Park and Recreation Commission

(meeting taped)

Monthly meeting: Monday, September 12, 2005 in the Aldermanic Chambers of the Old City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:12 p.m.

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

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

additions or deletions to the agenda:

Without objection, the agenda was accepted as written.

approval of minutes:

Chairman Walsh noted that the Greenway bridge (page 1, public portion) anticipated work is to be done mid-October. A motion was made by David Mikos and second by James Benanto. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting on August 8, 2005, as amended. Motion carried unanimously.

Public portion:

Mayor Garofalo spoke of the success of the Greenway. He noted a number of suggestions received such as safety markers in case of emergency where the user could reference them to pinpoint their location on the greenway, distance markers, benches, trash receptacles, etc. He asked the Commission to consider the creation of a "Friends of the Trail" group as mentioned last month. Also, the Neighborhood Committee is gathering comments and suggestions on the trail that will be forwarded to the Commission.

Nick and Diana Serednitsky of Sentinel Hill Road expressed their enjoyment of the trail. They asked when the trail would be officially open. Chairman Walsh indicated that it would be the end of October to November timeframe. They offered a number of suggestions such as a posting board and using a buddy system while on the trail. They had a number of ideas such as a twilighter’s walk where lanterns could be used as the dusk is coming earlier as fall approaches, a Halloween harvest walk and any other uses that would provide full utilization of this fine facility.

Chairman Walsh noted that Marie Stockmal has offered to do a bird walk identifying birds along the trail.

Chairman Walsh noted that as the City is remembering the Flood of 1955, it is fitting that the community is now once again embracing the river.

Mr. Benanto suggested guided walks to familiarize the residents with the trail and make them feel comfortable with using the trail. As there are remote areas, dedicated police patrol schedules may be helpful.


Nothing was presented.


A.) Update on the Greenway: Continuing the discussion during public portion, much of the trail is paved and the bridge should be in shortly. Signage is yet to be installed. A landmark will be installed by the Bridge Street entrance. The parking lot will be completed. The Committee is exploring moving the fountain currently of Founders Commons to the Greenway. The fountain was originally placed in 1906. A newspaper magnate of the time decided to donate a fountain to each state. Derby received the fountain for Connecticut. The stipulation was that the fountain had to be placed in a heavily traveled open area where everyone could use the fountain. The City had to provide the pedestal and water and it was to be permanently maintained.

B.) Status of the Derby/Shelton Skate Park: There was nothing to report.

C.) Update on Public Works reorganization: and D.) Update on Neighborhood Committee request to have the Commission oversee the administration of Witek Park and the Onopiak property: The Neighborhood Committee last month was cancelled. Members of the Commission will be attending their next meeting.


Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O'Connell was excused.

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

Committee Reports:

Finance Committee – Nothing was presented.

Programs Committee – Mr. Mikos indicated that the Committee is exploring holding a forum for parents and coaches etiquette.

Facilities Committee – At Witek Park the gate was broken and a vehicle did minor damage to the fields. The City Engineer is aware and making arrangements for the repairs. The drainage issue has been remedied on the field, the sprinkler system is working well and the turf is looking very good. It is important to allow the fields to stabilize and waiting until the spring to begin play was a good decision.

An observation was made at recent Pop Warner game that the parking at the field house was excessive. It was questioned whether the Athletic Director has issued passes as he did last year. Chairman Walsh will contact the directors to advise them of this matter.

Motion was made by David Mikos and second by Beverly Moran Move to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.

The next Parks & Recreation Commission meeting will be Tuesday, October 12, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. at the Old City Hall, 35 Fifth Street. If the Aldermanic Chambers are unavailable then the Veteran’s room will be requested.

Respectfully prepared,

Karen Kemmesies, secretary

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