Municipal officials are prepared to award a more than $700,000 contract for the installation of an artificial turf field at Brandes Park as part of a $1 million rehabilitation project.
Public works director William “Billy” Rodriguez said the field will support softball and soccer at the park on the corner of Marshall and Levine Street. If the contract is awarded by the City Council next week work could begin Feb. 17 and finish in three months, he said, to minimize disruption for teams that currently use the field.
Municipal officials are expected to award the $706,345 contract to Montville-based Athletic Fields of America, same firm that completed the installation of the artificial turf field at Buckley Park last year. Athletic Fields of America received praise last year for both quality and speed of its work.
Mayor Andre Sayegh announced the $1 million rehab plan for the park in December. He had stated part of the work will include the new synthetic turf, new bathrooms, and fencing.
Councilman Flavio Rivera wanted to see a plan on Tuesday night. He wants to see the full park renovated.
“If we’re going to do something, let’s do it right,” said Rivera. He said part of the $1 million project has to include fixing the bleachers and repaving a badly damaged asphalt lot.
Rivera said the bleachers are “beat up” and need repair. He said he does not want to see a new turf field while the rest of the park is in a rotted state.
Rodriguez disagreed about the condition of the bleachers.
Rodriguez told Rivera the city is working on purchasing lights for the park. He said a new concession stand is also on the way.
“We need to see the plan,” added councilman Shahin Khalique, who represents the 2nd Ward, where the park is located.
“I will send the drawings tomorrow,” replied Rodriguez.
Rivera suggested he might postpone awarding the contract until the plan for the park is presented to the City Council.