Turf Field Bond Killed by Final Bernardsville Council Vote

Final vote was taken to rescind $1.2-million bond ordinance to pay for turf field installation over borough-owned grass field.

Upper Polo Field where turf installation has been proposed. By Linda Sadlouskos
Upper Polo Field where turf installation has been proposed. By Linda Sadlouskos
The Bernardsville Council followed through on Monday night with a final vote to rescind a $1.2-million bond ordinance that would have paid to install synthetic turf over a multi-purpose field at the municipally-owned Upper Polo Grounds _ but Mayor Lee Honecker said the borough will seek a county grant for the project instead.

The Borough had held a special Saturday morning meeting in late August to take a first-step vote to repeal a $1.2M bond ordinance approved Aug. 12 to pay for installing a synthetic turf field over a grass field at the municipal Upper Polo Grounds.

At that meeting, some residents complained that the council was failing to respect voters' rejection of a similar proposal placed on the ballot for a non-binding referendum last November. A proposal to put another referendum on the ballot this November to ask whether open space funds earmarked for active recreation should be spent on the turf field was discussed. 

However, any new referendum would have had to have been filed with the county by late August to be included on the ballot, and that deadline has passed.

The Borough Council needs a second and final vote to definitely repeal the ordinance after the special August meeting. 

Borough Councilman Joe Rossi said last month that he and a majority council would go through with the final vote to repeal the bond ordinance at the council's next official meeting on Sept. 9, as had been promised at the August meeting.

But he said the borough would continue to seek ways of funding the turf installation, since he said that field and others are often too soggy for play by either borough athletic organizations, or school groups.

Borough will seek county funding, mayor says

On Tuesday, Honecker said the borough will seek a county grant of approximately $800,000 to $1 million to underwrite the project. However, he cautioned, "We are in a very, very preliminary stage right now." 



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