continued This question of community benefit is the one most often asked by anti-development residents, and, more specifically, people wonder if community members will even be allowed to use the multitude of athletic fields being proposed for the site and, if they are, how much they will have to pay to do it.
“No one is going to put something like this in and not charge for events and other things we’ll have there,” Pietropaoli said. “There will be times the fields can be used [by the community] for free and at low cost.”
For school sports teams to use the VSM fields, there will be fees, Pietropaoli said. “Schools do now get charged for any fields they use. It only makes sense. But the Boosters and other groups do raise funds for things like this,” he said.
Officials in the Skaneateles Central School District told the Skaneateles Press they have sufficient athletic fields and currently have no intention of regularly using the VSM facility except possibly under certain circumstances, such as using the artificial turf fields when the district’s grass fields are too wet and muddy.
The possibility of charging use fees for community Little League baseball or other youth sports has not been determined yet, but both the fee and free options are “out there,” Pietropaoli and Wardell said.
When asked if a group of local children decide to jump on their bicycles and ride to the VSM complex to play a pick-up baseball game on one of the outdoor fields, would it be allowed, Pietropaoli said, “The answer is yes. With this many fields there will be open, public time.” But he and Wardell did caution that many variables about public use will have many variables to be finalized, such as event scheduling, obtaining permission for use and insurance and liability issues for VSM.