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  • Writer's pictureDonald Yamasaki

Crooked lines discovered on turf field

courtesy photo

HAMMONTON—The Parks and Recreation Commission discussed the newly installed turf field at Moss Mill Park having crooked field markings for multiple sports on the turf at their Oct. 17 meeting.

Sports with crooked markings including the football hash marks and field hockey lines. With the turf being so expensive, changes to correct the issues will be something that is taken very seriously.

According to Councilman Steven Furgione, there “may or may not” be another issue with the hash marks on the football field. There is concern that the hash marks may have been placed at the distance used for NFL or college fields rather than the distance for high school fields. High school football fields have their hash marks closer to the sidelines than the higher levels of the sport.

All sports are able to be played on the turf in spite of the issues. All five sports on the turf were certified to play by an independent certifying company and the issues are all cosmetic according to Furgione.

Furgione was told that the new turf field is the first in the entire country to have five sports markings stitched onto the turf. Since this is the first of its kind, it may be the reason that the lines are crooked.

“We’re kind of the guinea pigs here, so to speak and it just didn’t come out right. For whatever reason, it didn’t come out right.” Furgione said.

Solutions to fixing the turf are still being discussed, Furgione told the contractors that he wants a sketch of what the turf was supposed to look like when they purchased it, a sketch of what they actually received and a sketch of how they are going to fix it. Payments have been stopped until the situation is figured out.

Recreation leader Denise Mazzeo informed the commission that signs for Moss Mill Park have been ordered. The commission were all given a packet with a list of rules for the turf field at Moss Mill Park. The commission will look over the rules and either approve, add or change rules before the list is finalized. These rules will be made into signs to be placed at the park for everyone to see. The signs will list the rules in both English and Spanish.

Commission member John Iacovelli brought to the attention of the commission that the Hammonton Heart and Soul organization has been conducting hundreds of interviews for over a year, seeing what residents of the town think could be better about the place they live. Interviewees have consisted of residents from all different age groups and backgrounds. Iacovelli said at almost every event in town there have been people conducting these interviews.

“We reached out to all of the civic organizations, we visited the Canoe Club, we visited Kiwanis, we visited Rotary, to try to get the word out about Heart and Soul and how it will hopefully promote unity with the goals that all of the town organizations have to better Hammonton,” Mazzeo said.

Mazzeo and Iacovelli had handed out a sheet to the commission listing 10 of the top concerns that were found in the interview. Iacovelli said many of the 10 concerns were in the jurisdiction of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Heart and Soul’s goal is to help the residents of Hammonton connect with what they love about where they live. They received an $100,000 grant in the year 2020 to help bring the community together. With the pandemic, it was difficult to figure out a plan on how the grant should be distributed, so progress had been stalled. Since restrictions have lightened, they have been working to gather information and figure out how to use the grant effectively for the community.

“When the committee started Heart and Soul, one of the big focuses was to reach out to all facets of the Hammonton community and get their feedback on the town. Because the whole thing about Heart and Soul, the reason we’re given the grant was to enhance the community for everyone to share it with the entire community,” Iacovelli said.

Six other towns in South Jersey have been given the same grant. They had the same problem during the pandemic and are still working through it as well.

Iacovelli said that many of the suggestions on the sheet were being tackled already by the commission. He believes that information being spread and communicated better between the Town Council, the Parks and Recreation Commission and the public would be a benefit to all involved.

Members of Heart and Soul will come to next month’s meeting to inform the commission about their goals in more depth.

The next Parks and Recreation meeting will be held on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall Council Chambers.

This article was produced in collaboration with New Jersey Civic Information Consortium and Rowan University.

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