Chatham Township Sees 88 Percent Increase in Youth Sports Participation in Last 11 Years

Credits: Alexandra M. Lubischer

CHATHAM, NJ - Committeeman Kevin Sullivan presented an overview regarding the Joint Recreation Advisory Board of the Chathams at Thursday night’s Chatham Township Committee meeting.  The board is comprised of four members from the Township, four from the Borough and a member of the Board of Education.  The current Board of Education member is Matthew Gilfillan. 

Overall, the board’s goal is to provide sports programs that are fun and instructional and are in a competitive environment where all can participate. There has been an 88 percent increase in enrollment in youth sports, as a whole, the past 11 years. This has lead to both towns supporting upgrades and maintenance on the 14 different facilities that are utilized; four of them are for multiple-sport use, as they are artificial turf.

With the increase in demand, many of the sports’ schedules overlap, causing some children to not always be available for every game, for all of the sports in which they participate. The main conflict has been during the spring season and also involves the Chatham United Soccer League. 

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The Joint Recreation Advisory Board and the Chatham United are in the process of working out as many of the conflicts as possible. 

The Municipal Alliance of the Chathams also gave a presentation on Thursday night, since many for the committee members were unaware of the role it plays.  The Municipal Alliance is a sanctioned group under the Governor’s Council and therefore receives state and county grants for its work.  Their main focus is on youth drug and alcohol awareness and prevention for grades K-12 and parents. 

Another fiber optic contractor sent a representative to give a presentation in the hopes of obtaining the Township Committee’s permission to access it’s right- of-way for construction of more/new “dark” (inactive) cables. 

Cross River Fiber’s representative explained to the committee that their company would like access to the town’s right-of-way, as a clear formality before it can ask JCP&L to use their telephone polls for installationpurposes. 

Like many companies, Cross River only installs the fiber optic cables and then sells them to a network company, such as Verizon, for activation.  These high-speed cables can be important to area companies or hospitals that need to send and receive information quickly.  Cross River tried to incise the Township Committee to grant them access to the right-of-way with the hopes that new corporations may come to Chatham seeking this fast technology.  Several Committee members reminded the representative that Chatham is predominantly residential town.

The township has not given a final decision to Cross River Fiber. 

Additionally, the Township Committee briefly discussed the possibility of hosting an Adult Party at Colony Pool to build membership and get the current members involved.  The event was discusses as a potential for bringing your own liquor.  However the Committee has to clarify several questions from it’s insurance company before any panning can proceed.  Other ideas that are more likely included, a movie night and a “Newcomers Night.” 

Furthermore, the committee commented that they have reached a paving agreement with PSE&G regarding colony pool.  The committee has already begun preparations to complete the project. 

The Committee also commented that it is considering the possibility of using an area of Woodland Avenue as the new location for the community garden.




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