Friday, October 27, 2006
RecCom answers FinCom questions on Banta-Davis
On October 2, the FinCom had sent Allen Deary, Chair of the Recreation Committee (RecCom), a letter asking him to defend the need for fields and to clarify some issues. In particular, they asked for the long-range plan for recreation and its eventual costs, and for explanations of how Carlisle is coordinating with Concord in satisfying field needs, and whether private fundraising could offset some Carlisle costs.
Deary presented a recreation plan that in the short term (2006 to 2008) envisions developing Banta-Davis, planning a community center, permitting fields on Benfield, and evaluating the feasibility of fields on Foss Farm. Midterm (2009 to 2011), the RecCom hopes to develop the community center, add artificial fields and lights, and obtain the deed restrictions for Benfield, and long term (2010 to 2015) it hopes to develop more fields, with Foss Farm the first choice "due to proximity and neighborhood impact" and Benfield after that. The short and medium term plans, which correspond to Phase II and Phase III of the original recreation plan voted on at Town Meeting in 1998, are expected to cost $2 to $5 million.
Park to serve all
Deery said the current plan being addressed on October 30 is "very very close to what was approved in 1998" when funds for Phase I (the existing Banta-Davis fields) were allocated and Phase II through IV concepts were accepted. It offers "a park to serve all town residents."
Many youth sports programs are run jointly, but Concord's field construction plans do not eliminate the need for fields in Carlisle, Deary said. Currently Carlisle provides 30% of the sports participants and only 25% of the field time. If Concord goes ahead with its plans and Carlisle does not, that ratio would fall to 20% of field time
Deary said that gap could be further closed with the approval of a turf surface for the all-purpose field, as requested in Question 2. Turf can be used in rainy weather and does not need rest periods to recover as grass does. Deary estimates usage of a turf field would be 1.5 to 2 times that of a grass field. Adding artificial lights as well as turf would increase the usage 2.5 times.
Planting in the Park considered
Regarding fund raising, Deary noted "some funds have been raised already," but he said a fund-raising campaign requires "planning and expertise" and could not be completed in a timely manner. Sports fees will be used to counter some of the additional cost of maintenance, and the RecCom is planning a "Planting in the Park" that would allow contributors to pay to landscape a section of the development. "We need to do our part, and we're happy to jump in," he concluded.
FinCom Chair Thornton Ash pronounced himself "very happy with the presentation" which "went a long way toward answering a lot of questions."
© 2006 The