Lanesborough Group Looking To Expand Laston Park

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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The Board of Selectmen are expected to put an article on the town meeting warrant to start a revolving account to accept the donations.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — More playing fields, parking and even a community center could be in the works for Bill Laston Memorial Park.

Selectman John Goerlach and Recreation Committee member Tim Sorrell are preparing to solicit donations to purchase 2.79 acres to add to the park. The parcel — where the old drive-in movie theater sign is along Route 7 — is owned by Dennis Condron, who is asking $65,000 for the land.

Goerlach and Sorrell have formed their own committee, the Laston Field Expansion Committee, and will be asking donors to help with the purchase. Town meeting will be asked to approve creating a revolving fund for the donations.

"It is basically a buildable lot," Goerlach said on Monday. "It would be to expand for any growth."

Exactly what the land will be used for is undetermined. First they need to purchase it. But Goerlach has already posed a few ideas from using some land for tennis courts to more sports fields to even building a community center.

The parcel is the same one the Berkshire Carousel wanted to build a home on until that project fell through.

For fundraisers, the two will be sending out letters to businesses and residents asking for help. For the donors who contribute more than $1,000, their company's name will be engraved on a plaque displayed at the park. There will be honors for bronze, silver, gold and platinum sponsors depending on how much is donated.

Goerlach said he hopes to be able to raise all of the money this summer.

"I think it is an exciting project," said Town Administrator Paul Sieloff, adding that the property is "dynamic."

Also at the park, a new tree could be planted in memory of Aimee Thayer. Thayer served in many capacities in town and regional government groups but died unexpectedly after suffering a heart attack during a special town meeting in 2012.

Berkshire Conservation District, one of the many boards on which Thayer volunteered her time, had wanted to plant a tree in her honor. Its Chairman Robert Lear asked the board where the best site would be. Selectman Robert Ericson proposed planting a shade tree at Laston Park..

The request will be vetted by the Tree and Forest Committee to find the best spot.

In other business, the Board of Selectmen agreed to enter a contract with Berkshire Engineering to oversee reconstruction of a portion of the roof over Town Hall.

"This is a project we approved at last year's town meeting," Sieloff said.

The town already set aside $50,000 for the project. But, because of the size and that it is a meeting place the town is required to have all plans reviewed by an engineer. Berkshire Engineering will be paid $2,000 for that oversight.

Tags: parks & rec,   sports fields,   youth sports,   

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