Mahwah March 25, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 7 Continental Park Field surface to be replaced by Frank J. McMahon Mayor Richard Martel and the Mahwah Township Council have reached a joint agreement with FieldTurf Tarkett, the manufacturer of the artificial field surface at the Continental Soldiers Park fields on Ramapo Valley Road to immediately replace that athletic field surface. The decision to replace the field surface immediately was based on concerns over long term product performance issues that might affect user safety in the future, according to Township Administrator Brian Campion. He explained that during the course of routine maintenance the township noticed what appeared to be possible shedding of fibers on the artificial turf covering the four athletic fields at the park, which was purchased in 2002 from FieldTurf Tarkett, a Canadian firm that is the leading manufacturer of synthetic recreational surfaces. The purchase included a 10-year warranty. The artificial surface is made from a polyethylene fiber film that is split in order to create a grass-like surface, according to Campion, and he said it is not uncommon for this type of field to shed fibers after being exposed to team use and the elements. “The township has been concerned with possible safety risks to residents that might arise from any apparent premature wear and tear and the dust generated by this process,” Campion said. Artificial turf fields were the center of public concern last summer when the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory concerning potential exposure to lead in artificial turf and provided recommendations and actions which could be implemented to minimize the risks associated with any such exposure. Based on that concern and “out of an abundance of caution,” Campion emphasized, the township arranged for an independent, state certified testing laboratory to evaluate the conditions of the fields at Continental Soldiers Park. Samples were collected from all fields at the park and the results indicated there is no apparent health risk with lead levels on any of the fields. In August 2008, Campion continued, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a report concerning synthetic fields which concluded that the “CPSC staff finds synthetic turf fields OK to install, and OK to play on.” They also made certain recommendations concerning testing and arrangements were made to re-test the Mahwah fields at the park in accordance with the CPSC recommendations. “This past January the results continued to indicate there is no apparent health risk with lead levels on these fields,” Campion advised. “The mayor, council and administration collectively agreed that replacing the fields was the most prudent course of action,” however, “given the overriding concerns with safety, the age of the existing fields, the limited time remaining on the warrantee, and, the superior new generation products now available on the market,” Campion said. “Our objective has always been to make sure that our children have the safest facilities available,” said Mayor Martel. “We have done our research and believe that FieldTurf is safe for the environment and for all who play on the field. We are working with FieldTurf and doing everything that can be done to get our children back on the fields as soon as possible and we are pleased that FieldTurf was able to step up to the plate and act responsibly to meet their obligations.” The existing artificial turf field will be replaced with new “state of the art” monofilament fiber fields, certified lead free with an eight year warranty, Campion advised. “This will be the newest generation product with best-inclass engineering as evidenced by the fact that similar fields were chosen for installation in the Meadowlands, Rutgers University, Ohio State University, Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots football team, and many others,” he said. According to Campion the cost to replace the field will be approximately $560,000. But he estimated that two new fields would have cost between $1.2 and $1.5 million upon termination of the present warranty. He explained that the negotiated cost of $560,000 will be funded out of the existing municipal open space trust fund dollars as well as remaining authorized and unused capital funds. “There will be no impact on the township’s operating budget and no new additional capital will be bonded for this project,” Campion emphasized. Within the next few weeks the athletic fields at Continental Soldiers Park will be closed to the public during re-placement construction which is expected to last for approximately 30 days. “This is a regrettable situation which could have an impact on a number of spring sports activities at the park fields.” Campion said. But he emphasized that the township remains committed to working out alternative measures for any affected spring sports schedules once field replacement timetables have been identified and he promised that additional information will be released as soon as it becomes available. ��������������������� ������ ���������� ������������ ����������������� FREE 2009 ������������ ������������ STOP ��������� ��������������������������������������������������������� ������������������� ������������������������������������������� ����������� ���������������� ������������������� �������������������� ��������������������� For That Special Event For children ages 4-10 Saturday, April 18th • 2-4:30pm • Art Sampler • Camps • Pool Games • Sports • Caricatures • Karate Demonstration • Giveaways and more! Staff Contact: Tia Sargent 201-444-5600, ext. 313 ��� 3-25-09 pat/janine KevinHanly2x2(3-25-09) 2 x 2” ��������������� �������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������� Ridgewood YMCA ® Pediatric Dentistry Available This free event is open to all area residents. ���������������������������� ��������������� ������������ �������������������������������������������������� ����������������� ������ ���� ������������������������� ���������������������