Parks & Rec roundup: Turf fields project in design phase; commission optimistic about future projects

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At its meeting on Wednesday, the Parks & Recreation Commission reviewed plans for the Fruit Street fields and discussed budgeting and future Parks & Recreation projects.

Kathy Hervol of Gale Associates presented schematic designs for the Fruit Street fields turf replacement. The next step for the project would include proceeding with final design documents. The project is on schedule, and Hervol estimated that bidding could commence at the end of January, contingent upon approval of funding. The commission voted to authorize Parks & Recreation Department Director Jay Guelfi to engage Gale Associates for the next two phases of the project, up to $14,000.

Meanwhile, Guelfi reported that he met with a team from Irwin and Associates in order to assemble a plan for annual maintenance of the Fruit Street grass fields, including fertilization, seeding and an upgrade to the irrigation system. At its next meeting, Guelfi will present the plan to the commission with an annual cost estimate.

Additional updates shared

Commission Chair Dan Terry reported that the commission is in “a good place” with the Community Preservation Committee. “I think there’s a bunch of people who realize that this money needs to be spent,” Terry said. “They like the projects that we’ve done, but most importantly, we’re getting stuff done.”

Looking ahead toward future projects, the commissioners expressed interest in acquiring additional land and property in order to expand Parks & Recreation offerings. …

Commissioner Liisa Jackson, liaison to the Trails Coordination and Management Committee, reported that the committee has presented an alternative proposal for developing Center Trail. The plan differs from the proposal that the Upper Charles Trail Committee presented to the commission in October. The group plans to review and discuss the new trail proposal at a future meeting. …

Guelfi reported that his presentation of the Fiscal Year 2023 operating budget to the town’s Finance Department was well received. Next, the budget likely will be presented to the Appropriations Committee, Guelfi said. …

The commission approved a request from Faith Community Church to display a Christmas nativity scene on the Town Common from Dec. 4 through the end of the month.