HAMMONTON - A lighting project at William Capella Field at the Hammonton Middle School is expected to be completed by Aug. 18, said Business Administrator Jerry Barberio at the monthly Town Council meeting July 24.
The project includes installing lights on the school’s football field, adjacent field and parking lot. The project will not only benefit the school but also the Hawks, the town’s junior football program. The field will be an upgrade over the team’s former field at Hammonton Lake Park.
Barberio presented the timeline and talked about the steps taken to date, including an application to the State Board of Education for the lighting project two months ago. As of the meeting, the state had not responded to the request.
“That’s why I wanted to demonstrate to you and other members and also to the town that I have been on top of this as much as I can,” Barberio said. “However, if I’m not going to get any response or we are not going to get a response collectively from the individual up at the state reviewing the application, I don’t know if we will ever get a response. It is a concern, but I don’t get concerned for too long. We move forward and do what we have to do and that’s how things got to be done.”
Town Council approved the lighting projects in February, and plans were then sent to the Planning Board. The town doesn’t believe it needs the state Board of Education approval to move forward with the project, but wanted the board to be kept in the know. In the days following the meeting, the state finally responded to Barberio for the first time since May.
“We don’t need the state (approval) for lights is our impression,” Hammonton Mayor Steve DiDonato said. “The only thing you need the state for is if they were paying for a percentage of anything educational, like classrooms, but they won’t pay for sports. We don’t need them. It’s a courtesy.”
The mayor added: “We finally got their attention and heard from them. They asked for one or two little things and by mid to late this week we should be all wrapped up.”
Town Council also:
• Announced it will receive an additional $222,000 from the state Department of Transportation for a total of $418,000 for a road and infrastructure improvement for Second Road. Council also approved $55,200 for surveying, constructions plans and bid documentation from 12th Street to Chew Road.
• Approved a change order in the Valley Avenue Utility project resulting in a net decrease of $23,866.58.
• Accepted a bid from A.E. Stone for a total of $301,000 for various road projects.
The next monthly meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Aug. 28.