8:25 p.m.: The public is invited to share their ideas with the task force and attend the task force meetings which will be announced at a later date.
8:22 p.m.: And the Task Force members are: Chair Paul Sartor, from Board of Finance Sandy Grimes, Board of Education Alisa Morrison, Board of Selectmen George Crouse, Peewee Mike Pacheco, Coach Paul DeCastro, Bill Sternberg, Mike Crowley with ex-officio members from Public Works Joe Bragaw, Stonington Schools Bill King, Human Services Joe Mendoza.
8:19 p.m.: Meeting wrapping up task force about to be announced.
8:08 p.m.:Stonington’s Jim Spellman speaking saying now is the time when construction is cheap and interest is at an all-time low. He wants the town to move fast on permanent turf for the football field and says grass fields are a liability and that cost is shown in insurance costs. Do you agree?
8:00 p.m.: Sorry about that, Patch was having some computer problems, but we’re back now. SHS athletic director speaking now about coaches having to reschedule practices and games due to the condition of the fields. Says his dream is for natural football field and one multipurpose artificial turf. What do you think?
7:50 p.m.: Police Captain and SHS coach Jerry Desmond suggests the task force should look into how accessible water is to the fields since many teams spend time lugging water around. What do you think?
7:48 p.m.: First comment thinks the task force should also address the area between the tennis courts and the freshmen football field. What do you think?
7:44 p.m.: discussion is open to comments for the public
7:39 p.m.: Estimated costs to fix the fields as presented by Bragaw:
- All purpose field $51,000
- Practice field $32,000
- Softball field $213,000
- Men’s soccer field $232,000
- Field hockey field $200,000
7:32 p.m.: Bragaw speaking now about the softball and men’s soccer fields. He says because they were built on dumping areas the underlying materials are settling and that could mean even if the town fills in the spots that are currently uneven they could settle again in 10 to 15 years.
7:29: p.m.: Practice field possible solutions:
- Deep aeration $2,000
- Top dress, minor grading and seed $10,000
- Installation of sprinkler system $15,000
7:27 p.m.: Some possible solutions and costs for the all purpose field:
- Deep time aeration to improve drainage: $3,000
- Top dress spot to address the worn areas $3,000
- Install perimeter under drain and restore turf $45,000
7:25 p.m.: Posted on Facebook by Fund-all Stonington-Ems “So let me get this straight, last year we had to lay off teachers, paraprofessionals, cut funding to ambulances, and libraries but we want to spend 1-2 million on artificial turf??? And not even on the main football field??? Something incredibly wrong with this town.” That is a response to an article in The Day, that said artificial turf could be one of the options the town discusses what do you think?
7:23 p.m.: Bragaw is up next to discuss the town’s analysis of the five athletic fields.
7:21 p.m.: The school department uses green methods to maintain the fields which they say does add to the cost.
7:18 p.m.: Remember to refresh your browser to see updates. Sorry for that, by the way.
7:15 p.m.: Over 82 hours a week spent trying to maintain fields the school analysis found. Over five years more than $25,000 contracted services spent on baseball and football fields alone. School staff has spent more than $49,000 over the past five years on those same fields. That is just to keep the fields in their current condition not improvements.
7:12 p.m.: School Operations Manager Bill King is speaking about the school department’s analysis now, saying that most repairs have to be done in early March and late November to not interfere with school and public use.
7:10 p.m.: Haberek said he wants three points made clear: that the situation has no reflection on the high school and town staff, that the town and school are looking for a permanent solution and any solution will have to address the usage of the fields.
7:07 p.m.: Haberek speaking saying he received a number of comments and concerns from residents about the state of the athletic fields. In October of 2011 the town held a meeting where they decided to come up with a task force to study the fields and come up with some solutions. He asked the school department and the town to do an analysis of the fields.
7:02: p.m.: Meeting starting, Haberek reading through the agenda.
6:59 p.m.: Meeting hasn’t started yet, but we’ve been given agendas. Up first is ., giving a little background, followed by the athletic fields analysis by the school department, then the town fields analysis by Joe Bragaw, comments and then a meeting wrap-up and action item on a task force.
6:56 p.m.: People are trickling into SHS for the athletic fields meeting. What suggestions do you have for improving the fields?