Park and Recreation Commission
Regular meeting: Monday, June 9, 2003 in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.
Meeting was called to order at 7:08 p.m.
By roll call, members present: John Walsh, Al Felice, Edward Handi and David Mikos. Karen Izzo, Matt Cripps and Robert Bell were excused.
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.
approval of minutes:
A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by Al Felice. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting on May 12, 2003. Motion carried with David Mikos abstaining.
No one was present and the public portion was closed.
Nothing was presented.
NEW or OTHER BUSINESS:
Planning for a Skate Park: The Downtown Committee of the Board of Alderman discussed the creation of a skate park. The Downtown Committee decided to recommend to the full Board of Alderman the exploration of funding for the skate park and also to charge the Parks & Recreation Commission with determining at least two possible locations and necessary rules and regulations for the operation of the skate park.
Members discussed this matter. It was noted that a number of possible locations have been mentioned. The tennis court at Bradley School has been suggested. Members felt that if a program is to be added, additional space should be found rather than utilizing existing space. They stressed that the top priority for the Commission is to get the soccer fields built. It was decided to await the recommendation from the full Board of Alderman on this matter.
Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O'Connell stated that despite the rainy spring, the programs are three quarters of the way through the season with only a few makeup games necessary. He reported that he is working on the installation of the lights at the picnic grove as requested by Pop Warner. In regards to Derby Days, Public Works has requested a plan of the placement of the amusement rides. Mr. O'Connell will be communicating with the Cultural Commission on the planning of the event.
The Summer Playground Program will start on June 30th and will run for six weeks on Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The program will run at Bradley School with arrangements for transportation from the Derby Veteran's Community Center to Bradley School provided by Valley Transit. Information will be distributed through the schools and will be available on the website. Alexis Gallagher is the Program Director.
Public Works Director Gary Parker is exploring qualified companies to remove the fallen tree at Ryan Field. In regards to having another similar incident with any other trees in the area it was noted that the tree that fell was alive showing no visible signs of stress. Trees in the area were inspected after the incident and none were found to be at risk. The falling of the tree was apparently an anomalous occurrence due to extreme weather conditions.
Athletic Director’s Report: Mr. Marcucio was not present.
Programs Committee – The Committee is continuing to plan a golf tournament tentatively set for Monday, August 4th at Highland Golf Course. The intent is to have the entrant’s fees cover expenses and prizes with no anticipated profit at this time.
Arrangements for participants and coaches to attend the Yale Children’s Trust program are being made. The program will provide training at the event and also funds will be given to the Parks & Recreation Department to purchase equipment.
Facilities Committee –The Committee met last week and discussed field space and usage. As Board of Education athletic programs also use the facilities, it was felt that communication with them are necessary.
The Committee identified the development of soccer fields as their foremost objective and the need for bathrooms at Bradley School/Amendola Complex is critical. Mr. Felice prepared a list of facility needs (attached) that have been identified. A number of projects will require pursuing additional funding.
The Committee contemplated the reuse of the Amendola Complex with the shifting of soccer to Witek Park. The main softball diamond with lights would remain. The master plan included filling in a portion of land on the southeasterly side of the parcel to allow for the installation of an additional full-size softball field/smaller baseball field. It was felt that possibly rather than filling in, the existing space could allow for the existing diamond, a T-ball field for Little League and a girl’s softball diamond. By moving T-ball from the existing Little League complex, the complex could receive necessary maintenance and improvement. While this would not be a long-term solution it would relieve some of the other programs immediate concerns. This change would allow for after-school athletic programs to utilize the Amendola Complex facility starting at 3:00 p.m. with Parks & Recreation programs utilizing the facility in the evenings.
The members expressed concern for the length of time it takes to have maintenance issues addressed. While certainly the crucial needs are being addressed there are a number of outstanding projects that get set aside. It was suggested that Public Works Director Gary Parker and/or Public Works Supervisor Ron Culmo be invited to the next meeting. As the Board of Alderman is studying the restructuring of the Public Works Department, possibly consideration for a dedicated Parks & Recreation staff is necessary.
Mr. Handi noted that he was appointed to this Commission as a representative of the Veterans. He suggested that the Commission explore development of a program or event that the veterans could partake. Mr. O'Connell noted that the veterans do receive a reduced rate at the Derby Veteran's Community Center. The WWII veterans are free of charge. Mr. O'Connell will review the membership list to see how many veterans are members. Mr. Mikos indicated that he would speak to the veterans who attend the Derby Veteran's Community Center to explore possible ideas.
A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by Al Felice. Move to adjourn this meeting at 8:12 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.
The next Parks & Recreation Commission meeting will be Monday, July 14, 2003 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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