Maybe Sussex Borough’s new playground should be installed at Boggs Field.
Councilman Mario Poggi on Feb. 2 said he met at the field with Dianna Morrison of Norwescap, the Newton nonprofit that is contributing to the playground, and Councilman Frank Dykstra. It’s a better spot than all the previous areas that have been discussed, he said.
The council initially discussed putting the playground, to be donated by Community Build Playgrounds with aid from Norwescap, at Brookside Park, which is outside the borough. In November, the council then pivoted to Lake Shore Drive.
“We feel Boggs Field is a great destination for the playground,” Poggi said. “It’s level. It needs little excavation at all, and we just want to have the council behind us to move forward with this location.”
Poggi said he wants to see a six-foot fence around the proposed playground to keep anyone from climbing the side mounds onto the surrounding private properties. He said Norwescap offered to help fundraise for a fence, but they want to have a company come out and give a quote.
The playground will be built in two phases. The first, provided by Alexandra’s, is a playground for children ages 5 to 12. The organization would then leave Sussex Borough with the plans for Phase 2, which is a playground for ages 2 to 5.
The initial phase is expected to be about 50 feet by 60 feet.Council president Walter Cleary said there may be a problem getting emergency vehicles through if too many cars are parked on the road.
Dykstra said the field has been used for soccer in the past. But Mayor Edward Meyer said a playground wouldn’t generate the kind of parking a soccer game would.
“We could limit parking to Newton Avenue,” said Meyer.
Poggi said Boggs Field is underused, calling that “a crime.” The Covid-19 pandemic has created a housing boom, and it’s mostly young families moving into town, he said.
“Any town worth its salt has a nice playground,” Poggi said. “If we want to attract people, we have to have a playground. It has a picnic area. There are so many different uses for this field that is just sitting there doing nothing.”