Opinion by Tom Wood |
For several years, Holmdel has suffered through controversy as a handful of residents pushed for expensive new sports facilities, such as lighted, artificial turf lacrosse and soccer fields. Last October, the township paid a consultant to survey every Holmdel residence and the results are in. Overwhelmingly, residents are happy with our existing infrastructure and show little interest in new facilities.
On the question: “Does the Township currently have an adequate number of active recreation facilities?” 66 percent said “yes,” while only 15 percent said “no.” When asked what facilities are most important to their household, the most popular choice was “walking & hiking trails,” with 54 percent of respondents listing it as one of their top three choices. “Synthetic turf fields” was only the 13th most popular choice, with just 6 percent of respondents listing it in their top three. Asked “How would you rate the overall man- agement, maintenance, and general upkeep of the Township’s parks and recreation facilities?” only 1 percent said, “poor,” disproving the argument that existing facilities are rundown and need replacement.
The survey’s response rate was above expectations, according to the township engineer. It was undertaken by the township’s ad hoc Recreation Needs Assessment Committee, which will be delivering its final report soon. Survey results can be found at preserveholmdel.org.
Holmdel already agreed to a $40 million bond issue to finance improvements at schools, including school sports facilities. The survey shows there is no support for additional expensive sports facilities.
This article was first published in the Mar. 1-8, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
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