Government

Soccer Parents Air Grievances at Wood-Ridge Council Meeting

22c55fc3b8912985a484_EDIT_Altamura.jpg
Councilman Ezio Altamauro addressing parents concerning their issues with Pomponio Field and the soccer programs in town. Credits: Faith Armonaitis
d05fc16de30d4c677725_IMG_20170921_1226423.jpg
The center of the Pomponio Field. Credits: Chip Armonaitis
289913378fec636d871e_IMG_20170921_1226226.jpg
A heavily trafficked area in the mid-field area of Pomponio Field. Credits: Chip Armonaitis
39002fc063bac8191ee5_IMG_20170921_1226362.jpg
Another example of the dirt-patches and divots that parents say make Pomponio Field a dangerous field for soccer. Credits: Chip Armonaitis
22c55fc3b8912985a484_EDIT_Altamura.jpg

WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - Emotions over the conditions at Pomponio Field in Moonachie and the treatment of the Wood-Ridge soccer programs dominated Tuesday evening's  Borough of Wood-Ridge Council meeting.

Several parents were in attendance at the meeting to raise complaints about the conditions of the field and how they feel the town’s soccer teams are not getting a fair shake when it comes it allocation of playing fields and money.  

Wood-Ridge leases the space that house Pomponio Field for $1 per year from the Port Authority, and per the council there are restrictions on what the Borough is allowed to do at the field.

Sign Up for E-News

“I have been to other high schools, and I can say, that Pomponio is on par with other high school soccer programs are playing at,”  stated Councilman Ezio Altamauro, who is a volunteer coach on the Wood-Ridge High School girls' program.  

Parents, however, believe that the playing conditions are unsafe, pointing to large dirt patches and divots on the field as having the potential to cause injury.  They also pointed out that the field needs to be leveled off, as there are spots where the field is uneven, leading to a risk of injury.

Borough Administrator Chris Eilert tried to explain to the parents that the borough does maintenance work on the field at the end of the season, and again in the spring, but once the warm weather comes around, any work they do will not fix the problems with the grass.

The borough is also prohibited from hydro-seeding by Port Authority, which has concerns about geese relative the field’s proximity to Teterboro Airport.  There is also no running water at the field, and the borough is not allowed to install sprinklers.

“I do not know how to make grass grow without water, “ Eilert stated.

Councilman Altamauro stressed that parents had to remember the strides that the program, and facilities, have taken in the past six years since the high school program was established after the co-op program with Hasbrouck Heights.

Pomponio would not be a problem, some parents believed, if the town was a little more sharing with the high school’s astroturf field.  Only three of the nine home games that the boys' program has this season are scheduled to be played on the turf field.  Parents felt that the team was also being placed at a disadvantage when playing teams that have astroturf fields, since Wood-Ridge never gets to practice on astro-turf.  That was something, however, that Mayor Sarlo was not willing to discuss.

“Scheduling issues are something that has to be taken up with the Board of Education,” Sarlo stated.

Another grievance aired was the practice of bussing athletes to games and practices, but not back to school, leaving them to their own device to get home.  

The Mayor and Council seemed surprised by the statement, but quickly noted, that transportation issues regarding student-athletes was a Board of Education issue, and that the Council would not be making any comment on it. The Mayor encouraged the parents to bring their concerns that the council could not address to the Board of Education meeting on Monday.

The discussion eventually swung to the recreation fields at Wesmont Station that was part of the original plans.

The Mayor explained that the project has undergone several changes, but that the Mayor and Council are working with the developers at Wesmont Station as well as some of the other commercial properties to come up with a solution that would give the borough new recreation fields.  However, that solution is not going to be immediate, and would not solve the current issues.

The Mayor assured the audience that the Council was working on these issues, and for some of the solutions, they would have to look at the long-term.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro

Upcoming Events

Tue, April 24, 6:00 PM

The Venetian , Garfield

Prepared. For Life Dinner with Captain Mark Kelly

Other

Sat, April 28, 8:00 AM

College of St. Elizabeth, Morristown

Conference and Resource Fair Promotes Advocacy ...

Education

Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club to Partner with Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in Earth Day Special Event

April 10, 2018

PATERSON, NJ  - The Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club (FLARC) will partner with the National Park Service with a special event amateur radio station to be held at the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in Paterson, NJ.

The event will be held on Friday, April 13 at the National Park Service location at Mary Ellen Kramer Park, entrance along Maple Street, Paterson, NJ from 9AM ...

Borough Council Agenda

April 11, 2018

Dear Hasbrouck Heights residents,

Some of you may have seen that on my Facebook page, Councilman Chris Hillmann - Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, I had begun sharing the agenda for our municipal council meetings. I wanted to share them so that our neighbors had a way to see what we as your elected officials were doing. The agenda is never posted on the town website in advance of the meeting, only after ...

Artie Lange to Hold Benefit at New Jersey Comedy Club for Wife of Fellow 'Howard Stern Show' Cast Member

April 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -- Comedian Artie Lange will perform at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds will benefit Robin Salem, the wife of longtime “Howard Stern Show” engineer Scott Salem, known to listeners as “Scott the Engineer." Robin is recovering from multiple cancers, and has been bedridden for the last two ...

Governor Murphy Signs Law to Automatically Register Voters and Update Records at MVC

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed into law on Tuesday a bill that would automatically register and update voter registration for those applying for a driver’s license, examination permit, probationary driver’s license or non-driver identification card. The legislation was sponsored by Assembly Democrats, including District 36 Assemblyman Gary ...

Long Beach Island Summer Shuttle No Longer A Free Ride

BRANT BEACH - The Long Beach Island Shuttle, an extremely popular service for visitors and residents of Long Beach Island, will have a fee for the first time beginning Memorial Day weekend. 

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners made the announcement at their meeting on Monday, April 9. 

Here is the overview on the fees:

One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Bateman Bill, “ Bijou’s Law”, to Require Training, Licensing for Pet Groomers

TRENTON, NJ - State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-16) will introduce legislation to increase protections for family pets by requiring pet groomers to be properly trained and licensed following the deaths of three dogs in five months at different New Jersey pet salons. .

“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” said Bateman.