Park and Recreation Commission


(meeting taped)

Monthly meeting: Monday, February 14, 2005 in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m.

At this time a moment of silence was observed for the passing of member Edward Handi. Members remembered him for his tireless efforts for recreational activities throughout the years. Chairman Walsh noted that Mr. Handi always got involved in things for the right reason. He never did anything that was selfish; everything he did was for the best of everyone. Even as a referee, he always had the respect of everyone involved. His passing is a tremendous loss to the commission and the community.

By roll call, members present: John Walsh, Al Felice, Matt Cripps, 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 Karen Izzo and second by Beverly Moran. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting on December 12, 2004, as written. Motion carried unanimously.

No meeting was held in January due to a lack of quorum.

Public portion:

No one else forward and public portion was closed.


A letter dated January 28, 2005 from Bernard Williamson asking for changes in the membership rate structure was presented. Mr. Williamson asked that the structure be changed so that rather than World War II Veteran, the classification should be veteran 62 years of age and up.

Members reviewed the current rate structure. It was noted that these fees were set at the time the Commission took over the supervision of the Center and special care was given to acknowledge the World War II veterans who were the impetus for the building.

Yearly Full Health Club member’s fees:

Resident Non-Resident

WWII Veterans FREE $50.00

Other Veterans $100.00 $200.00

Derby Residents $200.00 $250.00

Derby Police /FD $150.00 $175.00

Family Health Club $375.00 $475.00

(add $75.00 for each Child 16 & up)

Senior Citizens (62 & up) $125.00 $175.00

Mr. O'Connell stated that currently there are:

Resident Non-Resident

World War II Veterans 23 13

Veterans 44 10

Seniors 25 19

Members discussed various options and concluded that the matter should be further explored with Mr. Williamson.

A motion was made by Al Felice and second by Matt Cripps. Move that the entire rate structure for the Derby Veteran's Community Center be referred to the Finance Committee for review during deliberations for next year’s budget presentation. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. O'Connell presented a memo dated 2/7/05 given to Little League parents during registration. It states that the Mayor has appointed a Little League/Girls Softball Complex Search Committee consisting of Dennis O'Connell and James Benanto (Shelton High School Athletic Director) as co-chairs, Gary Haydu, Raymond Krieger, Barry McMahon, Roger Bowman, Matthew Cripps, Ronald Russell and Gary Cirillo. Field requirements have been determined to be two tournament sized fields with grass infields and raised pitching mounds, 2 tournament sized multi purpose fields with skinned infields and one T-ball field consisting of at least a full size infield.


A.) Election of Officers:

A motion was made by Karen Izzo and second by Beverly Moran. Move to nominate John Walsh as Chairman of the Parks & Recreation Commission. Motion carried unanimously.

No other nominations were received. The floor was closed. Members congratulated Mr. Walsh and commended him on his continuing efforts for recreation in the City. He felt that this year will be a positive year for recreation in the City and will include looking at changes in staffing and facilities that will effect the budgetary process. He encouraged maintaining a ongoing relationship with the schools and the new superintendent regarding the shared facilities.

A motion was made by Beverly Moran and second by Karen Izzo. Move that in the absence of the Chair, the next senior member of the Commission shall serve as temporary Chair. Motion carried unanimously.

B.) Update on Public Works reorganization: The department will be hiring shortly. Public Works Director Gary Parker will be invited to an upcoming meeting.

C.) Update on Neighborhood Committee request to have the Commission oversee the administration of Witek Park: This request ties into the Public Works reorganization. The Facilities Committee is discussing this request. The Committee feels that the Onopiak property would remain as an open area with the possibility of running some environmental type programs there and the possibility of adding a major type walk to the property. There are deed restrictions that will limit the use.

At Witek Park, the Committee has no plans for expansion of athletic fields but did envision the potential for paths and possibly bathroom facilities.

A motion was made by Al Felice and second by Beverly Moran. Move to recommend to the Neighborhood Committee that the Onopiak property be considered for open space with some possible environmental uses and the potential for a nature trail being established. Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Al Felice and second by Beverly Moran. Move to recommend to the Neighborhood Committee a statement that the Parks & Recreation Commission would like to see additional trails be blazed to the Witek Park Complex and the Commission also foresees a future need for some form of restroom facilities somewhere in the complex, however the Commission does not desire to take over the park until a full maintenance program can be developed in conjunction with the Public Works Director to the Commissions liking. Motion carried unanimously.

D.) Update on Little League field improvements:

Mr. O'Connell continues to communicate with the League. At the urging of the Public Works Department, the minor league field fence was replaced for safety reasons.


Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O'Connell stated that Youth basketball season is coming to a close with All-Stars now being played. The season should end by the end of February.

The budget process is beginning and the Finance Committee will be preparing the 2005-2006 budget for the next Parks & Recreation Commission meeting.

Little League is registering.

Members discussed how the programs account for their revenue. It was noted that Little League, Pop Warner and Soccer are organized as 501 c3 programs. The Basketball program is managed by a committee. The Finance Committee will review this process.

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

Committee Reports:

Finance Committee – The budget is going well. The Committee will be meeting to develop the budget proposal. The will look at the structure for salaries as last year they became aware after the budget process, that the Board of Alderman has to approve all salary increases. They were encouraged to develop a list of capital needs and prepare documents and pictures to support their request.

Programs Committee – The Committee met but there was poor attendance. A meeting will be scheduled inviting program directors to begin discussions on the upcoming budget process. A finance report from each program will be requested. It was felt that these reports are necessary and should be contingent on their future funding. The Committee will be looking at training classes, coaching classes and continuing CPR and Red Cross certification. Members stressed the importance of involving parents and possibly providing workshops to enhance their recreational experience for their children.

Facilities Committee – Plans for the Greenway are being reviewed to bring the project within the budgeted funding. With the cost of steel escalating, the structure of the bridges are being reviewed. It is anticipated that the construction will be done in 2005.

The Public Works department has moved a rock in place by the gate at Witek Park to discourage access by ATV’s. No vandalism was reported.

A motion was made by Matt Cripps and second by Karen Izzo. Move to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.

The next Parks & Recreation Commission meeting will be Monday, March 14, 2005 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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