Park and Recreation Commission


(meeting taped)

Regular meeting: Monday, August 12, 2002 in the City Clerk’s office of City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

By roll call, members present: Al Felice, Karen Izzo, Edward Handi and Matt Cripps. John Walsh, Robert Bell and David Mikos were excused.

In the absence of the chair, Al Felice served as chair for the meeting.

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

additions or deletions to the agenda:

Without objection, the agenda was accepted, as written.

approval of minutes:

A motion was made by Matt Cripps and second by Edward Handi. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting on July 8, 2002. Motion carried unanimously.

Public portion:

Karen Kemmesies of 25 John Street noted that the Board of Alderman discussed the skate park at their last meeting. At that meeting it was mentioned that due to the source of grant funding, no fees could be charged nor could there be a restriction to Derby residents only. She mentioned this only for informational purposes as a committee of the Parks & Recreation Commission is in the process of reviewing this issue. Mr. O’Connell indicated that he was aware of these stipulations and he is exploring how other towns are implementing their programs.

No one else came forward and the public portion was closed.


Mr. O’Connell received a request from the Hurricanes Alumni seeking permission to use the football field for practice of their marching and musical routines on August 21, 2002. They would be utilizing the field in the evening and have requested use of the lights. It was noted that the Pop Warner program pays the costs for the lights during the season and arrangements have been made that a donation will be made from the Hurricanes to the Pop Warner program to support the lighting expense of their usage.

A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by Karen Izzo. Move to authorize the use of the Ryan Field Complex football field by the Hurricane Alumni on August 21, 2002 starting at 8:00 p.m. with it stipulated that the noise levels and use of lights shall be abated after 10:00 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.


Regulations for the skate park: The matter was tabled, without objection.

In other business, Mr. Handi noted that a Charter Revision Commission has been formed. Chairman Walsh will be approaching the Commission to discuss the issue of who assigns use of the fields. Currently the Parks & Recreation Commission and the Board of Alderman, depending on the use, share the charge. It was felt that changes may be appropriate to clarify the jurisdiction.


Parks & Recreation Director’s Report:

Mr. O'Connell reported that the summer playground program wrapped up on August 2nd. The program went well but attendance at Coon Hollow was low. He and the Programs Committee will be exploring options for next year’s program. Possibly, the two sites could be combined at Bradley School with transportation being provided from downtown. Other options such as use of the Derby Veteran's Community Center will be considered.

The summer swim program will be ending this week. The schedule will return to open swim on nights and Saturdays.

Mr. O’Connell continues to work with UI to have the lights installed at the picnic grove. The intent is to have two lights placed on the pavilion side of the field to provide additional lighting for the Pop Warner practices. These lights will be manually turned on and off.

The girl’s High School fast pitch softball fall league is being scheduled for Sunday mornings. This league has been running for more than seven years now with regional participation and it has gone very well. The Bradley School diamonds and the Ryan softball field will be used as well as a field in Stratford. This is the only program in the recreational programs that serves girls in this age group.

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

Committee Reports:

Programs Committee – Ms. Izzo stated that tickets sales are progressing for the baseball trip for the game on August 25th with the Yankees playing Texas. The charge will be $45 per person. A deposit is needed to the bus company to reserve the tickets. Mr. O’Connell was asked to submit a requisition for this deposit. Members discussed whether there was sufficient interest to go forward. Currently twenty people have signed up and the members were fairly confident that enough people will go to cover the cost of the trip.

The Committee has not met over the summer. Meetings will begin again in September and Ms. Izzo is working on scheduling the Red Cross course.

Facilities Committee – Mr. Felice reported that he has been hearing that the playing fields are in relatively good shape as they go into the fall season. Neighbors in the vicinity of the Bradley School fields have approached the Board of Alderman seeking to have the bathroom facilities built. A request has also been made to install a fence on the easterly side of the fields as the property abuts the private homes. Mr. Felice is investigating the planning of the bathrooms and will be reporting back to the Neighborhood Committee of the Board of Alderman. The Board of Education may have to be involved as the question arose as to whether the property line for the fence is within their jurisdiction.

Regarding Witek Park’s soccer fields, the plans are being finalized. The Board of Alderman has authorized the City Engineer to prepare the specifications and go out to bid prior to the plans actually receiving regulatory approval. Applications have been filed with the Derby Inland Wetlands Agency and the Planning and Zoning Commission. The plans will specify irrigation and electrical to support the irrigation equipment but cost factors will determine whether this can be included. The actual construction schedule is unknown but the fields will require a year of growing time before play can commence. Best-case scenario would be for fall, 2003. If the construction happens next spring, then the play could commence spring, 2004 if the growing cycle is successful. Worst-case scenario would be fall, 2004. It will be paramount that the fields are allowed to properly establish and any use must be prohibited during the growing period.

Other business:

Nothing was presented.

A motion was made by Ed Handi and second by Karen Izzo. Move to adjourn this meeting at 8:40 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.

The next Parks & Recreation Commission meeting will be Monday, September 9, 2002 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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