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Plan For Turf Field Dealt Setback, as PARC Grant Application Denied

Town officials plan to apply again in 2013.

Plans to install an artificial field as part of the new athletic complex being built adjacent to the new Tewksbury High hit a snag last week, as the town's application for a state grant to help pay for the project was denied.

Four communities were awarded Massachusetts Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grants -- which came be up to $400,000 --  but Tewksbury didn't make the cut.

"I was extremely disappointed that we didn't get the grant," said School Committee Chair Krissy Polimeno. "But we got some excellent feedback from Rep. (Jim) Micelli and Sen. (Barry) Finegold and we were strongly encouraged to re-apply."

Paul Hibner, treasurer of the Friends of the Tewksbury Community Athletic Complex (FTCAC) , said the towns that were awarded grants had all applied in the past and had been turned down on their first try. He said his committee would be meeting as a group and communicating with town officials to figure out the next steps in the process.

"We've got a board meeting next Thursday (Dec. 20)," he said. "We'll regroup and figure out where we go from here."

Technically, the artificial turf field is already on track to be built. However, at that time, Town Manager Richard Montuori said the town had no intention of spending that much money on the field. He cited private fundraising efforts by FOTCAC and the grant application process.

School Committee member Brian Dick, who is also a member of FTCAC, said the group will push on with fundraising efforts. He said he wasn't discouraged by not getting the PARC Grant.

"Clearly we're disappointed," he said. "But we're very happy with the process and how things were handled. Anytime, with that type of grant, you need some luck to be able to get it on the first try."

Rusty December 15, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Thats what happens when the "TOWN" votes Republican.
Steve McMahan December 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I fail to see the correlation here Rusty. Please enlighten me.
BusyMom December 15, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Quoting you above: "Technically, the artificial turf field is already on track to be built." Please see language from linked Oct. article you posted on this: "...Town Manger Richard Montuori explained that the town had no intention of spending that much money on the field. He said the spending article was a requirement of the state in order for the town to apply for a PARC Grant of up to $400,000 to help pay for the project...Montuori said any changes would endanger the town's chances of landing the grant...Montuori also pointed out that in the language of the article, the town would not be obligated to spend any money unless the grant were awarded. He said that depending on how big the grant was, the remaining cost of the field installation would be covered by private fundraising efforts, as well as a credit from the contractor since the planned grass field would no longer be put in...if there was any leftover cost, town meeting voters would be asked to pay for it out of the stabilization account." I hope that neither FTCAC or Montouri are going to ask us to put $750K towards this now. The grant was not awarded. Based on (minimal) PARC criteria (population 35,000+ and official/certified rec. dept.) it's not likely we ever will qualify. I've read the grant many times. Smaller towns can apply (reapply) but the awards are far less than $400K. Fundraise away! In the meantime, I hope these officials switch focus to academics rather than spend more hours on this "wish."
Tewksbury Mom December 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I completely agree. What does voting Republican have to do with anything. Just because we can't keep affording to spend, spend, spend doesn't make Republicans bad. Come on seriously!!!
Ronald December 15, 2012 at 04:33 PM
NATIONALLY AND LOCALLY speaking, isn't it the Democrats that keep spending money WE don't have? I think so!
Rusty December 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Its just called "PAYBACK"please don't hang the messenger.
Steve McMahan December 15, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Yeah, that totally clears it up.
jo December 15, 2012 at 07:57 PM
It is my understanding that the field is not on track. I understood the explanation of the article at the Town Meeting was that none of the approved funds would be spent if the grant application was rejected.I believe that the $750,000 should be returned to the general fund, not earmarked for a field, How many times does this proposal have to be rejected? The town vote was 2 to 1 against. The grant proposal was rejected. What attempt is next?
Sean Czarniecki December 15, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I was initially also confused by Rusty's post....but then I *think* I figured out what he was getting at. Those at the statehouse in charge of giving out the grant money are likely Democrats....and our town primarily votes Republican....so the money wouldn't be sent our way. That's my take on his post....
Rusty December 16, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Thank you Sean,glad someone is paying attention today.
Karyn December 16, 2012 at 03:16 AM
I agree....they'd better keep to that promise to the residents/taxpayers and go back to their fundraising. Enough is enough already!
BM December 16, 2012 at 05:34 AM
Rusty needs to pull his head out of his ass and take a look around ! Agree with Steve and Tewks .Mom . Rusty sounds like another left -wing hypocrite spewing crap out of his mouth. Another example of a free - spending , entitilist liberal .
BM December 16, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Amen Jo ! I couldn't have said it any better . Enough is enough . People are being bled to death in this town ! Time everyone opens their eyes and sees it !!!
Carlos Amaral December 18, 2012 at 01:48 AM
We need to take the next step. Show up at the meetings and protest!

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