Catanzaro calls for meeting on field use

Catanzaro calls for meeting on field use

Lombardi questions the need, says issues addressed

NORTH PROVIDENCE - Town officials should hold a community meeting and invite everyone who has a stake in local athletic fields, says Town Council President Kristen Catanzaro.

A "needs assessment" meeting could help hash out ongoing issues with how and when the fields are used, according to Catanzaro, giving town officials a broader understanding about the needs of all community groups and sports teams for when they're asked questions.

An analysis of field use is especially important given a tentative plan to spend money in the future on construction of a new athletic field at the expanded Camp Meehan/Notte Park property, said Catanzaro.

Town officials shouldn't even think about adding fields until they're sure that all existing fields are being maintained properly and are at optimal use, said Catanzaro, especially given concerns from the North Providence Environmental Commission about clearing land at the new park facility.

"Let's make sure we're maintaining the fields that we do have," she told The Breeze. "To maintain what we have is our first priority before making new additions. We should go over all the fields in the community before building a new one."

Sports programs "are very important to the people in North Providence," said Catanzaro, and making sure that all groups and athletic teams are well cared for should be a top priority. Officials should focus on maintaining all town-owned fields, including the one at Stephen Olney Park, she said.

Town officials say some of the issues with field use have revolved around teams booking a field just in case they need it, "tying it up" so others can't use it, and under-utilization of certain subpar facilities, leading to higher demand at other fields.

Mayor Charles Lombardi said Sunday that he doesn't have much involvement with the day-to-day handling of field use, but did question the need to have a town-wide meeting. Many of the issues that have been taking place have been addressed, said Lombardi. Teams that were booking fields just in case they needed them are no longer allowed to do so, he said.

A representative for the North Providence Recreation Department said Monday that a community meeting could be beneficial "only to let people know why things are booked," and to let them know that many fields are supposed to be maintained by the teams that use them.

As to Catanzaro's point about holding off on building a new field at the Meehan/Notte property off Douglas Avenue, Lombardi said there are no immediate plans to do so anyway due to a current lack of funding.

According to Lombardi, town workers this year fixed up athletic facilities at both Centredale School on Angell Avenue and DeNinno Field off Frederic Street.

"DeNinno was unusable for years," said the mayor. "We cleaned that up at the beginning of this season and made it usable."

The town could use "one or two" more fields, said Lombardi, but he sees no immediate need to add them.

Lombardi wants to remind residents that all field disputes and questions about field use should go through the North Providence Recreation Department. "Sharing is caring," said Lombardi, and his hope would be everyone with a stake in the town's fields would have that idea in mind as they go about their business.

Recreation workers are "doing their best" to address the "needs" of all teams and groups when it comes to field use, said Lombardi, but not necessarily all of their "wants."

Comments

There should be a meeting to answer questions.. My Daughter had the opportunity this summer to play on the travel team. I want to know why we aren't giving our kids the opportunity top quality playing surfaces, and fields that are equal to other cities and towns. For example the Softball field on Smith Street, it has grass in the infield, and the JR High Girls use it and a Little League, but the town Recreation Girls Fast Pitch can't. The Field is Official Size with fencing and lightning... There is nothing like play a sport you love under the lights, plus it would elevate schedule issues for that league.. Or put lights at Stephen Olney.
Just saying

The parks have been let go for some years now and yes there have been cut backs due to costs, for the parks but not the spending at the town hall.
There is plenty to speak for why the parks should be available in good shape for kids and adults to use for recreation and sports. Probably the single most visible facilities that represent our town.
Yes, a public forum would be a benefit to air out the public opinion be it good or bad to the Mayor's ears.

Where is the savings in capital from the Police Department? The Google Money is Being used for Equipment, Training, Vehicles, ect.. And our taxes went up, allocate money to field maintenance, or Let Johnston run our Parks and Recreation. They are a great example how tthat department should run.

Where is the savings in capital from the Police Department? The Google Money is Being used for Equipment, Training, Vehicles, ect.. And our taxes went up, allocate money to field maintenance, or Let Johnston run our Parks and Recreation. They are a great example how tthat department should run.