Officials still certifying voter signatures on ballfield referendum petitions
Officials in the Fairfield Town Clerk's Office at midday were still counting signatures on referendum petitions filed by opponents of a girls softball field proposed for town-owned property on Hoyden's Hill.
Town Clerk Betsy Browne said her staff may not complete reviewing the more than 2,000 voter signatures filed Tuedsay by organizers of the referendum drive by the end of Wednesday. That review will determine whether at least 1,766 of the signers are registered voters -- the threshold required to qualify for a referendum.
The $350,000 in bonding for the ballfield passed the RTM by a two-vote margin last month. Fiscal Officer Paul Hiller said the $350,000 would cost 92.5 cents a year per taxpayer for 15 years.
Both supporters of the referendum drive and town officials have indicated that if the effort is certified, they would prefer the vote take place Aug. 10, the same day that balloting is scheduled in legislative primaries. But because not all voters are eligible to ballot in the political primaries, separate voting machines on the different issues would have to be set up at each of the town's polling stations.
Of the 8.5-acre Hoyden's Lane site, purchased by the town for $1.8 million in 2007, three acres would be used for the softball field, bathrooms and parking lot. Another one acre is potentially slated to be cultivated as an organic farm.