The Board of Selectmen met with the Peru Recreation Committee Monday evening at the Peru Town Office to talk about their vision for the upcoming summer months.
PERU — The Board of Selectmen on Monday met with the town’s Recreation Committee to discuss its vision and priorities for the summer.
The Recreation Committee currently consists of Amanda and Ryan Putnam, a husband and wife duo.
Chairwoman Carol Roach asked them what they wanted to focus on heading into the summer.
“Our biggest priority is getting the ball field back into playable condition,” Ryan Putnam said. “We have nothing we’re working on other than that, because until we do that, we have no means to do anything.”
Roach said that at the board’s meeting March 20, the selectmen unanimously voted to look into inviting the National Guard to assist in revitalizing or repairing certain town properties.
She learned of a program offered by the National Guard called Innovative Readiness Training Request for Military Assistance, and said some of the projects for which the town could request assistance include repairing the ball field and the veterans memorial.
However, she said, applying for the program would take a “considerable amount” of legwork.
According to a document provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, any town applying for military assistance for a community project would have to advertise the project in a newspaper and obtain a statement of noncompetition from local contractors.
Roach said the town would also have to provide a list of possible donations and volunteers that may be available to the National Guard.
“When (the board) spoke with both of you last year, it was my understanding that you may be able to get lumber through a family member and some donated labor,” Roach said. “As part of the proposal, the National Guard is looking for both of those pieces. We’d really like to be able to work with you.”
Roach added, “It makes a big difference (in applying for the grant) if we have the support of the Recreation Committee, the snowmobile club and any other volunteers we have in town. If we can get multiple entities to support the request, it gives us a much stronger (application).”
Ryan Putnam said that applying for the grant was “worth a shot.”
Amanda Putnam told Roach that she has people from the Dixfield Recreation Committee and other volunteers who are willing to come and start the process of fixing the ball field. She asked if they should wait on doing work until the town hears back from the National Guard.
“No, because this is an unknown right now,” Roach said.
Roach added that the town was also reaching out to the National Guard about re-stabilizing the town’s veterans memorial.
“If push came to shove, and the National Guard asked us which project we wanted done first, I’d say the memorial,” Roach said. “It was installed in 1952, and there seems to be a sinkhole on one of the corners of the memorial. I’ve heard horror stories about the base that it was constructed on.”
Amanda Putnam told Roach that if the town is looking for volunteers to assist with the ball field, they should check with Region 9 Applied School of Technology.
“I heard (the students) sometimes do projects as part of their class,” Putnam said.
Roach lauded the Putnams for their efforts in fixing the ball field, despite being the only two people on the Recreation Committee.
“You guys have done a good job with just the two of you,” she said. “We’ve put up a list asking for volunteers, but so far, no luck.”