GLL's Field of Dreams

FAQ Regarding GLL's Field of Dreams

  1. Why is GLL proposing that the ball fields be relocated from 28th and Baldwin to 48th and Bauer?
In summary, there are three main reasons why GLL is proposing the move:
    1. Safety will be enhanced
    2. To accommodate our growth
    3. To provide our youth with a quality, “state of the art” Little League facility.
  1. How so?
SAFETY: As you know, parking space is at a premium on our site. Often, vehicles park along 28th Ave. and block the view of drivers entering/exiting our property. Additionally, many vehicles park across the street from our facility at one of our neighboring churches. 28th Ave. and Baldwin are busy, 55 mph highways. It is only a matter of time before someone is injured crossing the road. 
The new facility will bring parking “on-site.”
GROWTH: GLL currently operates with 14 fields. We need two additional fields to accommodate our past and anticipated future growth. 
Our present site will not allow for additional fields. 
QUALITY: We have the unique opportunity to provide our children with a “state of the art” Little League complex. That complex will consist of:
·         16 regulation fields. (An increase of two fields)
·         A contoured facility designed to address drainage issues. (Our present facility presents challenges during and AFTER precipitation. We often have to postpone games due to field conditions.) Properly drained fields will result in few postponed games, improved field conditions and, again, a safer environment for our players.
·         Some features worth mentioning are: Bullpens, improved and safer dugouts, a quality concession and rest room facility, an indoor training facility, and of course, new and improved fencing on all fields. (This is by no means an exhaustive list.)
Importantly, this quality complex will be paid for by a local corporation. It will not cost the players, their parents, or the tax payers one dime.
  1. Who made the decision to pursue relocation of the ball fields?
The membership of GLL made the decision to pursue relocation. The GLL board unanimously approved the proposed move. However, the board deemed that the decision to relocate should be presented before the entire membership for a decision. As such, the board approached the membership (about 2,000 strong) on two separate occasions in 2009 for advice and guidance on this important issue. You, the parents of our players, voted by over 80% both times to approve the relocation.

  1. Why was the property at 48th and Bauer chosen?
GLL was looking for a site of approximately 40 acres within our League’s borders. GLL looked at several possible locations. Some parcels were available for purchase, others were not. Of the potential sites that were available, topography ruled out some locations. Ultimately, the board selected the property at 48th and Bauer.  
  1. When will this move occur?
That depends. An organized minority within the community is opposing the relocation. This group has gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on the issue. As such, the residents of Georgetown Township will vote on this issue on August 3, 2010.
  1. Wait a minute, I thought GLL owned the land at 28th and Baldwin. If GLL owns the land, then why does this go to a community vote if our membership has approved the relocation?
GLL does own the land at 28th and Baldwin where we currently play. Technically, the residents of Georgetown are not being asked to veto the move. Rather, the opponents of the move are asking the voters to overturn the decision of our elected township officials who have overwhelmingly approved a plan by Spartan Stores (Space Source) to build a neighborhood shopping center on our present site.
  1. What does the proposed neighborhood shopping center have to do with our relocation?
Everything. Spartan Stores (Space Source) is proposing to purchase our present facility in order to construct a neighborhood shopping center.  GLL and Spartan Stores (Space Source) are essentially proposing a “land swap.” Spartan and Space Source will build a state of the art Little League facility at 48th and Bauer. Once that project is complete, GLL will become the owner of the new complex and Spartan Stores (Space Source) will own our present complex.
In order for Spartan Stores and Space Source to construct their neighborhood center, our elected township officials have approved a Planned Unit Development (PUD). This land use designation will allow for the construction of the commercial center. 
Should the voters overturn our elected township board’s decision, then Spartan Stores and Space Source will be unable to build the neighborhood shopping center. As such, Spartan and Space Source will not purchase our land and GLL will be unable to relocate. 
  1. I heard that the Georgetown Township Board acted illegally in approving the PUD. Is this correct?
Those opposed to the project have made this accusation. However, our elected township board, after consulting with the township attorney, has determined that the township board acted properly and lawfully. 
  1. I heard that there are deed restrictions that prohibit commercial enterprises on our present site, is this true?
Any deed restrictions would need to be honored by Spartan Stores. Spartan Stores’ proposal is in complete compliance with any deed restrictions. 
  1. Wasn’t the land on which we play donated to GLL with the understanding that GLL would remain there forever?
No. GLL purchased various parcels of our present facility at various times. GLL paid fair market value for each piece of property.    There is no contract or deed requiring GLL to remain at the present site “forever.”
  1. Why are some people opposed to the neighborhood shopping center?
For a variety of reasons. Some persons simply do not want the shopping center at that location. Some people are leery of change. Others do not want development in “their neighborhood.” Others are fearful of the “commercialization” of Georgetown. 
  1. Was this relocation proposal hastily reviewed and done without input from the GLL membership?
Absolutely not. In September, 2006, over three years ago, a press release was issued advising not only our membership, but the public at large that a proposal had been presented to GLL by Spartan Stores to potentially purchase our land and construct a retail shopping center on our current location. No one expressed opposition to that proposal.
Having heard absolutely no opposition from members, or the public at large, the GLL board continued discussing the matter with Spartan Stores. Over two years of talks and negotiations between GLL and Spartan Stores occurred. Updates of those talks were presented at GLL board meetings and our annual meetings. Those meetings were open to the entire membership. Ultimately, the GLL board and Spartan Stores came to an agreement in principle. That agreement was then approved by the GLL membership in 2009.
Zoning and land use issues were ultimately brought before the Georgetown Township Board in a public setting. As mentioned, our Township Board overwhelmingly approved the construction project.
  1. What if the voter’s overturn the Georgetown Township Board and forbid the construction of the neighborhood shopping center?
The GLL stays where it is at. 
  1. OK, then we will redesign our park and refurbish our fields, right?
In August, the GLL board presented an alternative building plan to the membership. That plan would redesign our present facility. The cost of that redesign is approximately $1.5 million. That plan was rejected by the membership. But if the August vote is not favorable, then we will look to change our present facility.
Of course, any redesign and repair will be inferior to the proposed park in a number of ways, including, but not limited to:
·         The number of fields will be decreased, not increased
·         Drainage problems will remain.
·         It may take 10 or more years to repair all of the fields. In the mean time, the park will continue to deteriorate. We currently have serious issues with the deterioration of our fencing. This is a large capital expense. 
·         Importantly, any cost will be borne by you, the parents. 
GLL does not have the resources to fund this project. GLL will be unable to borrow that sum of money as our land’s greatest value is if it were approved as a PUD. Absent that designation, our property is not sufficiently valuable to support a loan in that amount.
If all of our fields were redesigned in the same year, GLL would be forced to “suspend” operations to allow for construction. GLL’s board will NOT suspend our operations. Instead, a piece meal reconstruction will occur.
First, field #8 will be eliminated in order to bring parking on-site in order to address safety concerns. After that, fencing will be replaced and fields upgraded as time and funds allow. GLL would attempt a capital improvement campaign to help address funding issues. Our current player fees are insufficient to fund field renovations.
  1. What has GLL done to maintain the fields over the years?
GLL has maintained the fields, within the League’s financial capability. Upgrades and improvements have been made over the years. In 2005, GLL purchased the latest parcel of land for $37,042. That mortgage was recently paid off. Additionally, approximately $30,000 was used to install lighting on field number 1. We have purchased and greatly upgraded our bleachers. We recently purchased a large riding mower and small tractor from a local business (we got a great deal!). We continue to repair and maintain our fields within our financial capability. If you have traveled past our facilities in the fall you will have noticed various piles of dirt being moved around to address field issues.  We continuously repair and address fencing concerns.  The GLL board has a strong desire and will to maintain and improve our complex.
The GLL board takes the stewardship of GLL seriously. Because we have paid off the mortgage, we have a positive cash flow. This positive cash flow is essential to maintain our fees at or near the present level. It also provides the league with the resources necessary to purchase equipment when needed. 
  1. OK. So if the voters approve the plan in August, then we move, right?
Hopefully. But, some opposed to the plan have filed a lawsuit against Georgetown Township. They have indicated that if the voters approve the PUD, then they will try to stop the plan in court, regardless of the will of the people.
  1. What can I do to help?
There are a number of things:
·         Direct those with questions to this website for information.
·         If you are not registered to vote, please get registered.
·         Remember to vote for the project on August 3.
·         Request an absentee ballot if you are going to be out of town.
·         Regardless of the August vote, keep supporting our youth and GLL!