U.F. should have more fields ready by spring

Volunteers ready to commit resources, time, efforts to project


MILLSTONE – The generosity of a local builder may contribute to better use of the recreational property that the purchased from the Reed family several years ago.

Upper Freehold Recreation Committee Chairman Sal Diecidue came before the Township Committee Dec. 6 to relate that an individual would like to donate certified clean fill for the construction of a berm along the recreational property that abuts the easterly bypass (alternate County Route 526).

The berm, which will require between 30 and 40 truckloads of dirt, would prevent car occupants from looking into the site but would not be high enough to prevent truck occupants from seeing into it, according to Diecidue. In addition to the donated fill, dirt scooped out from the parking lot area of the site could also be used to create the berm, he said.

Diecidue said that volunteers have come forward to create the berm using their own equipment. He said that the township engineer would have to certify that the fill is clean before construction of the berm could begin.

Township Attorney Granville Magee said certification of the dirt is critical, as kids will play on it.

Deputy Mayor William Miscoski said that the fill would only be used for the berm, which would eventually have a fence around it, but agreed that the dirt must be certified.

Diecidue said that the 30-acre property would eventually have two ball fields and as many as six open grass fields for lacrosse, soccer and other sports. He said that sports teams in the town are desperate for grass fields.

Committeeman David Reed, whose family sold the land to the township in 2004, said that the governing body should do its best to get the kids a place to play.

“There’s an extraordinary number of kids in town who enjoy recreational sports, and there’s not enough field space in Byron Johnson Park and the Mark Harbourt Soccer Complex for all the things kids want to do,” he said. “It’s definitely something kids need.”

Reed added that the grass at the site will be ready to play on in the


Miscoski said he knows the dirt donor, builder

Patrick Jeffreys. The

deputy mayor said that

he would ask Township

Engineer Glenn Gerken

to donate his time to inspect

the dirt.

Diecidue said that the nonprofit Friends of Upper Freehold could also help out regarding the berm if finances are an issue.

Mayor Stephen Fleischacker said it is good to have people stepping up and volunteering ideas to save the township money.

Bob Diamond, president of the Upper Freehold Regional Men’s Softball League and member of the township’s Recreation Committee, said that for the past two years the Township Committee has been gracious enough to allow the league, via the permitting process, to utilize the site for its softball games.

“At the outset, we self-funded the softball field development and intend to do the same with the second field if the overall site plan as recommended by the township Recreation Committee is approved by the town,” he said.

Diamond said that despite the lack of infrastructure facilities – including a formal access point, finished parking lot and perimeter – the site has proven to be a safe one when utilized by mature adults and those who provide supervision over their children when present at the location.

“No doubt, with a properly engineered formal design, the facility will rapidly become another cornerstone for a multitude of township recreation activities and will be a safe and suitable area for all residents, young and old alike,” he said.