October 26, 2021

No funding for sports complex

Image provided by Keystone Associates

An artist’s rendering of the original proposed sports complex for the village of Homer. File photo from June 2018.

While the state handed out $88 million to community projects across Central New York, the village of Homer’s proposed sports complex and park expansion project was not one of them.

The village had applied for $16 million in grants from several agencies for the $30 million project.

“While we did not receive funding this year for the sports complex and river trail, the feedback we received from the different grant agencies was extremely encouraging,” Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe said in a written statement. “We were told that few projects of that size and scope are funded the first year, and for us to please apply again next summer.”

The proposal includes a dome for indoor sports, a potential hockey rink, pavilion, Little League field, a football field, a soccer and lacrosse field, boat launches on the Tioughnioga River, a 2-mile walking trail along the river and a dog park at Calale Field off Route 281.

The site for the dome and sports fields would be the privately owned 70-acre former Casey field and the adjacent former Contento scrap yard owned by the Cortland County Industrial Development Agency — both in Cortlandville. The village would buy the Casey Field site for $375,000 and lease the former Contento property.

The village expects to get about $9 million to $12 million from private investors for the project, McCabe has said.

Even with the grant and private funding, the village would still need to bond about $2 million for the project, but McCabe has said the village would pay off the bond in three to four years using revenue from the facility.

McCabe said the idea of the project still remains a good one.

“To improve the amenities offered to village of Homer residents and better their quality of life while also reducing taxes by increasing economic development within the village,” McCabe said.