Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Sag Harbor Voters Mow Down Artificial Turf Plan #NotMCPS #NotMoCoParents #MDLovesDefectivePlasticGrass
The $365,000 — which would not have had a tax impact on residents — was necessary in order for the district to move forward with the project. Since the 2013 vote, which was approved by taxpayers, 585-507, the cost of constructing the field increased significantly. Bids opened last winter came in between $500,000 and $700,000 over budget. If approved Wednesday, the financing would have supplemented the $1.62 million originally approved by voters, although it would have been used for a scaled back version of the 2013 plan.
A group of parents — led by board member Susan Lamontagne — began a grassroots effort in 2012, and re-invigorated that movement last February, in an effort to push the district away from synthetic turf and towards a natural grass or natural sod option for the field, citing health and safety concerns surrounding the crumb rubber — or recycled tire rubber — infill. A federal study was launched last winter by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control to look into health and environmental safety concerns raised about turf fields and playgrounds made with recycled tires. A draft of that report is expected by the end of the year.
Two weeks ago, the Sag Harbor Elementary School PTA and the Pierson Middle High School PTSA voted to oppose the plan as well. At a second public session, hosted by the district last week, students were both supportive and opposed to the artificial turf. Sophomore Paige Schaefer, who plays field hockey and softball, presented the board with a petition boasting 100 student signatures supportive of the plan...