GLEN ROCK, NJ – Heeding the public’s outcry for more input after a separate recent decision concerning affordable housing, the mayor and Borough Council delayed a vote on the Faber Field Complex rehabilitation project to Nov. 13.
Carl O’Brien, the borough’s field construction engineer, said a combination of turf and grass fields at upper and lower Faber will cost $2 million, while all grass will cost $2.5 million. But, in reality, O’Brien said the costs over a 10-year period would essentially be the same.
In an effort to be transparent, the council determined the public needed more information from its Oct. 23 work session to enable them to offer opinions on the matter.
But, you’re darned if you do and darned if you don’t.
The council was decidedly leary of pulling the trigger too quickly on the Faber Field rehabilitation after its affordable housing decision in which the public said they were not afforded information that allowed them to be part of the four-year decision-making process.
The public is still sore about the decision that may well see 11 affordable housing units constructed at 261 Rock Road, high density housing that has come as a shock to the community after much of the negotiations were required to go on behind closed doors, according to Mayor Bruce Packer.
Packer has been adamant about the private negotiation process for the affordable housing decision, which he said could have been more detrimental to the borough if it had not been private.
Back to Faber.
The council has been hesitant to make a decision on the Faber Field Complex because it has not been able to properly maintain a grass field there, with maintenance described as a science using natural products. Too much water and the fields could be ruined. Too little water and, well, the fields could be ruined. The process, without prejudice, seemingly too much for the already busy Glen Rock DPW crew to handle.
The Borough Council talked through it, again, at its Oct. 23 work session, agreeing they had to act, but realizing the expense, an expense that had not been budgeted in previous years.
The lingering question: all grass, or, half grass and half turf (?), understanding there are two field areas at Faber, upper and lower.
Councilman Mike O’Hagan, who was not in attendance, sent word through Mayor Packer that he was in favor of the half and half alternative.
Councilwoman Michelle Torpey said she favored the half and half alternative, as well.
Councilwoman Amy Martin said she preferred all grass, as did Councilwoman Arati Kreibich.
Councilwoman Mary Barchetto said she was “concerned” about investing completely in grass fields because “it might not work.”
Members of the public at the 8 p.m. regular meeting were in favor of the grass and turf alternative.