Asbury Park’s New Field Doesn’t Use Tax Payer Dollars
Asbury Park breaks ground on a renovation on a new turf field and goalpost for its athletic field, however the move is not without controversy.
During Townsquare Media’s monthly Ask The Governor with Chris Christie, a caller phoned in asking Christie about the new field in the school district which receives a large amount of state aid. While the concern of state aid for athletics is a concern throughout the state, Asbury’s new field is NOT funded through state or taxpayer money.
Community Relations Coordinator for the Asbury Park School District Christine Coloma says the renovation of the field was all done through a private sale the school district completed earlier.
“The school district owned the building where we used to have our administration offices out here in Asbury Park, the building was condemned by the city and we were able to sell that property and we received about nine hundred thousand dollars. ”
Furthermore the field’s renovation actually falls below the price of the sold building, with Neptune based Cypreco Industries doing the work for 716,800 dollars.
Coloma says that after the money was added into the budget. former fiscal monitor Frank Sinatra recommended the money go towards the project.
“We realized this would be the only time this additional funds would be available, and it was at that point for the board to approve the money to be used that way. They’ve been waiting about eight to nine years to try and get this field done. ”
According to Coloma the athletic field was considered a health hazard due to the high volume of geese droppings that were left on the grass, forcing the field only to be usable after labor intensive cleaning.
“It’s been pretty bad due to the Geese droppings, it was a major health and safety concern. We weren’t able to have gym classes or anything other than home games there because of the amount of geese droppings that the field had. ”
She says that the new turf field will prevent geese from coming and eating the grass as well as be more manageable for maintenance. Additionally it allows for gym classes to be held on the athletic field throughout the day.
The money left over from the sale of the administration office remains in the budget and has not been allocated yet.