Millstone Park will move from drawing board to site work


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By Matthew Sockol
Staff Writer

MILLSTONE – A new 186-acre recreation facility for the community will take shape on Red Valley Road.

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Plans for the future Millstone Park are advancing, according to municipal officials. The property where the park will be developed was purchased by the township in 2008 with the intention of creating a new recreation facility.

The first phase of development will involve site work and grading, construction of a park building and the installation of lighting on general purpose fields.

Mayor Bob Kinsey discussed the first phase of the project at a recent Township Committee meeting and at a meeting of the Planning Board.

According to Kinsey, Millstone Park will have nine general purpose fields which can be used by any sports program. Lighting is planned for six fields which are adjacent to each other, but lights will only be installed on three fields in the first phase. The planned infrastructure work on the lighting of three fields will allow the township to install lighting on the adjacent fields in a later phase without destroying their surface.

Speaking during the committee meeting, Committeeman Fiore Masci addressed concerns that residents may have about the lights.

“The lights that will be on these fields will cast no more than a 5-foot dispersement of light beyond the fields,” Masci said. “The lights today are very different than lights of 30 or 40 years ago. They are very specific with the way the hoods deflect the light and how it lights up the fields. What is really going to be happening here is the fields will be lit, there is no question you are going to see some light, but it is nothing like what you may see at (other fields). It is very specific to the area that is being lit.”

At the Planning Board meeting, board Chairman Mitch Newman expressed concern over how wide an area the dispersement of light would cover, but he spoke favorably of the plan to light only half the fields during the first phase of the park’s development.

“I think you have to see (the lighting) in action before you decide what the next step is,” Newman said.

According to the plan, the building at the park will have restrooms and a kitchen serving facility, but no stoves. Cooking will be provided by a portable food cart which will be placed adjacent to the building as needed.

According to Kinsey, using a food cart means officials do not have to file a treatment works application with the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the park’s septic system.

Millstone Park will have a 15-foot-wide trail that can be used for walking, jogging and horse riding. A pond will be accessible to boats and can be used for fishing.  The pond will also be used for irrigation, according to municipal officials.

At present, the only area accessible to boats in Millstone is Perrineville Lake.

Officials did not provide a timetable for the first phase of work at the Millstone Park property.

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