The city is seeking more than $500,000 in Passaic County open space dollars for a new playing field at Buckley Park and a concession stand for Brandeis Field.
Paterson has earmarked $350,000 for a new field at Buckley Park, in the corner of Redwood and Chamberlain Avenues, and $168,000 for a concession stand for Brandeis Field on Marshall Street, across the street from the new Hani Awadallah Elementary School.
Funds for both projects were allocated last month from unspent United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money.
Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres wants the Passaic County government to match the funds the city allocated. Council members approved the city’s application to seek the grant funding last Tuesday.
Michael Jackson, 1st Ward councilman, was the sole vote against the measures. “It’s not nearly enough money to do what’s needed to be done there,” he said speaking about Buckley Park which is located in his ward. “We’re going into this thing blind. No plan. No long-term vision of where and how the neighborhood is going to be serviced by this endeavor.”
Torres told Jackson the city plans to install artificial turf field at the park in what is now a dust bowl with rocks. The city spent $210,000 to install 50 stadium lights at the park. There’s also a $1 million pre-fab recreation center for which contracts have been awarded.
Jackson also criticized the recreation center at the park. He said the pre-fab structure does not fit in the neighborhood and not enough to accommodate recreation for New Jersey’s third largest city.
Manuel Ojeda, public works director, told the council, “We have to do something with that field.” He said the project includes repairs to the fences at the location as well. He said the turf field will accommodate a number of sports.
Council members approved both applications seeking grant money last Tuesday.