Washington Township football teams will be able to use the artificial turf field at for their four home games this season, according to Mayor Janet Sobkowicz.
Officials had been planning to re-sod Memorial Field, where the teams normally play, but . The field has had several maintenance issues, the most notable being netting from old sod which sticks above the surface.
Falcons Football Coach Scott Spezial told Patch he had notified the Northern Bergen Junior Football League about the field's problems, citing safety and legal concerns.
"When a child or adult gets hurt on that field because of its condition, there is now a huge liability on our town and its council," Spezial wrote in an email to Patch.
Using the high school field will cost the town some money, according to Sobkowicz. Officials from the Westwood Regional School District did not have numbers for the cost available Tuesday.
Township players will still use Memorial Field for practice this season. Officials estimated the field would be re-sodded in early November, after the season and potential playoffs are done.
The future of Memorial Field has been hotly debated this year. Members of the recreation board have supported installing artificial turf, but officials were reluctant because of the high upfront cost of the project.
"There's too many things out there that are more of a necessity than this," Council Vice President Joseph D'Urso previously said.
Sobkowicz said she hoped to use the grants and money in the budget to avoid bonding to pay for the re-sodding. It would take 15 years to pay off the originally-proposed $160,000 bond.
Township Administrator Catherine Navarro-Steinel said Monday that county officials would likely let the town use a $25,000 playground grant for the re-sodding project and that they might be able to obtain another grant to cover as much as $60,000.