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RBC TO PAY MORE FOR BASIE FIELDS TURF

The addition of two artificial turf fields will bring the total at Count Basie Fields to three under the lights. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Catholic High School will increase its annual contribution for shared use of the playing surfaces at borough-owned Count Basie Field to reflect the cost of more artificial turf, town officials said Wednesday night.

Amending a long-term lease agreement, RBC has agreed to a negotiated $50,000-a-year increase in its annual rental of the paying fields, said borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

The deal is similar to and in addition to existing agreements between the borough and RBC, the most recent of which, struck in December 2010, gave the school preferred use of spelled out the school’s contribution to the cost of a new $900,000 synthetic, multiuse turf field through 2025 as a “participating user,” in the language of the contract.

With the approval by the council Wednesday night, RBC has agreed to:

• Continue paying the borough $80,000 a year for 15 years, through 2025

• Make additional capital contributions of $50,000 per year to the borough for three years, ending in 2012

• Pay the borough an additional $50,000 in capital contributions for 10 years, starting this year

Sickels told redbankgreen the effect of the changes was to have RBC pick up $500,000 of the cost, over 10 years, of two new fields to be installed starting later this year. The project would add a synthetic-turf little league/softball field and a baseball field overlain with a multiuse field marked for lacrosse, field hockey and soccer play. Both those new fields would replace grass fields that are already under lights, he said.

Officials hope to cover $1.6 million of the $2 million project cost with the RBC lease and grants. Construction is expected to begin this fall and be completed by the start of spring 2013 sports schedules, Sickels said.

The council also approved the purchase of synthetic turf for the fields through a cooperative purchasing network at a cost of $645,000.

Here are the resolutions: RB res 12-168, RB res 12-170

[Editor’s note: The strikeout above corrects an error by redbankgreen. According to Sickels, the December 2010 agreement, like the present one, did not create a ‘preferred’ scheduling arrangement for RBC.]

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