SEAFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Little leagues and other athletic groups in Nassau County will be able to keep using ball fields free of charge thanks to action by local lawmakers Monday night.
Just in time for outdoor playing season comes a home run for nonprofit little leagues, senior groups and some charity teams, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported. They can all keep waiving the pay-to-play field fees in Nassau County.
Lawmakers had considered charging the teams to raise county funds.
Legislator Steve Rhoads posted on Facebook, saying “Let them play!”
“Legislature votes 16-0 on Rhoads/majority bill to block County Executive Curran’s ‘Little League Tax,’” he posted.
Before Monday’s bill was passed, Curran told CBS2’s Jessica Moore the county has been losing more than $600,000 by waiving the fees.
“Now, we’re in a position where we’re able to fund youth programs, we’re able to fund the buses, we’re able to fund training for firefighters,” she said. “It’s a question of priorities.”
But that had lawmakers and families furious and frustrated.
“Oh my goodness,” one woman said.
“That’s just ridiculous. Even when you’re doing parties, they charge for that,” another added. “They charge for everything.”
The issue even drew World Series champion and former New York Mets player Ed Kranepool into the debate.
“Of all the problems that are going on in the country, certainly little league baseball is not one of them,” he said. “We need the opportunity for the youngsters to keep themselves busy.”
As for whether the county executive would veto Monday’s bill, a spokesperson for Curran said the bill would need to be fully reviewed before any decisions are made.