Batavia School Board to Vote on Artificial Turf

School board meeting tonight. Topic: artificial turf.

They have on tonight’s agenda the grand total for track, turf, and construction/installation of $1.4 million, and how they plan to pay for it: $400k from 2017 budget for the track (taxes), $300k from anticipated budget surpluses in 2016 and 2017 (taxes), $200k from inactive student activity accounts (money students raised from fundraising), $200k from the Boosters, $300k from future fundraising (taxes until reimbursed, IF reimbursed).

And the potential cancer risk of crumb rubber infill? The agenda does say,
“While there are not any scientific studies that substantiate claims that crumb rubber infill poses health risks to student athletes, it is prudent to avoid any such exposure until more research is conducted. Accordingly, only products that do not expose students to crumb rubber infill were considered for this project.”

However, the documents for the turf bid specify in Section 2.2 E: “SBR Rubber Infill Component 2.6 lbs/square foot” (i.e., crumb rubber). And it has been verified by CFO Tony Inglese that they do indeed plan to use the crumb rubber in the infill with cork composite on top.

Perhaps they figure the top layer of cork will make it all better, though this article that refers to FieldTurf’s CoolPlay ECC (which is what is being recommended) says, “The new turf uses Coolplay, which adds a sparse layer of cork on top of the crumb rubber. Whether this can mitigate the effects of crumb rubber is unlikely, as the SBR is present in far greater quantities than the cork, and is still easily kicked into the air.”

Board member John Dryden has come out against the proposal. We’ll see shortly how the rest vote.

Also on the agenda: Will taxpayers be forced to pick up the full cost of preschool by removing tuition and moving to a lottery system?

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