SAYREVILLE – Improvements are coming to two sports fields in the borough.
The Veterans Field, at War Memorial Park behind the Borough Hall, will receive a grass field, new lighting, bathroom upgrades, parking, and parking improvements, while the Sayreville Recreation Complex will receive a new grass field.
The borough council recently unanimously approved an ordinance for the construction and development of two sod fields in the borough and the issuance of $2,565,000 in bonds or notes to finance part of the costs of the project.
The total cost of the project is approximately $4.2 million. The borough has received a $1.5 million grant from the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, said Councilor Ricci Melendez, the borough’s recreation liaison.
The county grant reduces the borough’s amount to about $2.7 million, Melendez said.
“In order to ease the initial tax burden since this is an open space project, we are eligible for a bond,” he said. “For this project, the interest is only 2% per year, payable over 10 years. In terms of tax implications, this equates to approximately $17.35 per year per tax household, or 1. $46 a month.”
Work should begin next year, the councilor said.
Borough Recreation Director Jerry Ust and Melendez met with Sayreville Soccer and the new Sayreville Jr. Bombers football/peer organization to discuss their field needs at their respective complexes.
Melendez said more than 1,000 families belong to both groups.
“The football complex is old and the six grass pitches are difficult to maintain,” he said. “Parents and the borough maintain the pitches, but the pitches don’t drain properly and as a result games are cancelled. Kids have gotten injured. Adding a grass pitch would at least allow them to play most of the year, regardless of time and weather.”
The Sayreville Jr. Bombers are the result of this year’s merger between the Morgan Parlin Panthers and the Sayreville Leprechauns, Melendez said.
“They have a pitch between them to be used by seven football and cheering teams,” he said. “A grass pitch would allow full use with limited maintenance and downtime. Also, the lighting on the pitch is probably over 50 years old.
“We had an investigation done, and it showed that the lighting is inadequate to provide a safe environment for football training and matches, so there is an immediate safety need to include lighting suitable for training and matches. Training takes place five nights a week and one game.”
Veterans Field’s bathrooms are quirky and date back to the 1950s, Melendez said.
“They are in dire need of renovation,” he said.
There’s also a parking problem on Dolan Street because residents can’t park at their homes on game days and practice days, Melendez said. Part of the project is to add parking to ease some of the congestion, he said.
“It’s a step in the right direction, and I don’t think it will solve all of our problems by any means, but we have to start somewhere,” Melendez said. “With the support of parents who volunteer their time in our youth sports recreation programs, we will continue to listen and move forward. I am happy that we can take this first step and appreciate everyone who supports me. helped achieve this goal.
“But make no mistake, there is more to come. The Mayor and Council will continue to look for creative ways to deliver what we all know our town needs. We are also very grateful to the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders for their support.”
“I can’t stress enough how important these grounds are,” Mary Ellen Dunn, president of Sayreville Soccer Club, said at the meeting. “Safety is a huge concern on these pitches. A grass pitch is a huge, huge win for us.”
Staff Writer Susan Loyer: 732-565-7243; email@example.com