The City Council is kicking in more than $1 million to fix up Little Bay Park’s long-neglected soccer field.
Last year, $1.6 million was allocated by City Council, and the money will go to replacing the old soccer field’s turf with a new natural turf made of sand and soil, according to Community Board 7. The Parks Department will also be installing new benches, drinking fountains, plants and trees. The new turf will have a second use as a bioswale, a feature that would prevent storm water runoff from going into the bay.
Construction will begin in fall 2015 and will take a whole year to be completed. During that time, the site will be fenced in. The Parks Department is also currently working on a comfort station in the park.
Earlier this year, Alfredo Centola, a member of Malba Gardens Civic Association wrote an open letter to the Parks Department urging the city to move quickly on fixing the soccer field.
“We understand there is money to replace at least one field if not both,” he wrote. “We have been trying for years to get these fields repaired and or replaced, let alone maintained.”
Centola observed that the park had tire marks in it, along with rocks and pebbles. He continued, “Your assistance in remediating this field ASAP would be greatly appreciated. As you are aware, soccer season is fast approaching and practices have already been scheduled. Mind you, this is a soccer field that is scheduled to be used by over 600 community children beginning this week. The wood chips and the tire groves that are over 6 inches deep should not be here.”
The majority of the $1.6 million was secured by then-Councilman Dan Halloran in 2013. The Parks Department didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.
Community board members welcomed the news, saying that the field is in need of new turf because the current ground is rough and people easily get cut on it. The Parks Department expects the new turf to last for at least 15 years.
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