RHINEBECK, NY — Members of City Council have approved the subscription of $640,000 in bonds for a $1.56 million project to install an artificial turf soccer field at Thompson-Mazzarella Park.
The bond would be subject to a permissive referendum if a petition is filed within 30 days, officials said during a videoconference meeting on Monday.
“We increased the total project amount … because we added a contingency into the contract,” City Attorney Warren Replansky said.
Other funding is expected to include $200,000 from a municipal capital fund; $80,000 from the Rhinebeck Soccer League; $100,000 from DeCola; $50,000 from the Kibel Foundation; $20,000 from Michael Cassano and a Google match; $10,000 from an anonymous donor; $2,500 from a matching donation from the Rhinebeck Soccer League; $100,000 from the Frost Foundation; and $90,000 from Rhinebeck Porchfest.
Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia said work cannot begin on the ground until all funds have been secured.
“We won’t move forward until we have those funds,” she said.
“We’re still $30,000 short from Porchfest and we don’t have a commitment letter … from the Frost Foundation for the $100,000,” Spinzia said. “We cannot endorse this until we have all the funds in our possession.”
Proponents of the project told board members that installing an artificial pitch measuring 110 by 75 meters would reduce maintenance costs. Committee chairman Michael DeCola said in January that a natural turf field would use 52,000 gallons of water per week and would require the use of insecticides to keep the turf healthy.
Opponents of the field have said the artificial turf will harm the environment as there is no safe disposal plan. Resident Eleanor Pupko is also concerned that residents will be banned from playing pickup games on the lot.
The board members agreed to hire Lawrence J. Paggi as an engineer to oversee the installation of the field. No information was immediately available on how much will be paid for the services.
The city and village began planning for the overall use of Thompson-Mazzarella Park shortly after adding 72 acres to an existing recreation complex in 2002. Under the agreement, 32 acres would be set aside for agricultural or to open spaces.