2018-04-24 / Opinion

DA & Central School The Real Cost Breakdown

The recent Walton Reporter 4/17/2018 article “Turf Wars” has certainly initiated plenty of discussion and comment. The consensus (opinion) of the article leans towards a one-sided commentary in favor of synthetic turf vs. natural turf. There are many debatable comments in the article.

• The question of which surface is safer continues to be debatable. And there will always be pros and cons. It basically comes down to post maintenance care and use.

• Both surfaces will experience wear from excessive use. The question still remains-natural turf can recover/rejuvenated/repair periodically after excessive use without disruption—synthetic cannot, once it wears in spots—the entire carpet must be replaced which can be extremely expensive ($$$$).

• The state mandate eliminating pesticides is not a reason to install synthetic. There is proven Best Management Practices (BMP) that have been successful/ implemented on thousands of fields throughout New York state without using pesticides. Synthetic turf has its unique problems, bacteria build up, sanitation, heat, sharp objects remaining on field, vandalism that can’t be repaired.

• Community use, P.E. classes, practice, team sports, etc. on a single synthetic field will exasperate/ accelerate the wear of the field from the projected 10 year to a 5-6 year life expectancy at the cost of $1 million (+/-).

Other points to consider:• Declining student population; No spring sports; Money can/ should be used for the Pre-K initiative; No tax increase is not an accurate statement--money comes from our tax dollars state, federal, etc. - there is never a free lunch; There is a question if the $786,808 for Synthetic Turf is accurate. Quotes from previous BOE minutes state cost at $1.2 million. Looking at other school district Synthetic Turf Installation cost vary, a $1.2 million is a more accurate number.



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