Last week the Common Council, in a very close vote, decided to change a bond referendum to eliminate synthetic turf fields. After changing the language, the Council unanimously approved sending the $37M to the ballot so that residents could decide. Usually, once a vote has been taken, the Council moves on to other business, but Councilman Tom Serra, who voted against the change to the language, signaled that he wanted a chance to do the vote over again.
Mayor Drew proposed a compromise plan that would increase the number of fields but leave all of them as natural grass. Today, he released a letter from the consulting firm hired by the city to evaluate the city's parks and recreation facilities. The letter buttresses the feasibility of Drew's compromise for the bond referendum.
Milone and MacBroom confirmed the mayor's contention that the city can save $3.5M by foregoing synthetic turf. They also wrote that 6 additional fields would satisfy all of the demand for playing surfaces in the city.
In releasing the letter, Drew wrote, "This approach saves the taxpayers millions of dollars, meets athletic league capacity, and preserves a grass approach to field construction. Our parks bond has dozens of incredibly important, once-in-a-generation improvements and this compromise ensures that the entire community's needs are met."
The Common Council is meeting at 6PM on Wednesday, September 2nd, to re-consider the Bond Referendum.