The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 27, 2009

RecCom considers Highland, looks at field, tennis court upkeep

The Recreation Commission held an unofficial meeting on March 18. It was considered unofficial because only two voting members, Chair Mark Spears and Dave Moreau, attended. In addition, Holly Hamilton, Director of Recreation, Marcy Guttadauro of the Recreation Department, and Phyllis Hughes, liaison for the Council on Aging, joined the meeting. Randy Laughlin and Jeff Bloomfield were absent. There are two openings for volunteers to join the committee.

Field maintenance. The Recreation Commission has $15,000 to spend on fertilizing the sports fields in town. They made a decision two years ago to use organic instead of chemical treatments. The organic approach costs more, but so far has been successful. Each year, the costs go up but the amount spent does not. The resulting trade off means less fertilizing for the same amount of money. While this approach may not be sustainable as costs go up, the fields currently appear to be in good condition.

Highland Building. If the town votes to use CPA funds to renovate the Highland Building at the next Town Meeting, the Recreation Department would be very interested in exploring possible uses of the building. They could potentially locate their offices there, run programs for children and the community or set up a community center. Spears asked Hamilton and Guttadauro to write a proposal of possible recreation uses.

Field donations. In past years, the sports leagues have made donations to Carlisle Recreation for field use. Guttadauro said the department has not received the same level of donations as in the past. She will research the issue further. According to Carlisle Treasurer Larry Barton, the gifts from sports leagues have declined in recent years. In FY06, the department received donations over $19,000. So far this year they have received only $1,350. In a follow-up interview, former Recreation Co-director and Recreation Commission Chair Cindy Nock said “Historically, the three sports leagues in town, soccer, baseball, and lacrosse, would each donate $2,000 to $5,000 a year. That money was traditionally used for field improvements. It was also used to pay for the plan to expand the Banta-Davis field.” The plan to expand Banta-Davis field failed at Town Meeting in 2007.

Tennis courts. The tennis courts adjacent to the school were damaged this winter when a tree fell on them. Spears organized the tree removal but the fence is damaged and needs to be repaired. Also, the net remained up all winter. It is not clear who is responsible for removing the net each fall.

Hughes passed along the request from the Village Court community that the commission does not again consider converting the tennis courts into basketball courts – claiming the noise would be much worse with basketball than tennis. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito