Council Rock Newtown Athletic Association said it would foot the bill for $7,000 worth of improvements at Veterans Park if it means the fields can be used this spring.
but because of problems with the quality of the grass, the fields have yet to be used. The park, located off Durham Road across the street from Clark Nature Center, has six ball fields – three multi-purpose and three baseball fields.
Kevin O’Shea of CRNAA, which is the parent organization of local Little League, Babe Ruth and travel baseball teams, on Monday told the Newtown Township Supervisors there are not enough fields to support the number of children registered to play baseball. Opening day for the spring season is March 31.
“We need to figure out what we’re going to do to support all of these Newtown kids playing baseball,” O’Shea said.
O’Shea said CRNAA wants to get the fields at Veterans Park ready for play. “The only thing standing in the way of that is building the three mounds,” he said. The cost of the mounds, plus the cost to convert a softball field for baseball play, would be $7,000, O'Shea said.
“At this point, we would rather invest the money through the league in order to ensure the fields come online this year,” he said. Without the fields at Veterans Park, CRNAA will be short at least a field.
But the supervisors say getting those fields ready for play is a bit more complicated than just creating the mounds. An ongoing issue with the contractor regarding the condition of the grass must be dealt with properly so the township is protected from any future liability, chairman Mike Gallagher said. The project’s contractor is Adams-Bickel Associates.
If the fields are used before township officials are certain the grass has come in properly, there will be “no recourse,” Gallagher explained.
“We don’t know if the grass will be ready for play” in March, Gallagher said. “I’d love to see spring ball on those fields this year, I just don’t want to be on the hook.”
Gallagher said the township engineer will visit the fields this week to assess the grass. The supervisors will also discuss the issue with its solicitor.
“In order to do this work, it’s going to require time and coordination with the contractor,” O’Shea said, adding he needs to know within two weeks if the proposal is approved.