New Fields at Pennington Park Should Be Ready by This Fall
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 • 8:43am
PATERSON, NJ – The new soccer and baseball fields at the lower level of Pennington Park may be completed by the end of the summer, according to city Public Works Director Christopher Coke.
The City Council next week is scheduled to award a $3,680,367 construction contract to Turco Golf Inc. of Suffern, NY, for the renovations. Turco was the lowest of six bidders seeking the job, which will feature the creation of three new soccer fields and renovations on three baseball fields, including one that will be converted to artificial turf.
At Tuesday night’s City Council workshop meeting, Coke said municipal officials had considered switching all three baseball fields to synthetic turf, but fiscal constraints forced the city to settle for making the change at just one.
The project is being paid for with a combination of state Green Acres, Passaic County open space and city funds.
During the workshop discussion on the park renovation, Councilman Rigo Rodriguez questioned the wisdom of investing substantial money to renovate a park area that frequently gets hit with heavy flooding from the Passaic River.
“That artificial turf is totally wrong,’’ Rodriguez said. “Guess what? One flood will destroy it.’’ Moreover, Rodriguez said he wouldn’t want his children playing on artificial turf after it was covered by floodwaters containing “feces.’’
Coke acknowledged the impact flooding could have on the fields and said the renovations would include some features to address that. For example, the natural turf fields would be equipped with an industrial drainage system, he said. Also, the artificial turf field would have a tarp that could be secured over it when major storms are expected, he said.
After floods, Coke said, parks workers would spread lime on the fields to kill bacteria, a standard practice he said that’s already being followed.
Coke said proceeding with the Pennington renovation was a “tough decision.’’ But he told the council that much of the funding had restrictions on it and could not be diverted to other park projects and that $1 million already had been spent.
“It was difficult for me to pull the plug on a project that was so far along,’’ Coke said.