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Township Approves $760k Project for Turf Baseball Fields at Rowland Park

Cost of project to be split between township and county from open space funds.

South Brunswick and Middlesex County will be splitting the cost of adding two more turf baseball fields to Rowland Park from open space funds.

At last week's Township Council meeting, a resolution was passed to go out to bond for the $760,000 project, with South Brunswick covering $361,000 from the Open Space Trust Fund.

"We've had experience with this from the turf soccer and lacrosse field on Culver Road at Tall Timbers Park," said Public Affairs Coordinator Ron Schmalz. "These fields allow for continuous play, water is easily drained and they're very low maintenance. It's been a huge success and that's why we went for two more fields."

In 2011, the council passed a bond ordinance for $432,250 for a turf baseball field and a multi-use convertible field, with Middlesex County also providing funds for the estimated $1.5 million total cost.

The new fields are expected to be a cost benefit to the township in the long run, according to township officials, as turf fields don't need the constant upkeep as do natural grass athletic fields. The turf fields only need to be worked on for about one hour every couple of months by a machine that fluffs up the turf material.

"There will be quite a bit of cost savings over time by using turf fields," said Recreation and Parks Director Tom Morris in 2011. "You don't have to cut the grass, you don't have to fertilize it and you don't have to water it, which over the years will save a considerable amount of money. It's hard to determine what the savings will be per field but it's substantial."

The township will now go out to bid on the project with no time frame for the start and completion dates of the work available yet.

"We have the experience now that turf fields improve playability, they're low maintenance and the fields are safer for the children that play on them," Schmalz said.

Rich February 25, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Now how about doing something for the high school football field. A state champion playing on that poor of a football field???
Tugwalla February 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Open Space was sold to NJ tax payers as funds to help decrease congestion and over crowding...SB Township and the Middlesex County Freeholders keep wasting these dollars on projects that actually INCREASE congestion and over crowding! Why are SB politicians wasting $750k of tax payers money on special interests groups?
LM February 25, 2013 at 02:31 PM
No kidding...how bout feed some homeless kids..or support some programs for kids with disabilities!
concernedsbresident February 25, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Great!
concernedsbresident February 25, 2013 at 03:09 PM
I agree with Rich.. Sorry but take a look at who's maintaining these fields? They apparently don't know how to take care of them nor or they qualified. The turf fields now look like garbage as it is and these are the guys taking care of it NOW.. Or should I say, "Aren't taking care of it!" Sorry the money should be spent on the HS fields..
Tugwalla February 25, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Here is another example, in my opinion, of mismanagement by the SB Town Council, its business administrators and the Rec& Park manager.... "which over the years will save a considerable amount of money. It's hard to determine what the savings will be per field but it's substantial" This is laughable...does any one have any business sense to do a formal cost benefit analysis? Where is the financial oversight? A million dollar decision based on wishful thinking and luck? We will save sooooo much money we just dont know how we are going to save it? They cant be serious can they? For this amount of money they can hire 3 full time people for over 20 years to take care of ONLY these couple of baseball fields!
judy February 25, 2013 at 09:51 PM
Ted It is a very sad that our fields at the high school are substandard to not only the rec fields, but to the schools in neighboring communities. With the quality of athletics and musicians that our schools produce, they deserve to play on better fields. Just imagine how good all teams could be with fields that rival their competition.
I am RIGHT February 25, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Last I looked the township and school fields are managed seperately. There are school fields and town fields. Original construction of the SBHS football field was substandard. The entire area should be bulldozed and redone.
Tugwalla February 25, 2013 at 11:17 PM
who is going to pay for it?
I am RIGHT February 26, 2013 at 12:12 AM
Steve - You're going to pay for it. Just like everything else in this town.
reinkefj February 26, 2013 at 12:31 AM
How about the TAXPAYERS? Suppose I can't afford a 750K "open spaces" funding? After all it either comes from South Brunswick Taxpayers or the Middlesex County Taxpayers. Let's further suppose that I'd like to just spend my money on something else. So didn't we fight a revolution about "no taxation without representation". Just cause I own some property in South Brunswick doesn't mean you can reach in my pocket for every good idea! Argh! Sorry, but count me out. Oh yeah, I don't get a choice!
Concerned SB Citizen February 26, 2013 at 01:46 PM
No need for HS turf field. If they can win the State Championship using "Poor of a football field", in future it will work too. School funding SHOULD use for education not for sports!
Concerned Citizen February 28, 2013 at 03:00 PM
The fait thin would be to have the public vote on this issue. In addition, local companies such as Coca-Cola on Route 130 could provide some of the funding. We need a class field for both our championshiop football team and our reknowned Marching Band to showcase their talents to everybody,
Tugwalla March 16, 2013 at 12:04 PM
"Just imagine how good all teams could be with fields that rival their competition.".......lol lol lol lol

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