Football Season Conflicts with Memorial Field Plan

The project to re-sod Memorial Field in Washington Township will not be able to be completed before youth football teams begin practicing on the field.

A plan to re-sod may be delayed because the Washington Township Falcons youth football teams will need the field for practice starting next week.

The council voted 4-1 to appropriate funds for the project during their meeting Monday.

Officials had previously said they wanted to ensure the field was because of netting from old sod which sticks up from its surface.

"The field is horrendous," Councilman Glenn Beckmeyer said.

Because the work cannot be performed while the field is in use, township officials set a tentative start date of October 29 for the project, which will be after the end of the season if the teams do not make the playoffs.

The sod, which is higher quality than used previously, is supposed to take only days to settle before it is ready for use.

During their meeting Monday, officials discussed other options for the teams, including putting temporary lights at Sherry Field for practicing and then using the artificial turf field at for games.

"This thing should have been put to bed a long time ago," Councilman Steve Cascio said. "I'm just kind of worried about the kids practicing on that field in the condition its in."

The township's lacrosse program had also considered using the high school's field this past spring, but found that renting the space and operating the lights would have cost more than $20,000 for the season.

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Concerned July 25, 2012 at 11:36 AM
The one dissenter who caused a delay says "this should have been decided a long time ago". Ironic
toni marino July 25, 2012 at 12:54 PM
renting the space ??? when i agreed to put the high school field there and pay for it there was no talk about renting it in fact it was the only solution at the time that the field could be shared and it was going to enhance the town ....I have no kids in the system but yet it still cost me money everytime why not figure something out with the A field in westwood thats not being used ...
Falcon Fan July 25, 2012 at 01:16 PM
If you mean Councilman Cascio as the one dissenter responsible for the delays then you are so wrong. Cascio has been trying to get the fields fixed since the issue began. All this talk by our fearless leaders and we end up with the same result. Nothing getting done. What a disgrace.
Joe Taxpayer July 25, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Field looks pretty good now. Please update pix of field. The current pix is dated.
Joe Taxpayer July 25, 2012 at 02:21 PM
If the field isn't up to snuff maybe they can use Metlife field. The Jints/jets don't use the field during the week except the ocassional Monday night game.
Walnut July 25, 2012 at 03:04 PM
This field issue is but a small example of a mayor and council unable to govern with good judgment and priorities in order. We are in the midst of an awful economy that has hit the taxpaying residents of the Township of Washington hard. We voted for a mayor and council that unfortunately demonstrate their incivility toward one another at almost every public meeting. Good decisions and debate at some meetings seem counterbalanced by an utter lack of common sense at other meetings. A small minority of residents seem unconcerned about more pressing issues in town while clamoring for the rest of us to foot the bill for the luxury of having a turf field. It took the mayor and council too long to make the RIGHT decision at this time (resodding) but at least it was the right decision. Can we stop exaggerating the supposed safety of the field and move on to more important issues facing the town? I encourage more taxpaying residents and people who vote to attend mayor and council meetings to see what is going on for themselves, otherwise attendance at the meeting will continue to consist of town gadflys and citizens whose priorities are suspect (i.e. turf proponents)
Township Resident July 25, 2012 at 03:17 PM
You obviously have no clue regarding the safety of the field. I'm on that field at least 2X per week with Men's Softball and there is netting sticking up all over and while it looks green now it will all be dirt and mud by Sept 15 since it is all crabgrass and weeds. I'm not saying it should be turfed but the sod decision should have been made MUCH earlier and completed PRIOR to the fall season. Another example of inaction by our elected officals.
Township Resident July 25, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Westwood A field has no lights and is already in use by the soccer association in the Fall which covers both Westwood and Township. High school will not be the answer as they will not agree or will charge for use of the turf field and lights. BTW - the decision to turf the high school was made by the BOE and not the Township. The BOE reached out to the Township Council to "participate" in the field planning and cost but the town council dragged their feet and the BOE moved on without them.
toni marino July 25, 2012 at 06:46 PM
township resident : there was a referendam that i had to vote on to allow that field to go up at the highschool .... which again we were scammed so that it can pass they made all these promises ... well how about some grass seed this year -- then next year when the tower is up we can use that money that were supose to get to offset the cost of the field ...hmmmmm
Colonial Res July 25, 2012 at 07:16 PM
This is actually comedic....EPSN driven sports heads will do whatever it takes to blow as much taxpayer money as possible on casual sports.....sports are just one aspect of our towns money, and the field is used by a limited amount of people....its just not a priority to MANY of us.....SO GLAD they didn't put turf in like the fools in River Vale..blowing almost 2 MIL on completely turf when thier grass was fine....Amazing the small minded little NJ town sports culture.....Amazing.....glad we made the right choice...
Township Resident July 25, 2012 at 07:47 PM
toni - If I recall correctly, there was no referendum specifically for the fields. Money leftover from previous referendum for school improvements was used to finance the high school complex.
toni marino July 25, 2012 at 11:20 PM
township resident : your wrong that improvement was voted on ... because it was going to make our taxs ..get this... rise ! and as promised in meetings etc.. it would be allowed to be used by the town when the school wasnt using it ..at least that what i was told when i voted for it .... we pay 6000.00 in taxes for schools WTH is wrong with this picture that there building 2 million dollar stadiums and we cant even get grass seed for a public park ...
scruffy July 26, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Sorry Toni, while there were referendums voted on about making field improvements they were unsuccessful ones. This was NOT done as a referendum. There was some talk awhile back about a joing venture with an outide firm which also did not happen. This was from school funds. It was NOT promised to the public for no fee. The school funds and the town funds are not the same. Either town can use it at a discounted rate. Why not go to a school meeting and be informed properly or read the local papers it has been reported about numerous times. You probably could do a search and get the answer as well thru pvcommuniytlife.com or maybe even on this site.
Jeffrey Tammen July 26, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Hey walnut I'm confused ,bad economy parents both working and sometimes 2jobs to make ends meet plus ontop kids activities very tough for most parents what the township could do is put the meetings on live tv.we do have wctv and busy parents could tvo or DVR it and catch up on towns buss.But I do agree that the mayor and council drags their feet.
Jeffrey Tammen July 26, 2012 at 05:55 AM
Town did not put as referendum was left over money from large project
Jeffrey Tammen July 26, 2012 at 06:06 AM
Hey scruffy town funds and BOE funds are one of the same.since we are a regional school system we as tax payers share the cost of total operation with Westwood.what happens is the schools puts a budget together for that year and submits and our mayor and council will give taxpayers money to operate the high school and grammar schools.and yes there were multiple referendums which most failed. Then they lowered cost .they had 3 million left over from original bonded work work. They were looking to have co put dome and would rent out.
Jeffrey Tammen July 26, 2012 at 06:11 AM
Well said colonial res. our town has many more important projects that need to get done.but memorial still needs work but maybe when things are better.
Jeffrey Tammen July 26, 2012 at 06:12 AM
toni marino July 26, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Thanks jeff ...
scruffy July 26, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Jerff you are wrong. The Town Budgets are not voted on, the School Budgets previously were. This was the first year no vote was needed due to the new legislation that as long as the school did a budget under cap no vote was needed. The dome concept was only if there was a private partner of which was scrapped since they could not get their financing. The BOE built it from monies of both remaining bonded monies as well as money from the operating budget. The Mayor and Councils of the two towns do not give the schools monies to operate, the taxpayer does. However, that doe not mean that the turf field shoud be used for free, it has to be resurfaced in time and the fees will help offset that cost down the road.
Jeffrey Tammen July 27, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Hey scruffy thanks for the update but when I pay my taxes the check goes to the town which includes all the services we must pay for. All must put budget with amt needed ,so how does BOE get the money from the town
scruffy July 27, 2012 at 11:07 PM
The School gets the money the same way that the County and State get their share from the town cutting the checks and forwarding. The town is the receiver but you know that Jeff. It does not mean the town controls the School Budget. The turf field is going to need maintenance and replacement and it is prudent to to have fees to offset it as best can be. The sorry part of this is that the sod job done previously on Memorial Field was a bad job. Is the Township holding the provider accountable? Will they make sure this time it is done right? Maybe it's time a group was formed to see what can be done at all the fields so that they are properly used/shared. Sherry field gets little use and there is plenty of land to expand it to accomodate more sports.
Jeffrey Tammen July 28, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Scruffy you are right sod job and lack of drainage but just the entire feel for memorial is not right and inviting needs lots of work,and shery is a great field wich needs help too.our mayor and council must step up and get a plan unfortunate they let to many issues go to the way side and now will take time in a bad economy.
oldmanwtp July 31, 2012 at 10:25 PM
walnut, colonial resident, jeff tammen, tony, scuffy : Your opinions are funny and really show how misinformed you really are. First , Memorial field is both dangerous and unsafe for the children and adults of anyone else who plays on it. This has been printed in the paper and acknowledged by the council numerous times. I have the articles. The town was supposed to fix the field and now they have done nothing. By admitting conditions are unsafe there, the mayor and council have created a hugh liability to any injury which will result in law suits galore. you'll see. Field turf was the long term cost solution which for the only field in town which is lighted. The council would rather waste the taxpayers money, $ 133000.00 a year for resodding and maintainance, and after 10 or 15 years have no value and inadequate use. They blew it again. The election and their removal will be a pleasure. Two. There was no referendum vote for any type of field at Westwood High School. Initially Funds were going to given to the high school by our town but that was a behind the scene disaster by Council President Rich Hrbek that got exposed to the public and was then terminated. Hrbek wanted to just give the High School $ 300,000.00 to $ 400,000.00 and try to get a field use clause which could never be done at a regional High School. The money for the field came from left over funds for the building referendum which is not permitted by state law. You people just don,t know.


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