MINOT — Selectmen on Monday took under advisement a request from the Minot-Hebron Athletic Association for assistance in maintaining the town’s ball fields.

Association President Kelly Gwarjanski told the board her organization didn’t have the money to pay for spraying infields and base paths in order to keep outfield grass from encroaching on the infield.

Gwarjanski said she was concerned the town might find itself in a lawsuit if a player was hit by a ball that took an unexpected bounce and the parent of the player decided improper maintenance procedures had led to injury.

“I guess the question is, what do we do to keep the fields playable, and how safe do we want them to be?” Gwarjanski said.

Gwarjanski explained that players and coaches do a pretty good job controlling the encroachment by dragging the dirt areas regularly, but problems arise in the off-season, after baseball and softball ends in mid-August.

Gwarjanski said a number of organizations rely on spraying to control the growth and that she contacted three local outfits to find out the cost of this service.


“Prices for what we want sprayed run from $500 to $1,500 an application,” Gwarjanski said.

Town Administrator Arlan Saunders said the town had agreed to keep the fields mowed, but there was nothing in the budget for spraying.

Saunders also noted that a few years ago, the board had decided against the application of herbicides and insecticides on town play fields.

Selectman Eda Tripp said the board needed more information, particularly regarding the town’s liability.

In his report, Saunders noted that the town had received a $2,921 dividend from the Maine Municipal Association on its property and workers’ compensation insurance — down about $200 from what it had received a year ago.

He also reported that the bid Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments put out for road salt had been awarded to Eastern Salt of Lowell, Mass., at $50.77 per ton. Last year, the town paid $58 a ton, with a resultant savings of about $5,600 on the 800 tons the town has ordered, Saunders said.

Saunders also opened the winter sand bids, and the board awarded the contract to Washburn and Son Excavating of Minot for $5 per ton, delivered to the town garage.

Washburn’s bid was the lowest of three received. Bids had been sent to five companies.

Saunders also said that the painting of centerlines of town roads has begun in the northern part of town. The rest will be completed this week.

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