No one denies that the 1,000-plus kids and adults who participate in the Central Amherst Little League deserve real bathrooms with running water and flushing toilets.
But who should be paying for them?
Amherst town officials said that in the past, the town has agreed to provide water and sewer lines to youth sports organizations, while the organizations themselves raised the money needed to construct the actual building.
But in the case of the Central Amherst Little League, council members agreed to cover both the water- and sewer-line costs, as well as the restroom portion of the new building, which also will include a snack stand and picnic pavilion.
Some argued that such generosity - in this case, $185,000 that will likely deplete the town's recreation fees account - will set an unhealthy financial precedent when other nonprofit sports organizations come forward asking for similar assistance.
But others said that it's clear that the Central Amherst Little League is in a unique circumstance, hosting the only northtowns league for children and young adults who are developmentally delayed.
Porta-potties are not an option for most of them, they said.
In addition, the organization is responsible for raising roughly $65,000 to cover the remaining construction costs for the building and is looking ahead to other long-term improvements that will require aggressive fund raising efforts for years to come.
--- Sandra Tan