Wednesday, December 01, 2021

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RTM Approves $4.75 Million for New Turf Fields, Staples Track

By James Lomuscio

By a 29 to 1 vote, Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight approved a $4,785,269 appropriation to replace four synthetic turf fields and the Staples High School running track, improvements an engineer said should serve the town well for up to 24 years. WestportNow.com Image
Workers tug at the snythetic turf laid down on the Staples High School football field in August 2006. It was the first of four such fields created in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

RTM member Greg Kraut, who did not offer input at tonight’s meeting, was the lone dissenter.

Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Fava made the request, which had been approved by the Board of Finance after a $200,000 cut from the initial $5,040,400 request

First Selectman Jim Marpe spoke in favor of the appropriation, saying that the plan to replace the four synthetic, turf fields had been in the town’s five-year capital forecast since 2015.

“It’s important we do the replacement right,” Marpe said, adding that the fields — P.J. Romano, Wakeman B, Jenny Parker and the Staples field — are “used by thousands of residents of all ages.

Saying that the funds via bond and note authorization to the Municipal Improvement Fund Account was significant, Marpe said he was “actively seeking private donations to reduce the bond appropriation.”

The Board of Selectmen is scheduled to vote on the matter Wednesday, with an expected approval of the contract between the town and Mamaroneck, N.Y.-based DeRosa Sports Construction, Inc., the lowest bidder on the project.

The selectmen are also expected to approve the contract between the town and Milone & MacBroom, Inc., the Cheshire engineering firm overseeing the replacement of the synthetic turf fields and the Staples running track.

A Milone & MacBroom engineer said tonight that with those approvals, work could commence on the Wakeman B field on May 31 and be completed by the summer, with all of the fields completed by the summer of 2020.

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