ROXBURY, NJ – The $1.5 million upgrade to Horseshoe Lake Park - including a new artificial turf field - is a testament to the township’s commitment to its children, said Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo today at a dedication ceremony.
Speaking as he stood on the new turf field, while young athletes watched from the sideline, DeFillippo said the long-sought project in Succasunna “represents a significant enhancement of Roxbury’s beautiful recreational facilities.”
The project includes not only the turf field but also a new scoreboard, new fencing, new lighting, improvements (including irrigation) to two grass fields, relocation of bleachers and expanded parking. It is funded not through tax dollars but with a recreation trust account composed of Horseshoe Lake Park user fees.
DeFillippo said the project, approved in March by the township Mayor and Council, “represents the will of this community to make a significant investment in our town and especially in our young people.” He said he believes that “nothing speaks to the character of a town more than how it values its young people, who are our future.”
The mayor particularly praised Roxbury Councilman Fred Hall for spending years working with the township Recreation Advisory Committee and township officials on the project. Hall also spoke at the ceremony, thanking all who helped.
Ups and Downs
“There were a lot of things that happened during this process and a lot of them were tough to deal with,” Hall said. “Sometimes the financials don’t meet the expectations. But at the end of the day we got everything we needed to get done and that’s a good thing.”
What Hall didn’t mention was that the township got lucky, and saved many thousands of dollars, due to a mistake made by the company that supplied the artificial turf.
To save about $100,000, the township – in the spring – opted out of using Field Turf Cool Play, a more expensive, green, extruded material that significantly reduces the temperature of artificial turf fields when compared with regular black rubber pellets.
Although the township ordered the black pellets, the Cool Play material was accidentally delivered and installed at no extra cost to Roxbury.
“Those green pellets are a tremendous, unexpected benefit at no extra cost,” Hall said in an interview after today’s ceremony. “According to the manufacturer, they make a field up to 30 times cooler than a normal field.”
Hall thanked and praised Chris and Laura D’Amico of Mount Arlington - whose 10-year-old son Christopher died in a 2015 boating accident on Lake Hopatcong – for donating the new scoreboard. The money came from the non-profit organization founded by the D’Amicos: The Kindness for Christopher Foundation.
The young D’Amico played for the Roxbury Junior Gaels football team as No. 86. His number was retired after his death. When the new scoreboard was unveiled today, it showed “86” as the visiting and home team scores.
Also honored on the scoreboard is former Roxbury Junior Gaels Coach Gregory Spero, who died in 2016 at 55 years old
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