New York

Long Island Little League Baseball Teams Outraged Over New Field Fees

Community members condemned a decision by Nassau County to begin charging little leagues fees to play on its fields.

Historically, the Long Island county waived usage fees for not for profit organizations, but after citing a "fiscal crisis" as the reason for a policy change, officials have been met with outrage from locals.

"Little leagues are at the very essence of community cohesion all across our nation. They bring families and neighbors together and provide young kids the opportunity to compete and make lifelong friendships," said the Hempstead Town Board in a statement condemning the decision on Thursday. 

While officials recognized the pinch, they remained firm that the county needs to charge the fees.

“These waivers are out of control and it’s my job to rein them back in. I know it’s going to be painful, but we are in a fiscal crisis,” County Executive Laura Curran said in an interview with Newsday.

In Seaford, the policy change caught both parents and coaches by surprise, without an affordable alternative. 

"If we don't have those to play, then we have to find other places, which becomes a burden on us, or we can pay the fees which is a burden on all the parents," said Seaford Little League coach Steve Brown. 

The next legislative meeting will take place at the end of the month, with Nassau County kids and parents alike hoping for a positive outcome. 

"I love baseball and I want to play in the MLB, and it's not fair that the parents, that the coaches have to give money to play on the fields," said eleven-year-old Dylan Brown. 

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