Inland Wetlands Commission approves artificial turf field at Olè Soccer

Chris Pawlowski, left, a professional engineer with Solli Engineering, and Landscape Architect Jesse Schock present Olè Soccer's proposal for an expanded turf field at its facility at 5 Victoria Drive during the Inland Wetlands Commission meeting last Wednesday.

MONROE, CT — Inland Wetlands commissioners unanimously approved a modification for the expansion of an artificial turf field at the Olè Soccer Training Center, 5 Victoria Drive, during its meeting last week. The expansion was previously approved, but the modification allowed a switch from grass to artificial turf.

Chris Pawlowski, a professional engineer with Solli Engineering who represented the business at its hearing, said now an administrative approval is needed.

“They’re anticipating being open for the April spring season,” he said. “They’re excited to expand in the town of Monroe.”

The upland review area consists of the 100 foot buffer from existing on-site wetlands as well as the 150 foot buffer from the Pequonnock River, according to the application. The project will not result in direct impact of any of the wetland areas and seeks to maintain the functions and values of the wetlands which were part of the prior approval, the applicant said.

During the meeting Wednesday, Pawlowski said the field will be expanded toward the parking lot. He also discussed the drainage plan, which includes perforated underdrains leading to an existing trench drain, as well as stormwater basins.

Pawlowski said the project includes erosion control and sediment measures with hay bales, sediment traps and a silt fence.

Jesse Schock, a landscape architect with Solli Engineering, said five trees will be planted to enhance the buffer and protect the wetlands. Invasive plants already existing on the property will be maintained.

Jim Stewart, a commissioner, asked about the turf infill, which Pawlowski said is like beads of rubber.

“They used to use recycled tires, which caused problems, but that practice was stopped,” Stewart said, adding he wants to ensure that will not be used at the property.

Pawlowski said it would not be made from recycled tires.

Rick Smith, a commissioner, asked how the turf field remains anchored and Pawlowski explained how the edges are made using pressure treated wood and rebar to hold the turf together. He said the fields typically last 10 to 20 years.

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