maintenance issues that had come to their attention and they are being addressed.
Little League mentioned that there were some scheduling difficulties with the girls high school JV team. Last year, the girls played on the minor league field, which delayed the start of Little League games. They questioned whether the scheduling will be the same this year. This will be explored with the Athletic Director.
It was suggested at the meeting that more clinics be planned. One of the first would be related to the code of conduct and coaching skills. Arrangements for an instructor are being examined. Another clinic being considered is the First Aid/CPR course.
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 23, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. in the Veteran’s Community Center.
Facilities Committee – Members attended a meeting with the State Representatives. Possible use of Osbornedale State Park was explored. The representatives suggested looking at the land restrictions that are on file at the Town Clerk’s office. It was felt that further exploration of fields is dependent on the High School building referendum. The testing at the landfill site is yet to be done. Mr. Felice has toured the facilities and has compiled a list of needs (attached) that will be reviewed at the next regular meeting of the Parks and Recreation meeting.
Budget Committee – The 2001-2002 budget presentation was made to the Board of Apportionment and Taxation this evening.
NEW or OTHER BUSINESS:
A motion was made by Al Felice and second by Karen Izzo. Move to authorize the Parks & Recreation Director to post signs at the city fields advertising that only authorized use is permitted at the facility. All in favor. Motion carried.
A motion was made by Matt Cripps and second by Al Felice. Move to adjourn this meeting at 9:04 p.m. All in favor. Motion carried.
The next meeting will be Monday, May 14, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. If the Aldermanic Chambers are unavailable then the Veteran’s room will be requested.
Karen Kemmesies, secretary
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