Park and Recreation Commission

(meeting taped)

Monthly meeting: Tuesday, October 12, 2004 in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.

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

Parks and Recreation Director Dennis O’Connell and Athletic Director Joseph Orazetti were present.

additions or deletions to the agenda:

Without objection, the agenda was accepted as written.

approval of minutes:

A motion was made by David Mikos and second by Karen Izzo. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting on September 13, 2004, as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Public portion:

No one came forward and public portion was closed.


Nothing was presented.


A.) Field maintenance proposal for Ryan football field: This was discussed under the Athletic Director’s report.

B.) Temporary repairs to Little League field: Little League has initiated the proposed improvements. The infield was resodded and clay, provided by the City, was put down. Public Works will aerate and fertilize the outfield. Nothing has been done to establish the water line at this time.

The Little League is now considering going forward with the batting cage. At the last meeting they had indicated that funds reserved for the purchase would be reallocated to do the temporary repairs. The cage would be located by the bullpen on the left field side and would be semi-permanent being that the support structure would be posts in concrete and fencing material. The Little League is requesting a special allocation of $1,500 from the Commission to fund this purchase. Members discussed this request and decided that due to the permanence of the structure, they would like to speak further with the directors on this matter.

A motion was made by Karen Izzo and second by David Mikos. Move to table the Little League’s request for purchase and installation of a batting cage, subject to further discussion. Motion carried unanimously.

C.) Update on Public Works reorganization: The Neighborhood Committee meeting was postponed. There was no further update.

D.) Update on Neighborhood Committee request to have the Commission oversee the administration of Witek Park: The Neighborhood Committee meeting was postponed. There was no further update.

E.) Parking issues on Nutmeg Avenue by the Little League field: With the repaving of Nutmeg Avenue, it appears that parking issues have improved.


Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O'Connell stated that the girl’s softball field was resod. Prior to resodding the surface was regraded and leveled to address the depressions that existed.

Gutters have been replaced on the field house. There still is electrical work and cosmetic work to be done.

Youth basketball will be registering soon. The football season is going well. A number of cheerleading squads will be advancing to the regional competitions.

The skateboard park is nearly complete with the equipment being delivered shortly. There will be two sections, a beginner’s area and an advanced area. The hope is to open prior to the end of the season. The YMCA has agreed to allow the area to be open for free for this season and Derby has indicated that they will assist with any expenses incurred. Mr. O'Connell noted that they are looking at getting a camera to make photo identification cards. The camera may also be used by the City for employee id’s.

Athletic Director’s Report: Mr. Orazetti presented a revised proposal (attached) for the Ryan field grass maintenance from Rick Capaslotrato. Mr. O'Connell indicated that the Ryan Field Capital line item could support a portion of the cost but suggested that the Board of Apportionment and Taxation be approached for a special allocation. The project would likely have to go out to bid unless a waiver could be obtained being that the work may be considered an emergency with the weather changing quickly. Mr. O'Connell will consult with Public Works Director Gary Parker for the preparation of bid documents, if necessary. The Commission will approach the Board of Apportionment and Taxation on this matter.

Mr. Handi noted last month’s minutes regarding the technical schools new requirement to not have games in the afternoon. Mr. Orazetti indicated that it would be three or six games that would fall under this new rule. Maybe the games could be scheduled for Saturday’s but this would be up to the conference. He noted that the question has arisen as to where equipment will be stored up at the new Witek soccer fields. It was noted that there are no storage facilities. Mr. O'Connell noted that scheduling changes could impact the recreational scheduling as it has been customary that the schools occupy the fields in the afternoon and the recreational programs use it in the evenings.

Chairman Walsh felt that the Board of Education should consider including fields in the proposal for a new school being that the schools do not have any fields under their jurisdiction. By including it in the construction plans, a partial reimbursement of the construction costs could be received from the State.

A motion was made by Beverly Moran and second by Karen Izzo. Move to invite the Board of Education Athletic Sub-Committee to a meeting to discuss fields. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Orazetti stated that parking permits for the football games were distributed and it is working very well.

Mr. Orazetti stated that the gymnasium floor at Irving School is being replaced shortly. There will be a two-week drying time necessary. Bleachers will be installed in January. It is requested that no food or drink be allowed in the gymnasium.

Committee Reports:

Finance Committee – The budget is going well.

Programs Committee – The Committee has not met. The Commission continued to discuss the application form. Mr. O'Connell was asked if his staff could handle the increased workload. He felt the form was a good idea and the staff would find a way to administer this information as well as find a secure filing system. The Committee will move forward on this matter and explore information with Corporation Counsel.

Mr. Mikos noted that game rules change every year and the Committee is looking into holding a coaching clinic on these changes.

Mr. Mikos mentioned the adult recreation program running in the Veteran’s gymnasium on Thursday’s and Sunday’s.

Facilities Committee –The soccer fields at Witek Park are nearly complete and the facility looks very good. Photos are available on the Derby website.

Chairman Walsh indicated that bids on the Greenway are out and will be opened on October 27th with the construction being done next year.

The Commodore Hull Road Race is scheduled for Thanksgiving.

Chairman Walsh understood that the Mayor would be appointing a committee to study fields at Fountain Lake.

A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by Beverly Moran Move to adjourn the meeting at 8:14 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.


The next Parks & Recreation Commission meeting will be Monday, November 8, 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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