Streetsboro -- The city has hired a part-time employee to help maintain youth baseball and soccer fields with fees paid by baseball and soccer parents.
"It's very important that the soccer and baseball fields be taken care of, and that we take care of our kids," Mayor Glenn Broska said. "It was something we had on our radar. I'm glad we were able to get it done quickly."
College student Craig Donovan, a resident, will be paid $9 an hour, which is the city's standard rate for seasonal employees, according to Broska.
"Soccer fields don't require as much work as baseball fields," Broska said. "Baseball fields have to be lined for every game. They have to be done on a game-by-game basis."
Donovan will work up to 25 hours a week and will be paid with usage fees from baseball and soccer parents, who pay $5 per athlete and $11 per field for baseball and $5 per athlete for soccer with no field charge. Council member Steve Michniak estimated about 500 youngsters play soccer in Streetsboro United and more than 300 youths play in Streetsboro Junior Baseball.
Donovan will work on the 10 ballfields at City Park that Streetsboro Junior Baseball and Softball uses on a daily basis plus the soccer field behind City Hall used by Streetsboro United Soccer. He will work closely with Sal Ruffo, the city's parks maintenance supervisor who will tell Donovan what fields need to be prepared that day.
Donovan is a former Streetsboro High School football player and a 2010 graduate.
"This will work out well with his schedule," Broska said. "He has a 'can-do' attitude. He was very excited about being able to do this. We're happy to get him."
The parks maintenance department was not able to handle those chores because there are only two full-time employees, city officials said, while service department employees are busy doing tasks like filling potholes.
At the April 28 City Council meeting, Michniak said Broska was in favor of hiring a seasonal grounds keeper.
"We were able to get the correct numbers in front of the administration," Michniak said. "Glenn was open to it. He looked at it and said, 'Yeah, it shouldn't be an issue at all, for baseball and soccer, to maintain these fields.'"
Currently, Michniak said parents volunteer many hours maintaining fields.
"[But] it's not doable to have parents out there mowing constantly," he said. "It just made sense to have a person dedicated to it."
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