NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – An ongoing problem of vandalism at Northbridge athletic fields was discussed by members of the town’s Ad Hoc Fields Committee at a meeting Monday.
“If we’re planning on investing money to keep these fields together, we need to limit access… we need to talk about ways to prevent it," said Selectman James Marzec, who represents the Board of Selectmen on the committee.
Committee members, appointed by the Board of Selectmen in June, are charged with finding short- and long-term ways to improve and maintain all the town’s athletic fields.
There have been two incidents of vandalism in the last month, noted committee chairman Robert Parker: on the soccer fields behind the high school and at Vail Field at Balmer School.
A 26-year-old was charged with the Vail Field incident, he said, and he wants to pursue restitution. “He’s 26. He has to be held accountable,’’ Parker said.
Some of the athletic fields are fenced, and Parker, a member of the Northbridge Parks and Recreation Commission, said he has asked that gates at all fields that are fenced be locked by coaches at the end of games.
“Come sunset I want these fields closed,’’ he said.
Soccer fields behind the high school are not fenced and have many points of access in addition to the gated road that is supposed to be locked when the fields aren’t in use.
Fencing those fields would be costly, but something to consider, Marzec said, "and might be cheaper in the long run.’’