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Township Makes Pitch for Park Improvements

West Caldwell Councilman Aiello says goal is to make park "more user friendly."

The West Caldwell Council will introduce a $1.5 million bond ordinance on Tuesday, July 3 that would pay for a number of proposed renovations and improvements to recreational facilities in the township.

Councilman Dominick Aiello, Chairman of the Recreation Committee, said at Tuesday's council meeting that the intention of the renovations are to make the park "more user friendly."

Aiello explained new lights at the baseball fields, for example, will allow for more access, especially since a new 

He also said the down payment for the proposed renovations has already been accounted for in the township's capital improvement budget. 

"We need infrastructure improvements to carry us for years and years," he added.

West Caldwell Recreation Director Gabe DiMasi, who attended the meeting, said, "Memorial Park is the centerpiece for the community. We want to have more kids playing on the fields."

Residents who live in the neighborhood of Memorial Park were being sent a letter this week outlining the proposed renovations to Memorial Park.

Some of the recreation proposals include:

  • Replacement of outdated and out of code playground equipment
  • Improvements to the field house
  • Improvements to basketball court, making it a regulation court
  • Adding picnic benches in the playground
  • Replacing lighting at tennis courts and reconstructing the tennis court grounds
  • Installing lighting at the baseball fields with lighting similar to that used at the
  • Installing new bleachers and a dugout and adding a new scoreboard

In addition to the renovations at Memorial Park, the proposed ordinance will include field improvements and dugouts at . The installation of lights at this field will not be considered until lights have been installed at Memorial Park.

Other proposed changes, which include connecting the road from the  field and the installation of bathrooms and a snack bar, are not included in the proposed ordinance. 

Aiello said the council wants to "shore up" an agreement with the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education (BOE) before proceeding with these plans. These proposed agreements were to be discussed by the council Tuesday night in closed session.

Aiello also noted he and DiMasi had met with Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing and Caldwell Councilman Richard Hauser to discuss joint projects. Items that were discussed at this meeting included the recent at the  and the proposed installation of security cameras, the use of parking lot facilities at and a joint membership plan for Caldwell and West Caldwell residents which would include the and the two West Caldwell pools.

Aiello also reported the the bank account established for rental fees at the Oval currently holds $40,000. These funds will be used for maintenance at the Oval.

Iwonder June 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Employees throughout the township of West Caldwell got a memo on Friday, November 13th with some sobering news. With finances in deep trouble, the township may have to take dramatic action, including furloughs and/or layoffs. Although the 2009 West Caldwell budget was passed, and no jobs were lost during the tough fiscal year that hit local, state, and national government agencies, the year 2010 may be a different scenario. In a letter to all West Caldwell Municipal employees, Mayor Joseph Tempesta Jr., and the members of the township council “the economic forecast for our municipality and all government entities across the State of NJ does not present a good picture.” SOURCE TOMATO PRESS Did we West Caldwell hit the lottery? To spend more money in our current economy is an Obama like move
Michael June 22, 2012 at 03:01 PM
though I don't agree all the improvements proposed are needed, I do agree that some of these upgrades would be better to do now while loans are cheap. I don't believe the tennis courts need to be re-done although to be honest I have not been on them in about a year but didn't see anything wrong at that time. I am concerned about the lighting for the local residents and how late the park would be lit, I am also concerned that the town wants to use lights similar to the oval, if memory serves me correctly... at the time towns officials were upset with the lighting at the oval and pretty much said "but it will do", so why would they be considered in our park!?! and lastly I would hope our current governing body would hold off on the thoughts of a community center, since we just added a large fire house and I'm sure some large purchases to fill it and now these items proposed in this article. The re-evaluation put a little dent in some wallets during a time of a bad economy, oops sorry "recovery" and we really need to start putting funds away for the next 15 years, There is no way to correct the current stagflation that we are in as interest rates are already near 0. We are going to need some serious cash in pocket over the next 15 years, and emergency borrowing at that time will be crushing to a small community like West Caldwell. Most of us already saw a slight tax increase, so now we need to have some prudent short term borrowing, and long term savings.
Iwonder June 22, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Bingo Michael! You are dead on!
On the Mark June 24, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Dug outs at Francisco park, is this ball field to become the next Yankee stadium? Get real West Caldwell, no public park ball field needs dug outs. Yes benches for teams are needed. Let's not add places for people to loiter and vandalize.

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