Special meeting held to pass recreational field ordinance

Special meeting held to pass recreational field ordinance

By SHANNON CAULFIELD

The Marlton Sun

A special meeting to pass an ordinance and a resolution was held Dec. 31.

The ordinance, providing for installation of recreation fields and related improvements, appropriates $5.1 million for the construction of a baseball and softball complex.

According to Mayor Randy Brown, the project was in the works for quite some time.

“This project has changed a bit from six, seven, eight years ago to where it is today,” said Brown. “In working with the current baseball commissioner, the current softball commissioner and others, it has really been eye-opening of all the things out there to make it a state-of-the-art facility.”

The funds for the project came from open space bonds, according to Brown.

Additionally, the township plans to take its time with the project.

“In the six years we’ve moved

Brown said he sees the project as an opportunity to draw private and corporate sponsorship, similar to efforts at Cherokee High School, which raised approximately $600,000 in two months. According to Brown, the money will help offset the costs of building the facility.

The facility will also garner revenue from other entities renting the recreation fields for use.

“Finances aside, so many of us have been born and raised here, and we’re raising our kids here. You don’t remember the finances of it all. You remember the trophies and memories, not the entrance fees to a tournament. I still remember walking down Main Street in my uniform as a young, young kid,” said Brown. “We can’t forget our full responsibilities, and that still is to provide services, but we need to do everything we can to provide for our children.”

In other news, a resolution passed at the meeting authorized maintenance guarantee as part of the NJDOT trust fund improvements on North Locust Ave.

“The bond was due to expire at the end of the year, so we wanted to act on it now,” said township solicitor Tim Staszewski.

Items needed to be corrected before the bonds were released for use.

In other news: an overflow of guests at the Blue Barn basketball courts will result in a change of policy.

According to deputy manager Monica Vandenberg, the courts were reserved by a group, which decided not to come. The courts were then changed to open court time resulting in an overflow of residents and guests. Though no damage was done, residents were perturbed by the lack of accommodating courts for those wanting to play.

“We had such an infiltration that it was organized chaos,” said Vandenberg. “Typically we would have tweaked the hours if we had known the group was going to cancel.”

The policy will be changed to one guest per resident, and anyone going to play must show identification.

“It’s a matter of teaching everyone to play together,” said Vandenberg.

The annual reorganization meeting will be held Jan. 7 at 4 p.m. at the municipal building located at 984 Tuckerton Rd.