'Field of Dreams' Goes to November Ballot

Council authorizes 'Field of Dreams' to be put as a referendum question on the November ballot; estimated cost of field to taxpayers between $62 and $70 per year.

Voters will have the final say on a proposed multi-use athletic field—dubbed the  '' — which could cost up to $3 million to build at David E. Owens Middle School.

The council adopted a resolution Monday authorizing a referendum be placed on the November ballot.

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

In order to have the referendum appear on the November ballot, the county must have the resolution by August 17. Because the council does not have another meeting scheduled before then, they had to vote on the language at Monday's meeting. 

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.

A on the soil at  field as a first step in determining if that location can even be considered a viable contender in the search for an athletic field of dreams. The borough engineer, Margita Batistic with Boswell Engineering, previously reported to the mayor and council that the results of PERC soil test indicate that the middle school location would be an appropriate site for a turf field. 

During Monday's meeting, the 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. 

The mayor and council will further discuss costs associated with building the field at the August 20th public meeting.

Resident Mary McElroy supported the referendum saying that it gives people the opportunity to say whether or not they want to pay for it. 

"If you feel it's an investment to the town, you can vote 'yes,'" McElroy said. "If you don't feel it's an investment, you can vote 'no.'"

AML July 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Article failed to mention that the estimated $3 million price tag for the "Field of Dreams" could also go much higher if costs increase by the time the field is built. This was brought up at the Mayor & Council meeting yesterday evening to which the governing body agreed. Even though at this stage of the game it is a ballpark figure, the cost could go up, or, it could go down.
Joe Petrolia July 24, 2012 at 02:34 PM
When I received my tax bill this year I realized my taxes went up $385 . With that increase came poor leaf removal, terrible storm tree removal which fallen limbs caused unnecessary power outages, poor snow removal even with the small amount of snow we had this year. So to increase my taxes 60 70 or even $100 to say that our kids would get something out of it and be able to excel in our sports programs is worth more than anything. Taxes will go up no matter what we do or what we get out of it so let's at least get a field out of it for our children and vote yes when it comes up on the ballot.
Bucktail July 24, 2012 at 04:09 PM
in my opinion If only homeowners will be required to pay for this, than only homeowners should have the right to vote on it. and if that's the case, it will not pass.
Donna Colucci July 24, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Hi Joe, with all due respect, I want to respond to your comments about the "poor leaf removal, terrible storm tree removal which fallen limbs caused unnecessary power outages, poor snow removal even with the small amount of snow we had this year." I would hope that people realize that our town of NM along with many, many other towns had tremendous help from outside contractors to help with the clean up of that crazy, horrible, devastating, not to mention very dangerous snow storm in October. Some parts of Teaneck had no power for over a week. Some had no home due to the heavy damage done to property. I think with the state of emergency that we were in, there were others much worse off than us and we were worked on as quickly as possible.
Joe Petrolia July 24, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Yes I commend our PSEG power company for restoring power as soon as possible. However to say that New Milford DPW's cleanup was efficient and quick you would have to be kidding me. For weeks there were piles of leaves sticks and logs. If leaf removal in town was started before November 1 and the trees were maintained and trimmed yearly not just select few all year. This could have prevented many lines from being damaged. As far as after the storm cleanup the tree companies even had to go around our piles that were in the street cleaning up only what they cut down. Weeks after the storm. All I'm saying is for my money I want results this field to me would be results.....
Joe Petrolia July 24, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I'll bet if there were a pile of sticks in the 7-11 parking lot they would've been removed quickly.
Ann Piccirillo July 24, 2012 at 10:24 PM
The council was unanimous in passing the resolution authorizing the referendum for the Nov. 6 ballot.
Nancy Ditmars July 24, 2012 at 11:05 PM
When they test the soil do they also test for pollutants?
AML July 25, 2012 at 12:38 PM
The town did a wonderful job after Hurricane Irene & the Halloween storms! You cannot be at all places at all times & expect a miracle clean-up after the devastation and flooding NM experienced. Kudos to the town! Also, it is not a one-time deal to increase taxes for the Field of Dreams project. The estimated amount will be tagged on to our tax bills for the next ten years. $100 sounds fine if it is for one year only; however, if the $100 is an accurate figure (as it can be lower, or, higher, depending on the final amount of the project) the cost to each taxpayer would be approximately $1,000.00, as it would be for 10 years! The ratables that the Mayor & Council are dreaming of regarding the United Water/Hekemian development will be negated by the extra cost of services and expenses this project (Hekemian) will bring to our town. Our taxes will certainly increase. Additionally, who will be paying for the new fire truck and either expansion/rebuilding of the firehouse? Our town does not have the money and that would also require our taxes to go up. We cannot handle all of these tax increases at the same time, not including whatever else may arise. New Milford residents should think long & hard about the plans that are on the table, and think whether it is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY, or, NOT, before casting their final vote.
tony mac July 25, 2012 at 11:22 PM
What happens to the fields that this "Field of Dreams" will replace? How often will this field be used, and by whom? Little League, Babe Ruth, regular and travelling teams? Soccer? HS softball and Rec leagues? Over 40 men's baseball? Women's softball? Who will be allowed to use this thing? PLease spell out exactly who, how often and exactly what this will cost for installation AND maintenance. All BEFORE placed on the referendum. How about a mailing to ALL homeowners with these details BEFORE voting on it. And please, board of Ed and Mayor, stick to your guns. Any denials of these usages will probably lead to legal fees for potential lawsuits! Make sure the voting public has ALL the facts. And, notify the surrounding porperty owners of this impacting project. I'm sure they want to know. After all. it will be in their back yard.
Concerned Parent 1 July 26, 2012 at 03:14 PM
The council was only unanimous in passing because they want it out of their hands!
Joe Petrolia July 27, 2012 at 12:20 AM
It should be out of their hands and in ours. About time we get to decide. I just hope all of the older residents and residents without kids in town understand the need for this. So important to upgrade our sub standard facility's . This is our towns future. Let's not let the kids down. I certainly know what it's like to grow up in a town with no clean and safe facility. Oh I grew up in N.M. 1974- present
Darlene September 10, 2012 at 03:47 PM
N.M. Junior Football has their Opening Day rained out because the field is flooded. And that was before the second storm of the day even came. That is why we need a "Field of Dreams" - a truly usable rec field in a location where we don't have to fear a flood with every rainfall.
Michelle September 18, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Hi Joey!!! Love seein ya on here my friendliest family member, or famliest friendly member... love ya!


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