Drivers may want to bring extra change with them if they choose to drive through Vinal Square on March 23 and 30.
The Chelmsford Board of Selectmen voted 3-1 on Monday night in favor of allowing the Turf Fields Toll Fundraiser to operate between the hours of 8am and 3pm on those Saturdays.
Adults will be in the road to accept donations to raise money for providing the town with synthetic turf athletic fields.
“I don’t think there’s any cause more worthy than the youth of our town,” stated Selectman George Dixon Jr., who displayed his support for the event from the very beginning of the deliberations.
He praised speaker Peter Casserly who spoke on behalf of the fundraiser.
“It will be adults that will be out in front of the cars coming,” Casserly said. “There would be children possibly off to the side,” he added.
Casserly informed the board of signage to aid motorists as well as assistance from the police department in an effort to make the fundraiser as safe as possible.
Dixon continued his support by pointing to past events.
“I know other people have done this and done this successfully,” he said.
Board chairman Jon Kurland echoed the sentiment.
“The firefighters have been doing this for years for muscular dystrophy, and I’ve never heard of incidents where there have even been close calls,” Kurland said.
Kurland also pointed out that political sign holders would likely be in the square perhaps making drivers more aware and alert.
Board member Pat Wojtas disagreed; she was the only one to vote against the fundraiser.
“I think that would make it worse quite frankly,” she said of the political sign holders.
“I agree with the police chief on this,” Wojtas shared. “I think the risk outweighs the benefits,” she concluded.
Kurland responded, “I’m obviously concerned about public safety, but I’m less concerned that something would happen here.”
The synthetic turf fields are slated to be installed at Chelmsford High School and the McCarthy Middle School.
“Chelmsford residents can support this effort with pride in their community and its children, giving them modern, safe, competitive playing surfaces that require less maintenance and increased field availability. A side benefit will be increased property values and potential future revenue,” states a recent post on Chelmsford Turf Fields’ Facebook Page.