Monday, November 23, 2009

20th Council & the artificial turf

The NHRs Luther Turmelle reports on the thoughts of some of the incoming Council members on turf.

Jimmy Sima questioned the accuracy of the costs of natural turf:

Sima said that some of the cost estimates contained in the committee’s report are “very suspect, hocus pocus numbers.”

And Tom Ruocco and Andy Falvey seemed to doubt the fundraising numbers:

“I just don’t think this whole idea has been properly vetted yet,” Ruocco said.

“I just don’t see them coming up with $20,000 a year, every year,” Falvey.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Great article. This definitely has to go to referendum if it goes anywhere at all. I agree with some of the councilors - these numbers that are in the report are just creative accounting at its best.

Contoured Views said...

Will that report be available online somewhere?

Of course they are only going to give you the information they want you to know.

I have looked at a lot of different place to see if I can determine the trues costs of maintaing a turf field. WHat I have found is that at a bare minimum, it will cost $10K per year. That is idf they have purchased the proper grooming machines. I have also seen that the rubber crumb needs to be replaced on a yearly basis. Typically, this costs 0.50 to $1.00 per pound and you will need around 5,000 pounds.

Why isn't the turf committee bringing these things up?

Why are they saying they only have to raise $15k to $24K a year for the replacement? According to Bob Behrer, it will cost $600k to replace. This will be between 8 and 10 years after it is first installed. Where will the rest of the funding come from?

Tim, please ask them for true maintenance figures. Find out what it costs in Guilford, Meriden, and West Haven to maintain.

We can't afford to subsidize another recreational area in this town the way we are susidizing the pool.

Anonymous said...

So far all we have is a poorly planned effort to add an artificial turf field to our high school. Even before there is a firm, fixed, not to exceed cost for the initial installation of this field there are people explaining the replacement field at 7 years out will only cost $600,000.

The $781,000 (NHR article) estimate by the BOE seems dubious at best. If it can't be met and say the installation winds up at a more likely $1.2 million then what? Does our superintendent get fired?

Where is the firm fixed, not to exceed quote for the total installation? Where is the firm fixed, not to exceed cost for year 1 total maintenance? Where is the firm fixed cost for annual maintenance for year 2 and beyond? Where is the firm fixed not to exceed estimate for the 7 year and 14 year and 21 year replacement cost, etc?

Feasibility studies and cost estimates by groups of amateurs and local sport boosters such as the one fielded by our school superintendent are notoriously poor.

It is up to the new town council to inject reality into this process or stop it now before the town adds to the annual waste of tax payer dollars being experienced by our town pool across the street from the high school.

Anonymous said...

Well, there you have it, put it out to referendum. Now we can wonder what the pool will cost as well. i have heard numbers anywhere from 3-5.5 million. are there still issues at the high school with other facilities beyond the turf, or are those resolved?

Anonymous said...

When will the taxpayers/TC/TM realize that taking the lowest bid almost always costs you more money in the long run???

Anonymous said...

In the waterbury paper today it said that the city was going to rebuild a softball/baseball field with turf but didnt want to spend the 3.3 MILLION to do the job.

That included turf, drainage, labor, and repairing some bleachers. While we are not repairing bleachers, we are looking for twice as much turf, labor, drainage and the lighting/electrical system needs repair.

The turf wanters have their numbers all wrong. Looks like they missed a few decimal places.

Anonymous said...

They still have not started West main street, or completed ball fields at Bartlem Park; the town received grants from the state for these projects and the town manager sits on them. The turf, when they add the drainage prep costs and come up with an accurate quote the total cost will be closer to the $1,200,000 figure and the board is aware of it. what they were trying to do is keep the additional amount of money the town would have to come up with under the amount needed for a referendum. The plan was to have the turf council allocate the money,they got what the earned; Voted out.

Anonymous said...

At the BOE meeting last Thursday night, Behrer explained that there may be cost overruns on the initial install. This was stated just before the BOE took a vote to accept the appropriation from the town council.

Then some bald headed guy got up there and stated that '...of course the town is going to pay for the field if enough money can't be raised to maintain it in the long run.' I think it was the same guy that got up in front of the town council, one of the pro-turfers that's can't accept "No" for an answer.

This person suggested that like bartlem park, dog park, skate park, etc. the turf will and *should* ultimately land in the town budget to maintain.

In other words, it will become the town's burden to maintain even though most folks in town don't want it.

Does anyone know when the 11/19 BOE meeting will be replayed on public access? I suggest watching it closely.

Anonymous said...

West Main St will be a bigger headache than it's worth. How many people here are going to walk to a lumber yard? A tire shop? A car wash? A towing company? We will need a parking area for the people to park at to walk an area they would normally drive to. Also, the plan Milone has been touting to the town creates a bigger mess of signage, poles, lamps, and distractions. This plan shows a clean road devoid of all existing poles and signs. Question I have is, where will the power lines be? Where are the required speed limit, parking, warning signs on a state road? This is going to be a very ugly section of town and I am going to laugh in all of the supporters faces when it is done.

Anonymous said...

Why build a community facility at the CHS to begin with? Less than 60 events, if that, pertain to the CHS athletics. The rest of the 300+ events are non-CHS. Bad idea, bad solution and bad location.

Pro Teacher Anti Stupidity said...

Since the BOE always seems to underfund their maintenance accounts, why not transfer control of all outdoor facilities (budgetarily speaking) to the Town Council. Whatever happens with the turf, it's a a pretty good bet that the Superintendant will not properly fund the maintenance.

Anonymous said...

2:05 said " The turf, when they add the drainage prep costs and come up with an accurate quote the total cost will be closer to the $1,200,000 figure and the board is aware of it."

The motion that the TC voted on was in so many words - "that the TC appropriates the $525K grant to the turf project conditioned upon the successful fund raising of at least 50% of the private funds (the add'l funds needed)."

The key is that "accurate" quote which should also include fixing any and all electrical problems. So the final number is likely to be $1.2 million. So within 6 months they'll have to raise $337,500 or more. Many might also say that the replacement cost should be factored in too as the Turf Committee claims that'll be fund raised also (minus any income from the field).

Wouldn't it be nice if these people spent their time helping to figure out some of the town's real problems.

Anonymous said...

All these numbers being thrown out there for the turf field are about as fake as the reason why the Cheshire vs West Haven game was postponed. Some people will believe anything.