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Athletic Turf Field Progress Report

By on Jun 26 2013.
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Athletic Turf Field Installation

Athletic Turf Field Installation

Eyes lit up around town this week as construction on the Athletic Turf Field project took a significant leap forward. The turf material was delivered and unrolled by construction workers who have been working in the blazing hot sun to align and connect the “carpet” on the new field.

Construction started last fall after a bond ordinance spearheaded by Republicans was finally approved in the spring of 2012. Under the leadership of former Mayor Ziad Andrew Shehady and former Deputy Mayor Jerry Fernandez, the project gained traction in the form of an agreement between the Township Committee and Board of Education. Despite opposition by members of the Democratic party and repeated attempts by Committeemen David Amlen and Richard Huber to block the project, public support for the project ultimately prevailed. However, current Mayor David Amlen and Deputy Mayor Richard Huber, also candidates for re-election this November, have expressed regret about the process and created an ad hoc investigation committee that is probing the agreement. The investigation has been criticized as a “political witch-hunt” with no goal. Some have pointed out its lack of authority or clear focus and questioned why Amlen is wasting taxpayer money on a unnecessary investigation.

Athletic Turf Field Installation

Athletic Turf Field Installation

According to the Township, the turf is mostly installed on the main athletic field and the ball field installation is in the queue. The bleacher installation is almost complete but crews await delivery of more parts. The press box and concession stand have been installed and are nearly finalized. On Monday, it is expected that new curbing and sidewalk construction will begin. New fencing is next and should be completed by the end of July. Construction and paving of the five tennis courts in the rear will be started mid July. In the beginning of July, Jersey Central Power & Light is expected to install a new transformer which will then allow for testing of the lights and scoreboard. Weather has not been a major concern and has not had a major impact on the timeline for the completion of the project but the estimates for completion depend on weather conditions. The target date for project completion is mid-August.



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