Jul 28, 2014

Kinnelon Mayor Calls For Referendum On November Ballot for Turf Field

The mayor and two council candidates are pushing for a public referendum after years of turmoil with the Kinnelon Council.

Kinnelon Mayor Calls For Referendum On November Ballot for Turf Field
The borough of Kinnelon's turf war continues.

Mayor Bob Collins and Council Candidates Adam Barish and Tom Kline announced today that they have called for yet another public referendum regarding spending public funds on new turf field installation to be placed on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The money that would be used for the creation of the field has been accrued in the past 10 years as part of the open space tax, which so far contains $1.3 million in taxpayer money, according to Kinnelon First, Collins, Barish and Kline's campaign page.

Members of the Borough Council said last year prior to a public opinion survey on the installation that constructing a new field was not a valid use of the open space and recreation fund and should instead go toward the maintenance of existing fields, according to north jersey.com.

"We are absolutely in favor of using some of the open space fund for the field. In fact we have suggested combining private fundraising with open space funds. We just do not think it is responsible to use the majority of the funds for a single purpose," a representative at Kinnelon First said. "We also are concerned with the deplorable field conditions and the lack of the use of these funds to maintain them properly."

Councilman James Freda said previously that turf is needed as the borough is spending too much on seeding and fertilizing existing fields. He claimed the over use of funds is what caused the closure of Stonybrook School field.

Environmental constraints have also put a damper on the move to install the new field, which would require permitting from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and a Highlands Exemption.

A recent release said that despite the turmoil with the Council, it is imperative the public be heard.

"The unprecedented use of the balance of the fund in our opinion is reckless unless it is the prerogative of the taxpayers to do so," a representative of Kinnelon First said.

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