Park and Recreation Commission 


 (meeting taped)


Regular meeting:  Monday, June 11, 2001 at City Hall.  The meeting was held in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall. 

Meeting was called to order at 7:12 p.m.  By roll call, members present:  John Walsh, David Mikos, Matt Cripps, and Karen Izzo.  Al Felice arrived directly after roll call. Beverly Moran and Edward Handi were excused. 

Parks and Recreation Director Dennis O’Connell was present.  Athletic Director Kenneth Marcucio was absent.  Ronald Culmo from the Public Works Department was also present.


Without objection, the agenda was accepted, as presented. 

Public portion:

No one was present and the public portion was closed. 

Approval of minutes:

A motion was made by David Mikos and second by Karen Izzo.  Move to accept the minutes of the meeting held on May 14, 2001.  All in favor.  Motion carried. 


Mr. O'Connell stated that the Hurricanes have requested the use of a field from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for one Saturday in June to practice in preparation for their performances.  Per the charter (section 7-86) “Approval for non-city-sponsored activities in or on all parks and playgrounds shall require an affirmative vote of the Commission with the approval of the Board of Alderman.” 

Mr. O’Connell saw no problem with this use and suggested that the Bradley School softball field be offered.  As a secondary site he would suggest the Ryan Field softball field.  He stated that he would review the schedule and determine the most suitable location. 

Mr. Felice and Mr. Culmo arrived at this time. 

A motion was made by David Mikos and second by Matt Cripps.  Move to approve the request from the Hurricanes for use of a field for a Saturday in June, subject to the Recreation Director’s decision on the field and with the understanding that the use would not conflict with any scheduled uses by the City.  All in favor.  Motion carried. 

A request was received from Joseph Gruttadauria to hold a baseball clinic.  The clinic would be a Parks & Recreation program affiliated with Norko’s Baseball School and would be held in mid-July.  There is a fee for participants with a portion of the funds going for the instructors from the school. 

A motion was made by Matt Cripps and second by David Mikos.  Move that the Parks & Recreation Commission sponsor the baseball clinic.  All in favor.  Motion carried. 

Other Business:

At this time Chairman Walsh invited Mr. Culmo time to speak on the maintenance issues at the facilities. 

Mr. Culmo reported that nine of the fourteen picnic tables at the picnic grove were vandalized.  Words were carved into the concrete tabletops.  The problem occurred on May 21st and was discovered during the closing of the facility after soccer practice.  Mr. Culmo presented pictures for the members to review.  He stated that it cost approximately $300.00 with two public works employees spending three days to make the necessary repairs.  A police report was filed. 

Due to the ideal weather conditions for growing, the maintenance of the Little League field has been quite overwhelming and Public Works has been coordinating with the Little League directors to jointly accomplish the necessary maintenance tasks.  Until a few years ago, when Public Works started doing the maintenance, members of the Little League did all of the maintenance.  Little League has been very helpful in addressing the trim work around the perimeter.  Litter is a problem and the directors have been asked to bring this to the attention of the participants.  Raccoons do get into the garbage barrels and Public Works will be emptying the barrels on a timely basis. 

Members reviewed the report (attached) on the maintenance issues as identified by the Commission.  Much of the work is done with the remainder being in the planning stages.  The mention of the bleachers at the Little League was highlighted.  It was noted that with the Major League bleachers, they have a tendency to separate causing a gap between the two sections.  Mr. Culmo will investigate.  Mr. Culmo also noted that the merry go round at Bradley playground has been removed. 

Mr. Culmo has been in contact with Marcucio Gardens regarding the improvements to the soccer field at Bradley School.  Mr. Marcucio will be addressing the bare spots prior to the August start of the fall soccer season.  Mr. Felice noted that there are funds remaining in the special allocation for these improvements and he suggested that the money be spent to do additional seeding and top dressing of the fields.  Being that the spring soccer season is over, it was agreed that the field should remain dormant thus allowing for additional growing time.  Nothing will be scheduled through the summer. 

Mr. O'Connell noted that he has spoken with Shelton and they have offered their facilities should there be a need by the soccer program for field time during the remainder of the spring season.  The field at Bungay School in Seymour has also been available and Mr. Culmo noted that for a recent game, the Derby Public Works went up to the field and did the necessary lining and marking. 

It was noted that the picnic grove use by the soccer program will be finished by the end of June and the scheduling of private rentals will be restarted.  Parks & Recreation will only be scheduling use of the facility for Monday through Friday. 


Parks & Recreation Director’s Report:  Mr. O’Connell stated that things are going well as this is mid-season into the Girl’s softball, Little League, Babe Ruth and soccer programs.  There has been some changes in the staffing.  Marty Hubbard will be supervising only one night a week and will now be doing the maintenance duties of all the facilities. 

The summer playground program is slated to start July 2nd and will run through August 10th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The program will be held at both Bradley and Irving Schools.  The Derby Veteran's Community Center will be used from noon until 4:00 p.m. for free swim.  The gymnasium will be used for volleyball.  Registration will be distributed through the elementary schools.  The director is Inez Devonshuk. 

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

Committee Reports:

Programs Committee – A meeting was held in May to review the referendum issues regarding fields.  The meeting was poorly attended.  The Committee decided to postpone further meetings through the summer to accommodate vacation schedules, etc.  Planning will be done over the summer to coordinate clinics for in the fall. 

Facilities Committee – The Committee is awaiting the outcome of the referendum.  Mr. Handi communicated with Chairman Walsh to consider placing visitor bleachers at the Ryan softball field.  This will be discussed at a future meeting.  Members noted that the slope of the property does provide a natural seating area.  With drainage issues and grading issues, as well as this area being used for sledding in the winter, this matter would require careful consideration.


Budget Committee – The Board of Apportionment and Taxation set the 2001-2002 Parks & Recreation budget at $184,730, which is comparable to last year’s figures.  The Commission had made changes within the budget to a variety of line items and the Board of Apportionment and Taxation adopted these changes.  Also, the $10,000 for locker replacement was included in the City’s Capital budget line items.  The request for field maintenance funding was not entertained.  The LoCIP projects of Amendola bathrooms and storage facility at the Ryan field house also are included.  It was noted that the Parks & Recreation director’s salary line item has been increased but will not become effective until the Board of Alderman takes action on the salary increase. 

Mr. O'Connell noted that with rental receipts yet to be paid at the Derby Veteran's Community Center, he anticipated that the estimated revenue should be met and there should be a surplus of approximately $3,000 to $5,000. 

The Ryan Field Capital line item may not be fully expended.  It was suggested that a rollover be requested.  The rewiring of the lights could possibly be accomplished with this additional funding. 


Chairman Walsh noted that a request for a skateboard park has again been made.  This was originally included in the overall plan that went to referendum a few years ago.  He noted that the Open Space Commission has suggested looking at the plans for Witek Park as prepared in the overall plan so that they may be studied during plans to provide emergency access roads into the Park.  Members noted that this Commission has previously voted to continue to support the overall plan.  They still feel that the plan is a strong design that addresses the needs of all of the programs, both recreational and athletic. 

A motion was made by Karen Izzo and second by Al Felice.  Move to adjourn this meeting at 8:14 p.m.  All in favor.  Motion carried. 

The next meeting will be Monday, July 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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