BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County officials have responded to the Los Alamos Reporter regarding concerns raised by Los Alamos County Little League board of directors in a March 27 letter. (See https://losalamosreporter.com/2022/03/28/new-county-policy-threatens-existence-of-county-little-league/)
County Manager Steven Lynne forwarded the response from County Community Services Department Director Cory Styron which indicates that County staff are willing to work with Little League board on the work credit program to help reduce the cost of field rental. The League received an invoice from the County for more than $41,000 for this year’s season.
“Our desire has been to reduce cost to our users while ensuring Los Alamos County is compliant with New Mexico Anti-Donation statute,” Styron said. He said he a meeting has been set up for Apr. 4. The invitation was sent out March 22, according to Lynne.
Styron’s response is included below in its entirety:
The updated policy 1735-County Use of Land and Facilities provided a slight market increase for field and light use. This information was shared with the leagues and super users of outdoor facilities in February. The facility use agreement for all leagues in previous years contained the volunteer “work credit “ language and was a bit cumbersome to use and administer. CSD staff worked to revise the work credit program this past year and shared this with all leagues at the pre-season meeting.
The work credits are for field or facility volunteer work and opportunities to volunteer at County, Community or LAPS events. The form is streamlined to gather this information and has been received positively by other leagues and super users. The purpose of the work credit was to offset the cost of field rental required to comply with the Anti-Donation clause. The volunteer credit rate is $28.54 per person per hour according to the Independent Sector. The Independent Sector is a national organization that works to strengthen civil society through volunteer efforts.
Mr. Lynne did respond to CSD staff that he was not in favor of waving the fees. CSD staff upon receipt of this notice arranged a meeting on April 4th with Mr. Rodriguez to further share opportunities to comply with work credit program and fee structure.
Policy 1735 does allow for a non-profit company or organization as designated by the Internal Revenue Service, that is in good standing with the New Mexico Secretary of State to ask for a 25 % discount to the Community Services Director or a full waiver from the County Manager. The Los Alamos Little League is in “Good Standing” with the NM Secretary of State. As of this note no other league or super user as requested any fee discounts or waivers except Little League.
All leagues were asked for schedule requirements and entered the field reservations into system. Any conflicts of use time were worked out between the users with conflicts. As part of the work credit discuss all leagues and super users were provided a document with their total required hours for use and the associated cost of the rentals. This was done as a courtesy to show how each user their impact and potential cost of service. Many leagues were surprised at the number of hours they used the facilities.
LAC Staff is committed to working with Los Alamos County Little League, as indicated by our upcoming meeting on April 4th, on the work credit program to help reduce cost of field rental. Our desire has been to reduce cost to our users while ensuring LAC is compliant with NM Anti-Donation statute.