Friday, April 14, 2006
RecCom's plan for Foss Farm stalled
The Recreation Commission (RecCom) had hoped to put a master plan for developing recreational fields in front of Town Meeting in May. That plan was to look at all available land and set out a timetable for developing Banta-Davis and potentially Foss Farm. But at the Community Preservation Committee meeting on April 6, the RecCom's Norm Lind reported the committee has hit a roadblock. While the RecCom thought they had ConsCom agreement to set up a joint committee to look at fields at Foss Farm, the ConsCom has "strongly rebuffed" their attempts to put that committee together.
The hope had been that two RecCom representatives and two members of the Land Stewardship Committee could meet to look at the issue of providing playing fields. Although Tom Schultz of the ConsCom had agreed, apparently "the rest of the committee did not feel the same."
When the Stewardship Committee was approached directly, the feedback was that they will let the RecCom know when they are ready to listen to a proposal. The Stewardship Committee is "a terrific group," said Lind, but they believe "recreation is not part of their mandate."
This surprised CPC and Planning Board member Kent Gonzales, "Stewardship does not include active recreation?" he asked skeptically. Chair Caren Ponty noted that expansion of the Pony Club facilities at Foss Farm happened quickly. "There is some active recreation they are managing."
"It's very disappointing," said Lind. "[The ConsCom] had hoped to put all the recreation options on the table and discuss them in one forum (at Town Meeting)." But they have concluded, "It's not worth pushing now."
The RecCom will present a proposal for fields on Banta-Davis at Town Meeting. "We're very excited about Banta-Davis," said Lind. As to Foss Farm, "I'm not convinced a ballfield is the ultimate answer there. I just think we should explore it... and conclude the discussion started in the 1970s." Selectman Tim Hult agreed and suggested this was not the end of the matter: "The town wants to see this done."
© 2006 The