Installing lighting at the Calverton Enterprise Park ball fields could cost more than $900,000, Riverhead Town recreation department superintendent Ray Coyne said at Thursday’s public Town Board work session.
The estimate, which predicted the project would likely cost between $870,000 and $910,000, came in this week from Musco Lighting, an Iowa-based company the town has worked with before. That figure includes 16 lights on four softball and baseball fields, Mr. Coyne said.
The $900,000 would have to be bonded.
Mr. Coyne said the town has already spent $1.3 million on the park’s ball fields and infrastructure.
“The only thing left would be the lights,” he said during the meeting.
The baseball and softball fields were finished last year, but have never been used.
Mr. Coyne said the lighting is very important for the fields, as the park would be mainly used after sundown. He said only certain Little Leagues would use the field during the day.
“90 percent of your usage is going to be at night,” Mr. Coyne told reporters after the meeting. “It’s not worth it [to have a ball field without lights at EPCAL].”
He said the town needs the additional space for its Little League and adult softball teams.
But Supervisor Sean Walter expressed caution at bonding the project because it is impossible to know if future recreation fees will cover its cost. He said he was especially conscious about increasing the town’s debt after Moody’s Investor Service warned last month that the town has too much debt for its size. He also cited a recent letter to the editor that appeared in this paper cautioning the town against spending more money than it takes in.
“You can’t add any more debt to this town,” Mr. Walter said.
Mr. Coyne was instructed to seek additional bids for the project.
The board also agreed to vote at its meeting Tuesday on approving an outdoor ice skating rink at Stotzky Park. The portable rink, which is placed over the current roller rink will cost less than $7,500, Mr. Coyne said. He hopes to have it in place this season.