The Springfield Democrats sent out a mass email to Springfield residents concerning the turf field bond ordinance up for discussion at the Township Committee meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The letter is below.
A bond ordinance in excess of $3.2 million will be introduced at the Springfield Township Committee meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, beginning at 7:00 pm. The purpose of borrowing this money is to fund an artificial Turf Field in front of JDHS.
Although we may all agree that the kids deserve a field, there are issues that need to be clarified before moving ahead with funding. Of primary concern is the safety of the athletes and residents using the field. Documented health issues attributable to artificial turf have been raised by the Springfield Environmental Commission and have not yet been adequately addressed. The SEC, while supporting the need for a field, strongly opposes artificial turf. Before moving ahead, the Township must be sure they will not be putting our children at risk. Further, to move ahead without considering the health risks could put both Springfield and the Board of Education at risk of liability for future health problems.
Another concern is the current plan to build the field within a flood zone. Before proceeding with funding, we must be sure that construction of this field will not worsen the already disastrous flooding problems in many of our neighborhoods.
As with the municipal pool project several years ago, this project should be subject to a referendum; an open vote allowing all the residents of Springfield to express their opinion prior to committing to fund it. Mr. Shehadi has stated that the vast majority of township residents favor the project. If so, a referendum will make that clear, and will allow for a full examination of all the issues and a determination by the taxpayers if this is the best use of taxpayer funds.
This is not an argument against the new field, but a demand that no commitment of our money be made now, before a thorough study of all of the issues can be completed and the risks and benefits can be properly considered by all.
Please attend the Township Committee meeting to promote an open discussion about the Turf Field.
Let your voice be heard!