Little League strikes out on Village field offer

VALATIE–The Northern Columbia Little League (NCLL) has officially withdrawn its offer to upgrade the baseball field at the Callan Park on New Street.

The NCLL had been working with the board for several months to come up with a agreement allowing the league to clean up the park, recondition the fields and put up a concession stand. In return league officials asked the village for the right to schedule other groups’ use of the field during the season.

“It’s disappointing to hear but I do understand,” Village mayor Gary Strevell said at the February 12 Village Board meeting.

Trustee Amy Freinberg-Trufas, who has been working with the mayor and the Little League to come up with a plan, read a letter from the Valatie Fire Company asking for Village Board to deny the NCLL the right to build a concession stand, saying it would take away profits from the fire company’s concession stand across the street from the field.

The letter said of the concession stand, “There is no way that both can survive if this is added.” The fire company uses the revenue from its concession stand to support a Halloween party for village residents.

The letter also said the fire company wanted the board to deny the NCLL proposal to manage the park, saying the park was for the use of all village residents not one organization.

Trustee Freinberg-Trufas said she had hoped the fire company and the Little League could work out their differences. “I really wanted it to work out for the kids,” she said at the meeting.

“I think there are things that are still misunderstood,” said Mayor Strevell after hearing the fire company’s letter. He also said the board would continue discussions with the NCLL and possibly work out an agreement in the future.

In a statement he read at the meeting, NCLL President David Kolb said that the process has become “mired in politics” and “special interest groups.” He did say the Little League would still use the fields this season for games and practice. They use several fields in the town and the Village of Kinderhook.

Representatives from the county’s adult softball league were also at the meeting to ask to use a field at Callan Park for their Sunday games from April to September. The league was playing at the Niverville Town Hall Park, but they are moving to the village this year since the town plans to sell its current town hall once town government moves to the new town hall at Martin H. Glynn Building.

The adult league will only use one field and the representatives stressed at the meeting they would not get in the way of the Little League.

At Tuesday’s meeting the board also talked about the move to the Glynn Building. The village is sharing the building with the town, the town court and a sheriff substation. Mayor Strevell said the municipalities are still dealing with phone line issues and moving some walls to reconfigure spaces in the building. He said the board most likely will not move until the spring.

In other business the board approved a bid from Clark Electric for $2,350 to bury a cable from the sewer plant generator to a new test well sight to pump the water for a few days to see whether that process will yield tests that show lower levels of iron in the water.

The next regular board meeting will be Tuesday March 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the village hall on Main Street.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .


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