MINOT — Recreation Committee member Candace Gilpatric told selectmen Monday night that her committee needs direction now that its original commission is nearly complete.
The committee was set up to plan and oversee development of new athletic fields on a 45-acre parcel east of Minot Consolidated School that the town purchased about five years ago, Gilpatric said.
That commission was expanded to include development of a 2.5-mile network of walking trails that links the new fields with the school, the Town Office complex and the old ball fields, criss-crossing the 160-acre expanse of town-owned land. Three fields have been built – for soccer, softball and Babe Ruth baseball – with space remaining for another field that Gilpatric figured should be for soccer. Now, she said, concerns are shifting from planning and development to maintenance and scheduling.
Selectman Steve French commended the Recreation Committee for what it has accomplished to date, noting that when the town first acquired the land, estimates for its development, if given over to outside contractors, were in the $3 million range. That’s a far cry from the $100,000 the town has invested with the Recreation Committee in control,French said.
He suggested the Recreation Committee’s role now be extended and expanded to include “the care, custody and control of the fields.”
Selectman Eda Tripp agreed that the town needs a permanent Recreation Committee.
“Draw up a list of your wants, what should happen next. Help us decide how to proceed,” Tripp said.
Gilpatric was sure one thing was needed: more people on the Recreation Committee. About half of the 10 original members have dropped off as work has moved along.
Residents interested in serving on the Recreation Committee should contact the Town Office at 345-3305.
In his report, Town Administrator Arlan Saunders noted that town roads have been relatively unaffected by June’s persistent rain. There have been no washouts; however, the roadside mowing program is lagging and the crew has had a hard time keeping up with the ball fields.
Paving on Pottle Hill Road, originally scheduled to be completed by mid-June, has been put off another week.
In his fire chief report, French said work on an application for a fire station grant through the federal economic stimulus program was under way.
He said he was certain Minot met grant criteria but expected competition to be keen.
“It’s like they say, ‘If you don’t buy a ticket, you won’t win the lottery,'” he said.

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