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.