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Lions Club mulls options for Goffstown athletic fields

GOFFSTOWN — The Lions Club may sell its fields on West Union Street, but the Goffstown School Board is working with the organization to make sure the district’s teams have a place to play.

Interim Superintendent Brian Balke said the Lions Club is concerned about increasing maintenance and mowing costs of the fields, and the infrastructure of the baseball area.

Currently, the school district contributes $5,000 annually for use of the fields, Balke told the Goffstown School Board at its Oct. 7 meeting.

Goffstown High School’s field hockey, soccer, varsity and junior varsity baseball and lacrosse teams rely on continued use of the fields. He said the Tri-Town Youth Soccer League also uses the fields and contributes about $7,000 per year.

“There’s quite a bit of use and need of those fields,” Balke said.

The Lions Club is waiting for appraisals on the property, and if the values come in the $400,000 to $600,000 range, the club would be interested in selling the land and donating money to the town’s recreation complex. If the values come in the $200,000 range, the Lions Club may be interested in donating the land to the school district and Tri-Town, or entering into a long-term lease for 20 years, Balke said. The lease would cost the district about $10,000 per year with an option to buy.

“I commend the Lions Club. They’re deeply committed to athletics in Goffstown and don’t want to leave the district or Tri-Town without fields,” said Balke.

Balke said the spirit of the conversation with Rick Wilhelmi, director of the town’s Parks and Recreation Department, is that the district would have continued use of the town fields. Construction of the town’s new fields is expected to begin this winter, Balke said, and the Goffstown schools would be allowed access.

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