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Little league fields stalled

Rotterdam baseball club upset about delay, coffers dwindling away

— A youth baseball league is hoping a deal to secure new fields doesn’t strike out.

Rotterdam Little League officials are concerned players will be benched next season after an agreement to build new fields has languished amidst developer negotiations with the town over where to place sewage infrastructure.

An approved plan to build a 248-unit apartment complex is moving the Little League from its temporary home on North Thompson Street. Developer Timothy Larned agreed to sell the county 8.7 acres of land off Burdeck Street to use as parkland that will serve as a permanent home for the league, but the sale has hinged on Larned receiving a building permit for the unrelated apartments.

The County Legislature in March 2010 approved purchasing the parcel for $260,000, tapping funds designated for expanding and improving parks. County Attorney Christopher Gardner said Larned wouldn’t sign off on the sale until the apartment complex proceeds.

“I believe in the next day or two all those issues will be resolved,” Gardner said on Tuesday, June 19.

Larned allowed the league to continue using its current fields for the 2012 season, which concluded on Friday, June 15.

Once the sale is final, the league will lease the land from the county and primarily be responsible for constructing the new fields, Gardner said, with the county assisting “however it can” within its “budgetary constraints.”

The league has other, issues, however. At the start of this year’s season, power was to the league’s concession stands was cut off in April as demolition work began on the old Rotterdam Republican Club, through which power was previously fed.

League President Matthew Rash said the powerless concession stands yielded only a fraction of the previous year’s profit, amounting to a 90 percent loss of revenue, or roughly $25,000.

“This constitutes a major portion of the money used to fund the league,” Rash said. “We could not be in a worse scenario moving forward to the 2013 season.”

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