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The Cheshire Town Council selected a turf and track vendor on Wednesday night, setting up a final vote on the project sometime in August.
Tempers flared as the Council discussed the turf and track project, which would replace the current ones at Cheshire High School. In the end, the Council voted to accept R.A.D. Sports bid of $1.04 million to perform both projects. The Council approved the motion 6-2, with Republicans Tom Ruocco and James Sima casting the dissenting votes. Republican David Schrumm, who has opposed the turf, was absent from the meeting.
The proposed project has garnered a significant amount of attention, and generated a lot of debate, as funding is expected to come from three separate sources: a state grant, local funds, and public donations. Costs have been broken down between a Turf Committee, which will contribute more than $250,000 in donations, coupled with a $525,000 state grant. The Town will take ownership of roughly $327,000 of funding for the track. However, $150,000 has already been appropriated for the track, so new funds would total approximately $188,000, including contingency funding. Some costs are shared for drainage around the track and will be paid for by the Town.
"There is town money gong into this project that wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for this field," Sima said.
Fellow Republican Andy Falvey, apparently frustrated with Sima's questions and comments, snapped when the meeting adjourned. He stood up, slammed his chair, and yelled "idiots" towards Sima and Ruocco. He then stormed out of Council chambers, but not before hurling one last insult.
"Stupidest bunch of people I've met in the longest time in my life," he said.
A public hearing is scheduled in August to give the residents a chance to speak on this additional $188,000 appropriation. The Town Council is expected to vote on the turf and track project following the public hearing. If approved, ground could be broken on the project soon after, and supporters hope to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new field in mid-October.
For a more detailed account, see the August 4 issue of The Cheshire Herald.