BETHLEHEM — The Bethlehem Town Board is expected to hear details on the parks and recreation department’s proposed guidelines regarding use of its athletic fields. On the table are changes to determine who gains first priority, and how much they pay to use.
The Bethlehem Town Board meet at town hall on Delaware Avenue tonight, July 27 at 6 p.m.
Parks and Recreation Administrator Nan Lanahan’s proposal falls on the heels of a consulting firm’s assessment on the town’s overall quality of park services. In 2014, Lanahan said a parks master plan would improve opportunities for grants, help share costs with outside groups, and streamline capital plans for future development.
Bethlehem drafted a master plan to logistically enhance park services. Town Supervisor John Clarkson said part of the assessment process started in 2014 with reaching out to youth sport organizations, and asking about their specific needs. However, it has also assessed the logistics behind its proud athletic fields spread predominantly throughout the Elm Avenue Park.
Bethlehem’s Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle baseball, TomBoys softball and Soccer Club organizations were introduced to Lanahan’s draft proposal in March. Since then, some of the organizations have balked on a 90 percent threshold that requires youth teams to be mostly town residents to gain first priority. In turn, teams that fail to meet the requirement not only fall down the priority list, they could see an increase in fees.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.