Fair Haven Fields will be getting an additional field and improvements within the next year.
The Fair Haven Borough Administrator, Recreation Director and Engineer presented an application for a Monmouth County Open Space Grant for improvements to Fair Haven Fields at the regular meeting on Monday, August 8, 2011.
The borough of Fair Haven pays around $59k each quarter to Monmouth County for their open space tax. That money comes back to the borough when they apply for the Monmouth County Open Space Grant.
“The county has used that money wisely throughout the county to increase open space and to improve open space areas,” explained Theresa Casagrande, the borough administrator.
In the past, Fair Haven has received grants to improve Fair Haven Fields in 2004, for the acquisition of the property at DeNormandy in 2009 and for improvements to McCarter Park and Pond in 2010.
This year, Fair Haven will be applying for a $250k matching grant for improvements to Fair Haven Fields. This project would be considered phase two of what was started in 2004.
“It is our recreational Mecca. It is used to capacity now, we certainly need more space. It is used by from toddlers to senior citizens,” said Charlie Hoffman, the recreation director. “That trend is continuing. More and more we use it for events.”
According to Rich Gardella, the borough engineer, there are many improvements that can be made to the site. First, the borough will build an additional ball field that can be used as a multi-purpose field by moving goals and laying down lines for paint. This additional field will also allow for fields to rest after heavy use. There will also be drainage improvements needed on this and a current field.
In addition to a new field, they are also looking to create better circulation around the fields both from ADA compliance standpoint and for park users by expanding walking trails, connecting the fields, and adding distance markers for walkers and runners. They also would like to clean-up and pave a parking area.
The finalized plans are still in the works. The application for the grant is due on September 21, 2011. The freeholders would announce who will receive grants in late October, early November.