City seeks input on field turf

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(File photo by MARY MALONE) Tom Sherry, right, with SPVV Landscape Architects in Spokane, brought some artificial turf to show the community members in attendance last month during the city’s first public workshop to discuss the options for War Memorial Field. The second workshop will be held at 5:30 p.m. next Thursday, May 11, at Sandpoint City Hall.

SANDPOINT — The city is hosting a second public workshop next week regarding what kind of turf will ultimately go in at War Memorial Field.

The first public workshop on the turf issue was held in April. Tom Sherry, from SPVV Landscape Architects in Spokane, presented the pros, cons and costs of three options — high performance natural turf, artificial turf or a combination of the two.

During the first workshop, Sherry explained natural turf is the least expensive option to install and maintain. The cost of installation is $1,041,210 with a per-year maintenance cost of $194,043.

Combined turf is in the mid-range at $1,170,335 with a $203,367 annual cost.

Artificial turf is the most expensive option, with installation estimated at $1,314,389 and a $241,825 annual cost, though the annual cost is broken down from a 12-year replacement. The actual maintenance cost after the purchase of specialized equipment is much lower each year, but the turf is estimated to need replacement every 10-12 years.

Natural turf would include a subsurface drainage system, as well as a filtration system for nutrients from fertilizers, which currently drain directly into the Pend Oreille River.

The artificial turf is made from a natural cork product and would still include a subsurface drainage system, although it does not need a filtration system, since no fertilizer is used on artificial turf. The combination of artificial and natural would consist mainly of natural grass throughout the field, but the baseball infield would be artificial.

Artificial turf would allow year-round use of the field, Sherry said. Even the snow could be removed for use in the winter. The combination would greatly extend use for baseball and other sports, but even the all-natural would extend use of the field to late fall and early spring, because the main issue at this time is the poor drainage.

City staff and SPVV representatives will again discuss the field options next week, as well as provide an update on funding received to-date for the project through the city's local option tax and construction schedule.

The workshop is scheduled from 5:30-7 p.m., May 11 in City Council chambers at Sandpoint City Hall, 1123 Lake St.

Public input is requested on the field replacement. In addition to the workshops, an online feedback option will be offered later this month.

A video stream of the first workshop held in April is available online at sandpointidaho.gov/videos.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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