BREWER, Maine — It was five years ago when resident Jerry Goss, who now sits on the City Council, stood before the panel urging them to look into improving the playing surface at Doyle Field.
The councilors said they liked the idea, but didn’t like the $1 million price tag to add artificial turf and add other amenities.
Goss was not swayed, and has since corralled a couple of local businesspeople to serve on a volunteer group to research the idea and do the fundraising.
Improvements to the field are needed, Brewer football coach Don Farnham told the City Council on Monday.
“It’s dying” from overuse, the coach said. The situation is bad, but just gets worse when it rains.
“We missed about 12 practices” this fall due to weather, Farnham said.
Two members of the unofficial Doyle Field Committee, Joe Cote, Cianbro vice president and general manager of the module manufacturing facility in south Brewer, and Jim Donnelly, executive vice president of business banking at Machias Savings Bank, stood before councilors on Monday, asking for guidance on moving forward.
The volunteers already have done a survey and found there is community interest in improving the field, Cote said.
“One of the takeaways is in these times it might be a challenging to raise these funds,” he said.
Councilors gave their opinions of the project and Donnelly said the volunteers would be back in a month or so to give the panel a more comprehensive overview.
Friends of Cameron Stadium, a nonprofit group formed in 2010, is currently trying to raise $7 million to renovate Cameron Stadium in Bangor.
“We need a field that you can play on year round,” Farnham said. “It’s not just for football.”
When Goss originally approached the council in December 2008, use of the field had jumped from 12 to 15 events annually to around 60 that year. Farnham said on Monday that it is used seven days a week nowadays.
During the meeting, the board also:
• Recognized Mason Duplissie for earning the rank of Eagle Scout. He built a covered picnic table for the Brewer Public Library for his Eagle project.
• Accepted a certificate of appreciation from Bill Jones, commandant of the Marine Corps League Detachment 1151, and member Brian Goggins, who thanked the city’s fire department for donating toys collected during the holidays for needy children. The Marines host the local annual Toys 4 Tots program.
• Approved exhibits to a settlement agreement with James L. Kearns in regard to his property at 87 Parker St. The city sued Kearns over his “demised premises” and under the agreement is basically allowing him to keep the property, if he keeps it clean and pays his outstanding real estate and sewer bills. “If, however, Kearns violates the lease, he shall immediately vacate the property,” the agreement states.
• Changed the February City Council meeting date to Monday, Feb. 11, and the March meeting to Monday, March 18.
• Changed the land use code to allow churches to locate in the rural, general business, industrial, office residential and profession zones of the city. Churches were added to the convenience and business zones a couple months ago.