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New permits required to use Brentwood fields

| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Anyone looking to use Brentwood's ball fields this summer must reapply for a permit.

Council members on Monday amended the borough's facilities rental policy and agreed to send letters to every organization that holds a field permit or filed an application for one, alerting them that they need to reapply.

“This was solely to make it fair to the entire community,” borough Manager George Zboyovsky said. “We put all that work into these new fields and it's generated more interest. Council was trying to make it so that everybody had a chance to use the fields.”

Organizers of local sporting groups attended council meetings for months, questioning borough leaders about the distribution of field permits in Brentwood Park.

Concerns over field time and borough permits escalated when a group of Brentwood parents and coaches formed the Brentwood Travel Baseball Association with plans to use fields in the borough this upcoming season.

The Brentwood Athletic Association, though, held permits for the park's two older fields through 2017. The organization had a permit for four fields since the late 1990s, but the elimination of two fields and the construction of two new ones in Brentwood Park led to the debate about whether the BAA had the right to all four fields for the next four years during what some residents said was a majority of the prime playing time.

Council's vote on Monday nixes all permits and applications, including that of the BAA, Zboyovsky said. There were about five permits or applications filed for field use with the borough on Monday that would be affected by the decision, he said.

The facilities rental policy oversees all borough facilities and fields, the manager said. The amendment was drafted to outline rules for how permits will be issued for the four baseball fields and one football field and the dek hockey rink in Brentwood Park, which is undergoing an $8 million overhaul.

Borough leaders created an order of division for field permits.

The Brentwood Borough School District will be the first on the priority chain, because the district has a contract with the borough for use of facilities, Zboyovsky said.

The borough will have second priority for use of facilities and fields.

Next will be a new category of “recognized borough organizations,” or groups that are non-profits, with 75 percent of their members from Brentwood.

To meet this criteria, the organizations must provide a list of the board of directors, copy of their bylaws, certification of $1 million of general liability insurance, show a list of members to prove residency and submit a notarized affidavit that states they meet the criteria and that all coaches have gone through a background check.

All other borough nonprofit organizations will get fourth preference.

Three seasons were created for the rental of borough facilities. All facilities now are open to rental from non-Brentwood residents, also, Zboyovsky said.

Rates will be voted on by council next Monday.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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