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Councilman: Turf a 'Necessity' for Kinnelon Residents

Discussions continue on how to improve playing conditions.

The has been discussing the installation of an artificial turf field to no avail for seven years now, according to Councilman Jim Freda.

Freda expressed his frustration at the council's work session meeting Thursday. This year, Freda has even gotten the involved and discussed working together to install artificial turf on the field. But the discussions have not yet led to any concrete progress on the project.

"We've been talking about this for about seven years now and we still are nowhere," Freda said. "If we're serious about partnering with the high school ... then we need to start moving forward."

Freda said he feels the borough needs to act on the field for the sake of the residents.

"We need a field. It's a necessity these days, it's no longer a luxury," he said.

The council had originally discussed installing artificial turf on the field behind the Kinnelon Municipal Building. The field has been for its poor condition and while the borough planned to repair the field, several council members wanted to pursue artificial turf.

But New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection restrictions would likely prevent the borough from being able to install artificial turf so close to nearby water streams.

"We can't do turf here without running into major legal issues with the [New Jersey Highlands Council]," Councilman Dan O'Dougherty said Thursday.

The borough then began seeking alternative locations and came to realize board of education property is often exempt from some of the restrictions placed on borough property. Freda helped for the artificial turf field at the high school. The original cost projection for the field was about $400,000, but since then, the borough has learned drainage issues would also need to be repaired on the high school field in order to move forward with artificial turf in that location.

The borough has still not hired an engineer who would develop actual cost estimates for the project. Freda said the cost of the engineering alone would be about $11,000.

Borough Engineer Paul Darmofalski spoke to the council Thursday and provided an estimate for an alternate location: . But because drainage work would also be needed there and lighting that does not currently exist on the field would also be required, Darmofalski estimated the project could cost about $2 million in that location.

Kinnelon Mayor Bob Collins said he felt the borough should include the board of education in another conversation about the installation of an artificial turf field.

"We're talking about doing improvements to a neighbor's property here," he said.

Collins, Freda and O'Dougherty all seemed to agree though that the high school field may be more appropriate for the artificial turf field, not only because lighting is already available on that field but because the high school is a natural center of the community.

"If you're looking at the best location, it's the high school field," Freda said.

Councilman Gary Moleta said he would like to see other elements included in the project, such as a walking track for residents, if the field is located in another place in the borough. Freda said he and Moleta would speak with the board of education again and report back to the council at the next work session meeting.

SoftwareDiva1 July 18, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Artificial turf is very hard on the athletes. Do we really want to ruin our kids knees? Mountain Lakes may have one - but guess what Mountain Lakes also did away with extra charges for any kid that wants to participate in sports and other after school activities this year. What fees did Kinnelon eliminate? What activities and classes did we bring back? If you want to do something for sports at KHS, get rid of Rosenberg. We need an athletic director that is willing to make tough decisions on coaches and programs. this is what really matters - if the coaches have the emotional intelligence of 10 year olds and have minimal knowledge of the sport, it does NOT matter what the field is made of! We need to hire coaches based on their ability to coach, mentor and knowledge of the sport. We need to stop giving preference to KHS teachers and start giving the job to the most qualified! BTW - did anyone notice the article about the town survey? it is going to take somewhere between $150K and $250K to get the maps fix - and the new major - Collins says - "we remember that we have been paying the current company to make ongoing revisions and number of years ago. We don't know why so many revisions are needed now". What is this - "we remembered" - Who is responsible for making sure we are getting what we paid for? I bet if was Mr. Collins' money he would be making sure he was getting the revisions he was paying for for years! time for a change!
Stay out of public eye July 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Maybe you should call ASF privately. He or any o the council will never discuss these issues in a public meeting on the record.
Citizen1 September 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM
But Butler has a truf field.
Citizen1 September 17, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Dear Mr. Freda, clearly the, penny wise speak the loudest on this issue here, but take heart. There are a vast number of citizens in this town who actually experience the deplorable conditions of the few existing fields here and realize how Kinnelon, a supposedly affluent commuity, has fallen woefully behind all the surrounding towns, to the point of embassasment. Hundreds of Kinnelon children (there are over 200 in the Kinnelon Soccer Club alone, and high school football and varsity and JV boys soccer and varsity and JV girls soccer and varsity boys lacrosse and varsity girls lacrosse and club lacrosse in which hundreds of children participate) are all being short changed by the lack of adequate facilities in a town that is growing not receeding in the number of children participating in sports. The few fields we have here are pounded into dust through over use, and remain in deplorable condition because they can't be taken out of service. Every surrounding town has at least one turf field, all but poor old Kinnelon. So please, don't be duanted by all the short sighted, ill-informed and out of touch, nay sayers here. We that volunteer and work with Kinnelon's children, and experience the sad state of the towns fields first hand, thank you for your efforts and appreciate anything you can do to remedy this untenable, deplorable situaton. We need a turf field and we need it yesterday.
Rich September 24, 2012 at 07:42 PM
WE Don't need it. SOME want it. Raise your hands..who WANTS higher taxes? This is being shoved down the throats of hard working residents. The Choices we make on election day do make a difference. How about this challenge: get off our butts, and run for council, and show the town that we are not ALL "rich snobs", who only care for THEIR agenda.

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