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Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
#702544 03/14/18 05:34 PM
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The Nassau County executive’s plan could impose more than $1 million in previously waived fees for sports groups to use county parks.

By Celeste Hadrick
celeste.hadrick@newsday.com


Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has begun charging thousands of dollars in fees to youth Little Leagues and other nonprofit community sports organizations that traditionally play for free in county parks.

The plan to impose more than $1 million in previously waived fees on organizations such as the Boy Scouts, senior softball and charities holding fundraisers comes because “the county is currently in a fiscal crisis,” according to a memo from Deputy County Executive Helena Williams.

But charging the fees will make it more difficult for youths to play baseball, soccer and other after-school sports because their parents will not be able to afford the increased costs, while making it more likely that young people will turn to drugs instead, county legislators warned.

“At a time we are talking about an opioid crisis across Long Island, the universal antidote is to provide extracurricular activities,” said Legis. Steve Rhoads (R-Bellmore).

“Why would we make it more difficult to engage in those outlets is beyond comprehension,” Rhoads said. “The notion that we are somehow going to balance our budget on the backs of children engaging in all-American activities like Little League baseball is outrageous.”

Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said, “I know the county executive is trying to turn over every cushion” in an effort to balance the county budget.

“But this type of added expense to youth leagues are just going to be passed on to the parents,” Abrahams said. “At the end of the day, a $125 league [admission] will turn into $250 and will end up phasing out a lot of kids that enjoy playing Little Leagues and sports. Ultimately, their families will not be able to afford it.”

Curran said county taxpayers “can’t afford to subsidize these park activities, even as popular as they all are. My budget uses park fees to restore the shortfall in funding for county expenses such as the fire service’s vocational education and extensions board, and youth programs throughout our legislative districts.”

Curran is expected to give the county’s financial control board a reduced and revised $2.9 billion county budget Thursday. She was expected to brief legislative Republicans and Democrats about her changes late Wednesday.

The county parks commissioner has the discretion to waive the cost of using county ballfields and traditionally has issued permits for the youth leagues and similar groups without charge.

But in a Feb. 27 memo, Williams directed Parks Commissioner Eileen Krieb “to adhere to a strict non-fee waiving period until further notice.” Krieb subsequently said in a memo that the county waived $596,799 in fees to such organizations last year, which included $375,000 for the use of portable light towers.

A Curran spokesman said the $600,000 applies only ballfields; another $400,000 in waivers was granted for other park-related activities.

On March 1, the Seaford Little League received a surprise $16,000 bill, due March 12, to play in Washington Park, said Rhoads.

With Legis. Rose Walker (R-Hicksville), Rhoads has announced a 6 p.m. rally Thursday at Washington Park to protest the fees.

Abrahams predicted Curran’s policy change will not raise $600,000 because the groups will look to use school districts, towns and village ballfields instead.

Both he and Rhoads said they want to talk to the county executive about the policy.

“We’re still hoping the county executive will do the right thing,” Rhoads said, He noted the legislature had given the parks commissioner the discretion to waive or impose fees. “The legislature may step in to take the discretion away,” he warned.

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Larry Miller #702562 03/15/18 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Larry Miller

The Nassau County executive’s plan could impose more than $1 million in previously waived fees for sports groups to use county parks.

By Celeste Hadrick
celeste.hadrick@newsday.com


Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has begun charging thousands of dollars in fees to youth Little Leagues and other nonprofit community sports organizations that traditionally play for free in county parks.

The plan to impose more than $1 million in previously waived fees on organizations such as the Boy Scouts, senior softball and charities holding fundraisers comes because “the county is currently in a fiscal crisis,” according to a memo from Deputy County Executive Helena Williams.

But charging the fees will make it more difficult for youths to play baseball, soccer and other after-school sports because their parents will not be able to afford the increased costs, while making it more likely that young people will turn to drugs instead, county legislators warned.

“At a time we are talking about an opioid crisis across Long Island, the universal antidote is to provide extracurricular activities,” said Legis. Steve Rhoads (R-Bellmore).

“Why would we make it more difficult to engage in those outlets is beyond comprehension,” Rhoads said. “The notion that we are somehow going to balance our budget on the backs of children engaging in all-American activities like Little League baseball is outrageous.”

Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said, “I know the county executive is trying to turn over every cushion” in an effort to balance the county budget.

“But this type of added expense to youth leagues are just going to be passed on to the parents,” Abrahams said. “At the end of the day, a $125 league [admission] will turn into $250 and will end up phasing out a lot of kids that enjoy playing Little Leagues and sports. Ultimately, their families will not be able to afford it.”

Curran said county taxpayers “can’t afford to subsidize these park activities, even as popular as they all are. My budget uses park fees to restore the shortfall in funding for county expenses such as the fire service’s vocational education and extensions board, and youth programs throughout our legislative districts.”

Curran is expected to give the county’s financial control board a reduced and revised $2.9 billion county budget Thursday. She was expected to brief legislative Republicans and Democrats about her changes late Wednesday.

The county parks commissioner has the discretion to waive the cost of using county ballfields and traditionally has issued permits for the youth leagues and similar groups without charge.

But in a Feb. 27 memo, Williams directed Parks Commissioner Eileen Krieb “to adhere to a strict non-fee waiving period until further notice.” Krieb subsequently said in a memo that the county waived $596,799 in fees to such organizations last year, which included $375,000 for the use of portable light towers.

A Curran spokesman said the $600,000 applies only ballfields; another $400,000 in waivers was granted for other park-related activities.

On March 1, the Seaford Little League received a surprise $16,000 bill, due March 12, to play in Washington Park, said Rhoads.

With Legis. Rose Walker (R-Hicksville), Rhoads has announced a 6 p.m. rally Thursday at Washington Park to protest the fees.

Abrahams predicted Curran’s policy change will not raise $600,000 because the groups will look to use school districts, towns and village ballfields instead.

Both he and Rhoads said they want to talk to the county executive about the policy.

“We’re still hoping the county executive will do the right thing,” Rhoads said, He noted the legislature had given the parks commissioner the discretion to waive or impose fees. “The legislature may step in to take the discretion away,” he warned.


More TAXES for the PEOPLE. SAD

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Larry Miller #702563 03/15/18 09:34 AM
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Which clubs does this affect? I know lots of clubs that use town fields but not who uses county fields? Who's going to feel the hurt?

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Anonymous #702572 03/15/18 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Which clubs does this affect? I know lots of clubs that use town fields but not who uses county fields? Who's going to feel the hurt?

Any club that uses Mitchell field, Eisenhower Park, Cantiague Park to name a few.

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Anonymous #702608 03/16/18 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Which clubs does this affect? I know lots of clubs that use town fields but not who uses county fields? Who's going to feel the hurt?

Any club that uses Mitchell field, Eisenhower Park, Cantiague Park to name a few.


These parks were already charging club teams to use these fields - and double the fees last year (100% increase) under old county Exec. I'm actually a bit ticked off knowing that there were some people using these fields free of charge. Seems fair to me.

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Anonymous #702629 03/16/18 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Which clubs does this affect? I know lots of clubs that use town fields but not who uses county fields? Who's going to feel the hurt?

Any club that uses Mitchell field, Eisenhower Park, Cantiague Park to name a few.


These parks were already charging club teams to use these fields - and double the fees last year (100% increase) under old county Exec. I'm actually a bit ticked off knowing that there were some people using these fields free of charge. Seems fair to me.

Teams like hota don't have to worry about these fees.

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Larry Miller #702632 03/16/18 04:20 PM
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HOTA seriously? with their field and a 1/2 and a handful of teams? Not relevant in about a decade what are they down to about 12 teams?

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Larry Miller #702637 03/16/18 09:00 PM
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Criminal. Do an audit of the town and find the abuse, this is ridiculous.

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Larry Miller #702644 03/17/18 10:51 AM
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So all these leagues and entities want to continue to use county facilities for FREE? Easy for them to say as they are in the business of growing their leagues and collecting as much capital to fund their activities.
NEWS FLASH- Nassau County is BROKE. The pension liability of the County is $3 billion!

Here's another NEWS FLASH- when politicians need to raise revenue they raise fees that most people don't usually think about. This is a scheme that politicians of both parties have used so they can say they held the line on TAXES. Totally dishonest!

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Larry Miller #702646 03/17/18 11:55 AM
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It's time to open the parks to sponsors like the "adopt a highway" program. Remove the red tape and get the corrupt politicians out of the way. In Manhattan the parks are magnificent. There are franchise restaurants, advertisements on brand new benches, clean bathrooms. There are private enterprises that are more than willing to spend millions of dollars on the parks. Imagine the pristine pitches that would have a sign saying, lawn care provided by XXX Landscaping...
The added bonus is there would be clean and open bathrooms for females, one of the quietest problems out there, that males don't have.
Easy way to get revenue and keep the parks open and affordable to the children.

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Larry Miller #702650 03/17/18 03:59 PM
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And if you think sponsors would not invite corruption I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. Politicians everywhere would corrupt the system of sponsorships by looking for favors, campaign contributions and other nonsense from potential sponsors wanting to get top billing at parks and venues.

Mangano's buddy got to build the twin rinks at Eisenhower Park and it was so expensive to build that they could not handle the debt service and had to sell it to Charles Wang for pennies on the dollar. This boondoggle project was funded by the taxpayers from Nassau County and all perpetrated by Mangano, a County Executive that promised to clean up the mess! And the band plays on...

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Larry Miller #702653 03/17/18 04:43 PM
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LIRef77 is dead-on balls accurate.

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Larry Miller #702673 03/18/18 01:35 PM
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Not only have the county parks never been free in Westchester, they recently took control of a handful of previously town/city run parks (like Saxon Woods in White Plains) and raised fees significantly.

Truth be told, charging fees is indeed a "tax" but at least it's a tax borne by the people using the service, rather than a general tax that everyone pays for whether or not they get benefit.

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Larry Miller #702706 03/19/18 02:13 AM
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And they were never "free" in Nassau County either. The fees were "waived". I do love this word free though. It's as if it were a commodity like air. The parks cost real money to run and let's not forget the patronage that it can support.

If Nassau County is planning on raising up to $1 million in park fees my first question is:

What will the county do with that money and will it use it to invest or improve the parks?

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Anonymous #702707 03/19/18 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
It's time to open the parks to sponsors like the "adopt a highway" program. Remove the red tape and get the corrupt politicians out of the way. In Manhattan the parks are magnificent. There are franchise restaurants, advertisements on brand new benches, clean bathrooms. There are private enterprises that are more than willing to spend millions of dollars on the parks. Imagine the pristine pitches that would have a sign saying, lawn care provided by XXX Landscaping...
The added bonus is there would be clean and open bathrooms for females, one of the quietest problems out there, that males don't have.
Easy way to get revenue and keep the parks open and affordable to the children.


So you think men's bathroom facilities are clean? We don't ever need to sit? Quite problem? So you want to see a billboard on the side your stall stating it is sponsored by Charmin?

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
LIRef77 #702734 03/19/18 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by LIRef77
And they were never "free" in Nassau County either. The fees were "waived". I do love this word free though. It's as if it were a commodity like air. The parks cost real money to run and let's not forget the patronage that it can support.

If Nassau County is planning on raising up to $1 million in park fees my first question is:

What will the county do with that money and will it use it to invest or improve the parks?


The Politicians will then give themselves raises.

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Re: Laura Curran begins charging sports organizations for parks use
Anonymous #702735 03/19/18 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
It's time to open the parks to sponsors like the "adopt a highway" program. Remove the red tape and get the corrupt politicians out of the way. In Manhattan the parks are magnificent. There are franchise restaurants, advertisements on brand new benches, clean bathrooms. There are private enterprises that are more than willing to spend millions of dollars on the parks. Imagine the pristine pitches that would have a sign saying, lawn care provided by XXX Landscaping...
The added bonus is there would be clean and open bathrooms for females, one of the quietest problems out there, that males don't have.
Easy way to get revenue and keep the parks open and affordable to the children.


So you think men's bathroom facilities are clean? We don't ever need to sit? Quite problem? So you want to see a billboard on the side your stall stating it is sponsored by Charmin?


Their slogan would be " Can u Spare a Square"

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