Council, PBSA agree to 25-year lease of borough fields
By Karen Zapf
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:54 p.m.
The Plum Baseball & Softball Association has a lease for the borough fields.
Council on Monday night voted to accept a 25-year agreement with the association to conduct a baseball and softball program on eight fields off Ross Hollow Road and across the street from the borough building.
“I appreciate all the work the staff members and the members of the PBSA board did to get a contract done,” said Councilman John Anderson who chairs the parks and recreation committee.
The 25-year lease, which is for $1 a year, mandates that the borough is responsible for maintenance, including grass cutting and maintaining structures on the fields. The PBSA agreed to annual financial reviews as well as providing the borough with a schedule of sports events and other activities at the fields, Anderson said.
“We want to make sure the facility is up to code,” Anderson said. Council earlier this year issued the PBSA a short-term permit that ran through the end of the fall season in October.
The defunct Plum Borough Athletic Association, or PBAA, the longtime organization that operated a youth baseball and softball program through the 2011 season, earlier this year dropped its fight to retain the lease to the eight fields. The borough revoked the former nonprofit's lease after accusing the PBAA of violating the agreement with unauthorized construction of sheds, dugouts and a walking trail at the fields.
The lease with the PBSA is the second one approved this year. Council in February voted to accept a 25-year lease with the Plum Area Soccer Association.
That lease is similar to the one ratified with the PBSA and mandates the association conduct an annual audit of its finances, provide the borough with proof of insurance and submit a schedule of sports events and other activities at the 12 fields in Larry Mills Park that it leases from the borough for $1 a year.
PBSA vice president Dave Seitz, contacted after the meeting, said he is pleased with the agreement.
“It has been a long process to get a lease,” Seitz said. “I'm glad it's done and glad the borough worked with us to get a good lease for the borough and the PBSA.”
Seitz said the PBSA, with lease in hand, plans to work to seek sponsorship money that would be used to improve the fields.
“We would get borough permission before making any improvements,” Seitz said.
Anderson said work also is in process on a lease between the borough and the Plum Midget Football Association.
In other related news, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office is still considering whether to refile a case against former PBAA president Richard Claypoole, 69, of Plum, spokesman Mike Manko said earlier this week.
Plum District Judge Linda Zucco in May dismissed theft by deception charges against Claypoole.
The district attorney's office a year ago filed the charges against Claypoole, saying he wrote $213,595 in checks to himself and his business, Richmar, from the athletic association's bank account between April 2008 and April 2011.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or email@example.com.
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