Council agrees to lease extension for Muckdogs to play at Dwyer
In an item added at the least minute to the city council agenda Monday night, the council approved an extension to the Dwyer Stadium lease agreement for the Batavia Muckdogs.
Formalizing the lease agreement extension in a hurry-up fashion was necessary, said City Manager Jason Molino, because it's only been recently that another year of professional baseball in Batavia was "set in stone."
Once that was in place, Molino said, the New York-Penn League demanded a lease agreement be in place well before the start of the season.
The NY-Penn League has been pretty demanding during the off season, Molino said, and the city has, in response, made improvements to the field and locker rooms.
"You talk about unfunded state mandates," Molino said. "Minor league baseball has mandates of its own."
Near the end of the 2010 season, league president Ben Hayes spoke harshly about the condition of the Dwyer playing field. Molino said the field wasn't in the horrid shape Hayes made it out to be, but the league did have some (valid) concerns.
"We addressed those concerns in the fall and the league is satisfied with the changes that we've made," Molino said.
The renewed lease makes few changes to prior agreements and does not increase the funding burden on taxpayers, Molino said.
The primary change is memorializing a capital expense fund balance with a minimum balance of $20,000, though the city has a $60,000 balance currently, Molino said.