By John Fitts
CANTON — On Nov. 2, the Planning and Zoning Commission will host a public hearing on permanent lights at the high school track and field facility.
The Canton School district has filed an application to install four permanent poles with lighting at the facility. In the application, Canton Schools director of facilities Dwight Carlson said the plan is to erect two 80-foot metal poles on the west side of the field and two 90-foot poles on the east side. Musco lighting has performed a photometric survey so the commission and neighbors can review any potential impact.
The district is looking to utilize the lights until 10 p.m. for certain games, and on rare occasions (overtime) until 11:30 p.m. It is also asking for the option to hold up to 2 special events per year, which could involve reduced lighting levels for all-night events. If it approves the application, the Planning and Zoning Commission could in theory modify those request and/or set other conditions of use.
Lights on Canton, a committee spearheaded by the Canton Athletic Booster Club and others, plans to initiate a major fundraising drive to pay for the lights. At a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, school superintendent said final cost estimates and a few other details are still being worked out but added that first selectman Leslee Hill has signed off on the application.
“The committee can go ahead and begin with some fundraising now that the application is signed but nothing is definite until the planning and zoning signs off on it,” Case said.
The school district needs a site plan modification, special permits and a building permit before work could begin.
Currently, the field is lit by temporary lighting each October for special Alumni Weekend night games at Canton High School. This year, the committee and booster club have announces a special Spirit Pass e-ticket that will be good for the games – Thursday, Oct 13th at 6 p.m.
(Field Hockey), Friday, Oct 14th at 6:30pm
(Football) and Saturday, Oct 15th at 5:30pm and 7:15pm
(Girls & Boys Soccer). The pass also comes with a free concession item and a chance to win a door prize at each game. Cost is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. For more information or to purchase your Spirit Pass, go to https://spiritpass.yapsody.com
Kimberly Marze, a member of the Lights on Canton committee said the funds will go to the booster club. If the Planning and Zoning Commission approves the permanent lights, they will be directed toward that effort. Should the effort fail, the money will go toward temporary lighting in 2017.
The Lights On Canton committee is also planning numerous other fundraisers should permanent lights be approved, Marze added.
“We are looking forward to hearing all comments and feedback from the community and Planning & Zoning so if there are any issues we can come to a solution quickly,” she said. “I can visualize our Canton kids and community members, big and small, competing, learning and laughing under those beautiful bright lights. I hope that Canton can share and benefit from that vision, too. And I hope that I don’t get so nervous that I pass out or throw up.”
Canton Compass will add the exact time and location of the meeting once the agenda is posted.