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I'd like to know more about Flood Plain Field. That's what the little league field behind the Middle School is being called.
















I'd like to have more information about our Borough's decision to make an investment of more than $47,000.00 (forty seven thousand dollars) to replace a little league field in a flood plain. I'm sure there are answers and information I can understand and I would like to know more about this project.











At the March Council meeting, Derryl Mills Excavating was awarded a contract to replace the little league field. Their bid was accepted for $47,175.00.

At the same meeting a second contact was awarded to Darryl Mills Excavating for the replacement of the gabion wall that has fallen into the creek. Their bid was accepted for $8,972.00

I've created a Forum discussion to understand why an investment in a flood plain is so necessary? How the decision came about simultaneously with a real estate tax increase? And how will our investment be kept from washing away?

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Comment by tim devabey on April 17, 2010 at 8:58am
Sure, “having fun” is what life is all about when you are eight years old. Then you grow up.
We expect our governing officials to make mature adult, intelligent, informed decisions to benefit our lives and finances. Or at least not harm us.
Sure, fifty years ago it was commonplace to fill in wetlands, dump in floodplains, and channelize clean water streams. Now we know better. It is more costly to repair environmental damage than to plan wisely.

Last year (early 2009) Council Members used Borough money ($3600 or so) meant to fund the Shade Tree Commission, to pay for ballfield dirt and lights for “flood plain field.” Has that investment lasted “decades?”

In a presentation April 8, by the Chester, Ridley, Crum Watersheds Association, I learned more about our Lake and Little Crum Creek than after eight years of Council meetings.

Little Crum Creek is officially classified as an impaired stream. The four municipalities in the Little Crum Watershed, Springfield, Swarthmore, Ridley, and Ridley Park are currently in violation of the Federal EPA “Clean Water Act” for maintaining the Creek in the poor condition it is in.

A Ridley Park Borough Councilperson attended that April 8 CRC meeting. Could the rush to reconstruct a ballfield in the floodplain along Little Crum Creek be an attempt to step around stream impairment and water quality remediation action that will sooner or later be required of the Borough (taxpayers)?
Comment by Howard McCoy on April 15, 2010 at 6:39pm
I spent a half hour with Bob Burger at Flood Plain Field this morning and learned a lot about the project. The directional change of the Little League field has been a recommendation of the Chester-Ridley-Crum Watersheds Association (CRCWA) since 1998. Following the CRCWA's recommendation, home plate was moved away from the creek, which made a safer, wider, footpath exit for the footbridge over the stream. Hollywood151's environmental question and my elevation question I feel will be best answered by the Borough Engineer, Mr. Catania. I'll be back with more.
For now, Bob Berger and Joe Yorke have me more assured that the Little League Field will be there for decades and that it won't wash away with the next flooding of the field...If so, I'll be back with more on that too.
Until then, Opening Day Festivities are Saturday, April 17 beginning at 9:30AM at the Middle School track field. I'll be there with my family to enjoy myself along with more than 500 other supporters. Like Jim suggested Come down to any softball/baseball field Saturday on opening day. Enjoy yourself. That's what it's all about.
Comment by jeanne frantz on April 15, 2010 at 3:22pm
The $47,000 for the field work was not in the original budget. Funds were simply transferred from the General Fund to the Recreation fund. In fact, it did not come from any specific ,category but was just taken in lump sum and moved over to recreation. It is the usual courtesy for the council to be given a copy of the design and also some discussion of how it is to be laid out to take place. In this case that did not happen. I think the athletic club is a good thing, but I also want to point out that Ridley Park has a great Scouting program. They go camping on a regular basis. They learn organiztion skills. leadership skills, decision making skills, survival skills and helping other scouts to develop their skills. My son was in scouts for years,almost Eagle, and says it is the best thing he could have done for himself. Why don't we have more boys in the park interested in scouting. .
Comment by Smecky on April 14, 2010 at 10:40am
Come down to any softball/baseball field Saturday on opening day. Enjoy yourself. That's what it's all about.
Comment by Hollywood 151 on April 13, 2010 at 10:46pm
It's not new for a municipality like Ridley Park to destroy their floodplain with an expensive baseball field. Instances such as this are at the core of the hottest disputes across the USA between developers and ecologists.

The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that their 10,500 miles of purposefully build flood control levees have increased flood damages by 2.5 times. After making the problem worse from 1951-1985, the Corp's new thinking after 1985 is to let the river and streams take their course. The emphasis globally is also to preserve and restore natural ecosystems and to let water flow freely into designated floodplains.

The gabion wall is designed to constrict and contain the water flow. Flood managers know when water channels are constricted the result is sediment deposit in the stream and not onto the floodplain. When constricted over time, streams fill themselves with sediment and elevate the stream bed. This produces stream flooding with less precipitation. To correct this, a streams natural floodplain allows sediment to be distributed outside the stream bed which in turn prolongs the life of the stream and nourishes the riparian zone around our streams that depend on high water and occasional flooding.

The fight is not about Republicans or Democrats because the baseball field on the floodplain will always flood. The trouble is our local government trying to fight Mother Nature and exhausting our money in a futile fight. We can never protect ourselves against the worst flood until we understand how to work in concert with Mother Nature. By storing and holding water, floodplains perform one of nature's most important natural functions; flood control. We will stop wasting money when we work in harmony with our environment and each other.
Comment by Joe Yorke on April 13, 2010 at 10:07pm
There are a lot of issues here -- financial, engineering, planning, and, whenever there is more than one person making the decision, it becomes political. Planning, zoning, and recreational decisions often involve the past and current use of the property. Since I played on that field in the early sixties, it has always been used by the Athletic Club as a ball field. The high school football team sometimes practiced there and a soccer club has also practiced there. Is was never properly graded for baseball and there was often water in the wornout spots around the bases after it rained.
The impact of a ballfield on the floodplain depends on whether the new field is higher than the existing field. If the new field is higher, the capacity of the floodplain is reduced. The Borough Engineer can determine if there will be any significant impact and will obtain the necessary permits. The field should not be expected to wash away in a storm. It has been under water before and the field didn't wash away. The new field should be graded so that any storm water will run off.
The stream bank is being replaced and after the dam was widened 10 years ago,most storm water stays in the stream channel. The upstream stabilization of the bank will help to minimize the silt buildup in the basin and in the lake.
There was no discussion of a ballfield improvement when the budget was passed so the cost of this improvement is not in the 2010 budget. I haven't heard anyone say into what cost category of the budget this expenditure will be placed. So where is the money coming from if it's not a budgeted item?
Comment by PinkKitty on April 13, 2010 at 9:14pm
You also have to take into consideration that the field is being flipped the dugout area will be closer to Dupont and not as close to the waterway. This will eliminate some of the problem with the washing away that had gone on in the past. The gabion wall is also being replaced and there is also work going on further up the creek as part of the Little Crum Creek Project so all of this coming together will help with the previous issues of flooding in the past. The entire lake area is getting revitalized
Comment by Howard McCoy on April 13, 2010 at 9:01pm
Here are little league Baseball field dimensions from HK Sports Fields
Comment by Howard McCoy on April 13, 2010 at 6:08pm
I think RPAC and our sports activities are one of the big reasons why RP does not suffer a juvenile delinquency problem; and the RPAC in our community's an investment much bigger than this discussion. Many young men and women began with RPAC's mentoring and carried those skills to adulthood; and that something every Ridley Parker can be proud about. I'm asking about zoning and planning and engineering decisions for my investment in my youngsters. What will keep my investment from washing away?
Comment by Ed Behrle on April 13, 2010 at 4:58pm
I disagree, it is a good use of our tax $'s. Fixing the flooding problem and providing a field for the youth of our community is a good investment all the way around. I have 4 kids in the RPAC program and they do a fantastic job. There are not a ton of fields in Ridley Park available to play at all. The school district limits the use of fields throughout the year.
As a democrat, these Republicans can do no worse than the previous regime. This is not a political thing, don't make it one. Sounds like you you both have another agenda which is a shame. Don't be a part of the problem, help with the resolution.

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