Park and Recreation Commission

(meeting taped)

Monthly meeting: Monday, December 12, 2005 in the Veteran’s Room of the Old City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m.

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

A motion was made by Karen Izzo and second by David Mikos. Move to accept the minutes of November 11, 2005, as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Public portion:

No public came forward at this time.


Nothing was presented.


A.) Meeting Schedule for 2006: Members felt that the second Monday schedule was agreeable. The location may change as plans are to have the Board of Education central offices move into the old City Hall.

A motion was made by Al Felice and second by James Benanto. Move to adopt the Park and Recreation Commission meeting schedule for the 2006 calendar year to be the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. with the exception of October, which would be scheduled for Tuesday, October 10th to be held at the old City Hall. Motion carried unanimously.

B.) Update on the Greenway: The bridges are in place. Completion of the bridge is delayed until the spring as concrete work is needed and weather conditions will not permit the work during the cold months. The contractor is working on signage and markings on the trail. The Safety Committee is working on creating the colored zones of the trail so that in an emergency, a person can identify their approximate location by the color zone they are in at the time. The extensive usage of the greenway continues even with the colder weather. Public Works is doing a good job in clearing the path so usage can continue. The previous administration planned on appointing a committee to support the greenway and the Commission will speak to the new administration. Chairman Walsh noted that the City has received grant funding to pursue extending the greenway to the Orange town line.

C.) Update on Neighborhood Committee request to have the Commission oversee the administration of Witek Park and the Onopiak property and Update on Public Works reorganization: The matter will be removed from the agenda and will await further direction from the new Board of Alderman.

Updating the progress at Witek Park, the City Engineer met with the irrigation contractor and a leak was identified that explains the wet condition at the southwest portion of the field. This will be repaired in the spring and should not delay use of the field. The sprinkler system has been drained for the winter. Drainage at the toe of the slope continues to be an issue. Plans are to place stone gravel to allow better percolation of the water into the ground. The contractor will explore whether compaction occurred during construction, which would have an effect on the ability to drain properly.

D.) Public Works reorganization: The new Public Works director has yet to be appointed. It is understood that Public Works employees may be trained in turf management to satisfy the Derby Inland Wetlands Agency stipulation for Witek Park and the City Engineer is looking at private contractors for this work. Another stipulation was a study of the park that was being done by the Mayor’s assistant Mr. Lutz. There was no information on its progress. Mr. O'Connell will be meeting with Mayor Staffieri to discuss the Parks & Recreation needs.


Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O'Connell was excused. It was noted that the Junior Midgets cheerleaders took fifth in the nationals and the Midgets took eleventh.

High School Athletic Director’s Report: Mr. Orazetti was excused. Chairman Walsh noted that Charles DiCenso Way was dedicated on the Tuesday prior to the Thanksgiving football game.

Committee Reports:

Finance Committee – Nothing was reported.

Programs Committee – The Committee did not meet. Ms. Izzo attended an abuse and abduction program. The program discussed requirements of mandatory reporters and the legislature exploration whether recreational instructors should be included. This matter will be monitored and instructional program will be considered if the law is implemented. Mr. Mikos noted a coach’s clinic for basketball was recently held. The clinic reviewed changes in the regulations.

The Commission suggested having program directors attend future meetings to discuss their program and funding needs. Members noted the trend towards regionalization of programs and the out-of-town participants that compliment and allow programs to satisfied their membership needs. This will be discussed with the program directors.

Facilities Committee – The Booster Club asked whether the water has been shut off at the field house. This will be forwarded to Mr. O'Connell. Members questioned the status of the replacement of the visitor’s bleachers. As the bleachers are used primarily for High School athletic use, the Commission will be looking at the relationship between the Board of Education and the Parks & Recreation and the matter will be further discussed during budget preparations.

Ms. Izzo indicated that Little League is wondering if they will be moving to a different facility once the soccer moves to Witek Park. It was noted that the Planning Committee appointed by the previous mayor is in limbo. Mayor Garofalo was to speak to St. Jude’s Church regarding their adjoining property but no further information was available. The matter will be raised with the new administration. The previous administration had also begun exploring the future use of the Derby Veteran's Community Center. This also will be discussed with the new mayor.

Motion was made by Matt Cripps and second by Karen Izzo. Move to adjourn the meeting at 7:45 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully prepared,

Karen Kemmesies, secretary

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