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Mayor and Council Unaware of BOE 'Field of Dreams' Presentation

Mayor and Council unaware that Boswell was hired to give BOE presentation on the 'Field of Dreams.'

During the September 24 meeting of the mayor and council, Mayor Ann Subrizi said that they were not made aware that the Board of Education (BOE) had hired Boswell Engineering to give a presentation on the 'Field of Dreams' that is being proposed for the David E. Owens Middle School (DEOMS).

The Athletic Field Committee had recommended to the mayor and council in February that the David E. Owens Middle School is the location best suited to support a new multi-purpose community field. This field would be a shared service between the borough and the New Milford Board of Education.

The committee is comprised of townspeople, Superintendent of Schools Michael Polizzi, representatives from the Board of Education, NMHS Athletic Director Joe Ricciardelli and football coaches. 

The multi-purpose field would be a turf field and include a soccer, football and baseball field, in addition to two softball fields. 

Costs are estimated to be between $1.8 million (for clearing of site and the installation of a synthetic turf field) to $3 million with the installation of lights, bleachers and a bathroom.

Until the project is approved and officially goes out to bid, the costs are estimated based on current market trends and the auditor's report. Should the project go out to bid, the costs could be lower, officials said. Grants and possible corporate sponsorships are also being explored to reduce the costs. 

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

Over the course of several meetings, borough attorney Mark Madaio 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 Board of Education, as well as a lease agreement between the two.

The mayor and council 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. 

During its July meeting, 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.

To clarify the referendum that will be on the Novemeber ballot -- it 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.

Also, as discussed during previous meetings of the Mayor and Council, although the field would be shared between the Borough and the BOE, the funding would come entirely out of the municipal budget. 

Dan Davis October 06, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I see comments about there are plenty of fields in town. Some are field or organization specific and do not carry over to certain sports. Are you aware that when it rains for a day that our high school must move to another town or seek an alternative because the high school field is not playable? Or the same can be said that over 100 New Milford kids between 5th and 8th grade can't even practice the next couple of days, or an entire youth sports organization must move their home game to a town 20 minutes away who are gracious enough to host us? This generation and future generations of New Milford children deserve more.
"According to Boswell, the plans include bleachers that can seat up to 800 spectators, a concession with accomodations for an ice machine, bathroom, visitor and home team meeting room". http://newmilford-nj.patch.com/articles/presentation-of-field-of-dreams-hosted-by-board-of-education?logout=true At the meeting Boswell said 600-700. The Patch says seats up to 800 and the field is designed for up to 800. Anyone that was there heard it. But you are right, we shouldn't push the number up or down to add weight to either position. I'll be more careful about the wording. Thank you.
tony mac October 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Seems to me the current football team is doing just fine in their run down decrepit field. So too for the junior football teams. But remember the Boston tea party? No taxation without representation? Can't very well throw those I favor of this Field of Dreams" into the river but I do have to right to express my opinion against constant increases in taxes! used to be farm town now turning into a mini giants stadium. At tax payers deep pockets. Wish my house would sell!
james October 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM
I will have read all the post and no one has answered the question regarding WHO is paid for Boswell Engineering. I DO NOT live near the middle school. Just like not everyone who is involved with SOD does not live near that area or has flooding, there are those who are OPPOSED to the FOD for different reasons. I also encourage a respectful dialogue but if one is going to insist it is ONLY the residents near the middle school who are opposed then there isn't an open discussion at all. Many residents are opposed due to the unknown regarding the UW parcel as well as the unknown about our taxes. The information given by Boswell still have points of concern that are not being answered. We are the ones that had children who have played on those fields and worked around the problems since we needed our tax dollars and school budget money to go into rebuilding the schools. Please do not insult us with the NIMBY mentality or we don't care about the children rhetoric.
Mary McElroy October 06, 2012 at 05:10 PM
@ james - no one responded to you about NIMBY - my comment about NIMBY were directly mentioned in relation to 2 parties and both know who they are & I stand behind that comment. I have spoken to so many people about this proposal - many for and many against. Respectful and honest discussions - I've never told anyone how to vote, nor would I. I am also a major proponent of providing people information - I believe that's what Mr. Boswell's presentation was about and there needs to be more information provided. Several residents opposed to the field who live by the MS were told about the presentation by me - I approached them and told them that this would be an important meeting for them to attend to get their questions answered. However, if people are all going to rely on commentaries that they read on the Patch as for the full extent of their information on any one subject then they are not going to get the full picture. I encourage you to attend the M&C meeting when Mr. Boswell comes back and ask question of the M&C.
Mary says "There were members of the M&C in attendance at the BOE presentation by Boswell". Isn't the title of this article "Mayor and Council Unaware of BOE 'Field of Dreams' Presentation"?
Barbara October 06, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Great questions!!!! I attended a New Milford High school HOME game at the Dumont hs field. Beautiful grounds!!! Can we partner with neighboring towns to use their fields? Why do we have to have our own? Let's think about consolidating our resources. We have neighboring towns that are not far away that have land suitable for such a beautiful field. What else can we consolidate?
Barbara October 06, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I think it builds character, humility and community when one needs help and receives it from a neighbor. The land used for fields are too close to the river. I suggest we look into making a long term agreement with one or more of our neighboring towns to use their fields.
Ulises October 07, 2012 at 02:13 AM
We are in this situation today because Mayor Subrizi, Coucilman Colucci and Robalino have no vision. The town, through grants, could have purchased the United Water property by the high school outright. Instead, these inept leaders, I unfortunately voted for, prefer a ShopRite by the school than the real field of dreams. I'm really upset tonight because I know the truth that occurred with this property but I can't get into all the details right now, but trust me, my friends, the truth will be revealed in time. The mayor's vision was a ShopRite from the beginning and she walked away from all the grant money to improve our flooding situation in town, which would have kept that land as open space by putting the field of dreams there. COAH is their scare tactic, and it can be handled by other landlords in town but the Mayor continues to lie that the town landlords don't return her calls. The Mayor's legacy is the ShopRite and she feels this is the best thing for the town, rather than a field by the high school. I speak today, not as a SOD executive, but as a concerned citizen, and this high school field by the middle school is a mistake and it needs to be voted down. Sorry Mary McElroy, if you knew all that I do about Mayor Subrizi you'd realize how she's let us all down and she's clearly not suitable to be mayor.
james October 07, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Mary who paid Boswell? Let us start with that since I believe it is a relatively easy question to answer.
james October 07, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Thank you Ulises. Do you have an idea when the truth will come out?
james October 07, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Consolidating services sounds reasonable to me. I do believe that as cost go up the younger families would appreciate being able to live in the area by sharing services.
Sheldon Cooper October 07, 2012 at 02:35 PM
You really just don't want homes for the less fortunate.
Mary McElroy October 07, 2012 at 03:12 PM
@ James - are you serious? You are asking me who paid Bowell-when did I become an elected or paid official in this town? It's interesting how that would be the most important point of this article for someone who always states they need more info. Every time the field is covered, it's always we need more info., we need more info. The Patch covers a presentation made by Boswell at on OPEN and PUBLIC session of the BOE which provided more info. & you still need more info. Mr. Boswell provided many answers within his realm of expertise and that's the only thing that he should be answering questions about. You comment yesterday "unknown about the taxes" - not only has that's been reported on by the Patch numerous times - it's in this article again." The annual cost to homeowners is estimated to be between $62 and $70 per year for 10 years on an average house valued at $410,000. The article also talked about the grants that myself and a few of the other real "concerned parents" have pushed the town to apply for. You've told us about all the work you did as a parent when your kids were in the school system, how you don't live by the MS, how you've been to so many meetings in your day but have moved on, etc. While I can see you not attending BOE meeting, no excuse for not attending any others if you're really so worried & need more info. So I guess we'll be running into each other a lot around town, maybe Ulises will introduce us.
Ulises October 07, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Mary, I don't know who james is. I have a hunch who he might be but I'm not sure. I emailed the Boro last week and the Board of Ed paid the engineer, I don't know how much. The town paid for the perk test, just under $5k. A lot of SOD lawn signs are being stolen. I think it's the political season full in motion that's causing this. If anyone experienced this please let us know at SODNOW@yahoo.com and if you catch someone in the act - call the police. Look at the division in town the Mayor has created. If she would have follow through with the purchase of the UW property, through grants, the cost would have been way less than the current middle school proposal. She would have been Mayor forever but she doesn't care about uniting the town and is caught up in the Democrat & Republican divide, and the last Mayor we had. She's also caught up in her ShopRite legacy she thinks is what we need. She's ignoring other potention ratables in other parts of town that will lower our taxes, while addressing COAH, and she's sinking us into an abyss. I hope she changes, there is still time to make things right rather than have concerned citizens scramble to put all the pieces together and straighten things out for the sake of New Milford's future.
james October 07, 2012 at 05:06 PM
@Mary I am asking because it is an important question to many. It isn't the most important point in the article but it is a question that many residents have asked that has not been answered. The question is out there for anyone to answer since it was directed to everyone by the original poster. The unknown about taxes was about the UW development. There are many who do not want to add taxes for the FOD since they do not know what the UW property will end up costing them in the long run. Although I will be honest and do not believe that the amount stated for the FOD will be accurate. I'm pretty sure that estimates for any building ends up costing more then stated every single time. Mary I do not answer to you or anyone else in regards to meetings I attend or do not attend. Your youth allows you to a bit of leeway in my not dismissing you all together. Life experience is what you gain as you age and with that aging and experience comes different responsibilities. What my responsibilities are may interfere in my ability to go to meetings and NO ONE should be judged until you know all the circumstances. There are many of us who have gone from the caring of our children to the caring of our spouses and/or parents. I one day hope to have the pleasure of meeting Ulises but I doubt there will ever be an introduction since you appear to be the person my spouse would be concerned about knowing.
james October 07, 2012 at 05:08 PM
@Sheldon you have indicated you do not live in this town so you obviously know nothing about how this town cares for the less fortunate. That is a red herring you are throwing into the mix and it is not appreciated. I hope you have a cause in your home town that you might get involved with in the future.
Paige October 07, 2012 at 06:22 PM
As I stated in my earlier response here the Report was given to the Board of Education because we are being asked for permission to use this sites as a shared service with the town. It would be irresponsible to say that we are ok with agreeing to permission if we do not get questions answered. As I also stated, this was a scheduled Board of Education meeting (the schedule of Board or Education meetings is posted on the New Milford School District website). Board meetings are all public. Members of the public are always encouraged to attend. Implying that this was some sort of secret, last minute plan is wrong. As to your question on "Can we work to improve the academic performance of our schools?". I encourage you to research for more recent data, as the data for this ranking (that you are linking to) was based on data from 2010.
Paige October 07, 2012 at 06:31 PM
The answer is that the Board of Education requested a report from Boswell that the Board of Education paid for and shared with the public at the same time as it was presented to the Board. Do you believe that the Board should agree to the use of the field without having some facts as to how it would/could be used? Since there was no such report available, it was the responsible thing to do to ask for it to be done. Wouldn't you agree?
Mary McElroy October 07, 2012 at 06:35 PM
@James-no, you directed that question at me personally. "Mary who paid Boswell? Let us start with that since I believe it is a relatively easy question to answer". You've directed similar questions at me in the past. I happen to be a 45-year old woman who has had enough "life experiences" to overcome many challenges, yet find the wherewithal to build a business with my spouse, raise 3 smart & overall nice kids, and find very limited time as a working mom to giveback to my community. "Life experiences" have taught me to trust my gut about people and their motives. From day one, every article about the field has been met with negative comments by you & that's your right. You align yourself with anyone who has something negative to say, including "concerned resident too". I have little respect for that person, not because they are against the field but because they've made up lies & posted anonymous comments with personal attacks against people & programs. "Life experience" have also taught me to listen to what people say but be equally in tune to their actions. I've found that when actions & words don't match, there's an ulterior motivation & unfortunately, that's true of some Patch posters. I welcome true critical feedback, it's given me the opportunity to reflect on my decision to recommend the MS field and rethink the entire process. Obviously, you're not voting yes for the referendum, that's been clear from the onset, no matter how much info. you're provided.
Paige October 07, 2012 at 06:40 PM
@James, your question has been answered.
james October 07, 2012 at 07:06 PM
@Mary you are correct I have been against the FOD from the beginning. There has been nothing written or information given that have worked to change my mind. If you have read my post I was also not opposed the the development on the UW property. My mind was changed there by the exchanges and information given by the SOD members. So it does look like you are mistaken about my not being receptive to changing my mind if given good reasons to change it. I do not align with anyone I just agree with statements that some may say. I stayed out of the fray with the unfair playing postings so your observation of actions might be lacking in some areas. I commend your ability to build a business and raise children as many of have. I also can read people and do question the character of others who judge others based on their benchmark of giving back to the community. I did question you directly because you are the one who stated the answers to all the questions were answered. The answer has now been given to that particular question. I hope to see more answers to the other questions that might have me rethink my position but as you must have realized the positives for the field do not outweigh the negatives. I do think I am finished with any exchanges with you. Thank you for your time.
Mary McElroy October 07, 2012 at 08:20 PM
@ James, "I did question you directly because you are the one who stated the answers to all the questions were answered." The fact is that I've never stated that but thanks for your time as well.
Sheldon Cooper October 08, 2012 at 01:33 PM
So Ms. McElroy shows you for what you are and you decide to criticize me? what a man. No wonder no one takes you seriously. Also what do you know about how the village cares for the less fortunate? How many low income families do you know of?
james October 08, 2012 at 03:06 PM
@Sheldon last comment to you. I live in this town for over 40 years and you indicated you do not. Logic dictates that I know more about what this town does for its residents then you do. New Milford is a good town and that is why the residents are trying to figure out what is best for all even when we disagree. As I said perhaps you would like to get involved in a cause in your own town. Have a good day.
robin commerford October 08, 2012 at 07:59 PM
you got that right tony mac!
Bucktail October 08, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Tony what's the matter with you? You're only looking at a possible $150.00 per month increase in taxes between buying the UW property and also developing a new field behind the middle school, if the grants don't come in, for the next 7 to 10 years only - that's all.. I don't know why you're concerned, The value of your house will assuredly go down in the new assessment and with these projects, your taxes will go up! What more can you ask for? I think what we have here are two groups which can only see their own selfish wants and to hell with the rest of the town taxpayers.
tony mac October 08, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Het buck tail. What was I thinking? Let me take my monthly pension check and just sign it over to the boro! I might get used to eating dog food
karen October 09, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Frankly, I hope the FOD gets voted down. I feel sorry for the residents by DEO. I wouldn't want the noise on game days nor the additonal traffiic. Good luck trying to sell your home if that gets passed. I personally would not buy a house by a field because of the above. I don't care how many games there are. I live a mile from Bergenfield HS and a couple of weeks ago I was in front of my house and I could hear the band playing. I think the boe needs to focus more on district rankings and pour their time and energy into getting us back where we should be. Athletic fields are not something we are being graded on. congrats to knights football, wow, 5-0.Goes to show you the field doesn't make the team, its the players. This goes to show you the mentallity us Americans are, we always want bigger, better, state-of- the-art. Sadly, though we may loses some neighbors because they will not be able to afford the extra$$$. But at least we will have a new field.
NM Resident October 22, 2012 at 03:32 PM
FOD, Please take a step back and realize the original UW/ FOD location has promise again. Perhaps with current local news (lurings) it is not too much to ask for DEO/ FOD advocates to be more sympathetic, even more caring, to the local DEO neighborhood residents who are expressing concerns about having thousands more transient cars parking around their homes over the course of the year. Seems to me whenever anyone who lives in the local area expresses these concerns (parking/ crowded streets, overcrowding) they are attacked with rhetoric about "NIMBY" and "how they don't care about the needs of the football kids of NM" or about how public streets are not owned by the resident, and therefore open game for whatever the FOD needs. Seems to me, the opposite is actually true and these local residents care a great deal about their kids and their neighborhood. I think the FOD advocates are doing their best to provide for the kids and have good intentions, but they could take a step back and realize the UW property, The ORIGINAL location THEY proposed for the FOD, could be back in play for the residents if everyone works together. The DEO/FOD proposal isn't going to disappear if it doesn't happen before the UW property is fully resolved- right? Let's all care about ALL of our neighbors and ALL of the KIDS and families of NM. The UW property is in a much less residential neighborhood, and has much better access in and out that can be monitored and controlled.

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