Park and Recreation Commission
Park and Recreation CommissionMinutes
Regular meeting: Monday, April 8, 2002 in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.
Meeting was called to order at 7:07 p.m.
Chairman Walsh welcomed new member Robert Bell, the Board of Apportionment and Taxation representative on the Commission. Members expressed appreciation for the contributions that Beverly Moran provided during her tenure on this Commission.
By roll call, members present: John Walsh, David Mikos, Robert Bell, Matt Cripps, Karen Izzo and Edward Handi. Al Felice was excused.
Parks and Recreation Director Dennis O’Connell was present. Athletic Director Kenneth Marcucio arrived at 7:25 p.m.
Alderman Michael Kelleher spoke on behalf of the group pursuing a skate park and the Irving School PTO who are seeking to place a basketball hoop at the school. First, he stated that the Irving School PTO would like to withdraw the request for assistance in funding a basketball hoop at Irving School. They were seeking to pave an area on school property to install a basketball hoop. Principal Francis Gallo requested a removable hoop so that the fixture could be removed when school was not in session for fear of vandalism. Chairman Walsh indicated that he has had conversations with Betsey Caridi about this matter and had expressed the desire to see the hoop freely available if Parks & Recreation Commission funds were to be used. Alderman Kelleher indicated that was one of the considerations in withdrawing the request at this time.
Second, regarding the skate park, Alderman Kelleher requested that the Parks & Recreation Commission assist in pursuing funding for the skate park. The Board of Alderman agreed to the placement of the skate park in the parking area by the High School as per the design location indicated on the Master Plan for Recreation. This evening Alderman Kelleher was asking the Parks & Recreation Commission to authorize Economic and Community Development Director Richard Dunne to apply for grants for this purpose. Mr. Dunne suggested that the Commission consider drafting operating rules for the park and that could be submitted with the grant application requests. He anticipated applying to the Matthies Foundation whose deadline is May 1st and to the Community Foundation whose deadline is in the summer. Other sources will also be explored.
Last month the jurisdiction of the proposed location was questioned. Members wondered if the land fell under the Board of Education jurisdiction. Alderman Kelleher indicated that Nutmeg Avenue is a city street. Also, the Board of Education has jurisdiction over the buildings only.
It was noted that last month the Commission did vote in favor of the concept of the skate park and the suggested location. They took no exception to having Mr. Dunne pursue whatever avenues of funding were available for this endeavor.
Alderman Kelleher also noted that the Downtown Committee would be discussing moving the Community Development Office, the Building Department and the Fire Marshall’s office to the new City Hall. Once approved and the Fire Marshall is relocated, additional space downstairs in City Hall should become available for the Derby Veteran's Community Center to use.
No one else came forward and the public portion was closed.
NEW or OTHER BUSINESS:
Request for a basketball hoop at Irving School
As per the discussion during public portion, this request was withdrawn.
Mr. O'Connell noted that in anticipation of the request, an order was placed for the hoop. He will explore if there is another location where the hoop would serve the recreational activities of the City.
Mr. Marcucio arrived at this time.
approval of minutes:
A motion was made by Matt Cripps and second by Edward Handi. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting on March 11, 2002. Motion carried with Robert Bell abstaining.
Nothing was presented.
Parks & Recreation Director’s Report:
The spring sports have begun practicing. The facilities are in shape. At the Little League field, the electrical wiring from the building to the scoreboard has to be completed before games begin. A diamond was cut out of the mid-section of the field. Boys T-ball has registered enough for six teams and the girl’s softball field will be available for their practices.
The soccer field at Bradley is in decent shape. As the girl’s Intermediate softball team was cancelled due to a lack of a coach, the back diamond at Bradley will also be available for the soccer program to utilize. The field has new soccer goals but it was noted that they need to be anchored in some fashion. Public Works is investigated the best solution.
The girl’s softball registered approximately 100. Mr. O'Connell will be working out the schedule with the coach similar to last year with the association with the other towns.
Babe Ruth will be a regional league with Ansonia, Seymour, Shelton and Watertown. The thirteen year old division will start in a few weeks. The fourteen and fifteen year old division will start later so as not to conflict with the school baseball season.
The recreation wrestling program is scheduled to use the Derby Veteran's Community Center on Wednesday nights. There will be a registration. The mats have been received from the High School. These were mats used by the High School previously but privately owned. A question arose whether the mats were suitable. Mr. O'Connell placed the onus on the coaches to provide information that the mats are suitable. Mr. Marcucio suggested that High School age students should not be permitted to be involved in the instruction as a conflict with CIAC rules could develop.
Little League registered 188 participants.
Mr. O'Connell met with the Downtown Committee and updated them on the status of the Derby Veteran's Community Center. They reviewed the changes to the staff wages. The Committee will be addressing the salary increases with the Board of Alderman.
The proposed budget for 2002-2003 was reviewed with minor revisions that are highlighted in bold print. The request will be made to the Board of Apportionment and Taxation.
A motion was made by Matt Cripps and second by David Mikos. Move to approve the proposed 2002-2003 Parks & Recreation budget of $199,520 with additional funding of $30,000 from the Misc. Capital department of the general budget of the City of Derby. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. O'Connell noted that he is watching the building and field supplies line item. From now through the end of the fiscal year on June 30th, he anticipated fully expending that line item. He indicated that, if necessary, he will approach the Board of Apportionment and Taxation for a transfer within the budget to address any supply needs over the amount remaining in that line item.
Membership at the Derby Veteran's Community Center is currently 135 members, up from the 55 members that were there at the time the Parks & Recreation took over supervision of the facility. The membership fee schedule was changed when Parks & Recreation took over, lowering the general membership yearly fee and also veterans receive free membership. It was noted that revenue is more than double that which was originally projected.
Members discussed the projects that are slated with funds from LoCIP. The bathrooms at Amendola and the storage unit at Ryan have been on hold for a number of years with the funds being carried over each year. The problem that has arisen is that designing the projects is not within the funding. The funds are slated for construction costs. It was suggested that the Parks & Recreation Commission approach either the Downtown Committee of the Board of Alderman or the Board of Apportionment and Taxation to seek assistance in retaining a professional to provide said designs.
Athletic Director’s Report: Mr. Marcucio presented the revised spring High School schedule. He indicated that there is a need for a javelin, shot putt and disc throwing area. Funds are available within the Board of Education budget to install a concrete slab, surrounded by fencing on three sides, by the entrance gate of the picnic grove for this purpose. Mr. O'Connell noted that the picnic grove is being scheduled by the Mayor’s office and he suggested that the reservations be reviewed so as not to conflict with the practice schedule of these programs.
Mr. Marcucio noted that the Athletic Sub-Committee of the Board of Education met and are exploring the possibility of a modular gymnasium, as space currently is inadequate. Mr. Marcucio asked if the Derby Veteran's Community Center gymnasium could be made available for use by the school programs. The period of time for use would be from before Thanksgiving until February from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. each afternoon. Chairman Walsh noted that the revenue from rentals is part of the overall budget and suggested that a fee would be requested just as fees are charged to the recreational programs that use the facility. The members decided that Mr. Marcucio and Mr. O'Connell should review schedules to develop a way to resolve the school’s athletic space needs.
Chairman Walsh noted that the Board of Education may want to consider adding the athletic schedule to their website.
Budget Committee – The committee has completed their work for the upcoming fiscal budget.
Programs Committee – No meeting was held last month but one will be scheduled in the near future.
Facilities Committee – The committee has been following the progress on the new soccer fields.
A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by Karen Izzo. Move to adjourn this meeting at 8:35 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.
The next meeting will be Monday, May 13, 2002 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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