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Frontier voters to weigh in on a turf field

If Frontier Central School District voters approve a new multi-use field next year, it would cost the owner of the average house about $3 more a year in taxes.

The $1.8 million construction plan includes the field, but not a concession stand, restrooms or new scoreboard, Superintendent Richard Hughes said in a video on the district website.

"We're just focusing on the field itself," he said.

The tax rate would increase 0.1 percent, and state aid would fund 75 percent of the cost of the new field, he said.

Benefits of a new field would include providing more opportunities for varsity, junior varsity and modified sports teams to practice and play games, particularly in the spring when grass fields can be muddy. While the field would be lined for soccer, football and lacrosse, baseball and softball teams would also be able to use it for practices, he said. Up to three events a day could be held on a turf field, which would give the remaining grass fields a break.

All Section VI playoff games are held on turf fields, and Frontier teams don't get the chance to play on turf unless it's an away game, Hughes said.

"Our teams are at a competitive disadvantage," he said.

He said Frontier's field cannot be used by the community during the summer due to the wear it gets in the spring. But recovering from an athletic event is not an issue with a turf field, and it could become a hub for local community sports teams, Hughes said.

Turf fields generally last 15 to 20 years, and when the turf needs to be replaced, just the top grass-like layer would be replaced. The replacement would cost about $600,000, which would cost the district about $150,000 through state aid, he said.

"We could put $15,000 a year away and that would cover any replacement in the future," he said.

He said multi-purpose fields generally decrease maintenance costs, and require a "deep grooming" of $2,500 to $3,500 a year.

The track around the Laurens Dietz field on Bayview Road is scheduled to be replaced in 2020, and if the turf is approved, it would take place the same year.

Voters in Iroquois Central School District dealt a rare defeat in a vote on two synthetic turf fields in February, but those were more expensive than the plan for Frontier.

The vote takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Hamburg Senior Citizens' Center, 4540 Southwestern Blvd.

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