Council Approves Resolution to Pursue Grant to Improve West Orange Parks

Bill Kehoe, director of Recreation, explains plans to renovate Lafayette and Degnan Parks pending the approval of a Green Acres Grant. Credits: Alan Grossman

WEST ORANGE, NJ — With both Degnan and Lafayette Parks in need of redevelopment and improvements, West Orange Recreation Director Bill Kehoe and supporting agencies asked the West Orange Township Council to pass a resolution to authorize the township’s 2017 Green Acres Grant application that will help accomplish this goal.

The mayor and council unanimously passed the resolution at its public meeting on Tuesday, after Kehoe presented the council with plans to upgrade both parks.

The Lafayette Park conversion would change the outdated baseball field to futsal and volleyball courts, which is what the community has requested, according to Kehoe. He said the Degnan Park improvement will focus on modifying a field that is currently being used for youth baseball, youth softball and scholastic softball.

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The recreation department’s plan calls for reducing the field dimensions, which are now oversized for its current usage. Other upgrades, according to Kehoe’s presentation, will include repositioning fan seating, improving field drainage and installing new fencing and a new scoreboard.

The proposed renovations at both parks would cost $165,545, according to a plan put forth by Grabowski Construction. The Green Acres grant, which is offered through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, would pick up 25 percent of the project’s cost.

The remainder of the funds would come from the township’s Open Space Trust Fund, which West Orange Chief Financial Officer John Gross said has ample funds to cover the cost of this project if the grant funds come through.

“We have a two-year window to complete this project after the grant funds come in,” said Gross. “We’re probably looking at a late 2017 or early 2018 project.”

See TAPinto West Orange on Sunday for more on this meeting. The next council meeting will be held on Feb. 7.  

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