TRENTON, N.J. -Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes and Robbinsville Mayor David Fried were joined today by Robbinsville elected officials and local seniors as they cut a ribbon to open the township's improved and expanded bocce ball courts.
The bocce courts were originally installed at the Robbinsville Senior Center on Route 130 in 2003, but lacked the amenities to make the game accessible to more residents. Robbinsville then applied for funding through the County's "Mercer at Play" matching grant program, a program initiated by Hughes in 2006 that provides County funds toward municipal projects that create or rehabilitate active recreation facilities.
"I know first-hand how popular these bocce courts are, and so the County was pleased to help create this new facility through Mercer at Play," said Hughes. "This program is designed not only to create venues where residents can be active, but also to save money by sharing the cost of facilities like this one."
Hughes also thanked the members of the Robbinsville Bocce Club and the approximately 40 senior citizens in attendance, saying the project was initiated because of their correspondence with the township.
The two courts were completely reconstructed and outfitted with new carpeting, new lighting, ceiling fans, and sidewalks that surround the playing surfaces. In addition, a pavilion was erected over the courts to protect them from the elements.
"I would really like to thank the County Executive for working in partnership with our community to build this great new facility," Mayor Fried said.
The project was Robbinsville's first under Mercer at Play. The project cost $83,552.50, and Robbinsville and the County each contributed exactly half of the total. Mercer at Play is a matching grant program that encourages municipalities to join together to create or rehabilitate athletic fields or facilities. Projects done cooperatively by two or more municipalities are eligible for a 100 percent matching grant from the County, while individual municipal projects can receive a 50 percent matching grant.
Earlier this year, four towns-Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, Pennington Borough, and Lawrence Township-combined to purchase the 51-acre Twin Pines Airport, which they will convert into athletic fields with the help of a full matching grant from Mercer County.
Robbinsville Township Council President Christine Ciaccio, Councilman William Lesniak, Councilwoman Sonja Walter, and Senior Center Director Renee Burns also participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.