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NOVEMBER 29, 2000
A Special Meeting of the Enfield Town Council was held in the Council Chambers of the Enfield Town Hall, 820 Enfield Street, Enfield, Connecticut on Wednesday, November 29, 2000. Chairwoman Strom called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
ROLL-CALL  Present were Councilmen Egan, Fiore, Giddings, Hall, Mangini, Strom. Councilmen McGuire and Vayda entered at 6:05 p.m. Councilman Kaupin entered at 6:10 p.m. Councilmen Dodd and Falk were absent. Also present were Town Manager, Scott A. Shanley; Assistant Town Manager, Daniel T. Vindigni; Town Clerk, Suzanne F. Olechnicki; Town Attorney, Christopher W. Bromson; Recreation Supervisor, Mary Keller.
Mr. Shanley stated the scope of this project was to study outdoor recreation. He noted the Plan of Conservation and Development that was completed in early 1999 suggested that after extensive surveys, one of the issues that the public was most concerned about was the adequacy of recreational opportunities and recreational facilities. He stated the Enfield Revitalization Committee took an interest in this and subsequently convinced the Town Council that now was the time to conduct this analysis. He introduced John Kissida and Rod Cameron from Camp Dresser & McKee.
Mr. Cameron reviewed the Outdoor Recreational Study conducted by his firm. He noted Enfield has a tremendous number of resources, both in people and natural resources. He stated Enfield also has an excellent active and passive framework for recreation. He noted they looked at every single recreational facility in Enfield. He stated they were not charged with looking at indoor facilities such as the ice rink. He noted they did an overview analysis of those facilities. He stated out of all of this, they developed some general recommendations for improvements, expansions, and additions to these facilities, as well as identifying additional facility needs. He stated this report also includes a recommended approach to implement their suggestions.
He stated they were charged to look at six key recreational facility sites. He reviewed those facilities as follows:
Opportunities/Limitations Analysis
·       limited flat area for additional sports field development
·       difficult site security
·       no support facilities
·       need and potential for adding a childrens playground and field house with restrooms and concessions
·       need for improved access to this site
·       potential for connection to Scantic River recreation corridor
Design Program Recommendations
·       improvements in vehicular/pedestrian circulation
·       improve entrance statement
·       accessible childrens play area
·       perimeter walking/jogging path
·       connections to the Scantic River
·       improve visual connection between Hazard Avenue and Powder Hollow Bowl
Opportunities/Limitations Analysis
·       does not meet current standards for accessibility and has outlived its useful life
·       tennis/handball courts are closed
·       difficult pedestrian circulation due to steep paths and lack of adequate separation between pedestrians and vehicles in parking area
·       inadequate and poorly defined parking and poor vehicular access
·       opportunities for a walking path
·       good screening of this facility from neighboring homes
·       swimming pool and bath house facility beyond design life
Design Program Recommendations
·       remove pool facility and tennis courts
·       accessible/interactive spray pool
·       accessible childrens play area
·       exercise center
·       basketball courts
·       improve vehicle access and parking area
·       park amenities (benches, picnic tables, trash receptacles, etc.)
Opportunities/Limitations Analysis
·       limited field expansion potential
·       inadequate parking and inefficient vehicular circulation
·       potential for walking or jogging pathways
Design Program Recommendations
·       two additional soccer fields
·       revise/relocate vehicular access and circulation
·       improve on-site parking
·       provide additional recreational opportunities, i.e., a perimeter walking path, interpretive signage instructing people about the various habitats that exist in the area
Opportunities/Limitations Analysis
·       expansion potential
·       need for improved parking, circulation and accessibility in general
·       need for play area improvements
·       Enfield DPW staging area conflicts
·       Potential for connection to Phoenix corporate recreation area
Design Program Recommendations
·       (2) newly lighted softball fields
·       improve vehicular-pedestrian circulation
·       field house (with accessible restrooms and concessions)
·       a lighted childrens play area
·       (6) lighted tennis courts
Opportunities/Limitations Analysis
·       an excellent opportunity for at least an interim solution for providing good game facilities for both high schools, as well as opportunities for the general public to use these facilities
·       no buffering zone along residential or commercial areas
·       high maintenance, limited use cinder track
·       inadequate locker facilities within existing building
Design Program Recommendations
·       development of a sports complex to support multi-high school athletic events and Town recreation needs
·       lighted synthetic turf fields
·       400 meter 6-lane all-weather track with 8-lane straight section
·       accessible home and visitor bleachers with press box
·       Freshwater Brook pedestrian/bikeway
Opportunities/Limitations Analysis
·       170+ acre site with 30 acre capped land fill, active transfer station and communications tower
·       potential opportunities for multiple use
·       location on Scantic River adjacent to the Scantic River State Park offers expanded recreational opportunities
·       centrally located in Enfield for town-wide use potential
Design Program Recommendations
·       sports complex including additional lighted/irrigated softball fields, multi-purpose game fields, a field house with restrooms and concessions, basketball courts, tennis court, volleyball courts
·       passive recreation activities
·       parking facilities to support the use of this facility
·       shelters, benches, picnic tables, etc.
·       public display gardens
·       public events pavilion
·       transfer facility relocation and improvements
·       establish a townwide hierarchy of pedestrian/bicycle trail and pathways
·       improve public access to riverfront areas
·       improve opportunities for passive and unstructured recreation activities
·       provide new, alternative and non-traditional types of recreational opportunities and facilities
·       improve existing facilities
·       improve and expand outdoor recreation facilities for Enfield Public School physical education program and scholastic sports program
·       initiate preliminary designs and cost estimates
·       prepare master plans
·       initiate facilities planning and budgeting for capital improvements program
·       identify alternative funding opportunities, including state and federal programs
·       consider evaluation of additional
·       sites not included in this study, i.e., the industrial park
Mr. Cameron then invited questions.
Audience  Why werent non-traditional type facilities mentioned in these recommendations, i.e., skateboard park or BMX track. Mr. Cameron stated based on the discussions that they had, they tried to address the initial concerns of the Town, and those related to sports field activities, as well as general passive recreation. He noted in the course of their discussions, issues about other types of non-traditional recreational opportunities came up. He pointed out his firm was charged with looking at six specific sites. He noted the only site that might be able to accommodate that type of activity is the Mancuso Park site. He stated the other sites are fairly well-developed.
Mr. Shanley questioned whether a decommissioned tennis court could be used for a non-traditional sport, and Mr. Cameron noted thats a possibility.
Audience  Could Camp Dresser & McKee or the Town publicize the details of this report so that the general public could look at it? Mr. Shanley stated the full report is available in the Town Managers Office, the Public Library, or the Parks Department. Mr. Kissida added they could possibly provide something electronically.
Audience  How does Camp Dresser & McKee feel about the condition of the schools recreational facilities. Mr. Cameron stated they did not study school facilities. He noted the firm, Malone and McBroom studied the schools recreational facilities, and that report indicated improvements need to be made at both high schools. He pointed out the Town worked with them to do that. He stated most high schools now have all weather tracks and irrigation systems for their sports fields. He added many towns are now looking at sports lighting so that they can have night games and other types of activities. He went on to note that they did hear input from Enfield residents that they would like to see some improvements in the sports facilities for the high schools for scholastic sports. He noted this is a difficult task when theres two high schools.
Mr. Kissida pointed out an all-weather track costs approximately $200,000 to $400,000. He noted a lighted soccer field costs approximately $180,000 to $200,000. He stated an artificial turf field, especially with the current levels of play, is $725,000 to $1.2 million.
Audience  Many professional teams are switching from artificial turf to natural turf due to frequent injuries. Mr. Kissida stated there are many types of artificial turf, and this is an area that would have to be explored.
Audience  At an earlier public hearing, it seemed the premise was for one big sports area, however, that is not mentioned in this evenings presentation. Mr. Cameron noted theres the potential for a sports facility at Brainard or Mancuso Parks.
Councilman Kaupin questioned if all the needs are accommodated based on the "Demand-Based Needs Assessment Findings". Mr. Cameron stated they developed worksheets for each of the leagues and looked at the fields that those leagues needed. As concerns all of the leagues needs being met, Mr. Kissida noted it really depends on how Mancuso Park is used and whether lighting is used.
Councilman Kaupin questioned the recommendation concerning the removal of the tennis court and pool at Green Manor Park. He questioned what is a spray pool.
Mr. Cameron referred to the removal of the tennis court and noted this recommendation is based on the activity of that area as a neighborhood park. He explained grouping facilities together, i.e., tennis courts makes it much easier to maintain them. He pointed out the Green Manor neighborhood might not be well served by having just one tennis court in that area, and they dont have the room for a larger tennis facility. He stated instead they might be able to develop an extensive playground area.
Mr. Cameron stated the cost of replacing Green Manor pool with a new pool is extremely high. He noted the question is whether the town wants to put the money into that one facility.
He stated as part of this study they looked at the possibility of a multi-seasonal pool, and they identified an area such as the new senior center or Mancuso Park for such a pool. He explained a spray pool is computer-driven with a series of jets. He noted children can get wet, and there need not be a high degree of supervision.
Councilman Hall questioned the possibility of turning tennis courts into skateboard parks or outdoor roller hockey facilities. Mr. Kissida stated a street hockey court would be about $150,000 from scratch. He noted they could utilize a tennis court for pick-up games, but not organized games. As concerns skateboarding facilities, Mr.Kissida stated the Town would have to first look at liability issues and oversight of this sport. He noted Boston built a skateboard park for $200,000. He stated a skateboard park could be accomplished for $25,000 to $30,000 if the pavement is already in place.
Councilman Hall questioned why Camp Dresser & McKee prefers Asnuntuck for central fields. Mr. Cameron stated there really isnt a site like Asnuntuck that already has the infrastructure in place. He added the parking could be accommodated as well. He noted Asnuntuck does not have locker rooms.
Audience  It was noted there may be a conflict with parking usage at Asnuntuck if classes are underway.
Mr. Cameron stated the Town would be looking for the "best bang for their buck" as they attempt to enhance recreational facilities.
Audience  Why wasnt a BMX track recommended at Mancuso Park. Mr. Cameron stated a BMX park would typically be developed by a private developer, not necessarily the town. Mr. Kissida added in 25 years of designing, he has never done a BMX facility. He added there also has to be a demand for such a facility.
Councilman Mangini expressed her appreciation for all the work done by Camp Dresser & McKee. She went on to note that the Executive Summary indicated the Town might want to consider buying some waterfront property. Mr. Cameron noted Enfield is extremely fortunate in that it has an opportunity for some tremendous development potential along the Connecticut River.
Frank Jedziniak, Abbe Road
        Noted the Town has indicated in the past that theres no land available in the industrial park, and yet this report indicated theres 160 acres available within the industrial park. Mr. Shanley explained there are 100 acres within the industrial park that cannot be built upon due to wetlands, however, theres the potential for walking trails.
Mr. Jedziniak noted for many years, the State of Connecticut has been saying they will develop a Scantic River Park. Mr. Cameron stated his hope this study will provide the impetus for the Town to move ahead and help make that a reality.
Referring to athletic fields, an audience member stated his opinion Enfield does not maintain its existing fields.
Audience  Stated his opinion its very important to take the advice of these studies and act upon some of these things. He urged the Town Council to move forward.
Councilman Hall questioned how long it will take to complete the master plan of development. Mr. Cameron estimated six to nine months.
Chairwoman Strom stated this report will be made available to the public.
MOTION #4939
by Councilman Mangini, seconded by Councilman Giddings to adjourn.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #4939 adopted 9-0-0, and the meeting stood adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Jeannette Lamontagne
Secretary to the Council
By Suzanne F. Olechnicki
Suzanne F. Olechnicki
Town Clerk
Clerk of the Council

Last Updated: Friday, Jan 25, 2002
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