February 19, 2014
Beaudry Park fields get new name
City OKs renaming fields Ray Reilly Athletic Complex, baseball field Greg’s Field
The athletic fields at Beaudry Park will be getting renamed and the city agreed to move ahead with an engineering survey of the Clinton Avenue sewer system at the Common Council’s Tuesday meeting.
John Tobin of the Friends of Greg Partigianoni Committee presented the group’s plans to name the athletic fields in Beaudry Park the Ray Reilly Athletic Complex and the baseball field Greg’s Field.
“We were looking for a way of putting a little permanence to an award for Greg,” Tobin said. “He had a very wide background in baseball and basically he was a great guy.”
The committee is expected to use $35,000 from a scholarship fund in Partigianoni’s name to improve the field prior to the season and erect signs, as well as a potential monument, that commemorate Reilly and Partigianoni.
Reilly is the former head of the city Department of Public Works from 1934 through 1958 who cleared the land for Beaudry Park. The complex includes the park’s two softball fields, one baseball field and four soccer fields.
The baseball field, currently named Reilly Field, houses the Cortland High School boys baseball team.
It is also the future home of the Cortland Crush, a member of the New York Collegiate Baseball League, which begins this year. The NYCBL is comprised of players with collegiate eligibility left who have completed at least one year of college.
The team’s nickname is a take on Partigianoni’s nickname, Crusher, and pays homage to the Cortland native.
Partigianoni attended Cortland High School and SUNY Binghamton, where he played on the baseball team. He then went on to a successful coaching career including stops at SUNY Cortland and the Cortland Apples, a team in the NYCBL’s predecessor, the Northeast Collegiate Baseball League.
Naming, or renaming, parks and fields has been a common trend recently, Youth Bureau Director John McNerney said. It allows some municipalities the opportunity to make capital improvements if funds through donations are made available, he said.
“We’ve been approached over the course of time about naming parks and fields and facilities,” McNerney said. “Now we have in place a policy that we can follow that says you can recognize historic events, historic people, outstanding individuals ... and also folks who make major donations or gifts to a particular venue.”
Among the upgrades expected for the facility are new dugouts, repairs to the outfield fence and leveling of the playing surface. Tobin said that he’d also like to erect a press box at the field similar to the one near the McGraw High School soccer field.
The council unanimously approved the name changes, which should free up the project funding, Tobin said. Renovations are expected to begin as soon as possible with work around the field, such as the dugouts, the first priority.
Tobin is optimistic that a strong outpouring of volunteer support will expedite the process; the press box in McGraw was constructed in a single weekend, he said.
The council also approved a 20 percent match on a $30,000 engineering survey on the Clinton Avenue sewer system. A portion of the city’s share of $6,000 will be met through in-kind services.
Sewer plant operator Bruce Adams presented the contract for the survey, which will go to Cedarwood Engineering Services, LLC, the same firm that oversaw the upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment facility. The survey is part of the city’s Northeast Gateway and Clinton Avenue Corridor Enhancement Initiative.
“The ultimate goal is to determine what repairs might be required to the sewers under Clinton Ave.,” Adams said. “Those are some of the oldest in the city, at least in the main portion of the city, so it definitely behooves us to take advantage of this opportunity.”
With the March deadline for a dog control contract approaching, the council unanimously approved a $75,500 contract with the Cortland Community Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
While cat control was not included in the final contract, the SPCA agreed to make sure that aldermen received monthly reports of the dogs and cats taken in by the shelter. Ed Lake, the SPCA’s law enforcement manager, agreed to put together a public service presentation, which will air on Time Warner Cable Channel 2, to educate residents about shelter services that deal with cat troubles, according to city Corporation Counsel Ric VanDonsel.
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