Field No. 5 at the Elm Avenue Park is where Bethlehem Mickey Mantle teams have called home for several years. — Photo by Michael Hallisey/Spotlight
DELMAR — Come next year, youth sports organizations will abide under a revised set of rules to determine who gets first dibs on town fields, and for how much.
The Bethlehem Town Board unanimously approved its parks and recreation department’s athletic field use policy on Wednesday, July 27. The policy, which is to take effect next year, addresses a newly defined priority list and revised rental fees.
Town based youth organizations will still receive top priority to Bethlehem’s several athletic fields, many of which are located within the Elm Avenue Town Park and Line Drive baseball complex. However, town based organizations will no longer be defined only by the address of its operations. Instead, the town will look into how many participating players actually reside within the town.
In order for a youth team to receive top priority in 2017, it must have at least 75 percent of its players reside in Bethlehem. (In previous drafts of the policy, that threshold was as high as 90 percent.) Should a team fall below the threshold, it would fall down the priority list as a non-resident organization.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.