Thursday, March 23, 2006

Artificial Turf is Back on the Ballot

The $1.5 million dollar ballot proposition for the school budget is back. The proposition has been rewritten to identify the field to be covered with the plastic. It turns out to be Schroeder's field on Ampersand Av. The artificial turf effort was coordinated by local CPA Joe Fiorile of Saranac Lake.

Mr. Fiorile said “It seems to me our facilities are not up to par with even the smaller school districts in the region,” he said. “I understand money’s tight. I’m just saying if we have a nice football facility that can be used for other sports – lacrosse, soccer – I’m thinking of how it would benefit the kids and enhance the enjoyment of the community watching their kids play sports.”

I highly doubt football fans would want to move to Schroeder's field and we already have a pretty nice football facility. So it looks like this proposition was pushed by lacrosse or soccer parents. Lacrosse and soccer are played at different times of the year so both would have access to the artificial turf. School Board member Joan Schaefer points out that there is no parking or restroom facilities at Schroeder's field, but there is no parking at the football field either. And, it would be easy enough for people to park at the high school and walk the path through the woods to the field. You would need a strong bladder at Schroeder's field though. One big problem is that Schroeder's field is a very wet field and would need extensive improvements in drainage. If the proposition passes (doubtful), any amount the school spends over $1.5 million would not be eligible for the 54% State aid. Proponents of the artificial turf claim it is safer than natural turf. I have not been able to find much evidence that this is not true.


Brian said...

ugh... i don't know any soccer player who'd rather play on artificial turf than grass.

Anonymous said...