Friday, March 26, 2010
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
I originally began this letter after the first story about the plan to install artificial turf at Duncan Creek Park. But when it appeared again, I decided to follow through with voicing my concern.
I agree that synthetic fields are often needed in areas where overuse essentially prohibits the use of natural grass, which is apparently the case at Duncan Creek. However, I strongly disagree that there is a financial benefit to this decision.
The artificial turf will cost $835,000 to install. You would have to spend nearly $100,000 a year for 10 years generous lifespan estimate for a synthetic field to make that math work, and do not forget the expense on the back end of disposing of the field. Synthetic fields can weigh up to 12 pounds per square foot, so that is another serious expense to consider.
We know the county is not likely to spend $100,000 a year on one football field in one park. Furthermore, synthetic fields are not maintenance-free so there will still be labor involved in grooming and cleaning. We can just avoid the topic of repairs altogether.
Are all the lines for the sports you plan to use the field for soccer, football and lacrosse going to be sewn in? If not, then they must be painted and is that not an expense we are supposed to be saving on?
If a synthetic field is what you want and/or need fine, but do not try sell it as money-saving decision. The math simply does not work.