Senior Softball League Reps Looking For Better Field Conditions

Members of the township’s Senior Softball League were told November 13 that conditions on their playing fields should improve next season.

Two representatives of the township’s Senior Softball League were told November 13 that conditions on their playing fields would improve by next season.

The word came from Alice Osipowitz, the township’s recreation director, who told the two representatives that a meeting on park playing field conditions had been held recently, and that maintaining those fields “will be a higher priority.

The two – Peter Melillo and Skip Schaefer – acknowledged that public works staff do what they can to fix problems, but, they said, ongoing maintenance is needed.

The playing fields used by the senior league are in Lower Inman, Upper Inman and Middlebush parks.

One issue, Melillo said, is how puddles are dealt with.

The current practice is to push the water out of the puddles, he said. While that gets rid of the water, he said, it makes the holes larger.

“Eventually, you can’t do that anymore and you can’t use the fields anymore,” he said.

The league’s teams play on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings. Melillo said that if it rains earlier in the week, the fields are “unusable by us on the weekends.”

Schaeffer said the issue isn’t just rain.

The field, he said, “can be bone dry, but on a Saturday night, when the sprinklers go off, they fill in those holes on the infield with water.”

Beau Byrtus, the township’s recreation superintendent, reiterated that “field management will be a much higher priority.”

“We’ve already seen some changes, the soccer fields were aerated and seeded about a week ago, I think you’ll see that elsewhere,” he said. “The overarching message (at the meeting) was that there be more interest put into that.”

“We’re never going to be Yankee Stadium, but we can do a better job than we’re doing now,” Osipowitz said. “We know we have to address it several different ways, and it’s coming from the top, so that will make a difference.”

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