Residents Urge Officials to Make Decision for Memorial Field

Washington Township council members said they need to investigate other options and consider the costs of other needed maintenance projects before making a commitment.

Washington Township officials said they need more time to consider their options before making a commitment to install artificial turf at , upsetting residents who have been pushing for the change.

Residents began asking for artificial turf when they found renting fields at the would cost more than $20,000 for the spring, though Memorial Field has had problems for more than 10 years. Netting from old sod sticks up through the ground, creating a potential hazard for anyone playing sports on the field, according to township residents Eamonn Twomey and Scott Spezial, who to artificial turf during a council meeting in March.

Since then, two landscape architects have for Memorial and other township fields and members of the recreation board have to officials, but no decision has been made.

"We just want a vote," Twomey said. "We want to know whether we're moving forward or not."

Councilman Glenn Beckmeyer made a motion at Monday's council meeting to bond for $2.5 million to pay for improvements to the field, but no council members seconded the motion. Instead, the council voted to put out notice for bids to re-sod the field, though a previous attempt yielded no bids. The council included $40,000 in for the project.

Council Vice President Joseph D'Urso said this year would be a good time to do the project because the township's debt load is decreasing by about $400,000 next year.

"The numbers show that we could do it, but there's a lot of other issues," D'Urso said.

There are numerous projects that also need to be done, according to council members. The DPW needs a new garage and salt shed, the fire department may need renovations and many township streets need to be repaved. The various projects could cost between $1 million and $5 million, according to Council President Richard Hrbek.

"It's like getting your income tax check back," Hrbek said. "Do you put in the built-in pool that you really want and your family would love you for, or do you fix your boiler that's 25 years old?"

Twomey said there was no reason undertaking the other projects should mean the township could not improve Memorial Field.

Hrbek said he agrees something needs to be done to improve Memorial Field, but there may be a more cost-effective solution than putting in artificial turf.

"The decision where you're the hero might not be the best decision for the town," Hrbek said.

Edward J Rodriguez May 14, 2012 at 01:25 AM
A great educational system would increase our property values far more than a "yakee stadium". The stadium would only bring up our property taxes. Already too high for middle class families. Question is this township cost effective with our taxes. The fire department is. But the rest is not. I for one don't want to want to look at surplus as not refundable to our hard working residents.
Jeffrey Tammen May 14, 2012 at 05:05 PM
B@B you are correct we need some check and balance back into our governing body. Plus put term limits on them and limit health insurance coverage and retirement status.and Ed your right they should spend our money more wisely and not waste it . Our schools are in bad shape my kids go to George school and I used the bathroom and it's the same sinks and urinal and tile and color when I went to school there in the early seventies.schools look old and worn need to modernize plus our roads need help ,we don't have street sweeper to clean debris after storms or better after leaf pick up would stop some flooding and maint to storm drains for clogs.this town is awesome but needs some life put back in it.we lead by example but the governing body house looks terrible from pascack rd which is what every body sees .so what does that tell ya Hopefully they get it they work for the taxpayers instead of special interest groups
white pickup May 14, 2012 at 08:45 PM
I don't see how a ball field can bring people into town. most people look to school rating's, ease of transpotation, & location location location. NOT A BALL FIELD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we can't get a cell tower, BUT maybe if the town had put in a cell tower by now they could off set the cost of the field. that would save the TAX payer's the magicl "20.00" dollar's a year
Steve Kohlreiter May 14, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Correct, It clearly didn't mean anything to the woman that was making that point either otherwise if it did the question begs to be asked " Why then did she move here to begin with?"
Lauren Rinaldi May 14, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Born and raised here and not proud to say it these days. No sense in arguing the point further. Waste of time and energy.
Sharon T. May 15, 2012 at 12:02 AM
I wasn't born and raised here and I didn't move here because the fields were good. To say that would attract people to this town is crazy. To say a field will improve our property value is stupid. How about the mess on Pascack Rd & Washington, the empty shopping center these are the things people think of when you say Washington Twp.
Lauren Rinaldi May 15, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Shopping center is privately owned and has nothing to do with taxes.
Newsflash May 15, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I'm not sure who you are and if you come to meetings, however, you have no idea of what you speak. Yes, the installation of the cell tower will help financially,but there are environmental issues at the Muncipal Building which must be cleaned up and will cost a great deal and may exceed a profit for years to come. In regard to the $20.00, does anyone actually believe this figure. There was a letter to the Editor in which it was stated that the Auditor said it would cost "O". That is not accurate and I was there at the meeting. No one could make a statement like that in good consciousness. Suggesting that good fields is a criteria for moving to the Township is also crazy. Please people come to the meetings and speak up!
Newsflash May 15, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Can anyone tell me how long an artificial turf would last before needing to be replaced? I have heard many different opinions.
Steve Kohlreiter May 15, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Sandy You and I have had at it in the past about the cell tower. I must admit that since for whatever reason my Verizon wireless service has improved and not the phone works in my house all over. I even called my wife from the Dairy section of the A&P and was shocked by that. The need might not be as great as it was before for the cell tower. As for the cost of the turf, you are right for asking those questions. I have heard it needs to be replaced after 7 years? I'm no expert on this but I do smell a big rat on the costs being thrown out there.
Newsflash May 15, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Steve, I know we have had our differences regarding the cell tower and it pleases me that your service has improved. I have made peace with where the Township has decided to erect the tower which is on the right side near the DPW. Regarding the field, I do not think it is money that should be spent on Memorial Field. There is inadequate parking in addition. Next would be the improvements that must be made to the building there and paving the parking area. It will go on and on. Perhaps the right place for the cell tower was Memorial Field. Could have paid for it!!!
WTFalcon Photo May 15, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Please provide examples when making questionable statements such as, "There are kids in the city who play sports on concrete."
WTFalcon Photo May 15, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Please update your knowledge base regarding turf fields. By using old facts or creating your own "facts", your are not lending anything to the argument except fear mongering. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Are artificial turf fields safe for users? Yes, for both adults and children. Numerous peer reviewed, in-depth studies, have been completed on the artificial turf surface materials, backing, yarns and infill materials used for most professionally installed artificial grass solutions worldwide. Results, to date, do not conclusively prove that synthetic grass and any of the selection of infill materials (including crumbed recycled tire rubbers - SBR or ambient crumb rubber) adversely affect the players on sport field surfaces; professional or school fields, or the environment. The most recent study was a comprehensive two-year evaluation of the health and environmental impacts associated with artificial turf fields containing crumb rubber infill.
WTFalcon Photo May 15, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Latest information regarding Turf Field vs. Grass Field: http://www.fieldturf.com/football-turf/cost-analysis/ When everything is said, Facts are Facts.
WTFalcon Photo May 15, 2012 at 06:01 PM
You should go to more meetings. A complete cost analyis was completed by the Recreation committee and passed out to all attending.
Steve Kohlreiter May 15, 2012 at 06:08 PM
From U of Arkansas It is a myth that synthetic fields require less maintenance than natural turfgrass fields or to say that artificial turf fields are maintenance free. Synthetic fields require 1) additional infill, 2) irrigation because of unacceptably high temperatures on warm-sunny days, 3) chemical disinfectants, 4) sprays to reduce static cling and odors, 5) drainage repair and maintenance, 6) erasing and repainting temporary lines, and 7) removing organic matter accumulation. In a recent presentation by the Michigan State University, Certified Sports Turf Manager, she cited that the typical annual maintenance costs of her artificial turf fields ranged from $13,720-$39,220, while the typical annual maintenance costs of her natural turf fields had a similar range of $8,133-$48,960 (1).
WTFalcon Photo May 15, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Again, all this discussed at the meeting. Guaranteed for 10 years, life past 15 years. If you are so interested in Memorial field, why do you not attend the meetings?
Steve Kohlreiter May 15, 2012 at 06:10 PM
More: 2). Disposal costs When artificial turf (in-fill systems) needs renovating every 8-10 years, there is a hidden cost of disposal. Because the field is filled and top-dressed with a crumb rubber material (typically made from ground automobile tires), the material may require special disposal. Disposal costs are estimated at $130,000 plus transportation and landfill charges (3). Warranty concerns Artificial turf (in-fill type) is a relatively new product. As such, its complete life span and maintenance requirements are not fully known. When considering the purchase of one of these systems, the answer to several questions should be researched prior to purchase. These questions include (adapted from Natural Grass and Artificial Turf: Separating Myths and Facts)(3):
Steve Kohlreiter May 15, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Player preference A recent survey of 1,511 active NFL players by the NFL players association found that 73% of the players preferred playing on a natural grass system, while only 18% preferred artificial turf (4). Nine-percent of the players had no preference. Player injuries
Steve Kohlreiter May 15, 2012 at 06:12 PM
High temperatures Artificial fields cannot be played on all the time due to temperature build-up on warm-sunny days. Artificial field surface temperatures have been documented as high as 199°F on a sunny day with an air temperature of 98°F (7). Researchers at Brigham Young University reported that the surface temperature of a synthetic football field on campus averaged 117°F, with a daily high of 157°F (8). On an adjacent natural grass field the surface temperature averaged 78°F, with a daily high of 89°F. Researchers at Penn State University studied the effect of using irrigation to reduce surface temperatures of synthetic fields and discovered that temperature could be decreased with irrigation, but the effects were short-lived (20 minutes) (9). Because of these high temperatures, an artificial field will remain largely unusable during warm days. Additionally, practicing on an artificial field could increase the incidence of heat stroke, muscle cramping, and overall athlete fatigue. Coaches holding practices on synthetic fields will need to monitor athlete health more closely and will need to limit the duration of practices on these surfaces to reduce the risk of athlete injury.
Lauren Rinaldi May 15, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Steve... although I was going to take myself out of this waste of time and energy it seems like you wasted hours researching the negative of turf. It is a complete waste of dollars to do anything with memorial field besides turf. For those of you arguing turf it sounds like you would like to spend thusands of dollars to resod memorial field (the sod will never see the months it needs to be worth one penny). Waste all the time u want researching the negative bottom line is that turf will save money in the long run, be safer and actually be something we as township residents can actually be proud of. Rather the town spend thousands of dollars to
Lauren Rinaldi May 15, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Rather the town spend thousands of dollars to resod when it will turn to shit in 6 mths? That sounds like a great educated idea? I think not
Steve Kohlreiter May 15, 2012 at 06:54 PM
You are missing the point. There are OTHER needs that are more presssing if we are going to be raising taxes which are limited to 2%. Our fire house, which serves ALLof us, not just REC, needs replacing. There are other needs that we all need.
Lauren Rinaldi May 15, 2012 at 07:08 PM
I'm not missing the point on anything... You should be more concerned about the waste of funds doing a quick fix resod. It is a complete waste of money. If your goal is to not waste tax dollars than you should not be for the quick fix... I will be at the next meeting as I think all residents should. Not hiding my name either... Lauren Rinaldi... Thats me!
Steve Kohlreiter May 15, 2012 at 07:15 PM
God Bless you as you do use your name, unlike others. I can't make meetings as I have other commitments.
Lauren Rinaldi May 15, 2012 at 07:21 PM
With 3 young children, a job and other activities I will make time for the meeting because I am concerned.... If you are taking the time to post on here and do all the research on how bad turf is why would you bother if u can't give an hour of your time to attend a meeting???? It seems pretty important to you steve until now when you have to show your face at a meeting. That's the problem...
Steve Kohlreiter May 15, 2012 at 07:43 PM
If it were an hour I would try and find the time. I've been to a couple of council meetings and they can go on for hours without knowing when your turn to speak. I have a 92 year old Alzhemers patient(mother in law) living here. When I'm not working I need to help my wife. Haven't been in vacation for 6 years. If I had time I
Jeffrey Tammen May 15, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Years ago when I played baseball, football and later years softball the field all ways has grass and some weeds lol but the soil was tough and you had a deep rooted grass yrs later in 92 or so they decided to add many tandem truck truck loads of fill and top soil . They flattened the left side of the hill and when it rains it all goes down hill to the which has bad drainage.the aprox life on turf is 10 yrs and that could change due to usage,also some soft cost would be maint each yr such as sweeping to raise the turf also if geese poo on it needs washing and normal repars. Avg cost aft ten yrs is aprox 375,000 for a 178,000sqft field and that's now prices not ten yrs from now.I agree field is in bad shape but there are other capital improvements that are worse .we must look at all options some stadiums have reall grass and are built into big squares they go together when one goes bad you change it .the cowboys entire field is like that .and it's just a few yrs old and if the town would televise the meetings the busy parents who are working 1 or 2 jobs could dvr it and follow the progress and decide when to go to meeting
Steve Kohlreiter May 15, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Just a suggestion. Get someone with balls in Town hall and negotiate with School supt Zoeller. Talk to the Knights of Columbus in town, they have a gorgous field in the back hardly used. Make em an offer to use while Memorial Field is fixed or whatever. Even if the artificial turf passes, there must be some down time to convert so they will need alternatives anyway.
Jeffrey Tammen May 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Town has land up and end of Kennedy dr could make new field. We have land back behind spice dr could make park and field how about buying acres of property up on van emburgh which ties into Kennedy dr land Plenty of room for field and parking


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