Play on at McNair Field

By on May 16, 2014

BLACKBERRY TWP.—Mya McIntire’s team, the Blue Sox, played their first game of the season at McNair Field on Sunday, thanks to the efforts of Blackberry Township to renew the lease on the field.

Mya and her father, Steve McIntire, vice president of the Elburn Youth Baseball and Softball League (EYBSL), and other league representatives attended Tuesday’s township meeting to thank township trustees for their support of the league.

The previous lease, negotiated 10 years ago between Blackberry Township and the landowner Transmission Relay Corporation, had granted local athletic leagues the use of five of the corporation’s 20 acres south and east of the intersection of Bateman and Rowe roads in exchange for a fee of $1 a year. According to township officials, the checks were never cashed.

Elburn Youth Baseball volunteers during the past 10 years had made a number of improvements to the property. Last year, they had begun the process of expanding the field’s parking lot when they received a call telling them to hold off on the expansion. It was then that the baseball organization members realized the lease had expired on April 30, 2013.

Since November of last year, township trustees have been attempting to renegotiate the lease with TRC so that the youth organization could continue using the field. The meetings were cordial, and according to Township Road Commissioner Rod Feece, landowner Lynn Limanowski was receptive to the baseball organization continuing to use the field. However, he said she was not open to the property being used for football activities.

Township Commissioner Jim Michels said they were finally able to come to terms on a one-year lease, which will expire at the end of November 2014. The agreement allows for baseball and softball, but not football, and requires the township to pay $2,600 for the use of the field for this year, which includes attorney’s fees.

Michels said that the township will begin negotiations this summer for future use of the field.