Livingston to Charge for Fields Usage

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Jeff Cohen, left, owner of Sam's in Livingston, is honored by Livingston Mayor Steve Santola for his 12 years of service on the township's Business Improvement Board. Cohen is retiring from the board but will continue to serve as an advisory member. Credits: Pat Kelley
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Livingston resident and President of AARP Chapter 3663 Nick Pulitano, left, receives a plaque from Livingston Mayor Steve Santola commemorating the chapter's twenty-eighth anniversary. Credits: Pat Kelley
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LIVINGSTON, NJ – If you want to play ball in Livingston it’s going to cost you a minimum of $3 per person and up to $50 for a team to play a game or hold a practice.

The Township Council on March 5 passed a resolution approving a schedule of field usage fees for the township’s 20-odd fields. Up until now the only township field that had a usage fee was the artificial turf field behind the high school, Mayor Stephen Santola said.

The town manages, schedules and maintains all the playing fields in Livingston, spending approximately $450,000 a year on field maintenance, Santola explained. That $450,000 comes from the town’s parks budget which is $900,000 a year, he added.

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Township officials first took a look at charging for field usage at the end of last year, Council member Rudy Fernandez said. He added that officials are trying to continue to keep the fields maintained while dealing with an ever-tightening municipal budget.

Santola said they decided to hold off on imposing the fees until the town’s fields were in better condition and now the time was right to implement the fee schedule so the revenue can be used to keep the fields in good shape, adding that he doesn’t want the town to “slide backwards” in its fields’ maintenance program.

Santola said officials hope to raise between $30,000 and $40,000 a year with the money earmarked for field maintenance.  Those groups that use the fields the most will have to pay to use them while certain programs run by the town and schools will be exempt from paying the fees, he added.

Per person fees for Livingston Boys Little League Baseball and Girls Little League Softball will be $3 per person, while Livingston Jr. Lancers Football players, Lacrosse Club members, Sr. Little League players and Soccer Club members will pay $10 per person.

The Cerbo Baseball League, Livingston United Soccer League and New Generation Soccer League and SMC Soccer League will pay $25 per game or practice. The Temple Softball League, Thunder/Lightning Softball and Church Softball League will pay $20 per game or practice.

The following groups, which are partly made up of Livingston residents, will pay $50 per game or practice: Chinese School Soccer League, Garden State Soccer League, Kushner Academy, Livingston Dodger Baseball, Metro West JCC Baseball and Sr. Citizen’s Softball League.

Livingston businesses, residents’ groups and non-profits will be charged $50 per game or practice.

All groups will also be charged an additional $25 per game to use field lights.

St. Philomena’s Church will not be charged any fees because the church allows the township to utilize the church fields.

In other business, Santola presented Sam’s owner Jeff Cohen with a plaque honoring him on his retirement from the township’s Business Improvement District (BID) where he served as a board member for the past 12 years. Cohen will continue on as a member of the BID’s advisory board.

Township resident Nick Pulitano was also presented with a plaque commemorating the twenty-eighth anniversary of the township’s AARP chapter. Pulitano is President of AARP Chapter 3663.

It was also announced that the township’s Environmental Commission will hold an electronic recycling and shredding event on Sunday, March 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Center.

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