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Harlow Park light project update
DIXFIELD -- If everything goes smoothly, the steps taken will lead to lights installed at Harlow Park sooner than expected.
The project organizers had originally planned to install the lights by themselves. However, Musco, a lighting company, recommended an alternative idea. So a general contractor was found who has put up 19 other lighting systems. They are willing to take on the liability and do the work up to code.
“They are prepared and have experience dealing with drilling problems like water,” said Scott Holmes. “We're going to have to raise some more money to cover this expense but we are positive this is the right move. While getting our permits, it was discovered that we may have a problem with drilling holes and hitting water.
The pole bases need to be buried 12 feet in the ground, then encompassed by cement. It has been discovered that the holes potentially may hit water at nine feet, which opens up a can of worms and poses a lot of other issues. The light towers are metal. Wooden poles warp and
twist and because of the precise area trying to illuminate, they can't risk having any warping or twisting.
“We've gotten so much support,” said Holmes, noting help from the town, local companies and townspeople. “We want to make sure this project is done correctly and safely. There is no sense in spending all this time money and effort for a project that was not done properly.”
The project received a major boost when selectmen approved the idea and residents voted to approve using $50,000 from the Ione Harlow Fund at a special town meeting on December 9. The recreation endeavor is exactly what the Harlow Fund was designed to be used for.
The money originally raised from the town, Irving, Dana Whittemore and the wind farm people covered the cost of lights, the wiring, etc.
Still, the committee realized additional funds would be necessary in order to address more things. This included to make the lights safer, helping out with crowd control and abiding landowners, and cost overruns.
Last week, a benefit dance celebration the lights, raised approximately $1,400.
There will be events on the football/soccer field next fall (including field hockey), and they are projecting the lights will not be on later than 9:30 at night.
”We are still on target for our June construction date,” said Holmes. “The first football game of the year is September 2nd. We hope to have everybody there to enjoy the new lights. I can't stress enough how much work people like Mark Thompson, Scott Blaisdell, and many others have put into this project.”