continued Rash pleaded to the Rotterdam Town Board for help during its meeting on Wednesday, June 13, asking town officials to do whatever they can to move forward efforts to open the new fields.
“We are here today to beg for help for our league’s future,” he said. “Failure to initiate the construction quickly on the new fields will destroy Rotterdam Little League and have a ripple effect on the Babe Ruth programs, as we are a feeder program for that league.”
There are more than 300 youth participating in the league, stretching from T-ball to majors, according to Rash, and he is hoping the new fields can be prepared in time for the upcoming season.
“A new home has been found for the league, but it is just out of reach,” Rash said. “This is a hard pill to swallow for the families of the youth that participate in the league and desperately want the tradition to continue.”
Grass seed would need to be placed by this fall to ensure the fields are ready for the season, Rash said.
Rotterdam resident Peg Raymond, a mother of two children playing in the league, also implored the board for a speedy resolution.
“You all could be a part of making history for the town,” Raymond said.
She said her 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter are looking forward to playing for years to come.
Town Supervisor Harry Buffardi said the town doesn’t want to impede the league and is working towards opening the fields for next season. Buffardi blamed politics for stalling the project.
Buffardi said after entering office this year he was informed Larned wouldn’t be paying parkland fees associated with developing the site, which is required of any site developed in the town.
“I was told that there was a handshake agreement that allowed the principals of this site not to pay the parkland fees,” he said.