BAY HEAD — The reseeding of Howe Field is anticipated to take place this fall after recent plantings, part of long-awaited restoration work, were not completed up to par, according to borough officials.
“The Howe Field project, the majority of it is complete,” Borough Administrator Chris Parlow said at a recent borough council meeting.
“Unfortunately, the seed has not taken. We are forcing the contractor to go back out in September to re-address some of the issues and hopefully we will get a replanting at that point in time and there are also some other items that need to be addressed by the contractor.”
Earthworks, Inc. was awarded the contract for the Howe Field Restoration Project for $149,760. The scope of the project included removal of existing encroachments, screening of topsoil, raising the grade of the field to assist with drainage and reseeding, fertilizing and mulching the regraded field.
While a construction fence was erected around the entire field after its seeding to allow it to grow without being ruined, the efforts were unsuccessful, which raised questions at the Aug. 3 meeting of the borough council.
“We’re coming up for the fall planting season and Howe Field, I think it probably has to be replanted in some fashion, and my question is what is the plan for it and are you going to do anything differently from the first go around earlier this year?” Metcalfe Street resident Paul Benziger asked.
“Going through the field … there are a lot of large pebbles that are one to two inches and … if this is supposed to be a field for people to play and to go out and enjoy, if you fell down on one of those one-inch stones, it would not be pleasant.”
Councilwoman Diane Cornell spoke about the situation at the field and plans for the fall.
“The contractor ran out of time to fix it because it got too hot. As you are aware, we have been working to try and figure out what is the best thing to do for the planting season,” she said.
“The contractor and our engineers told me that we should probably be planting in mid-October so as soon as Labor Day rolls around we are going to revisit the field and he is going to have to pretty much scrape up what is already there, make sure it is graded correctly, and then we’re going to have to replant it, so unfortunately we are going to have to start again … just to make sure that the seeding is done correctly this time. The plan is to pretty much scrape what is there and then regrade and reseed.”
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