OLEAN – As the Boys of Summer give the field to the Boys of Fall, the Olean Local Development Corp. has taken to tallying up the cost of the 2013 Olean Oilers baseball season. And it doesn’t look good.
With a major service provider still to submit a final bill, the operating costs for the season mark yet another year of red ink, according to City Comptroller Fred Saradin.
“We really need to get the season closed out,” he said. “We are definitely in the red, and there is no way we have a net worth anywhere near $15,000. It is more likely that we have a worth of negative $5,000 or $6,000.”
The values are important as Brian O’Connell, president of the development corporation, has cleared all the hurdles needed to establish a nonprofit organization, Olean Oilers Inc., to take over the team, which plays in the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
Ownership would be retained by the development corporation until the nonprofit is set up.
“The transfer of the team is something that we have to talk to our city attorney to figure out how we need to go about it,” Mayor Linda Witte said. “As far as the red at the end of the year goes, that is something we will do fundraisers for. We have done that in years past. After the fundraising is over, it will all be taken care of.”
The outstanding bill, if the development corporation uses previous years as a guide, will be around $3,500. That would exceed the $2,262.84 currently in the team account. Another bill, a payment to auditing firm BWB, of Olean, will extract another $1,500 from that account.
The decision to transfer or put out requests for proposals to take over the team will be up for discussion at a later time, possibly as soon as next week, according to Witte.
As the team wraps up the season, renovation work continues on Bradner Stadium, said Tom Windus, city director of pubic works. Stabilization work on the tunnel entrance to the stadium is expected to move forward by the end of this week.
The entrance areas, as well as the walls, will be worked on, with stamped concrete and handrails for the entrance.
According to Windus, a shortfall is on the horizon for the stadium project. Of the $1.65 million allocated to renovations, $280,000 has been spent to date – for removal of the south bleacher structure, a concrete base and some field drainage.
If the city does not receive a $461,000 state grant it is seeking, the shortfall could run as high as $600,000.