City to charge fees for field maintenance

The Plattsburgh (NY) Recreation Department will now require teams to pay for touching up the field between baseball games.

The $20 fee for field relining or conditioning between games, or any other requests for assistance from recreation employees, is now mandatory.

Fields included are located at Melissa Penfield Park, Peter Blumette Park, South Acres Park, South Platt Street Park and on the U.S. Oval.

The new policy will also require teams to provide insurance prior to field use and require the home team coach to turn off field lights if necessary.

Failure to do so will result in a $20 fee.

“We have enjoyed a positive working relationship and appreciate the support we have received from the City of Plattsburgh throughout the years,” said Plattsburgh Little League President Mike Bordeau.

“We can and will do our best to meet the criteria and requirements outlined in the policy presented by the Recreation Department. Our goal is to offer a quality program for the youth of the community.”

For other sports, including soccer, lacrosse and PAL football, similar policies will be implemented — with the addition of field lining fees ranging from $15-60 for games outside of regular maintenance schedules.

The new policy will take effect this year.

“It is being implemented this year so that we can use the $25,000 [in savings] to invest in storage and maintenance equipment for our field users, as well as time-sensitive door locks and timer lights for our fields,” said Recreation Superintendent Steve Peters. “The goal is to minimize the need for an evening staff person to work on fields and manually turn off lights and lock doors.

“With the implementation of the field policy, we will be able to focus our parks maintenance staff on their core mission of maintaining our parks for the benefit of the public,” he said. “In doing so, we will realize about $25,000 in savings annually.”

According to Peters, the city hosts around 650 baseball and softball games annually, and around 700 soccer games.

“Teams that regularly use our fields are PHS, SUNY Plattsburgh, CVBL, American Legion, Plattsburgh Little League, Plattsburgh Football Club, PAL Football, lacrosse, and many others,” he said.

The fees also come at a time when city officials are trying to cut costs, raise revenues and close a projected budget shortfall.