WESTFIELD — On Monday, during a regular meeting of the Westfield Recreation Commission, representatives from the organization’s Fields Committee mentioned a potential policy amendment that would impact the fees that local sports leagues pay to use the fields.
“Currently, some of our sports leagues pay for the use of our fields. We’ve noticed lately that they have additional kinds of events where there are different participants and charging and earning more revenue,” said Ron Feldman.
Mr. Feldman went on to say that the idea behind the policy change would be that these user groups would need to pay an additional hourly fee for camps and clinics that take place outside of the normal practice and game schedules covered under the existing fee.
The meeting began with a Chairperson Report from Jenn Gilman, during which she mentioned the recent Build Westfield event. At this event, a map of Westfield highlighting all of the town’s historic landmarks is distributed so families can experience their own historic hunt while learning about their community’s past. Parents then help their children recreate these landmarks with Lego bricks.
“We had a great turnout for the Build Westfield in partnership with the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission in the town, so Linda, Megan, Dan, and thank you to Amy, Jeff and Liz for volunteering. It’s a great event and the families that come love it. So that was a huge success,” Ms. Gilman said.
Next, the Board of Education Liaison Report included an update about the elections in April. Up for a vote will be the budget and a series of presentations will take place at the board meetings prior to the vote. All presentations will be posted to the district’s website.
“A preliminary report from the architects FKA has come in about the analysis they did and this will be a huge topic of discussion,” said BOE Liaison Rob Benacchio. “They made a couple of recommendations regarding mostlymaintenanceworkandrefurbishing the fields…so it’s all part of the plan and the goal now is to take the punch list they have and do things with it.”
Mr. Benacchio said that some items fall under the regular budget, while others could be paid for using the capital reserve. Still other projects, such as additions to schools and major buildouts, would require the board to ask voters to approve bond referendums.
The Field and Parks Committee met since the last recreation commission meeting, so they had reports to share. Since Jeff Perella was absent, Chair Gilman read his notes from the Parks Committee meeting.
“We talked about the UCDBG funding for the Memorial Playground. We had discussions about making our playgrounds ADA inclusive. It was described as a comprehensive meeting, being that it was the first of the parks we talked about. Every park was discussed in terms of updates and areas that we as commissioners say are in need of improvement. We also talked about having a liaison for the park. Someone can keep us updated about anything that needs our attention, such as garbage that needs to be emptied,” said Ms. Gilman.
The committee will also be creating a list of each park that includes their features and when they were last replaced.