Chandler Field, the baseball complex along Baltimore Avenue in Lavallette, will likely be receiving some major upgrades later this year following the award of a grant to defray some of the cost of the project.
Borough Councilman Michael Stogdill said this week that the state has authorized a $65,000 grant for the improvement project. The municipal government is planning to partner with the Lavallette school district, which uses the facility, to fund the remainder of the cost, which is estimated to be about $95,000 total.
Under the proposed revitalization plan for the field, the surface would be reseeded and regraded, with new mud and clay being laid along the base paths. Dugouts would also be improved and the fences would be replaced for safety.
“The school board did some calculations and it’s down to $95,000,” in terms of estimated cost, Stogdill said, after previous estimates showed nearly double that amount.
With the grant funding having been acquired, bids for the project must be solicited and both the borough council and school board will need to vote in favor of funding their portions of remaining $30,000.
“The board has to approve their amounts, you guys need to approve yours,” Borough Administrator John O. Bennett told council members this week. “Everyone seems to be okay with it thus far.”
Bennett said the improvements could not be completed in time for the rapidly-approaching summer season, and would likely be an off-season project.
Also, while Chandler Field is utilized by dog owners who are members of the “geese police” which uses the scent of pets to keep Canada geese off the field, it must be made clear to owners that dogs will not be allowed on the base path or pitcher’s mound surfaces.
“Nothing positive happens to that clay if dogs are allowed to run on it,” Stogdill said.