'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.'"

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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