Wednesday, February 08, 2006

NEIGHBORS >> Blueprint for the future

Leader staff writer

IN SHORT: Cabot Parks and Recreation releases plans for development in the coming year.

Cabot Parks and Recreation Commission is seeking funding from the Cabot Advertising and Promotions Commission to help with $200,000 worth of improvements and maintenance projects this year, including a $50,000 skateboard park.

Cabot Parks and Recreation has about $43,000 left over from the 2005 budget. Most of the organization’s income is from revenue generated from its programs including concessions, rentals, sponsorships, tournaments, fund-raising and gate admission.

Since 2000, the department has received $678,932 from the Cabot Advertising and Promotions Commission for improvements and maintenance projects that range from rebuilding baseball and softball fields to new construction of 10 soccer fields, a T-ball field, pavilions, playgrounds, walking trails and a disc golf course. The partnership has benefited the continued development of the city’s park system, said Carroll Astin, director of Cabot Parks and Recreation.

“By replenishing our ballfields each year with topsoil, sand and lava ash, the parks continue to be sought after for post-season tournaments and events for the Special Olympics,” Astin said.

The Cabot Parks and Recreation Commission will seek funding for four projects this year including a $50,000 skateboard park to be built between the tennis and basketball courts on Richie Road. Plans call for a four-inch concrete pad approximately 5,600-square feet. The equipment will include various ramps and bars. Dual bids will be sought for the project for steel or modular equipment.

“In 1999, we had a skate park and the group of folks at that time chose not to follow the rules so we shut it down. Modular equipment would let us take the skatepark down easier if we need to,” Astin said. “As long as we aren’t negligent with the park or the equipment, it is user beware.”

The commission will be seeking funding for $63,000 in maintenance supplies and $25,000 for maintenance equipment. Supplies include fertilizer for grass at all the parks, pool chemicals, chalk, paint, grass seed, fencing, bases, goals and groundcover for playgrounds.

The equipment includes a 60-inch mower and bagger/sweeper for the fields, a John Deere Gator Utility Vehicle and a replacement for the 10-year-old John Deere 650 tractor.

Due to the rising cost of fuel, Astin says the department plans to mow the fields once a week instead of twice or three times a week during the spring and summer. An additional $9,000 will be sought for dirt, sand and lava ash for the baseball, softball and T-ball fields.

“This is an ongoing repair item,” Astin said. “The topsoil and sand are used to fill in low spots in grassy areas while sand and lava ash are applied to softball, T-ball and baseball fields prior to the season starting.”

Lava ash helps absorb rain and dries the field sooner during brief summer showers which causes fewer rained-out games.
Other improvements includes $8,000 for a scoreboard at the Cricket Soccer Complex, construction of a $20,000 irrigation pond at the First Street Sports Complex and $20,000 for two aerators for the pond at Campground and Kerr Park to keep the fishing water clear from silt.

“I think when your biggest complaint is there’s not enough parking, that’s a good problem for a park system to have,” Astin said.