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Time for Torrington BOE to step up with Turf Project.

POSTED September 22, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: As the nearly $3 million dollar Torrington Turf and Track project comes nearer to completion every day, I am still astounded at the lack of support the Turf Committee has received from the Torrington Board of Education.

Since day one of this gift that is going to benefit every citizen in Torrington who chooses to use it, the committee, led by Mario Longobucco and Ed Arum continues to be treated like they are imposing on the system by those who should simply be reaching out and asking how they might help.

The latest example of ridiculously, mind blowing behavior is the BOE’s failure to come up with any money to help a project that has literally saved them thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines the district has been accumulating by not being in compliance with the American’s with Disabilities act.

It has been estimated that the fines that cover everything from the bleachers to the entrance to the complex may have run as high as $500,000.

Let’s cut that down to one quarter of that amount, or $125,000 and it’s still a huge savings to the school district and down the line to the residents who pay the tax bill.

The committee has asked for help with two items. Mats to cover the track near where the players (in cleats) come onto the field so as not to damage the surface and a net to put on the Route 8 side of the project to prevent soccer balls from becoming souvenirs on the state highway.

Mats are running nearly $1700.00 and have been paid for by Arum, who has spent so many hours at the complex (for free) that while this complex won’t be named after him, it has become part of his life in his sometimes two a day visits to the school.

The nets would run $11,700, a bigger nut but still much, much lower than what the project has saved the school district in fines, a fact that seems lost on anybody in power at the BOE.

Funny how nearly $140,000 dollars has been found to fix the THS softball field but nothing can be done to pitch in on a project that is such a gift to the school system.

Doesn't seem as if they will ask the committe, who already has plans made for the project and would give them one less thing to worry about, to do the job either.

Makes no sense to me.

This all seems to go back to what we try and teach our kids not to be.

Being petty and only wanting to do things if one can take credit for it.

Don’t make me break out the mowing, who’s going to put the lines down, and Zamboni conversation.

I can tell you this that as someone who has attended weekly Tuesday meetings for nearly three months, these volunteers are looking at every single possibility as they watch the complex be built.

Looking down the line at how to make sure this endeavor is done as close to perfect as possible while staying on time and on budget.

Nothing is being taken for granted, every detail is being looked out with painstaking detail.

Longobucco and Arum’s wives will certainly be glad when they don’t have to hear any more about the many details of this project.

What we should all be tired of is hearing about the lack of support from the people who will benefit the most.

Step up Board of Ed, do the right thing and be big people about this.

Your fifth grade version of you would be proud.

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