WILMINGTON, MA — At last week’s meeting, the Wilmington Board of Selectmen decided NOT to pursue a licensing agreement with Textron that would have allowed town-sanctioned sports leagues and recreation activities to use the company’s currently neglected ballfields and tennis courts.
The town’s Department of Public Works recently took a look at the fields and courts in question to get an idea of how much it would cost the town to bring them up to playable levels.
“The ball fields are in difficult straits… The base paths are all overgrown. To rebuild the two fields so they could be usable in a safe manner is estimated at a cost $150,000 per field,” said Hull. “The tennis courts are cracked and need sealing. That cost would be $35,000.”
Hull noted couple of other costs, including an annual expense of $15,000 to the company the town currently uses to help maintain its current fields. Wilmington’s Department of Public Works would mow the grass, but the initial mow would require an industrial strength mower which the town would need to rent for $500.
“It’s one thing to cut the fields and make them more appealing, but to put that type of money into private property which we wouldn’t own is not something I would recommend,” advised Town Manager Jeff Hull. “To spend anything more than a few thousand dollars on private property — which Textron could give us 90-day notice at any time to leave — would be ill-advised.”
Furthermore, Hull stressed that the Recreation Department, nor the High School’s Athletic Department, has expressed any interest in using the fields or courts.
“Given this information, I can’t see us spending town money on something no one wants when there’s so many things people do want that we can spend money on,” responded Selectman Chair Greg Bendel.
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