TYNGSBORO -- Town officials are trying to figure out how to maintain its 14-acre recreational field after running out of money for the upkeep.

The field-maintenance fund is already in the red and could not afford to water the grass, according to Recreation Department Director Alison Page. Selectwoman Karyn Puleo said she will sit down with Page and members of the Field Use Committee to review the finances to help come up with solutions for the problem that has plagued the department for the past three years. But Page said the fiscal woes are particularly pressing now that the numbers are in the negative.

"We are at a dire point here," Page told selectmen at their Monday night meeting.

The funding fund began running in the red as the final bills for fiscal 2014 started coming in, according to Field Use Committee member Eric Estochen. The fund is short of tens of thousands of dollars, Estochen said, adding that the exact number would depend on the water bills to come.

Assistant Town Administrator Nina Nazarian said Page and the Field Use Committee have tried many different ways to tackle the fiscal issues in the past, but the problem still exists. Ideas include the idea building a billboard on a town property off Westford Road by Route 3 to bring in some revenue, Estochen said. Estochen believes the project is currently in legal review by the town.

Selectmen agreed to have Puleo work with Page and the committee on the issue.


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Selectmen also reviewed resident Ken Papas' request to designate a town property for remote-controlled airplane enthusiasts to fly their model aircrafts. According to Papas, a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the hobby is gaining popularity across the country.

"Almost single town around Tyngsboro has a designated area to fly these types of devices," Papas said.

Papas said those who visit the town for such activities would spend money in there.

Designating under-used lands, such as landfills, would benefit the community because the organization or a club that is allowed to use the field would take care of it while limiting the use to its members who follow certain guidelines, Papas said.

The sites Papas suggested include Hunter Property on Helena Drive that the town has acquired with the community conservation fund. Puleo said the town would need to research what types of restrictions may be placed on the land.

Selectmen Chairman Robert Jackson said he wants to hear from all stakeholders in the future before making a decision.

Jackson said the board is hoping to work with Rep. Colleen Garry, D-Dracut, to organize a Tyngsboro-Dracut joint public forum on Kinder Morgan's natural-gas pipeline project.

The board has invited Kinder Morgan to come back to the town to provide more details about the project, but the company does not have any new information to offer, Nazarian said.

So Garry suggested the town asks Kinder Morgan to come after it files its preliminary proposal with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission next month.

Follow Hiroko Sato on Twitter and Tout @SatoLowellSun.