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Lights for Harlow Park?
DIXFIELD- Resident Scott Holmes, representing a steering group for a potential lighting project at Harlow Park, presented a plan to selectmen at Monday nights meeting. The project is estimated to cost $75,000 and has the backing of Superintendent of Schools at RSU 10, Dr. Tom Ward.
“There are a lot of teams that use that field,” noted Dr. Ward. “It's too bad that our JV teams get short-changed with their games being called to darkness. There are many advantages to having the lights installed. I would look forward to seeing many more events held there. If you get the blessing of the town, you will find many citizens who will be in favor.”
Holmes lead the selectmen through a slide show presentation laying out the details from benefits of having the lights, the groups' plan of action including the installation and monthly cost if the lights are to come to fruition.
“We plan to talk to the abutters of the property,” stated Holmes. “We wanted to get the town's blessing first before we went any further.”
Currently there are nine teams that use the field, including the middle school teams. By having the lights installed the school would be able to free up field time, increase attendance of games, and increase revenue for those clubs that sell concessions.
Holmes showed a plan of all available parking and called on Police Chief Richard Pickett to give his thoughts on security.
“Parking would be the biggest issue. We need to get more people utilizing the parking areas we have designated for events, instead of using Weld and Nash Streets. The only other consideration that I think we need to make in order to have a better handle on security is to have a uniformed, on-duty officer present at the events. As long as we have a presence, people are much more well-behaved. I don't see this creating a large security issue.”
The lights would only be used in the fall months at an average of four events per month. The cost would be $412.70 for the power, of which RSU 10 would be responsible for that bill. Dr. Ward noted that for other non-school events there would have to be a fee schedule in place to cover their portion of the bill.
Scott Blaisdell, a member of the steering committee, informed the selectmen that the group was looking to hire Musco to supply the material and the installation would be done with the help of local volunteers.
Selectmen approved to allot $50,000 from the Ione Harlow Fund for the improvement to the grounds and requested for Holmes to pull together a fundraising plan in order to present to the town at a future date. The question will be presented at a special town meeting for citizen approval, with the hope of the steering committee to begin moving forward for completion by late summer 2011.