What's next for hoops, other recreation in Bethel?
Basketball court organizers will have to meet with the Planning Board to see if a formal review of the project will be required, Town Manager Jim Doar said last week.
The Board of Selectmen had also set out terms and conditions for the dog park, and Doar said similar requirements will likely be established for the basketball court.
Among the dog park requirements were demonstration of sufficient funds to complete construction and funds placed in escrow to cover dismantling if maintenance conditions are not met.
As for the future of the Recreational Facilities Committee, said Doar, “its role will be to set a timeline and goals, which include finding a location for the dog park, setting goals for creating more athletic fields including baseball fields, soccer fields, and tennis, with preferred locations.
“I plan on recommending to the selectmen that they continue to support the committee’s work and consider moving forward with implementing the recommendations, either at a special town meeting or at next year’s annual town meeting,” he said.
Doar also said he anticipates the committee will make a recommendation “for the existing use, and maintenance, of SAD 44 ball fields all summer as well as incorporating Ethel Bisbee into any planning.”
Selectmen recently sent a resolution asking SAD 44 to return the vacant school to the town. The site has been mentioned as a possible location for recreational facilities.
Steve Wight, who had presented the dog park plan to the Planning Board for the Dog Park Committee, said Monday the committee will continue to work to establish a park. He also said he was pleased that Doar feels the RFC can continue.
But Wight wondered if the basketball supporters will be able to get a permit for the site approved for the dog park. “Our permit is based on the plan for the dog park creating no impermeable surface and maintaining the 2 percent slope of the land at the site,” he said. “I do not believe that those conditions would work for a paved basketball court.”
The park committee had received approval for its application to construct a facility with wood chips as a base.
He described last week’s vote at the town meeting as a “well-orchestrated theft of the site permitted by the Planning Board.”