New Council Subcommittee Will Discuss Lights at Victory Field, Other Places

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Charlie Breitrose

Watertown hosts Belmont in the annual Thanksgiving Football Game at 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

Charlie Breitrose

Lights installed at Victory Field during Phase 1 of the complex’s renovation have been a source of contention for neighbors who say they shine into their homes.

How the lights are used at Victory Field and other fields around town will discussed by a newly created Town Council Subcommittee. 

At last week’s Town Council Meeting, Council President Mark Sideris announced that he would be creating the Ad Hoc Committee on Policy and Procedures for Lights, and it would go beyond Victory Field.

“I attended most of the Victory Field Phase 2 Committee meetings and at most meetings I’ve attended the lights on Phase 1 were brought up as a problem,” Sideris said, adding that he has also heard from neighborhoods near other fields in town with lights.

Some residents spoke about the lights at the Council Meeting, too. Dick O’Connor, who lives near Victory Field, said that the lights have been an issue since the new ones were installed. They went up during Phase 1 of the renovation of Victory Field, during which  artificial turf was installed at the football and baseball fields.

“They have played high school football at night at Victory Field back to 1937,” O’Connor said. “The Phase 1 lights have proven more powerful and are on taller poles. I would characterize them as more aggressive and more intrusive.”

O’Connor said he hoped that the lights would be turned off when there is not a game, practice or other permitted event on the field.

Victory Field abutter Elodia Thomas, who also serves on the Victory Field Phase 2 Committee, thanked Sideris for bringing up the issue of the football/baseball field lights to the Council level.

“It needed to addressed for six years,” Thomas said. “Everyone knows what’s been going on with Phase 1 and I am pleased it is finally being addressed.”

The Ad Hoc Committee on Lights would be made up of Sideris, the Council’s Human Services subcommittee (currently Tony Palomba, Aaron Dushku and Michael Dattoli) and Council Vice President Vincent Piccirilli, who is chair of the Victory Field Phase 2 Committee.

Dattoli said he is excited to have the chance to serve on the new Ad Hoc Lighting Committee, and asked if there would be any resident or people representing the schools on the committee. Sideris said he see it as a Council issue, but there would be opportunity for public input.

Dushku also looks forward to serving on the new Ad Hoc Committee. He noted that the Recreation Department has a number of meetings scheduled in the next month about renovations to other fields in town, and wondered if they would be held or delayed. Sideris said he expects them to to ahead.

The Council voted 8-0 to create the Ad Hoc Committee on Policy and Procedures for Lights.

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