Council agrees that Boggs Field is best for playground

Sussex. The “big empty, do-nothing field” is close enough to town that many borough residents will be able to walk to it.

| 02 Apr 2021 | 02:05

The Sussex Borough Council on March 16 gave an informal consensus that its new playground be located at Boggs Field.

Councilman Mario Poggi said there’s nothing blocking the borough from putting the playground there, and the wetlands ordinance allows it. “I think this is a good use of the field,” he said. “It’s close to town. People can walk to it. It’s a big empty, do-nothing field. We can do something with it, and I think we should.”

The council initially discussed putting the playground — to be donated by Alexandra’s Community Build Playgrounds, a nonprofit organization, with aid from Norwescap Child and Family Resource Services — at Brookside Park, which is outside the borough. In November, the council pivoted to a spot on Lake Shore Drive, and has now settled on Boggs Field, which is located behind Henderson’s Service Station.

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 the second phase, 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 emergency vehicles may have a problem getting through if too many cars are parked on the road.

Poggi is going to put in two grant requests. One is for a six-foot fence to keep people off neighboring properties and the nearby dam.

“The playground is not dependent on the fence,” Poggi said. “The fence is a good idea, and we want to look into it.”

He said if the grant doesn’t come through, Norwescap has agreed to fundraise for the fence. Norwescap is a nonprofit based in Newton that serves the low-income population of Sussex, Hunterdon, and Warren counties with an emphasis on early childhood education.

“We’re going to see if we can raise the money and not have to pay for it ourselves,” Poggi said.

Poggi said he wanted to get an estimate on how much a fence would cost so that NORWESCAP’s fundraising efforts can begin.