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CYB agreement hits snag

Last-minute concerns expressed by Mayor Chris Vierra resulted in the Ceres City Council putting off approval of an agreement with Ceres Youth Baseball for another two weeks.

The city is poised to enter a three-year agreement with CYB for use of the Costa Ball Field Complex at Smyrna Park for its baseball program. That agreement calls for CYB to pay the city $10 per player in 2016, $15 in 2017 and $20 in 2018 in exchange for use of the facility. Day-to-day custodial service will be handled by CYB as well as field preparation and maintenance, including lawn mowing. The city will supply sprinklers and a lawn mower for CYB to use.

Mayor Vierra wanted details about a provision that CYB make every attempt to shop locally and wanted percentages. President John Azevedo said 95 percent of CYB's business is done with Stanislaus County businesses.

Vierra wants CYB to go beyond providing monthly financial statements and perform an annual audit by a third party. Public Works Director Jeremy Damas said he would have to negotiate with CYB "because obviously there's an added expense there that's not in the agreement as it stands."

"When there's the use of taxpayers' dollars I think we have to have some sort of audit," explained Mayor Vierra.

An audit, said Azevedo, would cost $3,000 to $5,000.

"Is the city willing to pay for the cost of that?" asked CYB Vice President Joe Carrillo, to which the mayor replied "why would the city pay that?"

"I don't think it's necessary but we'll talk about it," replied Carrillo.

Vierra also wants to insert a clause that states any help hired by CYB cannot be related to any board members.

Carrillo said CYB's priority is to keep registration fees the same for the approximately 1,200 youth players.

One area where CYB might be able to come up with the cash is through sales of backstop advertising. Councilmembers agreed to revisit a demand that CYB cannot charge advertisers more than 30 percent above the cost of the ad banner.