RED BANK: TURF HOLDING UP, SAYS SICKELS

rb-basie-turf-120516-5Rubber-crumb exposure at midfield and the sidelines, below, of the football field at Count Basie Fields is not indicative of the type of turf failure reported elsewhere, says the borough administrator. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb-basie-turf-120516-6Failing artificial-turf playing fields made by an industry-leading manufacturer are not an issue in Red Bank, according to borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

three-day investigative exposé by NJ.com earlier this week reported that hundreds of turf fields across the United States were beginning to deteriorate long before the eight-to-ten-year life expectancy touted by the Canadian manufacturer, FieldTurf. The company knew about the failures but hid them as it continued to sell the fields, at prices often exceeding $500,000, the report alleged.

But the fields installed by the company at Count Basie Fields here are holding up well, Sickels told redbankgreen.

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ON THE AGENDA: PITCHFORKS, TURF & MORE

Proponents of a Red Bank community garden try for another bite of the apple with their request to farm a portion of the public library property, above. (Click to enlarge)

The agenda for the bimonthly meeting of Red Bank’s council Wednesday night is a busy one.

On the docket:

• Red Bank RiverCenter comes in for approval of its annual budget. No details have yet been provided. Last year’s spending plan, like the two that preceded it, totaled $512,000. The business promotion agency, which manages the borough’s state-chartered Special Improvement District, is funded by a surtax on commercial properties within a defined zone and gets no money from borough coffers.

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MORE FAUX TURF SLATED FOR BASIE FIELDS

The additional fields would be striped primarily for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, unlike the existing football and soccer field, above. Below, a visual provided by officials of the plan last year. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Sixteen months after the debut of an artificial-turf football field at Count Basie Fields, Red Bank officials are planning to ramp up the facility’s ongoing modernization this year.

A final vote by the borough council on a $1.6 million bond ordinance scheduled for next week is expected to clear the way for the $2.1 million project, which 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.

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MORE TURF MAY COME TO BASIE FIELDS

scan-22An engineer’s rendering of the proposed upgrades to Count Basie Fields. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank is hoping to go grassless at Count Basie Fields.

Borough Engineer Christine Ballard is submitting a $500,000 state grant application to help pay for a $2.2 million turf renovation to two fields plus a half-mile gravel path along portions of the park’s perimeter.

If the borough can pull in funding for the project, Basie fields would be completely composed of the synthetic grass. Six months ago, the borough opened up its near $900,000 turf football and soccer field.

Unlike that project, the scope and price tag for this project is twice as large. But the borough intends to fund it in a similar way, Ballard said.

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INSIDE DIRT: BASIE FIELD GETTING MAKEOVER

basie-field1-051110Heavy equipment regraded the soil inside the running track recently in preparation for artificial turf. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If you haven’t noticed, Count Basie Field is looking a lot more like the old Yankee Stadium and a lot less like the friendly home of Red Bank’s slew of sports teams.

“It’s a big dirt pile,” said Christine Ballard, borough engineer.

The good news is that it won’t be that way for too long, Ballard tells redbankgreen. And, unlike the Yankees’ replacement ballpark, Red Bank’s upgrade isn’t going to cost upwards of $1 billion.

Getting the artificial turf laid down at the borough’s biggest park is costing a pretty penny, though.

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