By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – A proposal for the city’s first turf field is on hold as the Marlborough City Council Finance Committee waits for more information before making a recommendation to the full council. The request was discussed at the council’s Dec. 15 meeting.
The finance committee, chaired by Councilor-at-Large Michael Ossing, had reviewed a request from Mayor Arthur Vigeant to approve a bond for nearly $4 million to fund the city’s first synthetic turf athletic field which was to be located at the 1 Lt Charles W. Whitcomb Middle School.
The information the committee is now seeking includes: a breakdown of the costs that make up the bond, a list of options to the use of rubber filler material, the options associated with installing a spray system and an evaluation if there would be any cost savings with installing more than one turf field. At the Finance Committee meeting held in late November, Councilor-at-Large Mark Oram expressed concern over the potential health hazards of the crumb rubber used and suggested looking into using other organic materials that would be less dangerous.
In making the request to the council, Vigeant said other locations considered were the Marlborough High School baseball and track facility and Ghiloni Park athletic fields. The bond would also cover a new track and a building for concession stands, restrooms, maintenance and storage which allows the facility to be used by other athletic groups. A four-lane track around the turf field would provide an area for city walkers who often use the high school track.
Also included in the plan is a recreation path connecting the Bolton Street Senior Housing facility to Stevens Street through the Middle School athletic fields which would enhance the city’s locations for passive recreational activities.
Vigeant told councilors when approved the city could advertise for bids early in 2015 and that he anticipated full construction to begin in late spring and continue throughout the summer months Several city department representatives worked with the mayor’s office and Activitas, a company providing recommendations to the project.
Funding for the bond will be from the local option meals tax that is dedicated to the city parks and recreation facilities.