City Approves Travel League Park Fees | News, Sports, Jobs

City Approves Travel League Park Fees | News, Sports, Jobs

Patrick Smeraldo of the Children’s Solutions Collaborative speaks during Monday’s City Council meeting while Erika Thomas, city comptroller, and Tom Nelson, a former council member, look on.

At the Jamestown City Council’s April voting session, the council approved a fee for use of the city park by mobile teams.

The resolution approved by the council states that fees for travel baseball and softball teams will be $125 per game to include practice time, fees for adult soccer will be $200 per team, and fees for adult softball teams will be $365 per team, with these changes taking effect as of May 1.

Before approving the resolution, Councilman Joseph Paterneni, Bergman Fourth Ward, asked that the resolution be modified slightly to reflect and be more specific as to the individual pricing cost for each team, specifically changing it to say the fee would be in place for each team for each game. This amendment was also approved.

Before the vote took place, Patrick Smeraldo, a city resident and owner of Collaborative Children’s Solutions, addressed the council in support of the fee.

“I was somewhat upset this morning when I saw the article about rental fees for baseball and stadiums,” Smeraldo said. “I have no problem with that. In fact, it affects me. My son plays for a team that will play in those stadiums. His team or I as a parent will have to provide that money. I have no problem with that.”

Smeraldo continued, saying it has been a luxury the past few years to be able to use the fields for free, but the city has obligations to meet. He added that he doesn’t think it’s asking for an crazy amount of money, and he thinks people don’t realize how the city’s management structure works.

“For example, in 1986 or 1985 I was working in the parks department while I was in college and we had about 45 people in the parks department at that time,” Smeraldo said. “I think there are about 17 right now.”

Smeraldo provided a list of events that took place last year, including St. Patrick’s Day, Easter egg hunts, Memorial Day, Christmas in July, Summer Wellness Fair, County Festival, Goose Maker, Labor Day, Halloween, and the Christmas Parade, saying that These are all the events the parks department takes care of, which is a lot for 17 people. He added some other items the department takes care of, including field maintenance that takes place after business hours and incurs costs over time.

“The city shouldn’t have to put up with that,” Smeraldo said. “It is what it is. I don’t know if the travel ball clubs and all the coaches and kids stay in town, but that’s where we are in town.

With Smeraldo’s company, Collaborative Children’s Solutions, hosting and managing many of the city’s events, he said he doesn’t mind paying extra for certain things because the events aren’t city events. He continued by saying that the city had other things to worry about.

“The city is dealing with two heinous crimes last week against infants, and we’re concerned about the charges?” Smeraldo said. “That’s ridiculous. Have another bake sale, cough. Do what you gotta do. This is a city, and this is the price of doing business.”

Smeraldo said every employee in every department gives “everything they have” to the city, including “countless hours,” and then they are “brutalized on social media,” which he said is also ironic.

Along with the fees, the council also approved resolutions on grant funding for the Prendergast Landing project, allowing members of the police department and fire department to attend training exercises, and suspending a hiring freeze in the Department of Public Works.

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