Friday, May 5, 2006
Town okays $2,044,900 project at Banta-Davis, adds artificial turf
Recreation Commission (RecCom) Chair Allen Deary presented plans for developing additional recreational facilities on the Banta-Davis Land off Bedford Road at the May 1 Annual Town Meeting. The plans call for the construction of one multi-purpose field, two Little League fields and four tennis courts. The site presently contains one baseball field, one softball field and one multi-purpose field with surrounding running track.
The biggest surprise was the addition of artificial turf to the total package, which increased the final cost from $1,466,300 to $2,044,900. It would be used on the multi-purpose field. "There are no pesticides, no herbicides, no fertilizer, no mowing," said Deary. "Another less obvious benefit is that the field does not have to be rested, therefore allowing full-time operation." Deary cited an example in which an artificial turf field allowed games to continue in the pouring rain without fear of turf damage or mud. Deary has spoken to neighboring towns who rave about their artificial turf fields.
"Artificial turf is guaranteed for eight years and is expected to last about 13 years," said Deary, although it was not clear at what level of usage. He hoped that added field utilization, low maintenance and ecological benefits will offset the cost. Occasional cleaning will probably be required and roller leveling will be performed as necessary. Engineer Dale Harris, of site designer Dewbury Goodkind, assisted Deary on several topics regarding the plan.
Although the path between Spalding and Banta-Davis is not passable at this time, plans for use of the path will be developed as part of the project. The path is problematic in that a fair amount of wetland is involved and the actual rebuilding of the trail is not included in the construction plans.
Christy Barbee of Cranberry Hill Lane asked Deary about any possible toxic runoff from the plastic turf itself and asked Deary to investigate further. Another concern by the voters was whether the school had any intention of using the Banta-Davis site for expansion, and they were assured that it is not being considered at this time. The voters seemed satisfied with the RecCom plans and easily passed the article by the required two-thirds majority. The project also requires voter approval under ballot Question 6 at town election.
© 2006 The