By CHRIS MORRIS
Georgetown’s softball leagues are back in business.
After the Georgetown Town Council decided to lease the park for spring leagues earlier this year, no one stepped up to take over the operation. The end result was that the softball field sat empty in the spring and summer with no adult leagues.
But that will soon end, thanks to an interlocal agreement between the Floyd County Parks Department and Georgetown Town Council. Floyd County will assume responsibility for the softball field this fall. If all goes well, the agreement could spill over to next spring.
“It’s a beautiful complex,” said Roger Jeffers, director of the Floyd County Parks Department. “It’s been well maintained over the years. We just hated to see this beautiful park sit idle. We’re happy the majority of the town board recognized that.”
Fall leagues begin Aug. 13 at Georgetown. There will be a Tuesday co-ed league, Thursday men’s league and Friday recreational co-ed league. Jeffers and Billy Haller, who has been hired as league director, hope to have at least 24 teams play this fall in Georgetown.
Haller was the league director for eight years before the town board decided to lease the park. He said he is happy to see the park being used again.
“When you ride past the field and it is just sitting there, and you are used to seeing people playing, it just doesn’t seem right,” Haller said. “I think this will be a good community service. People are interested in playing there.”
The fee to play the eight-game fall schedule is $300. Haller and Jeffers said several teams have already signed up or shown interest in playing in the Georgetown league.
“We have one of the most knowledgeable softball guys in the area to run the league. He knows the park and does a great job,” Jeffers said of Haller. “He knows about everyone out there so it was a no brainer to bring him back.”
Haller said 30 teams will bring a minimum of 400 people to Georgetown each week. He said local businesses should benefit. He also said with a grandstand, several spectators will come just to watch the games.
“It should really help all the vendors in town,” Haller said.
Jeffers said Floyd County will maintain the field, concession stand and restrooms. The parks department will also retain all league fees and will pay Haller’s salary.
“We are going to make this work,” Jeffers said. “Our hope with anything is that we break even. The main thing is to have people back using that park, playing softball and enjoying themselves.”
Since the parks departments were split beginning Jan. 1 of this year, Jeffers said Floyd County has made the most out of the situation. He said the county’s parks department has already brought in more revenue than the joint parks system did all of last year. He also hopes people will take advantage of Georgetown’s leagues being back in business.
“I think people are excited about it,” he said.
There is still time for teams to sign up for the fall leagues. Applications are available at the Floyd County Parks Department, 620 Park East Blvd., New Albany. For league information, call 812-948-5360.