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Mayor Seeks Smaller Memorial Field Bond

Washington Township Mayor Janet Sobkowicz said she hopes to find money in the budget for the re-sodding plan so a $152,000 bond is not needed to pay for the project.

A bond may not be needed to pay for the majority of a project to re-sod , according to Washington Township Mayor Janet Sobkowicz.

The plan involves removing old sod and soil, repairing a drainage system at the site and installing the new sod. The council introduced an ordinance appropriating $160,000 for the project during their meeting this week. The ordinance allows for $152,000 of the cost to come from bonds.

Sobkowicz said she believes they can cut the bond down to $55,000 by using a $25,000 matching grant for the field, finding some other money in the budget and eliminating the proposed drainage work from the hill between the field and .

"It doesn't really affect the field," Sobkowicz said about the drainage work.

The council of pursuing the plan at their previous meeting. Residents have expressed support for the sod plan and another plan to install an artificial turf surface. Officials said they wanted to repair the fields as soon as possible.

"We need to make the fields playable," Council President Richard Hrbek said at the previous meeeting. "That's a step."

The type of sod being installed is a higher grade than used before and would be usable "almost immediately" according to township engineer Paul Azzolina.

Officials said they would still be open to installing artificial turf in the future. Councilman Steve Cascio said he was voting in favor of sod with the understanding that they would not drop the turf issue.

"I really think that we need to have a turf field in this community," Cascio said.

The council will hold a public hearing and vote on the sod ordinance at their August meeting. Sobkowicz said she will attempt to find money in the budget for the project before then.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Leggate at JMLeggate@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Concerned July 12, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Good for Janet. Let's see who makes waves about this. Still waiting for Steve Cascio's rationale for "needing" artificial turf in town.
white pickup July 14, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Dr cascio and all the other's don't care about anything or any-one, just want thier name on some-thing. The funny thing is they only made 1 count it 1decision in the 3& a half year's in office. So they have to have thier name on something before they go.
oldmanwtp July 18, 2012 at 03:32 AM
How can councilman Hrbek make a comment like its a step. Does that mean that he and the rest of the sod voters like Durso and Goetz have the right to completely waste taxpayer dollars and not be held accountable. And the town engineer Azzolina states that the sod can be played on in two days. Thats probable the biggest injustice. Its the blind leading the blind with no leadership from anyone , especially council president Hrbek. The sod will never last and time will prove it as it has the last four or five times Memorial field has been sodded. The council has been told that this is a hugh mistake and waste of money but they chose the quick bandaid and the taxpayer is footing the bill for their non accountability. Lets all remember this incident at ELECTION TIME. I get it. vote for sod in february for $ 40,000.00 and spend $ 160,000.00. We're getting financially abused by this council. REMEMBER
Jeffrey Tammen July 26, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Hey oldmanwtp they do produce a sod that is grown specifically for athletic fields which is 2 inches thick has strong grass and sand and soil mix , drainage must be taken care of no matter which way the township goes. And yes it is blind leading blind .this is there MO they pulled same stuff when the fire dept needed trucks they dragged feet so long. 1994 they bought new pumper and dumped over 50,000. To repower a 1973 pumper it went out came back and then they spent a add cost of 20,000 to replace steal water tank and put new poly tank in.they did finally get new but took 16 yrs we had the oldest trucks in nj .they drag so long they bought 2trucks same time should have staggered

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