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The Beacon City School District (BCSD) Board of Education last night unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Dutchess County Government for a one-year lease extension for the 21 acres of property owned by the District on which Dutchess Stadium, owned by Dutchess County Government, sits in the Town of Fishkill. The lease extension is a critical component in the negotiations with the Hudson Valley Renegades for a new 20-year lease to continue to operate and play minor league baseball at Dutchess Stadium.
The BCSD recognized the County is currently engaged in new lease negotiations with the Renegades for continued operation of baseball at Dutchess Stadium and agreed to extend the lease to enable the County to conclude negotiations with the team for a long-term agreement. The County would then negotiate either a long-term lease with the BCSD Board that coincides with the term of the Renegades’ agreement or potentially purchase of the property from the District with the possibility of an additional 21 acres of land owned by the District contiguous to Dutchess Stadium. Without the lease extension, ownership of Dutchess Stadium would have reverted to the school district when the current agreement expired on December 31, 2018 according to the terms of the agreement.
With the land lease extension finalized, the remaining hurdle in the lease negotiations with the Renegades is for critical repairs and maintenance to be authorized and completed in time for the 2019 season. Without commitment for basic repairs, including structural repairs and seating in time for the 2019 Opening Day, the Renegades will not consider any lease beyond the 2019 season. Last week, members of the Dutchess County Legislature voted down the capital funding resolution for these essential safety improvements. The $3 million bond authorization is necessary to fund repairs and maintenance at the 25-year-old facility, including repair of the concrete seating structure, seating replacement, and repair and replacement of the parking lot with new lighting and drainage.
Over the last several days County Executive Molinaro has met with several of the legislators who did not support the bond funding to address concerns and has urged the Legislature to reconsider the vote at the December 3rd board meeting. Residents are also encouraged to reach out to their county legislator before the December 3rd meeting.