A grant of $85,000 for improvements to Tunnel Field has been approved by the State of New Jersey, and Knowlton Township officials will be looking for ways to stretch those dollars to meet the $100,000-plus estimate to complete the planned projects.
At its January meeting, the Knowlton Township Committee voted to get started on improvements to the walking path and basketball courts, using township resources where possible to reduce costs.
Recreation Director Dennis Lembeck said that by having township personnel remove existing fencing, blacktop and goalposts, substantial savings could be realized.
Estimates for the improvements have come in at about $108,000, Lembeck said. The township will continue to apply for additional grants, he added.
Mayor Frank Van Horn said that when it came to contracting out the work, he’d prefer that the money be found in the township budget now so as much of the work as possible can be done at one time rather than doing it piecemeal, which would save money.
“I’d like to find that money in the budget,” Van Horn said. “If it’s a separate deal, we’ll spend so much money on one and then they have to come back and do it again.”
The walking path and basketball court have developed cracks and upheavals, creating hazardous conditions, Lembeck said, adding that the problems could cause issues with liability.
Deputy Mayor Debra Shipps said Township Engineer Denis Keenan will come up with new estimates of the projects that take into account the savings resulting from the township removing the fences, blacktop and goalposts and will also ask the township chief financial officer if there are any funds in the township budget that can cover what the grants does not.
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.
Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.
Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.
Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.