Now that the Southcoast Working Dog Club has informed the Town that it will no longer be holding any future events at the Rochester Country Fair property, future use of the town-owned property is still under discussion amongst the Rochester Board of Selectmen who agreed on August 21 to appoint a committee to devise specific guidelines on who can use the property and what kinds of events can take place there.
The Southcoast Working Dog Club had been utilizing the RCF site on Pine Street for many months now, but once the selectmen received word back in July that at least one neighbor had been complaining of dogs barking, the dog club’s regular use of the Pine Street field was under scrutiny, especially by Selectman Greenwood Hartley.
Hartley had previously suggested that any one private group should not be granted permission to use the fairground on a regular/weekly basis, arguing that the regular use of the grounds was not the original intent upon acquiring the property to hold the RCF.
This past Monday evening, Hartley suggested the Town inform neighbors and abutters of the Rochester Country Fair grounds of the new RCF property guidelines committee, which will include one RCF neighbor (not already on the RCF Committee) amongst the five members.
“An attempt to make sure everybody knows everybody has a chance to say they want to be on this group,” Hartley said.
One of those neighbors near the RCF, Richard Masciantonio of 93 Quaker Lane, asked if there was ever an original document with specific rules and regulations written down. Hartley told him there was never any such written agreement.
“This group will be the ones who will actually do that work,” said Hartley. “That will be the starting point.”
Selectman Naida Parker stressed the need to charge the new committee with a specific objective, “So that it’s very clear as to what their goal is going forward,” she said, including the maximum number of times a year any singular group could use the grounds.
The board will appoint the members of the new committee during its next meeting.
In other matters, the deadline for article submissions for the October 23 Fall Special Town Meeting has been set for September 13. A draft of the warrant will be presented on September 18, and on October 2, the selectmen will sign the warrant.
Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar commented that she did not anticipate any significant number of articles appearing on the warrant.
The public hearing for Verizon was continued until October 2.
The next meeting of the Rochester Board of Selectmen is scheduled for September 18 at 7:00 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.
Rochester Board of Selectmen
By Jean Perry