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Newsday (New York)
The Town of Babylon has finished refurbishing a Deer Park athletic field that was one of the first park fields that the town converted from grass to synthetic turf.
Work on the multiuse field at Birchwood Park, off Sunburst Drive, wrapped up at the end of May, said Deputy Town Supervisor Tony Martinez.
Martinez said the conversions were made starting in 2004 because the turf requires less maintenance and eliminates the need for pesticides, but the fields have a limited life. The Birchwood field came with a 10-year warranty, and last year the town noticed that the fibers had started to disintegrate and that the lines were faded.
"We decided to prioritize it to be renovated," Martinez said.
The town hired LandTek of Amityville to replace the 370-by-225-foot field, which is used for football, lacrosse and soccer. They also replaced a grassy 60-by-150-foot practice area adjacent to the field with synthetic turf.
In addition, Martinez said that instead of "old stadium lighting," the town hired West Babylon Electric to install LED lighting. The change reduced the number of light poles from eight to four, and the more energy-efficient lights will save the town a "significant amount of money" Martinez said. Tom Stay, the town's commissioner of public works, said Cashin Associates of Hauppauge, which did the engineering work for the lights, estimates a 50 percent reduction in energy consumption and a 65 percent reduction in operational/maintenance costs over the life of the fixtures.
The town bonded for the work. The field cost $625,000 and the lights were $650,000.
Martinez said the town will next turn its attention to the Sawyer Avenue Little League fields in West Babylon. The town will take two small fields and combine them into one large field, Martinez said, and will switch from grass to synthetic turf.
The work will be funded by a $700,000 bond plus a $1 million state grant obtained by state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore). Martinez said he anticipates that the work will begin in the fall.
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