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Poll: Is Project Really Going to be 'Fields of Dreams?'

School, youth sports group and township leaders are expected at BOE meeting to talk turf.

Mayor James Barberio is slated to make a presentation before the at the body's public session Thursday night. The subject: the at and high schools.

The Fields of Dreams project has been in the works since spring. The Recreation Advisory Committee, a panel made up of area officials and youth sports organization leaders, came up with an idea to do improvements at the school fields including putting in new turf fields, modernized lighting and new track ovals.

Several issues must be considered  before the ambitious idea can move ahead, among them:

  • Whether turf fields are an appropriate expenditure during tough economic times or in the face of the many still essentially homeless or close to it because of Irene's floods.
  • Whether the Board of Education would have to give up ownership of the high school fields so that open space dollars could be used to fund the program (use of open space funds means no new tax increase).
  • Whether the township really can afford what's estimated to be a $4.5 million project.
  • Whether this matter should be decided in a public voter referendum.

Sports leaders and the high schools' booster clubs are making a case to win support for the proposal.

The RAC's Fields of Dreams website argues a turf field is easier and less expensive to maintain than a field of grass. The savings, it says, could be as much as $70,000 per year over the projected 10-year lifespan of a turf field. And the fields would be of more service to the schools and the township, because turf fields can handle much more wear and tear than a grass surface.

As it stands, the high school fields get relatively little use—only football games, limited band practice and graduation. Supporters say turf fields would be usable by just about every sports team.

The RAC also points to testimony from medical professionals showing that artificial turf is safer than grass and shows a reduction in injuries suffered by student athletes on traditional turf fields.

Barberio said his presentation will tell residents all they need to know about the project.

What do you think? Patch wants to know your opinion: Fields of Dreams or Causes of Insmonia? Please check out the following polls and share your opinions more fully in the comments section.

Seriously? March 25, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Keep an eye out for the un-redacted OPRAed e-mails between private citizen Mike Pietrowitz and Township Attorney John Inglesino. It''s sure to ruffle some feathers.
TJ Ritter March 26, 2012 at 01:29 AM
http://parsippany.patch.com/articles/fod-walking-tour-scheduled-for-sunday#comments_list www,parsippanyunite.com FYI, there were no "FOD" members/supporters at this walkthrough today (3/25/12). It was very informative. We saw things that needed repair, saw things that probably did not need repair and saw things that raised more questions about the scope of work. The press was there and we would have loved to have had the "FOD" members/supporters there so we could discuss the project.
Chris March 26, 2012 at 02:47 AM
TJ, you and I have sat down and spoken. I would love to speak with you again and walk around the fields with you. You know why I did not attend.
parpardon May 16, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I wanted to publicly apologize for any rude comments I may have made. I have come to terms with my issues and realized I have been way out of line with some of my comments. I look forward to working together to form a better future for Parsippany children. Once again please accept my apologiy and I promise to not revert back to my old ways.
Patch3 May 16, 2012 at 01:31 AM
What comments Par? Didn't see any that required that type of apology

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