This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.Article Published August 1, 2017
The topic of artificial turf fields with crumb rubber infill has become a controversial topic in town over the past few months, and concerned residents have started a petition that will be delivered to First Selectman Michael Freda asking him to overturn the decision to use turf fields for the Middle School Building Project. The petition currently has more than 200 signatures.
Danielle Morfi, an opponent of the artificial turf proposal, said in an email that she has spoken to a local grass maintenance firm that provided ballpark costs to install and maintain organic grass fields, and said the savings are “staggering.”
Among the information of possible maintenance savings, Morfi also brought up that the maintenance firm she spoke with said the initial construction of a very high quality, properly constructed natural grass field is likely in the $150,000 to $250,000 range, which would be less than the roughly $1 million per turf field.
“I think maintenance of all fields always have a financial impact,” said Freda, “We’re prepared to ensure that future expenses are booked for any maintenance, whether it’s grass fields or this particular turf field concept at the middle school.”
Freda also commented on the petition, since it is directed at him as first selectman.
“The Board of [Education] and the Building Committee, who’s responsible for making the decisions, have made the decisions, and there is no chief elected official that should ever abuse his or her power by overruling decisions made by other regulatory bodies and other elected officials, who’ve been put in place by taxpaying citizens to make decisions,” Freda said, “The attorney general’s office agrees with me wholeheartedly on this issue.”
Those who support the turf fields in town have started their own petition, and that one currently has 80 signatures on it. Those opposed have started a website, www.nhasti.com, which details their concerns about the fields.