By Brent Wilson, Field Officer
At the May 10th Greene County Board of Supervisors meeting the 2016/17 budget was approved. At the same meeting, Greene County Youth Center (GCYC) President, David Mack addressed the Board about their future infrastructure needs.
Mack explained that the GCYC is an all volunteer organization headed by a 12 member Board of Directors serving rotating three year terms. The center provides spring and fall baseball and softball for over 300 youth. The focus of their request is for financial assistance to improve their athletic facilities off Route 33 west of US29, behind the Ruckersville fire hall.
GCYC’s main source of funds is from fundraising efforts such as the recent Bingo event which raised $6,000 and the concessions at the games which raise from $25,000 to $30,000 per year. The major facility improvement this year has been to overhaul the batting cages and enclosing them.
The next major task on their infrastructure improvement agenda is to refurbish 3 of the 4 ball fields at an estimated cost of $25,000 per field plus providing lights for the fields at a cost of $100,000. This year the 12 & Under District tournament will be held in Ruckersville which will attract many teams from outside of Greene County.
The GCYC is requesting financial assistance to help finance these projects for the enjoyment of the youth of Greene County. The GCYC believes their programs provide important services to the citizens.
Supervisor Jim Frydl (Midway) asked when the Greene County Parks and Recreation stopped providing this activity. Mack believed it was approximately a dozen years ago and at that point the county department only offered t-ball for the very young.
Supervisor Michelle Flynn (Ruckersville) asked about the direct costs to the players. Mack said that player fees range from $75 to $95 and there is a financial aid program to assist those unable to pay.
In terms of the cost to GCYC to provide the different level of programs, t-ball is the least expensive with no umpires and a much lower level of insurance. The teenagers require an insurance cost of more than three times that of the t-ball program.
Chairman Bill Martin (Stanardsville) thanked Mack for making the presentation and reminded him to bring these issues up at the next (FY18) budget cycle. It should be noted that the FY17 budget just approved has no funds appropriated for GCYC.
In a related note, the only speaker from the public at the beginning of the meeting asked that with all of the funds needed in the school system that the Board of Supervisors should not provide funds to organizations outside the county’s operation.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization. The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you. To support this important work please donate online at www.freeenterpriseforum.org
Photo Credits: Greene County, Greene County Youth Center, Frydl Campaign