Searsport residents discuss ball field improvements, maintenance

Selectmen talk summer crossing guard
By Dan West | May 13, 2014

Searsport — There was some disagreement among members of the Searsport community over maintenance of the town's baseball field at Mosman Park.

Searsport residents Tony Bagley and Dustin Nadeau spoke at the Searport Board of Selectmen's meeting May 6 to ask for the town to make improvements to the field. Those improvements included bringing in fill to level the field and ridding the infield of weeds.

Bagley said the reinstatement of the recreation department has helped to increase interest in the community for farm league baseball, tee-ball and soccer. Bagley, a farm league coach, said the league will have 40 players this year, and last year's soccer league had 70 children participate.

Bagley said the increased community involvement in youth sports in a good thing, but said the field at Mosman Park was not adequate for the increased usage and could even present a danger to the children.

"It's dangerous, it's wet," Bagley said. "Kids are going home muddy and dirty. Kids are getting wet and cold."

Searsport resident Don Garrold said he thought the dangers of the field were exaggerated and questioned how long the field would have to be maintained after the baseball season ended. Garrold said groups of parents in the past have attempted to maintain the field with volunteers, but that support disappeared once the season ended.

Garrold said the Mosman Memorial Park Association would likely support the effort to improve the field if the town could commit to performing the maintenance, but said he did not believe it would be done only by volunteers.

First Selectman Aaron Fethke said Bagley should work with the park association to develop a plan and come back to the selectmen for authorization.

Summer crossing guard

During the selectman's report Meredith Ares said she would like to see the town hire a part-time person to help direct traffic in downtown Searsport. Ares said turning onto Route 1 from one of the many cross streets in the downtown area can take several minutes due to traffic congestion.

Town Manager James Gillway said the town had budgeted for some part-time help with directing traffic during the summer, but that it would not begin until June.

Selectman Jack Merrithew said in the past when the town had used someone to direct traffic, members of the public would comment that it was not during the right time of day. Selectman Joe Perry added that there were also people who felt a traffic guard made traffic worse.

Fethke said he felt that they could not satisfy every member of the public, but that they had committed to giving a traffic guard another attempt this summer.

Road work

Gillway said the town must do $180,000 worth of road work this spring and asked the selectmen for authorization. Gillway said $30,000 would be used to repair a section of the under-drain on Prospect Street, while the remaining $150,000 would go toward road paving. The selectmen approved the expenditure, which would come from to road reserve account, unanimously.

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