Harlow Park lights set for June installation

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DIXFIELD — If all goes as planned, the new lights for Harlow Park will be installed in June, organizers said last week.

But instead of doing the work themselves, the group that’s pulled the project together will get a little help from a New Hampshire-based general contractor after some advice from the company that manufactures the lights, Musco, organizer Scott Holmes said.

Utility Service and Assistance of Hookset, N.H., will install the lights, which requires drilling 12-foot holes and filling the holes with cement to anchor the metal poles the lights are mounted to, Holmes said. The company has installed 19 other lighting systems around the region.

“They are prepared and have experience dealing with drilling problems like water,” Holmes said. “We’re going to have to raise some more money to cover this expense, but we are positive this is the right move. While getting our permits it was discovered that we may have a problem with drilling holes and hitting water.” 

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The group opted for metal poles because wooden poles can warp over time, changing where the lights shine onto the field and possibly missing the areas that need to be illuminated, Holmes said.

So far, the community has been supportive of the project, and Holmes said they want to make sure the end result is something everybody is proud of.

 “We want to make sure this project is done correctly and safely,” Holmes said. “There is no sense in spending all this time, money and effort for a project that is not done properly.”

 The project received a major boost when Dixfield selectmen approved the idea and residents approved using $50,000 from the Ione Harlow Fund at a special town meeting in December 2010.

Other donors included Irving Forest Products, $20,000;  Patriot Renewables LLC, $10,000; and Whittemore Property Management, $5,000.

“We are still on target for our June construction date,” Holmes said. “The first (football) game of the year is September 2. We hope to have everybody there to enjoy the new lights. I can’t stress enough how much work people like Mark Thompson, Scott Blaisdell and many others have put into this project.”

A benefit dance and celebration earlier in May raised approximately $1,400 to help address additional unexpected costs, Holmes said.

Games under the lights, including field hockey, soccer and football, are expected to start in the fall, Holmes said.

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