Park and Recreation CommissionMinutes
Regular meeting: Monday, December 13, 1999 at the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.
Meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. By roll call, members present: John Walsh, Al Felice and David Mikos. Beverly Moran arrived directly after roll call. Adam Greco was absent.
Parks and Recreation Director Dennis O’Connell was also present. Athletic Director Kenneth Marcucio was absent.
ADDITIONS AND DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA:
Without objection, Chairman Walsh added the update on the Capital Plan LoCIP funding and also, suggested that the agenda be taken out of order to allow Pop Warner to speak after the approval of minutes.
No one came forward to speak. Pop Warner and Little League representatives will be allowed to participate in the discussion of item nine on the agenda.
Approval of minutes:
A motion was made by Alfred Felice and second by David Mikos. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting held on November 8, 1999. All in favor. Motion carried.
Chairman Walsh noted that the minutes are now posted on the Derby Web site on the internet.
Nothing was presented.
Pop Warner - Program Director’s Report:
James Mascolo stated that the program has five teams. The Junior Midgets, 20 players, progressed to the playdowns and the PeeWee’s, 19 players (reduced to 17 due to injuries), progressed to the semi-finals this year. Midgets had 17 players, Jr. PeeWee’s had 24 players and the Mighty Mites had 23 players. Participation was consistent with last year’s numbers. There were four cheerleading squads totaling 105 participants. In the regional competitions, the Midgets placed fifth, the Jr. Midget placed fourth and the PeeWee’s place second which allowed them to proceed to the regionals in Boston where they placed twelfth out of twenty-five.
Mr. Mascolo indicated that the field conditions were a concern. The surface conditions were very poor by the end of the season. When the area was dry, a dust problem developed. He asked if the fields could be watered next season, when necessary, to lessen this problem. Also, space limitations hampered the program to some degree. The proposed practice fields would certainly help the situation. Currently, practice time is limited so as to allow all the teams an opportunity to practice. The cheerleaders also had problems finding places to practice. At one point the Hotchkiss Hose Company # 1 firehouse on David Humphreys Road was used for practice in preparation for the competitions. Michele Mastrianni asked if the High School gym could be made available, noting that there were times when the space was not being used. Chairman Walsh stated that the High School Athletic Director makes the schedule and suggested that they contact him.
Chairman Walsh asked if Pop Warner was in favor of the artificial turf at Ryan Field versus moving the program to another location. Mr. Mascolo noted that the newer materials and installation offer a softer surface than the previous artificial materials used. He thought the use would be okay but noted that the coaches were split on whether the surface was appropriate. They would prefer to remain at Ryan Field. It seemed to be appropriate to remain in the same area as used by High School football. Also, the Pop Warner program utilizes the field house and the concession stand as well as the bleachers. Proceeds from the gate and from the concession stand support the program. Asked how the finances went this year, Mr. Mascolo responded that the budget went well.
Little League - Program Director’s Report:
Robert Kalesavich, director of the Minor League division was present. Andrew Mancini, director of the Major League division called and asked to be excused due to illness. Mr. Kalesavich indicated that he is not on the Board of Directors and did not have budget figures or participant numbers but he would be available to speak on the program. He noted that space limitation is a problem. The fields overlap and practice areas are very crowded. With football practice in the fall on the field, the surface is in very poor condition.
Mr. O'Connell noted that the concession stand was better utilized this year due to the efforts of the parents and proceeds increased. Members discussed the current makeup of the Board of Directors. An election was held last year and many retained their long standing positions. Meetings have been sparse and communication with the parents of the participants has been limited.
A motion was made by Beverly Moran and second by Alfred Felice. Move to invite the Board of Directors of the Little League program to the next meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission. All in favor. Motion carried.
Speaking to the facilities, it was noted that the programs ran fairly well considering the limited space. The fall program had minor conflicts of scheduling with the football practice. The proposed fields certainly would relieve these concerns. Also, the Little League recently raised the standards for field size up to 220 feet for the outfield. The current field is approximately 175 feet, well under the standard. The new field would be designed to current standards. With the use of metal bats, the balls are being hit much further by many more players. For safety reasons, the larger field and separation of divisions is paramount to insure the safety of the participants.
Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Boy’s Biddy basketball are practicing at the Veteran’s Center and also, at the Boy’s Club in Shelton for two games a week. This is working out very well. Girl’s Biddy basketball play at Irving and the instructional programs are playing at Bradley.
Speaking on the facilities, loam has been ordered and will be applied, weather permitting and per the Public Works Department schedule. Hopefully, this will level the surfaces and encourage new growth. He is hopeful that use will be restricted on the fields during the winter months to allow them to rest. Nothing is scheduled but often the public utilizes the area. This is being discouraged at this time. Possibly, with the implementation of the proposed enhancement plan, there will be sufficient space so that casual use can be welcomed rather than turned away.
Chairman Walsh noted that he received e-mail asking if ice skating was a consideration. It was noted that Pickett’s Pond has had skating in the past but with the mild winters, the surface has not sufficiently frozen. Realistically, no other area seemed possible as efforts in the past to flood fields proved unacceptable. It was suggested that the Osborndale Park rangers be contacted to encourage notification if or when the surface does freeze sufficiently for this use.
Athletic Director’s Report: Mr. Marcucio was not present.
Youth Advisory Council - A meeting will be scheduled in the near future.
Recreation Facilities Enhancement Committee - A meeting is scheduled for December 14, 1999 at the High School. The City Engineer will be present. With the changes to the school plan, the recreation plan is still up in the air. The baseball field options will be explored. Most importantly, once a plan is finalized, the various programs will have to meet to develop an understanding of the proposal and ultimately drawing their support of the plan.
NEW or OTHER BUSINESS:
Field use and issuance of permits - Members discussed whether this was enforceable. The intent of the suggestion was to lessen conflicts that have arisen as well as to limit unauthorized use so as to preserve the conditions of the fields. Mr. O'Connell noted that most problems arise when their is an overlapping of time between programs. He explained that scheduling is done in blocks for each program without conflicting overlap. The schedule is tight so as one program is ending, quite often another is starting. This is required due to limited time and space. Problems arise when games go into overtime or when a program does not play within their scheduled time. Certainly some delays are unavoidable and consideration must be made. Mr. O'Connell felt that the directors of each program should apprise their coaches of the scheduled times and procedures regarding field use. Conformance should be adhered to as diligently as possible until such time that additional space is obtained. Regarding the unauthorized use, the Police Department will be asked to continue their monitoring of the facilities. It was suggested that a schedule be distributed to the Department for reference.
The next meeting will be Monday, January 10, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. If the Aldermanic Chambers are unavailable then the Veteran’s room will be requested.
A motion was made by Beverly Moran and second by David Mikos. Move to adjourn this meeting at 8:32 p.m. All in favor. Motion carried.
Karen Kemmesies, secretary
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