FREEPORT — The first phase of the fields and trails project on Hunter Road is on schedule and nearly complete.
“Everything is on time and on budget,” said David Latulippe of Freeport Fields and Trails, a coalition of residents and business owners, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. “We are very excited about this. It is something that will serve (the community) for a long time.”
In April, the Town Council allocated $2.3 million from an excess fund balance for the recreational fields and trails project. The plan proposed by Freeport Fields and Trails was to build a multi-use complex that would include four playing fields, three baseball diamonds, plus trails for Nordic skiing and mountain biking and running. The group also proposed a recreational lodge, a turf field built by Seacoast United Soccer Club and a maintenance plan.
Town Engineer Albert Presgraves said the contractor, R.J. Grondin & Sons of Gorham, is expected to complete its work by the end of the week. The fields are completed and sodded he said, and there is water access, irrigation and electricity.
“We have not finalized plans for the winter, but we do want to make sure we reduce damage caused by four-wheel-drive and all-terrain vehicles,” Presgraves said. “There may be a permanent or temporary gate put in to protect the fields.”
Town Planner Donna Larson said she has been working with a committee to identify connector trails between the Hunter Road fields and Hedgehog Mountain trails.
She said cost estimates are being created for new trails in the Hedgehog area and a grant application is due at the beginning of December, which is the target date to have the trail plans in place.
“There are no specific details at this point, but we are making good progress,” she said.
Young soccer players try out the turf last week at the opening of the Hunter Road fields in Freeport, while Dave Latulippe, left, of Freeport Fields and Trails, addresses people who came out for a ribbon-cutting event. Town Councilor Rich DeGrandpre is at the right.