Park and Recreation Commission

(meeting taped)

Monthly meeting: Monday, July 12, 2004 in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m.

By roll call, members present: John Walsh, Edward Handi, Matt Cripps and Karen Izzo. Al Felice arrived at 7:27 p.m. David Mikos and Beverly Moran were excused.

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

additions or deletions to the agenda:

Without objection, the agenda was accepted as written.

approval of minutes:

A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by Matt Cripps. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting on June 14, 2004, as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Public portion:

No one came forward and public portion was closed.


Nothing was presented.


A.) Update on Neighborhood Committee request to have the Commission oversee the administration of Witek Park: There has been no further discussions as of this time. It was noted that the Board of Alderman did vote to do away with the permit process for Witek Park.

B.) Youth baseball program rules of play: Mr. O'Connell indicated he was unaware of complaints concerning playing time until recently. Nowhere in the rules for Babe Ruth does it specify playing time, unlike Little League, which does have such rules. There is language in the Babe Ruth rules suggesting fair play and opportunity for each individual. Generally, because of the relatively small participation, play time has never been an issue. The matter has been discussed with the coaching staff. It was noted that the team abides by rules followed by other neighboring towns that are playing in the league, one being the designated hitter only hitting and not playing and other rules and these differences with the Little League program may be causing confusion. The All-Stars are playing now and Mr. O'Connell was unaware of any further complaints. He will monitor the situation and have conversations about the rules with other teams in the league. Everyone was in agreement that they want to see players having the opportunity to play.

C.) Parking on Nutmeg Avenue: Chairman Walsh will contact Police Chief Cota and invite him to the next meeting.


Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O'Connell reported on the skate park. Shelton has received the lease agreement and are now moving forward with the construction. In the near future, Derby and Shelton recreation representatives will be meeting with the YMCA to discuss the supervision of the park and finalize the rules, fees and schedules. Hopes are for the opening to be around Labor Day. Corporation Counsel has been working on the liability concerns for the park and is drafting the necessary agreements.

The Summer Program is underway. Currently, there are 80 children registered. The Program is held at Bradley School from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. They have three trips scheduled, one being Lake Compounce.

Pop Warner will begin on August 1st.

The field houses were inspected by the Fire Marshall’s office as per their yearly inspection schedule. The concession stand at the Little League requires work to bring it up to code. Mr. O'Connell is speaking with Little League and Pop Warner to remedy this violation.

Roof work has been done at the Ryan field house. The gutters will be replaced at both field houses. Work was done on the football field surface and hope is that it holds through the football/soccer season.

Athletic Director’s Report: Nothing was presented. It was noted that Mr. Marcucio has retired.

Committee Reports:

Finance Committee – The Recreation Department received their requested appropriation for the 2004-2005 fiscal year budget. Mr. O'Connell is working with the Board of Alderman to revise the wages for the staff and understands that any action can be made retroactive to July 1st.

Programs Committee – The Committee has not met.

Facilities Committee – Mr. Felice noted that the soccer fields at Witek Park are under construction. The driveway is in. Some of the drainage is in place. Excavation for the bank of the upper side of the field has started. There is a 3:1 slope on the upper side of the fields. Silt fencing for erosion control has been installed. The question was asked if the interest in soccer has declined, Mr. O'Connell indicated that the numbers remain constant. Chairman Walsh noted that the adult teams have been limited due to the lack of space and they can be accommodated with these added fields. Members were encouraged to tour the site.

A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by Karen Izzo. Move that the Recreation Commission tour Witek Park to assess the future responsibilities that could be placed on the Commission as per Board of Alderman action. Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Walsh noted that the Neighborhood Committee is entertaining developing Fountain Lake for recreational purposes. Mr. Felice indicated that the Neighborhood Committee unanimously decided to form a committee to explore this use. He noted that the Chair of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation spoke against this proposal expressing the preference that the land continue to marketed for commercial development. Mr. Felice stressed that this possible use will not address High School softball/baseball needs. Chairman Walsh noted that the master plan of recreation spoke to both the athletic and recreation needs as the Board of Education has no fields under their jurisdiction. He encouraged continued communication with both boards to resolve the long-term needs.

It was noted that the Mayor has formed a Committee with the Mayor’s Assistant chairing said Committee to study the future uses of Witek Park as per stipulations made during the Derby Inland Wetlands Agency approval process.

Chairman Walsh indicated that the City is awaiting the release of funding for the Greenway.

Ms. Izzo indicated that the Booster Club and Pop Warner questioned if it was possible to obtain an additional storage container at Ryan Field so the equipment in the closet could be moved into the container opening space for the concession stand needs. Mr. O'Connell will explore the request and speak to the Fire Marshall on code concerns at the field house. The matter will be discussed at the next meeting.

A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by Matt Cripps. Move to adjourn the meeting at 8:07p.m. Motion carried unanimously.

The next Parks & Recreation Commission meeting will be Monday, August 9, 2004 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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