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>Planned Move of RHS Baseball Games to Vets Field Comes Under Scrutiny

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A proposal to relocate RHS varsity baseball games from Benjamin Franklin Middle School to a new baseball diamond at Vets Field is now the subject of an intense review by several Village departments.

Plans, as revealed during a Village Council Work Session on August 5th, call for the construction of a new baseball diamond, equipped with dugouts, coaches boxes, and bleachers, in an area of Vets Field located just east of Village Hall.

Additionally, baseball team supporters have requested permission to install a galvanized steel fence along the entire outfield line, and a 40 foot long, 27 foot high black “foul ball net” to replace an existing chain link backstop. The net would be erected parallel to the walking path just east of Village Hall.

The proposed “foul ball net” and galvanized steel outfield fence have raised eyebrows among many of the Village’s professional employees. Concerns have surfaced with respect to: 1) the visual impact of a large black net right next to Village Hall, 2) how the outfield fence might impede use of the field for other purposes, and 3) whether the planned changes would violate any existing DEP regulations.

Although the plan presented to Village Council members was said to have been related to the construction of a “suitable” playing surface for RHS’ Varsity Baseball team, it was revealed that the scheme has neither been reviewed, nor approved, by Ridgewood Board of Education (BOE) members.

On August 5th, Mayor David T. Pfund had requested the Village Council approve plans immediately in order that construction could begin in September. However, The Fly has learned that at least two (2) Council members object to the plans as presented and have forced a Planning Board review of the project. This review is scheduled to take place on August 18th. It is not known either when or if BOE members will sign off on this project, nor if DEP approval is necessary.

Stay tuned folks.

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