Taxpayers to pay the price for contaminated playing fields in Westchester

The plan was to dump construction debris on public land in exchange for free athletic fields. However, the state comptroller says instead of free fields, taxpayers will end up paying millions to make the facilities safe and usable.

Contractors promised to install artificial turf fields at no charge in exchange for accepting debris that would be used as fill for schools and a town park. New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi says certain contractors reneged on building the sports fields. He also says in some cases the fields were polluted.

Hevesi says the town of Eastchester and the Eastchester, Greenburgh and Valhalla school districts did not follow competitive bidding requirements. In addition, all of the parties failed in obtaining the permits needed to accept dumping of construction debris.

The districts and town are left with $3.8 million in costs to clean up the land. Hevesi also says the three school districts violated laws when they made the deal.

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