Swampscott Field Committee to Study Improvements Including Artificial Turf
Selectman Glenn Kessler wants the committee to consider Upper Jackson Park as an alternative to Phillips Park, which is prone to flooding.
The field would be paid for by public and private funds; and the committee's field recommendation, including a cost estimate, will be presented to selectmen by Feb. 14.
Board members held off appointing the committee's seven members for at least another week. They want to see if additional people volunteer and give the committee a make-up more representative of the town as a whole.
Selectman Jill Sullivan said the new committee should include Linso van der Burg, who would bring to the table his experience as a member of the group that proposed the previous field improvement plan.
The board agreed to broaden the scope of the new committee's study to include alternative field sites after Selectman Glenn Kessler suggested Upper Jackson Park at the high school as a field location.
That site is less prone to flooding, he said.
Prospective Committee member Linso van der Burg cautioned against giving the volunteer committee too broad a scope.
Selectman David Van Dam said he hopes the committee comes back with new plans that resolve concerns raised at Town Meeting about the previous artifical surface proposal.
That proposal failed to gain the necessary two-thirds majority vote in May.
Some of the concerns raised about the proposal included the health implications of an artifical surface, the explanation of the project's funding and that the field was supported by too small a group that did not represent the views of the town at large.
The new committee will study the field's practice and playing space, including an artifical surface to meet those needs.
Town Administrator Tom Younger developed the draft of the committee's scope of responsibilities.
The committee's goals also include looking at options to repair or replace stands; recommendations for improvements that benefit sports including football, field hockey, lacrosse and soccer; and investigating grants and private donations.