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Tentative Shared Service Agreement Under Review For Field Of Dreams

Project is to be fully funded by Borough; BOE requests opportunity to make revisions to the design; Borough not to make modifications without BOE approval.

According to a tentative shared services agreement for the 'Field of Dreams' currently under review by the Mayor and Council and the Board of Education (BOE), the funding for the joint project would come entirely out of the municipal budget in exchange for the Borough's use of the field. However, school programs will have priority over its use.

The annual cost to homeowners for this field is estimated to be between $62 and $70 per year for 10 years on an average house valued at $410,000.

The Mayor and Council had previously discussed that if the Borough receives a grant for 75 percent of the cost they will have to fund approximately $600,000, plus the fees to the grant writer. In order for the Borough to apply for grants, there first has to be a memorandum of understanding between the Borough and the BOE, as well as a lease agreement between the two.

Should the Borough consent to this agreement, in addition to funding the entirety of the project, it will also be responsible for obtaining all of the permits and approvals, soliciting bids and supervising the construction.

Under the agreement, the Borough will also be responsible for contracting an engineer to design the project, with the BOE reserving the right to make revisions while stipulating that the Borough cannot modify the design without the consent of the BOE.

Any lawsuits or action arising from the construction of the project shall be litigated by the Borough without any financial contribution by the BOE. Additionally, all cost overruns will be the burden of the borough.

Voters will have their say on the field — which could cost up to $3 million to build at David E. Owens Middle School -- when they cast their vote on the referendum on November 6.

The referendum is a non-binding referendum meaning that even if it passes, the Mayor and Council still has the authority to decide whether or not to move forward on it.

The Mayor and Council agreed that the language of the referendum should reflect that only an amount up to $3 million would be authorized for the proposed project — any projects that exceed the cost of $3 million would be put off.

George Adelung October 12, 2012 at 11:41 PM
I have lived in this town for forty years I have coached sports for years sat on the Juvenile conference committee for 8 years and done whatever I can for the children of New Milford. I donate to whoever asks. I am ashamed at the amount of people that do not want to do for the children. It is a shame the United Water Company had been mishandled(I do not have enough information to say yes or no) but the fact is the ship sailed. So instead of stepping up as parents and community members and saying our children deserve more lets just say no. Why ? Who are we spiting. Should the kids still have to play in fields filled with goose droppings. Or should the kids continually have to play on other towns fields and listen to parents from other towns complain. Should our atheloetes get hurt palying on herendous fields. There is no doubt that there are other things we need in town and as people become more involved and ask for more and dont give up we can do more as more money becomes available. I do believe that approximately $1.25 a week may be a burden for some I can not believe it is a burden for the majority of us who live in a town that the taxes go up almost every year anyway. Isnt it time that they go up a small amount and we can say it was worth it and that our kids deserve it. I would never begrudge anyone their right to their opinion yet I ask you when you see the children walking home from school or a practice would it be such a bad thing to think we did it for them (cont)
George Adelung October 12, 2012 at 11:46 PM
So now I am asking the parents of the hundreds of kids that I have coached for the last ten years and to all the organizations I have donated to and all of our alumni who is now 18 and can vote to get out on election day and show everyone that it is our time and we will get what we need. Vote YES for all of our kids no matter what it takes and Do the right thing.
Pat October 13, 2012 at 12:11 AM
George, I am with you, but i want to see the plans and the cost. I am all for fixing up the field, but I will not support a 5 million dollar waste. Buy the way, it doesn't matter whether the BOE or the town pays for it, it is the same people that pay for it. How is it that a 3 million dollar field could cost the same amount of money as buying the water company land for 7 million? Someone is using bad math. Hopefully htere is some serious grant money available for the field.
karen October 13, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Have those parents families raise the monies if they want it so bad the taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill. Like I said before the boe should focus on what goes on in the classroom and spend their monies there concentrate on bringing our state rankings back up, a new field will not help with that.
james October 13, 2012 at 12:55 AM
George the same people who are saying no had children who played on the fields we have now. There were goose droppings then and there will be goose droppings on the FOD. There will STILL be athletes using the fields by the HS since the Middle School field will not be able to accommodate track and field events. It isn't all about money. It is also the fact that right now there is really not a reason to say yes to the field when the NM residents are unsure about what their future cost and the other repercussions we will have to deal with if the UW property is developed. So do not think we aren't part of the group you are addressing because I am betting a majority of us have volunteered and had our children play on those fields. Also the alumni who are now over 18 and would like to buy their first home in their hometown are thinking how do I purchase a home in my hometown if the values of home are continually going down due to poor choices. So the right thing right now is to say no and wait until we can come up with a solution that works for the majority not just for the ones who want a brand new field for the few sports that will utilize the FOD.
Ulises October 13, 2012 at 12:58 AM
George, I admire your efforts but the ship has not sailed. We could beat the developers in this fight over the UW property. The Zoning Board needs to deny their application and the case we've built will hold up in court against them, if appealed. As for the FoD project, the truth of what transpired about the United Water property has given us even more ammunition to set this right and change my mind about this proposal. We asked the M&C, if SOD could come with the money will you buy the United Water property and they all agreed. Everything is in motion for this to happen but the second they vote to rezone to commercial - the ship will begin to sail. Not to mention the federal grants we can obtain to buy this outright will cost less than the middle school project and we'll be able to address flooding issues, but our Mayor does not believe in grants and wants a ShopRite there instead for her legacy. Our Field of Dreams belongs by the high school but Subrizi, Colucci and Robalino are the obstacle and all this information is coming to me from members of their own party and that's where our dream (because we're on the same side) is becoming a nightmare for everyone in town. SOD's fight is your plan "B" if voters vote this down. Sorry for being so forthcoming about the truth and it hurts to hear but we can hopefully see now the power a few people have in Borough Hall to set this right, for the sake of NM's future. Please tell them not to rezone the UW to commercial.
Ulises October 13, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Pat, there was grants plus they could have sold the HS field to FEMA for $2M, between the grants and sale we could have covered the full asking price and then some but the Mayor didn't want to entertain this because since day one she told her members she wants to see a new ShopRite at the United Water property. She's shattered all our dreams but there's still time to set things right and I hope she realizes this.
TommyIce October 13, 2012 at 01:51 AM
When I was in school Mr. Adelung, although there were extracurricular sports activities, the main focus of school was an education. Not athletics. Seriously, why do my taxes have to go up to build yet another athletic field (with single purpose use) so that "parents from other towns don't complain." And yes our taxes go up every year anyway, but really how many times do we have hear "what's another $xxxx?" Is that going to break you. At some point, one piece of straw will bring down a camel. I plan on "doing the right thing" and voting NO to yet more increases.
John October 13, 2012 at 03:45 AM
The high school field BELONGS at the high school. You can't raise residents taxes $100-$200 and put this field in a residential area. With the traffic, noise, lights, garbage and other stuff that accompanies a project like this the idea is absurd. Who in their right mind would vote for this? I agree we need a field like this but not at the price and the area it would be in. This is a desperate action to get a field and one that has not been fully thought out by the people involved. Another obvious vote NO which seems to be the majority
Mary McElroy October 13, 2012 at 04:57 AM
The field committe exhausted a variety of scenarios at the HS-everything from investigating what it would require to move the county road that runs behind the HS, to elevating the existing football field & moving it closer to the HS soccer field to adding retaining walls to investigating covers for turf fields that supposedly withstand flooding, etc.The options we were presented with were either cost prohibitive or in the case of the cover, a new & unproven option. Should we have proposed something at the HS that would never have any probability of being built due to cost? They all would have been way more than $3m. Should we have proposed turfing the HS football field when we all know it will end up in the Hackensack? The MS became the consensus for many reasons: the condition and drainage of the existing field is poor so an artificial turf field with the type of drainage that goes along with it, would in fact, take a not so good field and turn it into a great field. The MS field is the largest of all the options we looked at & accommodates 4 sports & a walking path & will be used for both school & rec programs. While the HS teams may have preference, this is not solely for the HS - it's for the town. Another benefits of the MS field is that it can be used during the day by students for PE classes and the HS kids can easily walk to the MS for practices & games. Every option in town for a new field which is OWNED by either the BOE or Borough is in a residential setting.
newmilford1967 October 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM
This field belongs by the high school.Only to look at current fields owned by boe they are terriable looking the boe guys should beashamed of how they take care of our schools.Looks like they dont care and who is gonna take care of a 3.1million dollar field? Those guys are you for real! The boe guys are loafs look at gibbs infield full of crabgrass and weeds berkley full of rocks and glass and the middle school a swamp since it was built. I say all of the tax payers say NO! We cant afford it and they are not gonna maintain it .
Anthony October 13, 2012 at 01:06 PM
It is to be replenished with $152 million in 2013 and another $152 million in 2014
Adam October 13, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I I vote yes for the field of dreams. This is a major improvement to the image of the town and will be a safer field for our kids to play in, especially the New Milford football team (5-0; next up the powerhouse Pompton Lakes this afternoon-Go Knights!). The current field at the house school is in sad shape, not for lack of wasted money and efforts to try and keep it dry and in shape, but the reality is that it floods via the Hackensack River on a regular basis, the ground is pockmarked and muddy, and our children are suffering concussions and otherwise avoidable accidents. It is a waste of taxpayer money to try and maintain this ill located field. The Field of Dreams will cost the average taxpayer a little over $6.00 a month for a set amount of years and will allow our town to have a first rate field, like every other town surrounding us. I have kids in the public schools now, but they are older and will not benefit from the New Field based on their ages. Regardless, I have seen kids get hurt on the High School football field based on its abysmal condition. Please do this for the kids, folks. This is a good thing for the town, both its image as well as quality of life.
AML October 13, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I find it absolutely apalling that you said "I am ashamed of the amount of people that do not want to do for the children." First of all, who are you to judge what the residents can and cannot afford? It may be easy for you to cough up what you consider to be an insignifiant amount of money, but there are plenty of people in town who live from paycheck to paycheck, and debate whether they should put food on the table, or, purchase much needed medicine. Have you been reading the paper lately, or, have watched TV? Obviously, your ignorance astounds me! Did you not see in today's Record the story (Pantries Pray for Food Drive) about how the Food Bank is suffering? Did you see that people from well to do towns, such as Ridgewood, HohoKus, Glen Rock, Wyckoff, etc. go to the Food Bank. The new face of homelessness is the middle class (story a few weeks ago in The Record)...people lost their jobs, their homes, etc. Develop some compassion and humility, & hope that an unfortunate action does not lay hold on your household. Just because an individual is against the Field of Dreams does not mean that they are against the children. You should apologize for your rude remark & false assumption. The majority of our local tax dollars do support our schools, the children. If you want this FOD so desperately, gather your troops and conduct bake sales to pay for it.
AML October 13, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Field of Dreams for a select few versus a much needed firehouse renovation/new truck for the entire town?
AML October 13, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I stated the following in an earlier post: Any lawsuits or action arising from the construction of the project shall be litigated by the Borough without any financial contribution by the BOE. Additionally, all cost overruns will be the burden of the borough. Could someone please answer why this "supposed" deal is not 50-50? Why isn't the Board of Ed responsible for cost overruns (considering that the BOA has the final say with respect to design changes)and possible litigation? Why should it rest solely on the boro? Please enlighten.
robin commerford October 13, 2012 at 04:34 PM
What about turning a non flood area at the middle school into a flooding situation after it is altered by a new field and drainage area? No, you are dead wrong Mary mcElroy about the middle school being the perfect place for a new field and stop trying to cram it down all the taxpayer's throats!
robin commerford October 13, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Karen you can get a sign if you want to contact me @ moiresatin@aol.com
Sam B. October 13, 2012 at 06:57 PM
The problem with spending all this money on a new field at the Middle School is that the residents of NM will have limited access to the fields. As in the past the BOE will issue permits to certain groups to use the facility and whatever time is left over will be monopolized by the Recreation Dept. I have been told on several occasions not to use the field if these groups are on it, even if I was in an out of the way area not being used. Seems unfair to foot part of this expense if you're going to have limited or no access to it.
Pat October 13, 2012 at 08:26 PM
AML, can you explain the difference? In either case the money comes out of our pockets.
THOMAS SCHRECK October 14, 2012 at 01:04 AM
I'm voting YES.
Mary McElroy October 14, 2012 at 01:21 AM
My understanding is that only the municipality could apply for the open space/green acre grants. Right now, it's a BOE field not a Borough field - hence the need for the shared service agreement, with the M & C applying for the grants and acting as the funding source. I recall that the borough attorney said that in order to proceed with the writing of the grants to help fund the field, there has to be a memorandum of understanding between the borough and the BOE. I would imagine that at this point, it's probably a boiler-plate type of agreement based upon how other municipalites and BOE's have worked out similar agreements.
Peter October 14, 2012 at 03:17 PM
To all the people voting yes i can understandwhy because you want a place where your kids are going to play and a future for maybe your grandkids. But let me ask you this how are we going to protect them? Im a firefighter for 5 years now and I think this is ridiculous. How can you fund a field when you know we dont have a proper firehouse or a proper fire truck? The police station and both firehouses in town need renovation. But people say oh but were caring for the community. Guess what you really wanna care and be protected vote no and say something about your local agencies that serve and protect you 24/7. We can say something but if the community comes together I think we can make a difference
AML October 14, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Pat, I really don't know if there is a difference, that is why I am asking several questions. Originally, I thought along the same lines of your comment that the money comes out of pur pockets either way....but, there has to be some sort of reason, not necessarily monetary, that would cause the BOE not to go 50/50 with the boro on this project. And why would the BOE have the final say with respect to modifications to design changes and not share in the cost of possible construction litigation? Does not sit quite right with me. I guess in the end, the question to ask is whether the Field of Dreams is an absolute necessity. No doubt, it would be important and beneficial for our town; however, there are other more demanding priorities which must be met. As I said in an earlier post, do we vote for a sports related priority which not every resident will partake of, or, do we prefer to have a new firetruck/firehouse which would encompass not only our children, but every single solitary resident? A priority for a minority of residents, or, a priority for the majority of residents?
AML October 14, 2012 at 03:51 PM
That's why I made the earlier comment....Field of Dreams for a select few versus a much needed firehouse renovation/new truck for the entire town? I do believe that there are many residents out there who are completely unaware of the fact that we need a new firehouse/firetruck. It is important for all of the cards to be placed on the table at the same time, for all of the priorities to be laid out to the residents of our town by our Mayor & Council, so that each resident can make an informed, educated decision. I do not think that this has been done. One cannot put together a puzzle without all of the pieces and that is what we are asking our residents to do. If I am wrong, please let me know.
TommyIce October 14, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Peter can you enumerate the problems with the current firehouse and equipment? There haven't been too many articles on this issue. Are the problems with them leading to injuries or potential dire consequences for our firemen? Is the equipment unusable in fighting fires? Of course my concern is costs for these items. I would never advocate giving our volunteers (our neighbors and friends and family) inferior equipment and supplies nor deny them what is necessary, but at the same time I do question the need for them. Are these items mandated by the state or federal government or are they recommendations?
Peter October 14, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Excellent question the Nfpa national fire prevention association has stated that our ladder truck tower 31 at co 2 is outdated we could get in serious trouble for not having this new truck with fines. Also the fact that our jackets and pants that we wear to fire are outdated as well
TommyIce October 14, 2012 at 10:38 PM
This NFPA, is it a governmental regulating agency or is it a professional association that issues "guidelines" for fire equipment? My concern is that if it is an association for the fire professionals, does it support manufacturers of said fire equipment? Who levies these fines? The state, the feds or this association (that I'm assuming the boro is a member of)? If your protective clothing is outdated and underperforming, by all means they should be replaced. And quickly. If the State of New Jersey is saying this is the minimum standard and we are not even meeting that, that is one thing. But if a professional association, who receives dues and contributions from manufacturers, strongly suggests that a fire truck is out of date, I'm suspicious.
THOMAS SCHRECK October 15, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I would say let's stay on this specific subject. The article is titled " tentative shared service agreement under review for field of dreams". Let's stay on the subject. People are all over the place. I recall not long ago that an open space referendum was put on the ballot. If I recall correctly, it stated that you would be charged 1/2 a cent/$100 of your home value. It passed. Do the math and how much have you paid over the years and for what locally? This was separate from all the other bond issues that were brought forward, by the way, with no vote.
Barbara October 16, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Voting no

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