EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 30, 2013

Work begins on new athletic fields

NORTH ANDOVER — North Andover will soon have additional places where residents can play soccer and other sports on Dale Street.

Construction of new fields on town-owned land on the other side of the street from Sean Gallagher Field has just begun with tree removal and grading. The work is being performed by the Greenacres company.

Town Manager Andrew Maylor said the company recently won the contract by submitting the lowest bid, which he estimated at about $460,000.

The added fields will be an asset for local youths, Maylor said.

“This will be a good, constructive use of open space,” he said. The project is being paid for by the town’s Community Preservation Fund, the sources of which are the 3 percent surcharge on local real estate tax bills and state grants.

The May 21 annual Town Meeting approved nearly $3 million in spending from the Community Preservation Fund. Besides the new Dale Street fields, the other projects include slightly more than $900,000 worth of improvements at McEvoy Field off Sutton Street, $461,894 to build three homes for veterans at 138 High St., $436,950 to put a new roof on the Stevens Estate and $397,000 for improvements at the Parson Barnard House and Johnson Cottage.

The Stevens Estate and the Parson Barnard House are both on Osgood Street.

Money from the Community Preservation Fund can be used to purchase open space to save it from development; enhance historic properties; and provide homes for people earning below-average incomes. Open space preservation can include the construction of recreational facilities such as athletic fields.

North Andover adopted the Community Preservation Act in 2001, soon after the Legislature enacted it.

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