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Softball association disgruntled with field maintenance

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Steubenville has a new parks and recreation director. Lori Fetherolf was introduced to city council on Tuesday night.

The announcement comes on the heels of complaints about Steubenville's ballfields.

Coach Joe Roe emailed NEWS9 saying the Steubenville Girls’ Softball Association has had to use its own funds to maintain the fields. They're doing the weeding, and in their words, doing the city's work. The city manager of Steubenville says that's not the whole story.

“The ball fields, they're not maintained very well,” Roe said. “They're very hard, they're very dangerous for the girls to play on because the balls bounce a lot harder. There's grass all through the infields. "

Roe has two daughters. They play softball in Steubenville's ball fields and parks. Roe said he's upset that the softball association has to pick up the slack at parks like Jim Woods and North End. The city manager says, not quite.

“The case in point with North End field, where the girls play their softball, we're in a partnership there and they've signed an agreement that they will assist in maintaining some of these fields,” Mavromatis said.

Roe insists the city isn't being an equal partner.

“Last year, we went down and maintained the North End field all by ourselves,” Roe said. “We bought the grass killer, we dragged the field, we got dirt for the field."

What caught Roe's attention was that the city paid $1 million for new trash cans, but can't find money, he says, for parks.

“That is totally inaccurate,” Mavromatis said. “Money is budgeted based on accounts that are set up. The sanitation fund is paid by everybody in the city that pays for sanitation services."

Mavromatis said things are about to get better. But juggling moving parts for 17 parks, seven of which are multi-use facilities, is what he calls a gargantuan task.

“We lost both of our grounds keepers,” Mavromatis said. “They retired. You can't stop people from retiring. We just hired two new people in the last 35 days. They have to be trained."

With varying conditions at each of the city's parks, Mavromatis says if you have concerns, take them to him or to city council.

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