Kingston council debates RUPCO ball field donation


KINGSTON – City council members in Kingston are torn over whether they should accept the donation of the Metropolitan Life baseball field as it has been offered to them by RUPCO.
The council voted 5-2 on Tuesday night to send the proposal back to the
Finance and Audit Committee for further evaluation.
The field in question hosts a little league team for the youth of that ward. In addition to the unsure future of that league,
On top of the unsure future of that league, if the city were to take over the field, council members in favor of sending it back to committee were concerned about cost due to liability for certain repairs on the parcel, the implications of it being changed from a field to a park, leaving it subject to state regulation and overall legal implications in the change of ownership.
Alderman Patrick O’Reilly said there were just too many questions that the council was not equipped to address.
“There was too many unanswered questions about the park: how it will be transferred, what are the legal ramifications of it,” O’Reilly said. “They want us to put up a fence. We have no idea what that would cost. Many of the members of the council didn’t even know what the size of the park is, or the shape of it, or had seen a map of it.”  
Those council members who were not in favor of the matter being prolonged stated they were concerned waiting too long could leave the parcel open to being structured for something else besides the local little league, among other things.
“It’s a tax savings for the citizens of Kingston,” O’Reilly said. “It means $10,000 that we’re not shifting from our tax burden, as the city, over to the school system. It also means that we have more control. I’m sure who the Knothole League, who has the baseball park there, I’m not who their partnership is with, but we would rather ensure, as a city, that they have access to that property rather than leaving it in the hands of a private entity.”
Although the matter has returned to committee, all the city council members agree that the priority is keeping the league established there for city youths.
In other action, the city also voted to abolish the requirement to have bicycles registered within the city. Council members feel they have taken a step in the right direction by changing the law, in turn promoting alternative transportation within the city.   

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