Friday, October 1, 1999
RecCom considers ice skating rink
Although fall sports have just begun, the Carlisle Recreation Commission is already thinking about a new plan for winter activity.
On September 20, member Maureen Tarca reported on plans to build a winter ice skating rink. "I've talked with over 30 people and received an overwhelming response," she announced. Tarca is initially focusing on the field in back of the Banta-Davis land, which is presently unused. She contacted a company in Canada that sells a rugged plastic material to line the rink. First, a graded area is enclosed with 2-inch by 8-inch wood and then the plywood bottom is covered with plastic. Tarca explained, "We wait for the snow to fall, then the department of public works plows it nice and smooth and we let it compact. You don't need to fill it with water."
Members pointed out that this proposal is not without a few problems. Materials cost around $4,000 and there are no lights for nighttime skating. The rink can be left in place over the summer, but it provides a tempting site for roller blading and a magnet for vandalism. The location is isolated and supervision is sporadic. Only recreational skating will be allowedhockey is discouraged. Also, recent winters have produced a dearth of snow in Carlisle, as any cross-country skier can attest.
Member Mark Spears suggested another approach. "Bedford has two rinks side by side. One is for hockey and one is recreational." He also described Nashua's solution where "plows go round and round, then they flood it." It wasn't long before everyone in the room pounced on the same idea. "Let's flood the tennis courts!"
The tennis courts have nearby electric service to support lights. The surface wouldn't need plywood reinforcement, only a border and some plastic sheet from Agway. A water service company can bring in 9,000 gallons of water for about $300. "It's worth a call to someone to see if it hurts the surface of the tennis courts," suggested chair Carol Peters.
More and more people are requesting field usage and RecCom feels it's time to move this job to a paid assistant. Resident Karen Verrill has been hired and Spears has agreed to assist in the transition. One suggestion by Spears is to issue paper permits to formalize the process. "Paper permits make it easier to enforce," said Spears. "I occasionally have to tell a group that they don't belong thereothers have signed up for that time slot." He does not foresee charging a fee for the permits unless it is an outside adult group. Peters agreed that "non-profits and townspeople should be free."
Sprinkler system damage
Two recent power outages in Carlisle succeeded in changing the timing of the Spalding Field sprinkler system. The unfortunate result was that the system turned on in the middle of a ballgame. In an attempt to turn it off, or in a fit of irrigation irritation (an aquatic version of road rage), they broke the sprinkler control and caused $1,200 damage to the pump and switch box. An emergency phone number will be posted nearby to prevent future rainouts.
Tennis shed vandalism
The tennis shed was broken into again, sometime between August 20 and September 6. Some tennis balls and street hockey equipment were stolen. It cost several hundred dollars to fix the lock and hinges. "To make matters worse," lamented Peters, "the Bedford lock people reported that there's a dead rat in the shed."
New recreation director Jan Deyoe attended the meeting to provide a summer pogram wrap-up. "We did very well," she announced. "The attendance was up 40 percent in the K-4 program...and we had to turn some awaythose that waited until the last minute to register." Deyoe estimated that 12-15 families used the summer program as day care, with children attending every day of the week. Concord offers a similar program with drop off at 8, commented Deyoe. "The Extended Day folks are planning a program next year also."
"It's time to get the Recreation Trust active again," commented RecCom member Tarca. "We need donations and grant money." Spears identified two action items to raise both money and awareness. "We'll apply for the soccer federation grant again. We asked for $150,000 last year." Secondly, RecCom plans an official grand opening of the Banta-Davis playing fields. They will be ready in the fall of next year. "The week after Labor Day," suggested Spears. "We'll have to get a new namenot Banta-Davis. Let's come up with some good names in the meantime."
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito