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Support Vote on Land

My name is Steve Grande. I am the current President of the Eeast Longmeadow Basketball Association. I have served on this board for roughly 15 years. As someone who has children and devotes much of his free time during the year to other parents' children, I am keenly interested in the current effort to purchase land for eventual recreational use. This would include, but not be limited to, field sports, i.e. soccer, baseball, football, field hockey, softball, etc. There is a dedicated group of volunteers, known as East Longmeadow Recreation Association (ELRA), prepared to raise money through various means such as corporate donations, grant money, etc., to fund the development of this land in the event that the Article 17 is passed on May 18. It should be fairly obvious to those with children (there are many) who use our existing fields, how shy of field space we are in E.L., especially with the rapid growth of our town in the past 15 to 20 years. Additionally, without proper "rest," our current fields are impossible to keep well maintained. That being said, the appeal of this endeavor, while greatly important for youth athletics in our town, should by no means be considered exclusive to youth athletics. A wider demographic ought to consider this a "golden" opportunity to enhance their quality of life as well. The possibility of having a place to go for a walk through the woods with my wife as we steam towards and through middle age or a place to spend a couple of hours reading a book on a leisurely Sunday afternoon is tremendously appealing and in my opinion worth spending Community Preservation money on, including future Community Preservation money. After all, what else is that money collected for but this type of space? I, for one, and I hope many others, will feel terrific knowing that some of our tax money is being spent on something that will benefit all age groups in East Longmeadow far into the future. I urge those that are in support of Article 17 to attend the special town meeting on the 18th of May and vote for this land acquisition. Steve Grande East Longmeadow
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