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GROTON — After months of work reviewing conditions and discussing the future of the fairgrounds, the Hazel Grove Subcommittee was ready last night to take more active measures in their efforts to plug in to public sentiment regarding the historic site and its buildings.

The committee began its work some months ago after talk had gone around town about possibly bringing organized sports programs such as football to the Fairgrounds at Hazel Grove Park. Up to then, only the clip clop of horses’ hooves was likely to be heard.

Fearful of losing the bucolic character of the Fairgrounds to the raucous shouts of sports fans, local equestrians turned out in numbers at a Parks Commission meeting held to discuss the issue.

Seeing the concern of horse lovers, the commission decided to form a subcommittee to review the Fairgrounds matter and come up with one, three, and five year plans for its future use.

Duly holding its first meetings earlier this year, the new Hazel Grove Sub-Committee went to work and almost immediately encountered problems with the building inspector who condemned the Exhibition Hall portion of a building used by local horse owners.

That difficulty was overcome when members of the Groton Riding and Driving Club rasied enough money to cover the cost of shoring up the hall, keeping it open.

The private effort fit in with the committee’s view of the property in that its association with the area’s agricultural heritage should be maintained. The history of Hazel Grove Park goes back over 150 years when it was first acquired by the Farmers and Mechanics Club in 1854. The town acquired the property in 1941.

The subcommittee began listing possible improvements including bringing town water, creating a septic system and regrading.

Members decided that it was time to invite interested parties to meet with them to discuss the future of the fairgrounds and solicit ideas.

Committee members scheduled their meeting of Jan. 18 for the summit.

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