Whitaker resident has a plan for ball field
Whitaker officials will consider guidelines drafted by a resident when the borough establishes a policy for leasing and maintaining its ball field.
Patricia Meyers presented her field-rental proposal to council on Wednesday.
The field would be leased through Whitaker Parks and Recreation Department at rates of $20 per hour on week days, and $50 per hour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Renters would be required to provide a schedule, a credit card and proof of insurance.
Council and the borough solicitor would review and approve leasing forms.
Meyers has volunteered to assist borough parks and recreation chair Ed Morrissey with leasing and field upkeep.
“My vision is to get a management system in place for the rental of the baseball field to organizations,” Meyers said, “then use that money to maintain the facilities, and then improve upon the facilities so that the children in Whitaker have a green space to go and play.”
She discussed a plan with borough secretary Jean Warren and solicitor George Janocsko to put revenues from field rentals into a separate parks and recreation fund.
“The money in that fund can be used only towards parks and recreation facilities,” Meyers said. “It has to be voted on before it is spent.”
Resident Marsha Galiyas asked if borough children are allowed to go to the field at any time.
Meyers told resident Marsha Galiyas that borough children will be permitted to go on the field at any time, with the exception that large groups should be scheduled.
She said Whitaker residents will get priority.
A 15-year agreement with West Mifflin Baseball League to lease Whitaker Ball Field at $1 per year ended this month. The league was to take care of some field maintenance during those years.
“What's happened in the past is on the days that West Mifflin wasn't using the field, they leased it to other ball teams,” Councilman Jack Esken said. “They were charging them a $150 maintenance fee. As far as I'm concerned, them getting it for $1 a year was enough for them to maintain the center of the field.” He said Whitaker employees took care of the outside of the field, the bleachers and painting.
Meyers told Morrissey that the Squirrel Hill Baseball League is seeking a field.
Meyers said she has applied for two grants to help with maintenance and is hoping to find more. She also talked about upcoming fundraisers.
Morrissey said the borough will have to buy at least one riding lawn mower.
Esken said Meyers should try to get a league or organization to agree to the rental fees before the borough purchases anything.
Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or firstname.lastname@example.org.