BUCKFIELD — Recreation Committee Chairman Chris Reed told selectmen Tuesday night about plans for moving the lights at Bessey Memorial Field on Paris Hill Road to the ball field behind the Municipal Building.

 The move was prompted by beekeeper Tony Bachelder, who said in June that his hives were disturbed by the bright lights at night games held across the road from his operation. He has raised bees for 35 years and has one of the largest beekeeping operations in Maine, with up to 800 hives at times.

Bachelder said the lights threatened his business as well as people attending the games being stung by the agitated bees. He offered the town $50,000 for the field and relocation of the lights.

Town Manager Glen Holmes said the town may be required to obtain bids on the field, if voters agree to sell it.

Reed said installing the lights at the field will require cutting into the hillside. He said the Coulthard family, whose property abuts the field, has agreed to work with officials to assure the field has the proper setbacks.

The Recreation Committee is looking to add bleachers, a snack and storage facility, restrooms and other areas for horseshoes and activities.

Selectmen John Lowell said he was excited about the enthusiastic progress and planning the Recreation Committee was making.

The draft of the committee bylaws was discussed at length. Lowell was adamant that the committee should choose its own chairman.

Selectman Chip Richardson was just as adamant that the selectmen should choose the chairman.

It was suggested that the board interview applicants more closely to assure that anyone coming on could serve as chairman after at least a year.

Holmes will have an amended draft of the bylaws by the next selectmen’s meeting.

The board asked Holmes to send letters to members of the Recreation Committee who have not been attending. The board said the bylaws should reflect how many meetings could be missed before those members were removed.

Rescue Chief Lisa Buck reported on a meeting with Emergency Management Director Scott Parker on the H1N1 vaccine. Parker said doses may be available by the end of November or early December. Buckfield High School will be the site of distribution.

The board accepted, with regret, the resignation of Jim Burke from the Planning Board. Burke is moving out of the area.


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