Letter: Turf fields present big maintenance bills

To the Editors:
As a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission who voted against the proposal to allow the installation of an artificial turf field at Middlebrook School, I would like to call attention to a recent article published in the New York Times about a new report from the Concussion Legacy Foundation that highlights the link between head injuries and poorly maintained athletic fields.
During the commission’s meetings in October and November of last year a number of commissioners, myself included, repeatedly asked for information pertaining to maintenance and the sanitizing of the proposed artificial turf at Middlebrook and the two existing artificial turf fields at the high school and Lilly Field. No specific information was ever presented except for some vague references to the Parks and Recreation taking care of maintaining the fields as required. I was never able to figure out what “as required” meant.
Please read the article. Google it at NYTimes/sports/football/concussions. I voted against the installation at Middlebrook not because I’m against artificial turf, I voted against it because there is still so much doubt about its safety. I hope that our town board members take note and familiarize themselves with what is necessary to keep our children safe. The taxpayers of this town should be assured that these types of fields will be continuously maintained to their highest standards. The replacement of these artificial turf fields every eight to 10 years is an essential part of the maintenance issue. This all represents a big expense to the town.
John R. Comiskey
58 Pine Ridge Road