Chatham Athletic Foundation Outlines "Buy a Brick Campaign" for Shunpike Field at Township Committee Meeting

CHATHAM TOWNSHIP, NJ - Residents of Chatham Township and others interested in the township's recreation program are being offered the chance to "pave" their interest and support in a permanent way as the Shunpike Field athletic complex is revitalized.

At Thursday evening's Township Committee meeting Chatham Township Athletic Foundation board member, Vicky Anello, outlined the foundation's "Buy a Brick Campaign" for a new courtyard at the complex.

She noted, with the help of hundreds of families and businesses in Chatham, the foundation already has raised $350,000 towards the restoration of the complex.

The commemorative brick campaign aims to raise additional funds, focusing on improvements to the fields including lights.

In partnership with Township Administrator Thomas E. Ciccarone and the Committee, the athletic group hopes to have bricks placed in the courtyard that will be located adjacent to the walkway at the entrance to the fields, Anello said.

The approximately 1800 square foot brick patio area will be low maintenance with deer resistant trees and shrubs, she added, and the Farm in Chatham Township already has donated a statute, worth $8,000, to be placed in the central area of the courtyard, she added.

Those wishing to contribute will have their choice of a four-inch by eight-inch brick for a donation of $150 or an eight-inch by eight-inch brick for a donation of $300.

One logo per brick will be available and themes include a cougar paw, depictions of sports such as football, soccer, field hockey, tennis, ice hockey, basketball, wrestling, track, swimming, baseball, lacrosse, or golf or other interests such as dance, music, thespian performing, gymnastics, cheerleading and equestrian sports.

Brick Markers, USA is the brick provider.

The patio will be installed when the bulk of the brick sales are complete and installation of ongoing brick orders will be done by the Township's Public Works Department.

At the Fishawack Festival on June 12th the Foundation obtained more than 100 pledges, amounting to close to $15,000, Anello said.

In addition to the bricks, the group hopes to be offering additional naming opportunities for benches, picnic tables, bleachers and dugouts in the future.

At the urging of Township Committeemen William O'Connor and Kevin Tubbs, Anello agreed to consider rotating naming opportunities among the various larger facilities over the course of months or years so more donors will be encouraged to participate.

In another opportunity for community participation, the Committee announced its support of the Mayor's Wellness Campaign in conjunction with Chatham Borough.

Committeeman O'Connor, who is coordinating the township effort, noted participants will be able to pledge at various dates between August and October to improve their blood pressure, body mass index and weight loss, along with stopping smoking, in an effort to win prizes, such as a one-month free membership at the Chatham Club.

Pledge forms are available on the Chatham Borough website, he noted, and the Chathams are among about 200 communities in the state to be involved in the program.

The Chathams, however, will be changing the name of the local campaign to Chathams Health Lifestyle Challenge.

In other action at Thursday's meeting the governing body named Gregory J. LaConte, who has been Deputy Township Clerk for about three years, as Township Clerk for a three-year term beginning August 1st at an annual salary for this year of $56,265.

Also appointed at the meeting were Debra King as Chief Financial Officer at an annual salary of $7,000 and Christopher J. Gibbons as Plumbing Sub-Code Official. He will be paid $37.50 per hour up to a maximum of $1,200 per month.

In addition, an ordinance regulating portable storage containers on residential properties was introduced, with final adoption scheduled in September after review by the Planning Board.

The ordinance would allow for a single permit at a fee of $25 valid for 90 days with one additional 90-day renewal permitted.

Containers would be prohibited on streets and in front yards and, if located in any area other that a front driveway, they would have to be pre-approved by the township Zoning Officer and must be unobtrusive in nature.

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