Holmdel council adopts ordinance to provide funding for recreation improvements


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HOLMDEL – The Holmdel Township Committee has adopted a $2.5 million bond ordinance and will move forward with a plan to make improvements in the community’s parks and at its recreation facilities.

The ordinance was adopted on Feb. 12.

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Township Administrator Donna Viero said the bond ordinance will address improvements to Ackerson Park, Cross Farm Park, the Holmdel High School softball field, the Holmdel Tennis Center, Phillips Park, the senior/community center and Village School.

Committee members said once the money has been allocated, the township will seek bids for the projects. A detailed report describing how the funding will be allocated will be available when the projects go out to bid.

According to the ordinance, Holmdel will make a $120,000 down payment and bonds or notes in a maximum amount of $2.38 million will be issued to fund the work.

“This process started a year ago when we set aside $2.5 million in our 2018 budget process to make recreation improvements,” Committeeman Thomas Critelli said. “In the fall, I had the pleasure of working with the HYAA (Holmdel Youth Activities Association) and other organizations in town to try to facilitate what improvements needed to be done to existing fields.”

During public comment, some residents spoke in favor of the ordinance’s adoption and some residents said they believed that at this time, the $2.5 million could be better spent on fire prevention.

“We are going to fix recreation tonight and we are going to fix the fire department shortly,” Committeeman Rocco Pascucci said. “Not in a year, not in six months, but within a couple months or a couple of weeks. Once we finish the budget, you are going to be surprised.

“In regard to recreation, the children need it. We have a big drug problem and if you read the statistics, drug use in athletes is different than drug use in non-athletes and it makes a bigger difference in females because for some reason female athletes are less likely to use drugs than their male counterparts,” Pascucci said.

Mayor Eric Hinds, Deputy Mayor Michael Nikolis, Critelli and Pascucci voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the bond ordinance. Committeeman Gregory Buontempo was not present.

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