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Necessity, funding of turf fields questioned in Holmdel

The Holmdel Township Committee hastily passed a bond ordinance of $3.3 million in September for upgrades to Cross Farm Park. The improvement plan for the park, as recommended by the Township Committee’s newly appointed Recreation Advisory Committee (RAC), is to construct two artificial turf fields for soccer/lacrosse play, expand parking facilities, add a toddler playground, possibly include 80-foot lighting towers and new bathroom facilities.

The question on many people’s minds is whether these fields are needed. There are no meeting notes from the RAC or data made available to the public that support the need for expansion of this park. Nor is there a breakdown of costs for this project related to construction of the fields and their yearly or long-term maintenance. Considering that these fields need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years with an associated million dollar price tag attached, it is important that the taxpayers of Holmdel get the accurate facts and numbers.

The Holmdel Township Committee tried at a recent meeting to appease the uproar from residents who think this plan is too extravagant. They reported that the funds for this project would come from the Township’s Open Space Fund, which was created for the purpose of protecting our open space since southern Holmdel is located on the watershed of the Swimming River Reservoir.

This fund should be used as originally intended — to protect open space and our water supply — and not used to please a minority of Holmdel residents who feel that they need better recreation facilities in town.

Regina Criscione

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