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Little League still 'home'-less

The Rotterdam Little League should have a permanent home soon, perhaps by the end of the month, which should ease the minds of residents worried about the future of the league.

We are in serious conversation with a couple of land-owners, and we hope to have this issue resolved shortly so that kids will have a place to play ball, said Schenectady County Legislature chairwoman Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna.

After nearly a half-century of playing ball on fields off of Princetown Road, the town's Republican Club informed the league in March 2002 that they were selling the land. The town board was offered an opportunity to buy the land but did not purchase it.

Local businessman Tim Larned eventually purchased the property. He allowed the league to continue using the fields for their games even after giving Wal-Mart an option to buy the property, contingent upon being allowed to build a super center there.

"Mr. Larned is not a bad guy," Little League president Robert Caprara said. "He's a great guy. I know very few people who would do what he does."

Caprara said Larned has been very generous, donating material and equipment to prepare and repair the fields, in addition to donating the use of his land.

"I've had excellent conver-sations with Tim Larned," Caprara said. "He has assured me that Rotterdam Little League won't leave those fields until they have a permanent home. He is actively looking for parcels for us, and he said we'll have his materials and his machinery to help build those new fields."

Republican town board candidate Frank Renna has cried foul during the past few weeks, questioning why money appropriated by the county Legislature last year has not been spent to buy land for the Little League.

"It's been almost an entire year since that promise was made, yet nothing has happened," Renna said. "That's why I'm calling on the Legislature to honor its commitment to Rotterdam's families and children by finally making good on its promise."

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