Park and Recreation Commission


(meeting taped)

Monthly meeting: Monday, November 8, 2004 in the Veteran’s Room of City Hall.

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

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

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

additions or deletions to the agenda:

Without objection, the agenda was accepted as written.

approval of minutes:

A motion was made by Beverly Moran and second by Karen Izzo. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting on October 12, 2004, as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Public portion:

James Mastrony of 1010 Roosevelt Drive reported on the skate park. Registration is up to 225 with approximately 150 from Shelton. The park will be closing for the season on November 21st. It has been free to this point. Bikes are allowed on Saturdays from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mr. Mastrony does programming of events for the Shelton Parks & Recreation. He indicated that contests and events are being planned to generate funds to purchase more ramps and equipment. They are looking into storage for maintenance equipment, lockers for the participants to use and possibly a ticket booth. He offered to help Derby with planning child and adult activities and trips and presented a proposal to the Director.

No one else came forward and public portion was closed.


Nothing was presented.


A.) Field maintenance proposal for Ryan football field: The Board of Apportionment and Taxation allocated $10,000 for the maintenance. The Director will be seeking three quotes and will continue to pursue a bid waiver for the job due to the time sensitivity.

B.) Temporary repairs to Little League field: Ken Marcucio and Gary Haydu were present. Mr. Marcucio indicated, after reading the minutes of the previous meeting, that it was not their intent to express that they choose between the repairs or the batting cage as an either or situation. Rather, the league desired to accomplish both if funding was available. He noted that work also is needed on the fencing. He was seeking assistance from the Commission to agree to contribute to the funding of a portion of the cage ($1,500).

Mr. Haydu indicated that holes were filled in the infield and sod was placed. The outfield will be split seeded and they are awaiting delivery of the clay. The water line was replaced after receiving approval from the Board of Education. The league is currently seeking fencing quotes.

Members discussed the league’s plans and measured the safety considerations and available funding. It was noted that the batting cage is not a permanent structure and it could be moved if the fields were relocated. All agreed that safety is a priority. It was decided that the Little League would explore cost estimates for the fence repairs first and the batting cage and return to the Commission. As it is early in the fiscal year, members felt it was impossible to dedicate funding at this time. The league was encouraged to participate in the budget process bringing forward the program’s needs for consideration in next year’s budget proposal.

C.) Update on Public Works reorganization: The department is in the process of hiring. Public Works Director Gary Parker will be invited to the next meeting.

D.) Update on Neighborhood Committee request to have the Commission oversee the administration of Witek Park: The Neighborhood Committee is still open to the Parks & Recreation Commission overseeing Witek Park and has also suggested overseeing the Onopiak property.

This request ties into the Public Works reorganization. Members stressed that there will be essential duties for each of these properties. The reorganization will define staffing as well as which department would be charged with the maintenance. They felt strongly that the Recreation Department would have to be properly supported with adequate Public Works staffing if the Commission is to undertake this additional responsibility.


Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O'Connell stated that Derby is splitting the fee with Shelton for the operation of the skateboard park through the end of the season. The cost being $400 each.

Youth basketball registration is nearly complete with numbers in the mid 200’s. The season starting time is yet to be determined.

Pop Warner cheerleaders are advancing in the competitions, winning the State competitions. They are now advancing to the Regionals.

The Saturday league will be starting December 4th. There are currently 10 to 12 teams. The sixth grade league on Sunday’s is also being scheduled.

A new roof was installed on the pavilion at the Amendola complex.

Clay is being purchased for all the fields, including the Little League.

Athletic Director’s Report: Mr. Orazetti was excused.

Leo DiSorbo and Dennis Devonshuk from the Board of Education were present to speak with the members on their athletic needs. Chairman Walsh noted that the schools have no fields but rather utilize the recreational fields. Members discussed the referendum and the thought of including fields with the school project. This suggestion will be forwarded to the Building Committee Chair John Orazetti.


Committee Reports:

Finance Committee – The budget is going well.

Programs Committee – The Committee has not met.

Facilities Committee –The soccer fields at Witek Park are nearly complete and the facility looks very good. Photos are available on the Derby website. A walk-thru is scheduled for Saturday.

Chairman Walsh indicated that bids on the Greenway were opened and found to be higher than expected. The specifications are being reviewed to see if the project can be recalculated to bring it in-line with the available funding.

The Commodore Hull Road Race is scheduled for Thanksgiving.

Mr. Felice suggested that the Committee tour the facilities and determine the crucial needs so as to formulate a long-term plan of maintenance.

It was noted that the parking within the gate during a game last week at Ryan Complex was excessive. These concerns will be relayed to the Athletic Director.

A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by Al Felice. Move to adjourn the meeting at 8:56 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.


The next Parks & Recreation Commission meeting will be Monday, December 13, 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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