The Falmouth Recreation Department has withdrawn its application for an additional $149,645 in community preservation funding to rehabilitate Guv Fuller Field.
“We were awaiting specific engineering and construction costs from the firm that had been hired, CDM Smith,” community preservation administration Carole E. Sutherland told the community preservation committee at its meeting last week, Thursday, September 12. “The contract with CDM Smith has not been approved or signed.”
The community preservation committee gave the applicant until September 26 to get an estimate for engineering and construction costs. However, without a signed contract, nothing has been done to determine the costs.
“It would be impossible to meet that deadline,” she said. “It just became clear the application is not viable for the November Town Meeting.”
The requested funds were in addition to a previous community preservation allotment of $477,815 to rehabilitate the Guv Fuller Field. The rehabilitation project includes the installation of an ADA-compliant lift to the press box, new dugouts with safety netting and aluminum bleachers.
“I know Bob Curtis and Joe Olenick worked diligently to make this happen,” committee member Sandra L. Cuny said. “If we don’t have the right figures for Town Meeting, we will have to indefinitely postpone it, and that is not the way to go.”
The committee will discuss the possibility of allowing the request for the April Town Meeting.
“Are we going to allow them to reapply now, even though the deadline has passed for April Town Meeting?” committee chairman Russell E. Robbins asked.
Community preservation fund applications were due on August 7. Describing the situation as “complicated,” Ms. Sutherland said the matter merited further discussion at at future community preservation committee meeting.
“There is no real urgency in deciding what to do with the next step,” she said.
The committee also discussed five recreation-related community preservation fund applications totaling $1.7 million last week.
They include a request for $429,485 for rehabilitation of the Nye Park tennis and pickleball courts.
“There are multiple projects being spearheaded by a specific department head,” consultant Sharon Gay said, noting Mr. Olenick was also the contact for the Guv Fuller Field rehabilitation, the Lawrence School tennis court and inclusive playground projects.
She asked if Mr. Olenick would be able to handle overseeing four projects.
“It sounds like he needs an assistant recreation director, to write grants and monitor grants,” committee member Robert Brown said.
The committee also questioned the request for $174,728 from Falmouth Youth Baseball to replace the baseball diamond fence at Trotting Park Field. Though it is a town-owned field, Falmouth Youth Baseball oversees maintenance of the diamond.
“The question we have here is the most basic one: who is the applicant?” Ms. Sutherland said.
“If it is a town project, a different set of rules apply for procurement,” she said. “Nothing in the application we have in front of us will apply, if it is a town application run by the recreation department.”
In addition, she had nine questions for Falmouth Youth Baseball following the project’s eligibility review. Though answers had not been provided prior to the meeting, Brennon McKeon of Falmouth Youth Baseball said answers were forthcoming.
Whether the town or Falmouth Youth Baseball is the applicant, committee members said the application process could proceed.
“[Mr. Olenick] leads the league in terms of applications, committee member Paul C. Glynn said. “He should be able to get another done without problems.”
The committee agreed to have the town’s legal department look at the matter to determine who should be listed as the applicant for this request.
The committee questioned one element of the Shivericks Pond Working Group’s application for between $326,000 to $344,000 to build a viewing platform of the southwest corner of the pond and install a 40-foot-long, ADA-accessible walkway from the trail to this platform. The group initially requested $290,000.
“Typically, we don’t deal with ranges,” Ms. Sutherland said. “We like to nail it down, what you’re asking for.”
Ms. Cuny said the $8,000 range is due to the estimated cost of vista clearing.
“I would think, with vista clearing, they would give them a price, not a range of $30,000 to $38,000,” she said.
Ms. Gay also wanted to make sure the applicant covers the cost of making the walkway ADA-accessible.
“We want to make sure we account for that cost, because it has stymied other projects,” she said.
The committee questioned funding the $694,000 request from the Falmouth Department of Public Works to extend the Shining Sea Bikeway to the Bourne town line in phases.
“This appeared to be more of a capital project, to me,” Mr. Brown said. “It is also an extra 0.7 miles of DPW maintenance, and DPW maintenance is pretty stretched.”
Ms. Cuny said she was concerned about the amount of money requested as well.
“I think it is a lot of money, but I also think it is a dream to have the bike path extended and reach the Boune Bridge,” she said.
Mr. Glynn asked if the DPW was coordinating this project with the town of Bourne.
“We’re extending it to Bourne, and you hope Bourne doesn’t start at the canal and work toward Falmouth,” he said.
Ms. Sutherland said Bourne would start at the Falmouth town line and worked toward the bridge.
“My understanding is they would coordinate,” she said.
The project has a proposed completion date of 2028. Noting it is a long-term project, committee member John Druley asked if it would be possible to fund the funding request over several years.
Ms. Sutherland said this is possible. The committee does not need to fund any request in its entirety, and can recommend funding the bike path extension at a lower amount.
The committee had no questions regarding the Falmouth Rod & Gun Club request for $151,498 for its upper Childs River and Farley Bog restoration project.
“This was a well-written application, really beautiful in every way,” Ms. Sutherland said.
Ms. Cuny noted the Falmouth Rod & Gun Club is seeking community preservation funding to supplement other funds raised for preserving the river and bog. If approved, the community preservation funding will be used to deconstruct a dam at the site and remove sediment.
“The work they are going to do on this project is to fill in the gap they didn’t get from other funding,” she said. “This is a $1 million project. They are only asking for the $151,000 they couldn’t cover.”
All of the discussions on Thursday night were preliminary in nature. The committee will interview applicants at an upcoming meeting.