Rotterdam

Rotterdam plans to repair Esposito Park ahead of softball opening day, official says

PETER R. BARBER/THE DAILY GAZETTE Joseph LeRoy inspects the disrepair at the Eunice Esposito Park soft ball fields in Rotterdam Thursday, March 31, 2022.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
PETER R. BARBER/THE DAILY GAZETTE Joseph LeRoy inspects the disrepair at the Eunice Esposito Park soft ball fields in Rotterdam Thursday, March 31, 2022.

ROTTERDAM – After a good rain a huge puddle forms between shortstop and third base at Esposito Park, the dugouts are in shambles and the bathrooms aren’t operational during the Rotterdam Softball League’s season.

While the drainage issue can’t be fixed right away, Rotterdam town board member Joe Mastroianni said he’s looking at what can be done for the dugouts and bathrooms before the league’s opening day May 2. 

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“We’re working to address their concerns,” said Mastroianni, who is the chairman of the town’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. 

The dilapidated state of those fields is embarrassing, he said, and the same goes for other fields around town.

“It’s been neglected,” said Joe LeRoy, a league board member and the father of two girls who play.

Every year the league cancels many games because of the drainage issue, he said.

“The dugouts are rotten and falling apart,” he said, noting shingles have blown off the roofs. 

There are holes in the safety netting. During games people have to use the bathrooms in the clubhouse because the ones for the field haven’t been opened in years, he said. 

All of the issues raise some safety concerns, but the league wants to be able to continue using the fields, LeRoy said. 

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Over the years, league members have shored up the dugouts enough to play, but they have not completed other projects, they say, because they are unclear about what improvements they can actually make since the town owns the fields.

Mastroianni said he’s looked but has found no sort of lease agreement with the league about the fields and so the advisory committee is looking into who would be responsible for different aspects of field maintenance. 

LeRoy said if the league can clarify what upkeep it is permitted to be conducted, they can begin fundraising efforts. LeRoy said the league already has a contractor who will do the work if the material is supplied.

While the advisory committee clarifies responsibilities, Mastroianni said the town’s parks budget has approximately $190,000, some of which maybe be used to fix the dugout and bathroom areas. 

Mastroianni also said he and Morgan Coryer, the coordinator of parks and senior programs, are also having conversations about improvements at Esposito Park. 

“Now that the snow has melted we’ve had a good look at what needs to be done,” Mastroianni said. 

He said he’s awaiting some more quotes from companies regarding work at Esposito Park. 

LeRoy said he has one goal: 

“My intent is to ensure our parks are safe,” he said.

Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on twitter at SB_DailyGazette. 

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