Glenville, youth sports organizations to discuss community land use
Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle will meet with several youth sports organizations next week to discuss how the city can ensure equal use of city land, ensure costs associated with maintenance are properly shared and determine a better mechanism for planning the use of parks.
The meeting stems from a letter the organizations received from the city on August 19, 2020, which stated that the city would move towards a more formalized method of renting space in parks.
“Having said that, from next year we will be moving towards a new, more formalized fleet rental model that includes fixed fees and signed agreements, ”the letter said. “Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) will more clearly delineate the privileges and responsibilities of each entity, both the City as owner and the organization that leases the land. At that point, leagues may request a cost mitigation waiver based on grounds maintenance and improvements in lieu of certain park rental fees. ”
The idea that youth programs have to pay a fee, however, has raised concerns among organizations.
Rick Frederick, president of Tartan Youth Lacrosse, spoke at a budget forum on September 14 on the topic. He said all the costs would fall on the players and their families.
Tartan Youth Lacrosse is intended for Kindergarten to Grade 6 children in the Scotia-Glenville Central School District.
He said he saw all the fees as some sort of hidden tax and that the organization had always helped maintain the fields it uses in Indian Meadows and Maalwyck parks, including clearing the field and leveling it with soil and sowing grass seeds.
However, Frederick said relations between the organization and the city have always been good and he is interested to see what emerges from the discussion.
Susan Torelli, co-chair of Fifty FC Soccer, also said that any introduction of fees would fall on the people who participate in the program and the letter did not take into account what the organizations provided to the city when using the grounds. . .
“The letter from the city indicates that fee waivers are possible depending on the maintenance and improvements of the land, however, it does not recognize past investments and services provided to the community,” she said. in a press release sent by email. “TThousands of volunteer hours are spent running community programs for the city’s youth. Many other surrounding municipalities fund and manage youth programs, but Glenville does not.
Fifty FC serves more than 600 children throughout the year with its recreation and travel programs, Torelli said.
“We are optimistic that our partnership will continue and hope the city recognizes the substantial benefits that Fifty FC and other community youth programs bring to city residents, and that they continue to let these organizations operate at no additional cost. required in the future. ,” she said.
Koetzle said the letter was not only 14 months old, but that he did not intend to include the fees for the fields in his 2022 budget. He said the letter was intended to indicate to organizations the need to discuss issues that have arisen as parks have become more popular and clubs have grown.
“We don’t do anything without talking to everyone,” Koetzle said.
These issues include efficiency with scheduling all groups who want to access the fields and making sure no one is left out of using a park, he said.
It also includes determining some sort of cost-sharing mechanism for field maintenance.
Journalist Shenandoah Brière can be reached at 518-478-3320 or [email protected]
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