Democrat File Photos
These photos show the irreparable damage inflicted on the Town of Neversink Little League fields by Hurricane Irene in 2011. With cooperation from the DEC, land has been secured to finally rebuild the fields at a new location.
Neversink ‘lands’ new Little League fields
NEVERSINK July 16, 2013 The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Town of Neversink announced an agreement that will support the town in building four new baseball fields along Route 42 to replace fields destroyed by Hurricane Irene in 2011. The collaboration will also ensure the continued protection of water quality in Rondout Reservoir. The new ball fields, on Route 42 across from the intersection with Big Hollow Road, will replace the town’s former Little League complex along Route 55A that was destroyed during Hurricane Irene.
The Town of Neversink secured the roughly 16-acre parcel last week. The land is part of an 88-acre parcel purchased by DEP in 2012 as part of the department’s continued effort to protect the land around New York City’s drinking water supply. DEP and Neversink reached an agreement that led to the property being subdivided, allowing the town to purchase 16 of the 88 acres to replace the ball fields adjacent to the Rondout Creek that it lost during Irene. The agreement calls for the property to be held as parkland a provision that will ensure open space and recreational facilities for town residents and water-quality protection for customers of the City’s water supply.
“Upstate communities, including the more than 1,000 DEP employees who live outside the five boroughs, protect a network of reservoirs that help make New York City our country’s most vibrant metropolis,” DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland said. “It is a privilege to work with the Town of Neversink, and specifically Supervisor McCarthy, to get these ball fields built. Nothing would make us prouder than if the next Yankees shortstop came from the Town of Neversink.”
“The town has looked far and wide for a place to build new ball fields, but there were practically no options available to us,” Town of Neversink Supervisor Mark McCarthy said. “New York City could not have been more accommodating when we approached them with this idea. Because of our partnership with DEP, more than 300 young people from Neversink will now have a place to play baseball and softball.”
Neversink purchased the 16-acre property for $192,000. The town is aiming to have at least some of the ball fields built by 2014. The vast majority of its costs will be covered by more than $500,000 it received from federal and state emergency funds after Hurricane Irene.
Neversink leased its four ball fields on Route 55A from the City since the 1980s. All but one of the fields were destroyed beyond repair when Hurricane Irene swelled the Rondout Creek, which runs alongside the fields. The creek ran so high and fast that it eroded its banks and took one of the fields almost completely with it. Fences were knocked down, and dugouts and scorekeeper booths were washed away.
In 2003, the fields were flooded, with $19,000 in damages. The highway department, the town, the community and inmates from the nearby prisons helped with the clean-up and repaired the fields within a few months.