BERKELEY – A new turf field will be installed this year that officials said will lead to year-round use with minimal maintenance.
The turf will be installed at Sam Pepe Memorial Field, close to Veterans Park, Mayor Carmen Amato said. This location is perfect because it already has bleachers, lighting, and a concession stand.
Last year, the township applied to the State Department of Environmental Protection for funding, he said. Of the $800,000 application, the township received $750,000. The township will make up the difference.
The township had joined a cooperative purchasing agreement with Keystone Purchasing Network, he said. These agreements are ways for towns to buy things that other towns are buying so they get a group discount. The actual cost that came in is about $804,000.
The goal is to get it done by the fall season, he said. Anyone can get a permit to use the field, but Berkeley groups would get priority.
There is a great need for athletic fields for the youth sports in town, he said. A lot of times they rotate fields so that the field has time to recuperate. That isn’t necessary for a turf field.
The field could be used for a variety of sports. Councilman Angelo Guadagno said that lacrosse is growing among youth, and everyone in Berkeley has to go to either Toms River or Lacey to play.