My sources tell me that something big is about to go down. Expect a major announcement regarding Elm Park and its future shortly. Breaking news. So I reached out to the Mayor for a little insight and perspective. But as of today, neither he, nor anyone from his office, had returned my emails or calls. I guess we’ll have to hit him up on Snapchat.
I won't comment on the master plan until hear from Dr. Campana directly. It's only fair. I've learned my lesson in part-time journalism and can't afford to lose any more friends.
Besides, I would only be reporting on speculation and complete hearsay. The rumor mill is stirring and I've heard just about everything that's going into Elm Park. From soccer fields to bike paths. Water slides to petting zoos. More baseball diamonds to even GO CARTS. It's nuts. Again it's complete supposition. But I hope this project has more success and viability than outdoor minor league hockey and pickleball.
A few of my friends from the Williamsport Area Softball Boosters Association (WASBA) tracked me down to share their frustrations. I am experienced in this type of situation. The WASBA has been the long time primary caretaker of the fields of Elm Park since 1945. The volunteer based organization had leased the grounds from the city. Did you know there was a neighboring 9-hole public golf course back then? It's true. I hear it was just splendid. Maybe that's in the plan too. Oops.
The WASBA was no burden to the taxpayers as they raised their own funds and used their own equipment to maintain the grounds. Elm Park is a busy place folks. It is home to a plethora of softball tournaments and games. From PIAA state finals to Average Joe's Sunday afternoon leagues. The WASBA also did all of the concessions.
The organization renewed their one-year option after a 10-year agreement with the city back in September. Well that seemed to have all changed here recently.
According to the WASBA, "Due to a takeover and development plan by the City of Williamsport and other entities, the volunteer based organization referred to as WASBA/ELM PARK will disband at the end of 2017. All property of the WASBA will be sold with all proceeds going to a 501c3 organization of our choice. We thank you for your support and it was our pleasure serving the community."
The WASBA has dissolved and sold all of their assets as of last weekend. Hmm. They're out. Something big must be going down. I have heard the WASBA's side and the reasons fore the 50-year split, but I will refrain until I personally speak with our Mayor on the future of Elm Park. To be continued.
So I'm going to wait two weeks and go on a fine vacation. Then I might take my problems to the United Nations. I called my congressman and he said quote, “I’d like to help you son but I am busy entertaining the ‘60 Minutes report’.” He finally released a statement on #twitter. I won't go there either, but you can't make any of this up.
On a personal note — I would like to thank all who reached out to the Spencers this week. Losing a loved one is never easy regardless of age or the mileage between. Hazel Jensen Schroyer was a long time fan of the pages of the Webb Weekly. She read them online in her nursing home in Pipestone, Minnesota. Grandma Haz was my favorite Norwegian and she was a sweet as her world famous rhubarb pie. She was never sour — except for that time I accidentally broke that old vase. Much love folks. Until next week. Cheers.