VASSALBORO — Recreation Director Nicole Wasilewski has selectmen’s approval to apply for a grant for improvements at the town ball fields on Bog Road.

But it won’t be as big a grant as the preliminary figures discussed Thursday.

Wasilewski’s outline of an application included funding for a new playground with swings, better drainage for the fields, new handicapped-accessible toilets, a septic system to replace the troublesome holding tank and a storage building.

Looking at a total cost of nearly $100,000, Wasilewski and Selectman Robert Browne agreed the figure was scary.

The important things, Wasilewski said, are the drainage, the bathrooms and the septic system.

The proposed playground and building could be postponed or perhaps done by local volunteers.

She and selectmen agreed that she will develop a revised, less expensive proposal for their review before the early December submission date.

The town would have to match the grant, Wasilewski said, although the match could be at least partly in donated labor and materials, not cash.

She said she already can count more than $30,000 in in-kind donations, for plans and maps already done by resident John Picher and labor promised by Road Commissioner Eugene Field and the public works crew.

Wasilewski said she should know whether the grant has been approved in the first quarter of 2012. However, even if it is approved, federal funds might not materialize until later in the year.

If her application is successful, she plans to have the drainage work done in 2012; the remainder in 2013.

Wasilewski had another question for selectmen. Can the Recreation Committee put up signs banning dogs from the ball fields?

She said she is tired of having youngsters run through dog droppings.

Selectmen believe the committee’s authority to manage the recreation program and facilities extends to putting up “no dogs” signs.

In other business, selectmen did not discuss the draft personnel handbook. They had received an attorney’s comments only that day and had not had time to review them or share them with town employees.

Board members and Town Manager Mary Sabins were surprised at the number of changes attorney Matthew Tarasevich of Bernstein Shur suggested.

The selectmen’s next regular meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 10.

Mary Grow is a Kennebec Journal correspondent who lives in China.

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