Select Board Meeting Highlights ~ August 8, 2023: Durham, Maine

YouTube video


In this select board meeting held by the Town of Durham, Maine, various agenda items were discussed, and community members had an opportunity to voice their concerns and suggestions. The meeting aimed to address topics related to the town’s development and infrastructure.

Public Comments

Lois Kilby Chesley, a member of the Union Church committee, expressed her concerns about meeting the town’s goals without adequate funding. She explained that in order to bring the church up to code, they needed to hire a structural engineer, which would cost $2,200. Chesley requested financial support from the board to help meet their goals.

Old Business

The agenda did not include any old business items for discussion or resolution.

New Business: Baseball Field Improvements

Mike Clark, President of Durham’s Baseball organization, along with his team, presented their plans to improve and upgrade the town’s baseball field. These proposed changes were aimed at enhancing player safety and overall experience.

  1. Field Expansion: The baseball organization requested permission to extend the size of the field by pushing back the existing outfield fence from the current 165 feet to a regulation 200 feet. They provided a map outlining the proposed changes and expressed the need to remove some trees obstructing the fence.

  2. Field Maintenance: The organization explained that they had already completed some maintenance tasks, such as bench replacement and dugout reinforcement. However, they also proposed additional improvements like infield grading and filling potholes to ensure player safety.

  3. Infield Resurfacing: The baseball organization requested permission to resurface the infield with a specialized baseball infield mix, rather than the current practice of annual regrading.

  4. Equipment Shed Expansion: Due to expected growth in the number of teams, the organization sought approval to expand the size of the equipment shed to accommodate more equipment. They provided a proposed sketch and suggested adding a 16-foot extension with a six-foot overhang.

Questions and Discussions

During the meeting, board members and attendees raised questions and engaged in discussions regarding the proposed changes. Some key points discussed were:

  • Funding: The project expenses were planned to be covered through donations and support from the baseball organization.
  • Ownership of Shed: The shed in question is owned by the town.
  • Distance from Parking Lot: The proposed field extension would increase the distance between the field and the parking lot by approximately 35 feet.
  • Fencing and Safety: The baseball organization expressed the need to enclose the field with fences to prevent unauthorized access, particularly as there had been instances of dirt bike tracks in the infield.
  • Conditional Use Permit: It was clarified that as a town field project, there was no requirement for a conditional use permit. Compliance with building codes and regulations was essential.
  • Future Plans: The proposed changes were not expected to interfere with any future plans for the field’s use or connection with other facilities in the area, such as the Eureka Center.


The Select Board meeting for Durham, Maine, showcased productive discussions and community involvement in matters related to the town’s development. The meeting addressed concerns raised by a community member and outlined plans for improving the baseball field. The proposed upgrades aimed to enhance player safety and overall field conditions, ensuring a better experience for all involved. The board welcomed the suggestions and agreed to consider the proposals further, keeping in mind financial and regulatory factors.

Key Points Summary:

  • A community member raised concerns about the lack of funding for meeting goals.
  • Durham’s Baseball organization proposed improvements to the baseball field to enhance safety and overall experience.
  • The proposed improvements included field expansion, maintenance, infield resurfacing, and equipment shed expansion.
  • Funding for the project would be through donations and support from the baseball organization.
  • The shed in question is owned by the town.
  • Enclosing the field with fences was discussed to prevent unauthorized access.
  • No conditional use permit was necessary for the proposed changes.
  • The proposed changes would not interfere with future plans for the field’s use or connection with other facilities in the area.

Leave a Comment