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Re: “Can ballpark overcome slump from Ramapo mess?” May 10 editorial:
Yes, the creation of St. Lawrence’s stadium was a mess, but it may be too soon to celebrate its future with the Boulders baseball team. Years ago, Preserve Ramapo explained why our town would never receive enough revenue from the Boulders to pay for the $70 million we believe it cost to build the stadium. But we also suspect that the Boulders may not even be paying us enough to cover our variable costs.
Under the remarkable sweetheart deal that St. Lawrence signed, we are supposed to get a dollar a seat, whether it is a full priced seat, a discounted seat or a free seat. We are also supposed to receive $2 for every car that is parked.
The contract stipulates that Ramapo may examine the books of the Boulders whenever it wishes. Has it bothered to do this and have St. Lawrence and town officials ever bothered to assure themselves that we are getting the revenue to which we are entitled?
Supervisor St. Lawrence has been desperate to demonstrate that the Boulders are a success. I would like to know how much labor Ramapo contributes to the maintenance of the stadium, the cost of police coverage, the cost of utilities and so forth. If key people in the St. Lawrence administration have been accused of (or pleaded guilty to) bond fraud, shouldn’t we also investigate if there has been any cooking of the stadium books?
It may very well be that the Boulders are a luxury we really can’t afford.
Robert I. Rhodes
The writer is chairman of Preserve Ramapo.