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If you build it…

County talks sports complex plans with WCYBSA

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Depicted is a design of the Farm Colony Sports Complex in the North Warren/Russell area put together by the Warren County Youth Baseball Softball Association for potential expansion.

Warren County officials and a local youth sports organization are working on a game plan intended to boost recreational sports for youth in and outside of the county.

County Commissioner Jeff Eggleston presented a draft lease agreement at Monday’s commissioner work session. The agreement, if approved, would lease the Farm Colony Sports Complex property located along Route 62 in the North Warren/Russell area to the Warren County Youth Baseball Softball Association. The rental agreement would require the association to pay the county $1 per year.

Eggleston told those at the meeting that he had met with Rich Pascuzzi, the association’s president, and attended one of the group’s meetings to talk about “how to cement a relationship” with the county.

For the past 30 or more years various youth organizations have invested in maintenance of the fields and complex. At one point in time there was a lease between the county and Babe Ruth Baseball, which no longer exists.

Pascuzzi said the association’s board of directors had concerns that the county (as landowner) might take over the complex for development or another reason at some point. He added that the number of youth involved in recreational sports in the county is increasing and the association is currently using every field available. “The fields are also used by travel teams,” he said.

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Depicted is a Google Earth shot of the current location of the Farm Colony Sports Complex along Route 62 in the North Warren/Russell area.

The association has been discussing work they would like to do to enhance both the playing fields and other parts of the complex, according to Pascuzzi. Contingent upon the lease agreement, the association hopes to apply for grants to construct a playground. Many of the youth playing sports have younger siblings in attendance, he said. “A playground would provide a place for little Joey and Bobby to play during games,” he said.

Eggleston suggested that taking the sports complex area and including it in the county’s comprehensive recreational plan could aid in accessing state and federal grant funds.

Pascuzzi said he would present the draft of the lease agreement to the association’s board at Sunday’s meeting. With board approval, the lease agreement is expected to be on the agenda for approval by county commissioners at the Wednesday, Sept. 25 commissioners meeting.

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