The Board of Selectmen at its most recent meeting approved an approximately $120,000 contract with a North Berwick, Maine-based company to repair and, in at least one case, replace outdoor bleachers at athletic fields in New Canaan.
The selectmen voted 3-0 at their June 28 meeting to approve the $120,170 contract with Hussey Seating.
Some of the bleachers that need repair, such as those at Dunning Field, are 25 years old, while others need outright replacement, such as those at Conner Field, according to Parks & Recreation Director John Howe.
“Doing all this work will get us up code-compliant and we will have to remove some of the bleachers because they don’t even come close, but the safety inspection is what we want,” Howe told the selectmen during the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “We don’t want anything bad to happen.”
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the contract.
Funds are included in the current capital budget and the work should get underway after about 10 to 12 weeks, as the contracted company obtains needed materials, Howe said.
The selectmen asked whether one location is absorbing a lot of the cost (Dunning is $57,000) and whether the Dunning bleachers need to be replaced (no).
Regarding Conner Field’s bleachers, Howe said “they’re the oldest.”
“They need to have a fence around them, they need to have backstops so that a kid can’t slide through,” he said. “It’s virtually impossible to take one of those bleachers and upgrade it to today’s standards.”
Howe said the town should plan to have safety inspections done every year on outdoor bleachers throughout town.