Madonna Field “Hours of Use” Meeting Addresses Concerns of Livingston Residents

Officials at the meeting included, from left, DPW Superintendent Mike Anello, Deputy Mayor Ed Meinhardt, Mayor Shawn Klein, Councilman Al Anthony and John Jahr, project engineer. Credits: Alan Grossman
Ken Lomax, athletics and aquatics supervisor; Jenn Hessberger, head of SYLS Department; Russ Jones, acting township manager; and Mike Anello, superintendent of the Department of Public Works. Credits: Alan Grossman
Resident Denise McDonald discusses issues about Madonna Field with Councilman Al Anthony. Credits: Alan Grossman

LIVINGSTON, NJ – Issues of excessive light and noise caused by the Madonna Field when it opens this spring were brought to the fore at the Madonna Field “Hours of Use” meeting on Wednesday at the Livingston Senior and Community Center.

Residents of Bennington Road and the surrounding area questioned Livingston township leaders about ways to reduce the new field’s impact on what is typically a quiet residential area.

In response to both the light and noise concerns, Deputy Mayor Ed Meinhardt told those present that trees are being put in place that will grow taller than the light polls over time.

Sign Up for E-News

“Evergreens are being put up that will buffer the sound and light,” he said. “We cannot promise this will be a zero issue, but it will not be a major issue in the years to come.”

Resident Dennis Duffy said that the trees that have been planted currently do not provide enough light screening. He also complained that the lights in the parking-lot area are too bright.

Mike Anello, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, addressed Duffy’s concerns by saying the evergreen trees will grow up to 60 feet at a rate of one-to-two inches every year.

“It’s one of the fastest-growing trees, and it will be green at all times,” he said. “When the field is totally complete, we will be able to see exactly what has to be done to best deal with the light. I can assure you that we will take a look at this situation, and assess the best way to deal with it.”

Regarding the parking-lot lights, Anello said that the lights in that area will be switched around to face a direction away from Bennington Road.

“And, if the parking light needs trees, we’ll do it,” he said. “We’re going to make it right.”

Ken Lomax, athletics and aquatics supervisor, said that the field would only be used from mid-March to mid-June, and then again from mid-August to mid-November. He said games must end around 9 p.m. so that the lights are out by 9:30 p.m.

Lomax said that most Saturday and Sunday games end by 6 p.m. and that, as with weekday nights, all night games on weekends must end by 9p .m.

“The lights are on a timer,” said Lomax. “On nights where there are no games, the lights will be off.”

Meinhardt said that the field will not have a scoreboard or a loud speaker system. A conduit for a scoreboard is being put in, according to Meinhardt, but there are no plans in the near future to add a scoreboard to the field.

“The monies being saved on the scoreboard will be used for nets and fencing,” he said.

Lomax also said that the field can only be used if a permit is obtained.

“I saw kids using bicycles on it in the wet weather, which can damage the field,” said Meinhardt. “It breaks my heart to see this. If people see this type of thing happening, they should call the police. They will get them off the field. We will put up signs that this is a reserved field.”

Resident Ajay Bansal said he was concerned about the major puddling of water he is seeing around the field, and asked the officials what is being done about it.

Mayor Shawn Klein said that the field sits on clay soil, which does not absorb water very well.

“The field itself absorbs more water than what was there before,” he said.

Anello said that the trees being planted will absorb much of the water that Bansal is seeing now.

“The construction is opening up things, which may be causing more puddling,” he said. “Once everything is finished, we’ll access it again and make it right.”

Resident Denise McDonald also expressed concern about the water issue, especially as spring approaches.

John Jahr, project engineer, said the field holds a significant amount of water, and should help reduce basement flooding in the area.

Mayor Klein assured residents that all of these concerns would be addressed.

“We’re not going to build this and walk away,” he said. “It’s an ongoing process.”

Anello said there are “easy fixes” for water issues, including the possibility of putting up some drywall or draining stones.

Jahr said the public would be invited to the field’s first light test, which will take place in mid-March. He added that the field will open as soon as final tests are done to make sure it’s perfectly safe.

“When it’s all done, children will have a great place to play,” said Jahr. “It will be the nicest soccer field in northern New Jersey.

Answering questions about the Madonna Field were Ken Lomax, athletics and aquatics supervisor; Jennifer Hessberger, head of the Senior, Youth & Leisure Services Department; Russ Jones, acting township manager; and Mike Anello, superintendent of the Department of Public Works.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Livingston Smiles - $150 Value

March 21, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston Smiles is offering a Smile Analysis and FREE consultation - $150 value.  Call today to make an appointment: (973) 992-4099.  Mention this ad to claim this offer!

Take the quiz to find out if you should take advantage Dr. Krugmans' offer!

About Dr. Krugman:

A lifetime resident of Livingston, Dr. Gary Krugman has dedicated over 35 years to ...

10% OFF at Advantage Pest Control

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Advantage Pest Control is now offering 10% OFF new termite services. Call now to take advantage of this limit time offer! Call and ask for the "TAP DISCOUNT" (973) 736-1007

"We combine our knowledge of construction and termite biology so we can offer the right options for treatment to fit any situation and budget. We feature Termidor termiticide ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24, 7:30 PM

Livingston High School, Livingston

Livingston Symphony Orchestra: "Water. water.

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, March 26, 9:00 AM

My Tech Learning STEM EdVenture Lab, Livingston

Calling All Artists & Inventors to My Tech's ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Mon, March 26, 1:30 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Monday at the Movies: THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE

Arts & Entertainment

West Orange Synagogues to Offer Pre-Passover Events and Community Seders

March 20, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – With Passover fast approaching on the evening of March 30, synagogues throughout West Orange are helping people prepare for the holiday by inviting the public to attend community Seders.

B’nai Shalom, located at 300 Pleasant Valley Way, kicked off its pre-Passover events on March 11 with its first Passover Cooking & Crafting for Kids ...

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...


Jennifer Feinberg September 28, 1969 - November 7, 2016   Jennifer Stulberger ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ - Kristine Marie Mount Wells, 48, passed away peacefully, with her loving family by ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ - The family of Ilan Altman, a 1986 LHS graduate and long-time Livingston resident, ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ - Ilan Altman, 46, of Livingston died on March 28, just shy of his 47th birthday, ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ — Colgate University Golf is currently collecting gifts in memory of a ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ — Today we honor Jane Chesner. Our beloved Jane Chesner passed away ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston Police Department and longtime Livingston residents are ...
Read more

Temple B’nai Abraham Welcomes Newborn Chicks to the Early School

March 20, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — When Farmer Eric from Quiver Farms, Pennsburg, PA, came to The Early School of Temple B’nai Abraham last week and brought two incubators, brooder boxes and two-dozen incubated eggs,  the students were excited about the prospects of such an exciting event happening in their classrooms.  

It was even better than the students and their teachers ever ...

Former Rumson Student Arrested for Possessing MSR-15 Patrol Rifle, Silencer, Explosive Chemicals

March 19, 2018

MONMOUTH, NJ — A former Rumson High School student, Maximilien Reynolds, 19, was arrested in Ithaca, NY, and charged with Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device/Silencer, False Statement in Acquisition of a Firearm and False Statement in Required Firearm Record.

Specifically, he is alleged to have possessed an MSR-15 Patrol ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...