.

$1.5M Grant Sought for Athletic Field Project

Residents expressed concern at a meeting Wednesday that the project could negatively affect their quality of life.

The township will apply for a $1.5 million grant from the state Green Acres program to help create athletic fields on a 12-acre tract of land near DePaul Catholic High School near Hamburg Turnpike.

The council approved the application at a public meeting Wednesday.

The township purchased the land for $4.5 million in 2006. Authorities want to install new athletic fields on the property because they had to close the ones down at Sheffield Park on Farmingdale Road due to excessive flooding.

The town in December from the Passaic County Open Space Fund to help finance the project.

Some residents who live near the property expressed concern at the meeting that the project would increase traffic in the area and that lights on the fields would disrupt their quality of life.

Authorities said there is going to be a buffer of trees between the fields and the houses on Alps Road.

Authorities said the township would hire a consultant to help design the fields; a preliminary mock up of the project could be done within the next three weeks. Construction could start by this fall, they said.

“As soon as we have something to show you, we will,” Mayor Chris Vergano said at the meeting.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

P. Chayak January 17, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Does the plan include allowing the Private school adjacent to the property use of the publically funded fields? Would that be legal?
Scondo January 17, 2013 at 09:32 PM
There is no prohibition in either instance.
B.Mac January 18, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Of course they will. Town money to buy (4.5 million) and public grants equals private school expansion of facilities at no cost. Green Acres and County Open Space Funds require public access of which the private school is not because they are a private entity. Township employees will maintain facilities at taxpayer expense in addition to picking up the tab for the lost tax ratable of the site. Can you say Boondoggle?
Frank Gallagher January 18, 2013 at 04:25 PM
What do you mean "boondoggle"? Public funds were collected and set aside for this purpose, to acquire parcels, then develope and maintain them as parks. This was approved by the taxpayers years ago...we voted for it. Public access doesn't mean open play for the public at all times, that's not a practical way to manage ballfields. Public access means that nobody can be denied access, including private entities like Boys Club, PAL, and yes even DePaul. Organized teams receive permits from the town to use the ballfields, at whatever terms they negotiate. Wayne Rec has relatively few teams in their sports programs, most of the teams in Wayne are either school teams, or private organizations. The BOE has their own fields for the school teams, so the majority of team play at town fields is by private organizations. The arrangement has worked quite well for many years. Is it some kind of problem all of the sudden?

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »