Monday, April 26, 2010

Turf fundraising is $80,000, but Council support limited

The WRAs Lauresha Xhihani is reporting on the fundraising efforts of Turf Committee:

A group charged with raising money to put artificial turf on the main field at Cheshire High School has raised $80,000 in less than a month of fundraising.

But deeper into the article, Lauresha offers Chairman Slocum's take on the possibility of a new turf field:

The artificial turf field has been a pretty divisive issue. Some say the town needs it mainly for the many sports teams at Cheshire High, while others think it will only cost the town money in the long run.

In November, a council still controlled by Democrats who lost majority just weeks before voted to appropriate money for the turf, but the Republicans — who generally oppose the project — wanted a condition put in. Councilman Timothy Slocum, the current chairman, offered the motion for the con­dition, breaking ranks with his party.

Slocum said he does not fore­see the current council voting to spend any taxpayer money on this project.

While I acknowledge there would be benefits to a turf field, I'm far from being sold on it. On balance, the long-term liability (the replacement costs) weigh more heavily than the additional service time each year to me. And there are also the unanswered environmental questions.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Bob Behrer actually thinks 300 events, compared to 60, will take place on that field?
How long will it last if it is used that many times each year?
Who makes the decisions on who is allowed to use this field and who isn't? The turf committee? The Park & Rec? Ths BOE? I bet the football team isn't going to want a lot of activities taking place during their season.

I give them a lot of credit for trying to raise the funds, but what is the time frame they have before they lose the grant? What do they do with the money they raised if they do lose the grant?
Who is responsible for taking care of the field, including pourchasing the machines needed to care for turf?

Hopefully these have all been thought through.

As seen by our budget and budgets around our state, these are hard times for everyone. Is this really the best time to do this project?

Anonymous said...

maybe they will donate the money raised to something a little more important......the education fund, that would save one teacher for a year

Anonymous said...

Just think of the turf as another pool bubble waiting to happen. The preliminary estimates for maintenance, repairs, replacement, and potential liabilities are always less than the actual costs.

Even if the fundraisers manage to raise the balance for installation, the council needs to come up with a realistic estimate of longterm costs before giving final approval.

Anonymous said...

No doubt the group raising the money for this is only interested in the children and they are busily raising the money only for the children. Their efforts in this regard are misplaced.

Student population is declining along with the grand list. Unfortunately the state is reducing cash which it transfers to towns like this more and more each year.

These boosters, if they successfully can raise the full amount will then require already strapped tax payers, both individuals and remaining businesses to begin forking over gobs of cash annually not only to maintain this but every 6 or 7 years to fully replace it.

We already have the pool mess which after 10 years is still unfolding as a mess. Why would we ever want to begin yet another shared athletic facility near or at the town high school where it is the tax payers who will continually need to bail out an expensive, nice to have but not required 'thing?'

Anonymous said...

"And there are also the unanswered environmental questions."

Tim, I fondly remember Bob Behrer addressing the environmental issue during the turf presentation to the TC last year. He stated that as far as environmental concerns go...the emissions emitted from the turf field are no more harmful than the chemicals emitted from the interior of a car. Namely, he says that blue-haze that builds up on the inside of your windshield from the chemicals inside your car are far more dangerous than what the turf field emits. That was the extent of the environmental findings. I feel safe.

Anonymous said...

Turf project is insane especially when you look at the enrollment projections showing Chesire losing 55-60 students per year for at least the next (10) years (enrollment has decreased 800+ students since 1998). People are howling NOW at the BOE budget--just wait until the State subsidy cuts take hold...

Anonymous said...

Is the "themometer" properly permitted or is the Zoning Officer simply overlooking an illegal sign on town property. This should be looked into and corrected

Anonymous said...

The grant is good for 10 years so this project doesn't have to start anytime soon.

More than likely the maintenance & repairs will be paid for through the boe's budget. I remember a very vocal turf committee person mentioning that all other fields are maintained by the town or the school budget so he felt the turf maintenance expense should be no different.

As for addressing safety concerns -maybe EHHI from North Haven could come before the council and give their opinions. We've only been fed info that the turf committee wants us to hear. People should check out EHHI's website (Environment & Human Health Inc.).

Replacement costs? Ya really think the taxpayers want to fork over money to replace it in 10 or so years? NOT

Anonymous said...

The people who addressed the health issues of the turf field were the manufacturers. Let's see now - the manufacturer is going to come out and say that their product is hazardous - I think not! I've also read the report from the EHHI and it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out why they weren't asked to speak.