When NRKA approached NRYSA about merging in the winter of 2017 they were in financial difficulties. Having been playing at the ball fields in NR, the village of NR required them to maintain the property year round along with paying a $1000 rental fee. In 2017 they had not yet paid their rental fee and with only $48.00 in their account (and owing their teams approximately $2400; they were -$2500 in the red). NRKA met with NRYSA to disclose this information and to express their concern for not being able to provide the funds for the field rental, that knothole in NR could potentially be ended. Since many of the same volunteers (and even board members) were involved with both organizations, the benefit of streamlining operations, and providing all three sports to children of the community were important; NRYSA agreed to consider the merge knowing they are bringing in an association with debt. Thankfully the village of NR waived the rental fees for 2017 only, and allowed NRYSA to rent the property always known as the "knothole fields" in 2018 for the same fee of $1000.00 along with maintaining the property year round.
After running the program for one year there were many issues that were discovered that required a change in the operation of three locations (Mt Pisgah/Ohio Township fields, Knothole fields, and the practice fields at Monroe Elementary). Here are some of those issues:
-inability to store equipment to maintain the fields at all three locations
-not having enough field equipment even if it could be stored
-cost to maintain the property cost around $10,000 per year (mowing, weed eating, parking lot, and fields)
-the concession stand at the knothole fields needed a new roof, floors redone, bathrooms had to be operational, drainage around the concession stand added, and new plumbing under the sink in order for the Board of Health to allow us to open in 2019. The value of those repairs was over $10,000.
-Fencing needing repaired at the knothole fields
-parking was limited at both the knothole fields and Mt Pisgah
-little to no volunteers willing to help maintain all three locations
NRYSA met for several months and help both association meetings and a public meeting to discuss vacating the fields in the village of New Richmond. This was due to the fact the village had told NRYSA multiple times they wish to sell the property, and any money put into repairs would not be given back to NRYSA if the property sold. NRYSA even inquired about purchasing the property and was told the value was $300,000 not including the repair costs needed. After much discussion with New Richmond Exempted Village School District, they agreed to allow NRYSA to place a concession stand and add two fields (at a later time) for the use of all knothole and softball activities. They required NRYSA to pay for any utilities used, all costs associated with maintaining the fields during their season only, and maintaining the complex. This was able to be done at less than $19,000 the first year (this includes the cost of the concession trailer) and around $5000 per year since. The decision to move was a business decision and was allowing NRYSA to secure a location for the future generations to come vs an unknown amount of time and expenses if we stayed at the knothole fields.
In the winter of 2022, NRYSA was able to build a new field, increasing the amount of playing fields to 6. Each year improvements have been made to enhance the ball fields and the campus that we use. Each improvement has been possible due to fundraising and local business sponsorships. The ball fields are some of the best fields to play on, especially after rain. Many times other districts cancel, while we are still able to continue to play.