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Town Revisits Transforming Dormant Thompson Road Property into Athletic Field

The project would include a new athletic facility and multi-sport turf field.

Renewed interest has arisen about a 2007 proposal to turn the vacant former M.H. Rhodes property into an athletic facility and multi-purpose turf field.

"There's a lot of interest to move it up on the timeline," Town Council Chairman Mark Zacchio said Thursday morning.

Town Manager Brandon Robertson gave an update on the field at the Town Council meeting on Thursday night.

The town paid about $1.5 million to buy the 15.25-acre property at 99 Thompson Rd. in 2003 and evaluate whether the land was polluted by the former time device factory, Zacchio said.

"It offers an interesting perspective for us because it's on a commercial property," Zacchio said, noting that there aren't homes next to it.

It also would have access to public water supplies and sewers. The project would not require site work because the land is already flat, he said.

Zacchio said that the building was torn down to see if cleaning agents from the company polluted the soil underneath a cement slab at the base of the building. After years of monitoring the groundwater quarterly, as required by the newly named Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the town learned through a remediation report in November of 2011 that the property is clean.

"It's 100 percent free and clear," Zacchio said.

The tentative proposal, developed in the town's 2007 longterm recreation plan, is to add a full-size municipal turf baseball field that can also be used for soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, football and other sports. The shed on the property could be converted into an athletic building. The project would also include stadium seating and a parking lot for 300 cars.

The initial projected cost of the project was about $3 million, Zacchio said, and he asked Robertson to put it on the Town Council's Thursday night meeting agenda to get an update. No action is being taken on the plan at this time.

However, he said it is something that many residents and school booster clubs are interested in. The field could be used by the schools and local athletic teams.

Bill Flint November 17, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I'm sorry...what am I missing here ? $3million+ for a "sports complex", on a narrow road, less than a mile away from Fisher Meadows ? Because it is part of the "recreational master plan"...from 2007 ? Since 2007 property taxes have increased 30%+, housing values have dropped, city services have been reduced, the economy has cratered, but we need to spend MORE money for "sports complex" next to an existing "sports complex" ? Valley Press reports : "regulation soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, football and a semi-professional level and high school baseball field, lighted and irrigated synthetic turf, concession plaza, grandstands, press boxes, gated ticket booths.." It's good to hear our town government still has a positive outlook for Avon, but this does not sound like the place to focus energies and scarce revenue. Perhaps this can be revisited after the leaf and brush pickup returns, all the trees are trimmed back from power lines, all the roads are repaired or resurfaced, the property taxes are rolled back or frozen and any number of issues that Avon faces. Of course there is the option of selling off the property to a private developer to build such a complex and take a % of the revue from activities and concessions. Just a thought

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