A Special Meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Clarence and the Clarence Sports Coalition was held Wednesday, June 16, 2004 at 6:00 P.M. at Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, NY.
Members of the Town Board present were Supervisor Hallock, Councilman Ian McPherson, Councilman Scott Bylewski Councilman Joseph Weiss, and Councilman Bernie Kolber. Other Town Officials present were Town Attorney Steve Bengart, Town Accountant Tom Malecki, Parks Crew Chief John Burns, Recreation Director Howard Johnt, Town Engineer Joseph Latona, Civil Engineer Tim Lavocat, and Donald Gallo, Consulting Engineer, P.C. Sports Coalition members present were Kevin Curry, Joe Miano, and Victor Martucci.
Town Engineer Latona stated that the bids for the Memorial Park Project were opened on May 19, 2004. A summary of the base bid was handed out, $977,353. was the base bid without the waterline. It includes the little league fields, the multi purpose soccer fields and the softball fields. The Town has authorized a $550,000.bond which leaves a shortfall of approximately $427,000. It has been suggested by the Sports Coalition that the $37,000. stipend the sports teams receive yearly be utilized to leverage an additional bond issue of approximately $434,000.
Town Engineer Latona has been meeting with the contractor that is the low bidder. We can not authorize any more than the $550,000. that is the limit however, we can authorize less. With that in mind, for the first bond issue he suggested leaving out the little league fields. The reason for doing this is that the contractor can work completely to the south and there is continuity between the earth moving etc. to the south. In taking out gravel parking from the multipurpose fields, bleachers on concrete pads, soccer nets, both parking lots from the softball fields, and the bleacher pads will get us to an amount of $530,335. This will get us everything but the little league fields. It takes approximately thirty-five days to do a bond issue. If it is the Board’s desire to do the entire facility, we would have to authorize the $434,000. Bond issue on June 23, 2004. This will give the contractor enough time to start this and dovetail with the second bond issue which gives you the little league field and then puts back in parking and also the waterline.
The first bond issue gives us soccer with one parking lot, softball with no parking lots. The second bond issue will give us little league fields, a fourth parking lot at the little league site, a second parking lot at the soccer field site, both parking lots at the softball site and a waterline. We will not get bleachers with concrete pads or any soccer nets. This will leave a balance of approximately $31,000. which will be utilized for construction inspection. This is doable from a schedule perspective.
Councilman Weiss questioned whether we have a handle on what maintenance cost, utilities, blacktop, mowing, striping of the fields etc. have been taken into consideration. Parks Crew Chief John Burns has not completed a cost estimate for maintenance of the fields. Town Engineer Latona stated that this should be taken into consideration for the future.
It was asked whether this included four or six little league fields. Town Engineer Latona stated that it is four fields right now because we do not have the fill yet. The fill will be brought in from the arboretum project.
Don Gallo stated that the contractor is confident that phasing it this way, we will be able to get the four ball diamonds in this year – weather permitting.
Supervisor Hallock asked Town Accountant Tom Malecki to give the Town Board an idea of what the $550,000 would cost. Bonded over fifteen years which is the limit, comes out to approximately 2 1/2 cents per thousand. If you add in maintenance costs and one or two more positions, that could add another nickel to the tax base.
The material being used on the playing fields drains extremely well and cuts down on man power.
Town Engineer Latona stated that this is completed with fencing, drainage, turf, and water line stub into the area. Mr. Latona met with Erie County Water Authority, they will allow us to do this and then we can shut it down in the winter months so we do not have to pay extra. We have to extend the water line up Kraus Road and run an 8’ line into the site.
Town of Clarence Baseball President Joe Miano stated that several months ago, the Sports Coalition did a statistical analysis justifying the numbers based on enrollment and growth projections. Mr. Miano further stated that this is critical because right now they are maxed. The reason it is so critical is that right now at the lower level, they project that each team has no more than eleven players so that no one sits the bench more than one or two innings. If we grow another 8% which is what they have grown every year, next year they will be maxed out. There will be 13 – 14 players on each team which leaves six, seven and eight year old players sitting on the bench for three and four innings. Mr. Miano stated that the numbers as far as baseball is concerned are based on speculative projection of growth.
Supervisor Hallock questioned whether or not there will be enough coaches to accommodate all the teams. Kevin Curry stated that this is becoming a problem but they will find a way. Joe Miano stated that baseball has a two coach system and they ended up turning people away who wanted to coach.
Supervisor Hallock stated that she is concerned with the increase in maintenance. This has never been discussed and it is possible that there may never again be a stipend. In fifteen years the $37,000. will contribute towards the increased cost of the parks department.
Councilman Kolber stated that there is a very likely possibility of a group forming a lacrosse league. Town Engineer Latona stated that they could utilize the multi purpose field. Kevin Curry stated that the multi purpose fields are over-sized fields that can be configured in a number of ways to accommodate different sports.
Town Accountant Tom Malecki stated that this will be a grand facility however he has several concerns. The $37,000 stipend that is currently awarded to the organizations is basically a repayment over the next 15 years. What is the organizations ability to fund that $37,000 on their own? There should be a plan to show a funding mechanism so that after this is built, the $37,000. does not fall back on the town. The $37,000 is being cut off from the sports organizations, if their funding sources do not work out, how they are going to fund their recreation program on these fields that the town has built for them. Some type of an agreement should be drawn up. The other issue is the operation and maintenance. The Town has to come up with a real number from the Parks Department so that once they start maintaining these fields; they do not come back to the Town Board saying they need added positions. This will give us the understanding of what the entire project is going to cost the town.
Joe Miano stated that the baseball program does not have fundraisers; their cash balance is derived from membership fees. There is a booster club that sells advertising. Kevin Curry stated that the soccer club raised their fees $10 per child in the house league.
Supervisor Hallock stated that when the request went out to all departments for capital plan development. Parks Crew Chief John Burns indicated that he could use a building at Memorial Park to house several pieces of new equipment that would have to be purchased.
Town Engineer Latona stated that he would like to award the bid on June 23, 2004 for the $550,000. minus the parking lots. Also on June 23, pass a resolution authorizing the bond issue for $434,000. After the estoppel period, Section A – Little League Fields will be awarded. Parks Crew Chief John Burns will give the Board an estimate on hours needed to maintain Memorial Park as soon as possible.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:50P.M.
Darcy A. Snyder
Deputy Town Clerk