EP could put price on fields

EAST PALESTINE — The village may need to decide whether it wants to implement a fee for out-of-area organizations requesting use of the park for athletic tournaments.

Council discussed the matter briefly on Monday after interim Manager Traci Thompson said a Little League organization in Pennsylvania wants to host a tournament at the baseball fields in July.

The tournament would last four days, with games held on a Thursday and Friday evening and during the day on Saturday and Sunday, she said.

She added that she already informed the organization that availability would depend on whether the East Palestine Youth Sports Association (EPYSA) would need the fields during that time.

She said the organization would be in touch with EPYSA President John Simon.

The village does not charge EPYSA for use of the fields, and does not have any fee structure in place for use of the fields.

Councilman D.J. Yokley brought up the matter of the fee, saying that a tournament is a good opportunity to generate revenue.

He pointed out that tournaments generate more traffic into the park, which is a good thing, but also means that the park may not be as available to locals during that time.

He also said the tournament will bring additional wear and tear to the bases and other aspects of the park, and because of that the village should have some sort of revenue.

He went on to say that the reason the organization could be seeking use of East Palestine’s fields is because other places have fees implemented.

“The residents should have a thumbs up, but for those coming across states lines, something needs to be set up,” Yokley said, meaning that local groups or organizations should not pay a fee.

Others on council weren’t opposed to the idea, and acting Mayor Alan Cohen told Thompson to tell Simon to mention the possibility of a fee to the Little League organization.

Municipal Attorney Dave Powers would need to draft legislation for council to vote on at a future meeting if a fee were to be implemented.