Selectmen Approve Plan for Dugout Shelters at Babe Ruth Field

CHESTER – The selectmen gave their OK to a plan to erect dugout shelters on the town’s Babe Ruth league field, a plan that is the result of cooperation and funding from the Chester Academy Booster Club and the Chester Baseball and Softball League.

Both groups had already presented their plan to the Chester school board and the recreation commission and obtained approval. The plan was approved by the school board in June.
Sean Cashman, president of Chester Baseball and Softball, and Ron Valentine, also with the group, met with the selectmen at their Sept. 19 meeting. Cashman explained that the Booster Club had donated $5,000 for the project. This sum will cover materials for shelters on the town and the school field. Cashman said labor will come from volunteers.
Shelters have long been sought at the fields by both parents and coaches.
Board members offered suggestions to Cashman and Valentine on how to do the project better.
Chair Steph Landau said a wiser decision for roofing material would be metal, rather than shingles. He spoke of the longevity of the material. Selectman Rich LeBlanc backed Landau, and gave an overview on how to erect a metal roof.
Cashman said they had already looked into a metal roof and decided it was a good alternative.
Landau went on to suggest that Cashman should meet with the building inspector, something Cashman had already told the board he had done.
In other suggestions, Landau said the group would not need electrical permits because there was no electricity going to the shelters, but suggested the group find out if it needed planning board approval and made sure that, because of the metal roof, the league halted games on account of lightning.
The selectmen also noted that a better price for materials may be obtained through town accounts.
In other business:
• The board approved a motion to move a crabapple tree from in front of Stevens Memorial Hall to elsewhere on town property in an effort to improve the line of sight at the troublesome Routes 102 and 121 intersection.
Landau and LeBlanc congratulated the board on how proactive it was being to improve the intersection, compared to what they deemed inactivity by the state.
The planning board and highway safety committee have been working for years on evaluating the intersection and brainstorming improvements together with the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission and the state Department of Transportation. Most fixes have been deemed cost prohibitive.
When asked by resident Leroy Scott about whether a plan recently put forth by selectman Jack Cannon to improve intersection visibility had been moved on, Landau said he did not know. Cannon was not in attendance at the meeting.

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