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On the Agenda (City Council): Moving youth football

By Philip Anselmo

Batavia's City Council will meet Monday to tend to a pair of budget amendments regarding the consolidation study, most of which is funded by a state grant. Also on the agenda is a 2.75 percent wage increase for City Manager Jason Molino following the completion of Molino's annual review which was completed earlier in the week. (Council President Charlie Mallow first announced the results of the review on The Batavian this past Monday.)

Monday's big discussion is likely to be over the relocation of the youth football program, which has for years now been situated in the outfield of Dwyer Stadium. Officials from the Rochester Red Wings told Council about a month ago that if they wish to keep youth football at the stadium, the damage done to the field will mean costly annual maintenance to get the turf back in shape for the Muckdogs season.

Molino has recommended two potential locations to host youth football: Austin Park or Kibbe Park. Both would require an initial investment from taxpayers, though moving the field to Kibbe Park would mean much more.

This (above) is what the layour would look like if it were situated at Austin Park at a cost of $19,444. In a letter to Council, Molino said Austin Park would be the better fit.

As seen in the diagram, the field can easily be placed east to west in the open space of the park. There can be a user agreement developed between the City and youth football for access and use of the concession stand and bathrooms during the season. New bleachers can be purchased, but can also be used for other events during different times throughout the year. Parking is adequate...

Molino dismissed the idea of transferring the bleachers from Dwyer Stadium every year at a cost of about $6,000. The cost for new permanent bleachers for Austin Park would be about $13,000. Several trees on the east side of the park would have to be removed, and a scoreboard will have to be installed.

[The] Rochester Red Wings ... have offered to assist by holding a silent auction night for baseball paraphernalia at the Dwyer Stadium with all proceeds going towards the purchase of the new scoreboard ($4,000). They are also willing to assist with other fund raising efforts in conjunction with youth football.

As for relocating to Kibbe Park, the cost would be about $61,000 and would include the building of a concession stand and other facilities already located at Austin Park. The layout for Kibbe Park can be viewed below.

The meeting will be at 7:00pm on the second floor of City Hall. You can download the agenda for the business meeting.

Note: Mallow said at the last meeting that Council would discuss at this coming meeting the policy regarding Council members communication with city staff. There was no mention of this topic on the agenda.

daniel cherry

I would to say, i personally think, austin park is a very very, bad choice.It is the only park where theres a spraypark.Years ago they said they'd have a spraypark at kibbie or williams also.They dont.Even leroy, and attica have an outdoor community pool.I have not seen the consession stand open at austin park yet.And when it is they rarely sell much.I think removing the trees is a bad choice.Sometimes i ,and others sit under those trees while the kids play on the playground.Sometimes we play kickball or pratice baseball there at the field.Does that mean no more backstop for people to practice baseball there?I see alot of people practice there.Would the money from the consession stand go to youth football?I think it's an idea like the infamous S curve.If the football field is put there ,what happens when somebody kicks a foul?Won't it go over and bounce off the police cars?I don't think it's right to put the field in austin park.Theres not even enough space.Kibbie would be a better choice.But there is also the back of williams park.Land owned by the city at the end of north street by cedar street should be considered.Why must they have a consession stand?Can't a vendor be there?A couple hotdog wagons and an icecream truck?Who and how do they come up with these ideas?If you go to parks as much as we do you'll notice most people go to austin park.Theres hardly ever anyone at kibbie.And few at williams.I dont think it's fair to the kids who go to play at austin park.I sure wish people would comment about issues on the batavian.It seems just like a regular newspaper to me.The batavian doesn't seem to get to the real bottom of the problems.It would be controvesial right?In my opinion controversial subjects should be adressed.And if people avoid conctroversial subjects no problems here will be fixed.Why don't ya go ask some kids playing at the park what they think?Will there be a fence around the football field?Or a sign that says stay off the field?I like it just the way it is.Save our austin park is what i think.Let your voice be heard people...dan

Jun 20, 2008, 3:33pm Permalink
Charlie Mallow

Lots of good questions. Let me try to help with some.

Second Spray park was taken off the table when our budget problem surfaced. There was also a change in NYS law that made our filter system at Austin Park unusable. A pool would be nice but, we are not in a position to be able to afford that.

Park location is still in question, there are other choices but, the cost is a lot higher. The city built the stand at Austin to use and it really isn't being used. I wouldn't be for building a second stand that wouldn't be used either. $40,000 more for the Kibby move is too high. There is also a safety issue with the creek. Either way that is the point of Monday's talk.

As for the need for a stand, Youth Football makes its money from selling food at their stand. Its important to them.

If you want more answers, I would come to Monday's meeting.

Jun 20, 2008, 4:38pm Permalink
Mark Potwora

First off i think this is a very important issue for the city to take up..youth football has a home ...dwyer statidum..the city is going to pay 25000 of taxpayer money so there can be 30 baseball games played there..almost 1000 dollar a game ..but no youth football to be play there... might mess up the field..give me a break...worked for all these years..i think the city should add some kind of user fee on every ticket sold to see a baseball game that the tax payers can recoup the 25000 plus what it will cost to move youth football to another part of the least a dollar a all you baseball fans can pay for this.not the taxpayers..youth football has done more to help kids in batavia than the muckdogs..I thought the city was in debt..stop the spending..a traffic circle we can spend money on ..we give the city manager a raise for doing the job he was hired to do..doesnt make sense..and know were looking to pay money to move youth football who allready have a place to play..Mr.Mallow and city council was not elected to spend more was to spend less...

Jun 20, 2008, 8:49pm Permalink
Charlie Mallow

Mark, the fact is we are paying $30,000 a year less to keep baseball and saved $150,000 in costs with this new agreement. The Muckdogs are not the enemy they are an important part of our city.

Jun 20, 2008, 9:06pm Permalink
Mark Potwora

Dont we all pay state taxes...not one city tax dollar will be spend on this round about...My point is Charlie,the spending has to stop....people have been driving thru that area for years,and have been dealing with becuse the state will pay for most of it we must do it..the government paid to tear down main street years ago ..batavia
jumped on that program and look what it were left us with...

Jun 21, 2008, 9:23am Permalink
Charlie Mallow

It’s not like a disagree with you but, we can not neglect our city roads. We can not refuse our share of road repair money to make a point. Why should our share of our state tax money be diverted to downstate? I completely understand the frustration. Trust me; I feel it even more than some. I’ve been to Albany and witnessed the trash talking political speeches from both sides first hand. I understand clearly that there isn’t much difference; both sides want our money they just want to spend it on different things. Our tax problem is with them and their friends in Washington. Our city taxes are by far the smallest portion of the pie but, yet most everything you get from government comes from the city, Police, fire, garbage pickup and yes some portion of street repair. We do our best to keep things manageable as costs rise out of control. We can not neglect our infrastructure to save money. The longer you wait the more money it costs to repair it in the future. Batavians need to start looking at the positive things we have in our little city. Batavia is moving forward, we might be walking with a slight limp but, never the less we are moving forward.

Jun 21, 2008, 11:53am Permalink
daniel cherry

I am not in any way against youth football.I know sports are good for children.And can teach them alot.My son plays baseball he loves it.I do agree that the deal with the muckdogs should include youth football.Mabe someone could have a benifit for youth football and raise money and build a stand.Mabe the kiwanas club could help.They do alot for our city.Didnt they build alot of playgrounds for our kids?Thanks kiwanas club.I know we sell tickets for a clors yummy barbaque tickets baseball to offset costs.Mabe youth football can have a raffle or something.Hey my boys and i will help sell tickets.Have a benefit concert or something.If ya had a beer tent you'd get rich like some do not that i agree with it.I bet by fall somehow the money could be raised...dan

Jun 22, 2008, 2:38pm Permalink
John Roach

I have nothing for or against Youth Football, but the city does not give money to Little or Minor League Baseball, so why football? If there is a good reason, fine, I just want to know what it is.
Rumor Control: I have been told many of the kids in the football league do not live in the City. How many kids played last year and how many of them live in the city, where the tax money comes from? If it's 90% or more city kids, great, go for it and it will be money well spent. If it's less, then why am I paying?

Jun 23, 2008, 5:58pm Permalink
Mark Potwora

Great point John,Let's hope city council gets all these facts before they make a decision..I still believe they have the right to stay were they are..what happen to Dwyer being a multi use ball park for the people of batavia..maybe 25000 dollars this year is not enought money???????

Jun 23, 2008, 6:10pm Permalink
John Roach

I went to the Council meeting tonight and really, nothing got done. Football will move. It is a question of this year or next. Good points made by everyone. This will come up at the July meeting for a final decision.

Jun 23, 2008, 9:15pm Permalink

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