Donation aids new soccer field

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MINOT – With a funding crisis solved, work on the town’s new soccer field is back on track, Recreation Committee member Candace Benwitz told selectmen Monday night.

The difference between completing work on the field and shutting it down shy of seating arrangements was written on a check from Maine Metal Recycling, Benwitz said, which covered most of the fees for a Maine Department of Environmental Protection site location permit.

Maine Metal Recycling, Benwitz noted, is owned by Minot residents David and Lisbeth Murphy.

A month ago, prospects looked bleak after the town learned the DEP ruled it needed to apply for the permit before continuing with development of the 160-acre parcel of town-owned property where everything from the town garage, central fire station and town office to the school are located.

The DEP permit and licensing fees amounted to $7,554. Townspeople had raised $20,000 for the soccer field – but even that amount assumed a lot of volunteer labor and loaned construction equipment.

Two weeks ago, the Recreation Committee made a decision to begin work on the field and let it go as far as funds allowed.

According to Benwitz, Pratt and Son completed the work bringing the field to final grade and spreading loam over the playing surface. In addition, Jared Bristol and Josh Pratt agreed to seed the field and nurse it through the summer.

The value of the work completed, and promised Benwitz, estimated is at least double the $20,000 the Recreation Committee had to work with.

The soccer field will be ready for play in 2007, a year later than hoped for.

“The grass has to root properly. No sense to get on it too soon and wreck it,” said Recreation Committee member Dan Gilpatric.

Benwitz, an agricultural engineer, agreed to prepare the paperwork needed for the DEP site location permit. She said the storm-water-flow studies will anticipate development of the 160 acres well in excess of the immediate plans for new athletic fields.

Selectmen agreed to hold a public hearing as part of the site location permit process at the town office at 7 p.m. on June 19.

In other business, selectmen approved issuing up to four building permits for lots in phase 2 of Don Fortin’s subdivision off the end of Jackass Annie Road.

The approval requires that Fortin sign a letter of agreement stating that occupancy permits will be withheld unless he rectifies a problem with a collapsed culvert at the outlet of the fire retention pond and installs guard rails along a section of Fortin Drive which has side slopes that exceed specifications.

Road Manager Arlan Saunders reported that work has been completed on Hebron’s Greenwood Mountain Road and that Hebron now has a man and truck helping on Minot’s Quimby Road, per cooperative agreements between the two towns.

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