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Hilltop Groundbreaking April 21
The ground-breaking ceremony for the two new multi-purpose youth sports fields on Verona’s Hilltop will take place on Monday, April 21 at 5 p.m.
In mid-March, the Town Council voted 3-2 to award two contracts totaling almost $5.3 million to New York’s Landtek Group to remove contaminated soil from the area and build the turfed fields. The Council had voted 4-1 in April 2013 to issue $5.125 million in bonds to fund the construction; the soil removal contract will be funded out of a capital ordinance that was passed when Verona acquired the property from Essex County. The bonds will be repaid from a PILOT, or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, structure that covers the two new apartment complexes on the Hilltop. Although Town Manager Joe Martin frequently asserts that the PILOT will generate $1 million in revenue for Verona annually, its payments will not be that large until 2029.
The Hilltop Phase II will include a rectangular field for youth soccer, lacrosse and football, and a diamond for youth softball and baseball that would have enough space in the outfield for Verona’s youngest soccer and lacrosse players. Both fields would be covered in synthetic turf, and there will be benches, bleachers, planters and lighting, a concession stand and additional parking.
If you are going to attend the groundbreaking, town officials are asking you to park behind the Verona Community Center’s annex building and walk up the back access road.
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