When he talks about installing a turf field at the city park, city councilman Tony Chiavacci sees dollar signs, and it's not because of the cost to build it.
"It will become an economic engine for downtown," Chiavacci said.
Chiavacci, who chairs the city's Park and Recreation Committee, has been exploring the idea of an outdoor turf field for quite some time. He said that having a turf field in downtown Westminster could consistently draw thousands of people to the Main Street area that otherwise wouldn't have a reason to be there. He said it could be even more during tournaments and playoffs.
Chiavacci said that Carroll County only has two outdoor turf fields, one at and one at Gerstell Academy, neither of which are open to the public.
"This would be the only publicly owned turf field in all of Carroll County," Chiavacci said. "All of our surrounding counties have numerous turf fields and some have them at all their high schools. Some of the newer schools even have two."
"Carroll County is way behind our neighbors when it comes to turf," Chiavacci said.
But it's not all about the potential economic impact or the $1.5 million pricetag, Chiavacci said it's also about the athletes.
"It also would give our kids an opportunity to practice on turf, as they play many of their games on it when playing teams from other counties," Chiavacci said. "Many sports are very different on turf versus grass and our kids are always at a disadvantage when playing on turf because they never have the opportunity to practice on it."
So what do you think--should Westminster invest in an outdoor turf field at the city playground?