Newtown Township will pay more than $40,000 to repair a park that has hardly been used by residents.
Township officials say they have to make repairs to the soil and grass at Veterans Park because the contractor for the project has walked away from an unfinished job. The township and the contractor, Adams-Bickel Associates, are currently in litigation over the $2.4 million contract for the park.
The park was officially dedicated in May 2011 but because of problems with the quality of the grass, the fields have only been utilized on a limited basis. The park, located off Durham Road across the street from Clark Nature Center, has six ball fields.
Township Manager Kurt Ferguson said if the township wants to see the park completed, it will have to spend the money because the contractor has explicitly stated it is not returning to the job.
The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday unanimously approved spending $40,498 to make necessary improvements to the park so the grass will grow properly on the fields. But they weren’t happy about it.
“I’m angry,” Board Chairman Mike Gallagher said, adding he wants to see children play on the fields.
Township solicitor Jeffery Garton said the township can include the costs in its counterclaim.
But $40,000 is just the half of it.
Ferguson said Superior Turf, a company the township will use to fix the fields, has said the park needs $14,000 worth of maintenance annually for three years to make the fields playable over the long term.
The fields “need significant additional work over time" including the addition of organic materials to sustain the grass, Ferguson said.
Council Rock Newtown Athletic Association used the park on a limited basis last spring, but it came with a $7,000 price tag. That’s the amount the CRNAA had to pay to build mounds and prepare the fields for play.