The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 19, 2010

Recreation Commission Shorts, November 16

Gifts. Members of the Recreation Commission (RecCom) gratefully accepted gifts from both the Concord Carlisle Youth Soccer (CCYS) and the Concord Carlisle Youth Baseball/Softball (CCYB/S) organizations. Each gift was $5,000. Youth sports teams are the biggest users of the Spalding and Banta-Davis fields. Both organizations automatically charge participants a fee specifically designated for field maintenance. In 2009, similar gifts were presented.

RecCom chair Mark Spears asked P.J. Jewell (Softball Commissioner for CCYB/S) and Laura France (age group director for CCYS) if either had requests from their organizations regarding the use of the money. Both agreed the best way to spend the money is to make sure the fields are kept in the best possible shape.

Field Status. After accepting the donations, the RecCom decided how to spend the money. After this past summer, which was hot and dry, the fields are in poor condition. Dan Moseley, who manages the maintenance of Carlisle’s fields, consulted with Peter Flynn, Concord’s Grounds Supervisor. Like Carlisle, Concord uses an organic system of fertilizing. Flynn recommends biannual aeration and over-seeding in order to keep the fields healthy and strong. The extra aeration and seeding are not currently in the RecCom budget so funds would have to come from the gift account. The commission plans to start field repair in the early spring. There may be some time when the fields will not be available for use by the soccer, baseball and softball teams. Moseley and the RecCom will coordinate taking the fields “off-line” with the two sports leagues.

Budget for FY12. Spears presented two possible budgets for FY12 of $112,635 with a 0% increase or $114,897 with a 2% increase. The Recreation Director automatically gets a 2% cost of living increase. Under either scenario, field maintenance will be reduced. These cuts come after already making cuts to maintenance in the previous year’s budget. According to Spears, the fields will be okay in the near future because there is money in the gift accounts to cover the work required to restore them. However he commented, “The amount required for true maintenance should be budgeted without depending on gifts.” In addition, he expressed concern about unforeseen expenses such as a pump needing to be replaced.

Social media for RecCom. Board member Rick Amodei discussed various options for the RecCom and the Recreation Department to present their information to the public as well as to encourage feedback. Amodei is concerned that they are not currently reaching or hearing from the users of the programs they offer. Board member Noreen Ma suggested implementing a survey. Amodei will do some research on options such as Facebook and Twitter and make a presentation at the next meeting.

Other uses for Banta-Davis. Amodei attended the town’s Board Committee Chair meeting in October. During the meeting, the Selectmen presented a slide which listed possible future sites for 40B developments. To Amodei’s surprise and dismay, Banta-Davis was included on the list. Members of the RecCom expressed concern at the thought of a 40B development in the midst of soccer and baseball fields. Spears made the statement, “The RecCom is concerned about the development of a 40B at Banta-Davis and will closely monitor future discussions.”

Dan Cook, chair of the Energy Task Force, asked the RecCom to consider allowing Banta-Davis to be a possible site for a photovoltaic facility for renewable energy. Cook said the first-choice location for the facility is the Transfer Station but a back-up site would be the leaching field at Banta-Davis. In order for Carlisle to qualify as a green community, the task force must have a site that fulfills certain requirements for use by an alternative energy generator facility. However, a photovoltaic site does not actually need to be built.

After-school program. Recreation Director Holly Mansfield has designed and is ready to implement a program for after-school care geared toward middle school students. However, the Carlisle Kids House (CKH) has recently introduced a similar program. Mansfield has made multiple attempts to reach the CKH Director to discuss possible conflicts between the two programs. She will not start offering the Home Base program until she has had a conversation with CKH. ∆

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