State Senator Owen H. Johnson (4th Senate District, Babylon), Chairman of the Finance Committee, joined members of the Brentwood Soccer League on Saturday -- the opening day of their season -- to call on the Governor to restore $6.5 million he and Senator Trunzo had secured in the state budget to build the Brentwood Athletic Complex at Brentwood State Park.
"Today as we celebrate opening day of the Brentwood Soccer League’s 2006 season, we realize that we have more work to do to ensure that our kids have the kind of opportunities they deserve," said Senator Johnson. "The $6.5 million included in the legislative budget for our ‘field of dreams’ is at risk of being lost. So today, we are gathering names of parents, athletes and children in the Brentwood Community who agree that our children deserve this funding. Together, we were successful in getting this money into the budget and together we’ll be successful in getting it back in the budget."
Senator Johnson explained that he had initially convinced the New York State Parks Department to adopt the site as the Brentwood State Park back in 2003. He considers this funding delivering on a promise for a sports complex where Brentwood’s local athletic leagues can be proud to compete.
"The new Brentwood Athletic Complex would provide a beautiful, safe place for families to enjoy athletic events and other community gatherings," Senator Trunzo said. "A state-of-the-art sporting complex such as this would encourage continued community growth and pride. That’s why we need this funding restored."
The development of the complex would be completed in phases and would include new soccer fields and goals; baseball fields; lighting; team benches and spectator stands; an irrigation system; a concession stand; a main building with restrooms; landscaping; parking and fencing, pedestrian paths and sidewalks; bicycle racks, a picnic area and playgrounds. Management of the complex would be overseen by Brentwood Athletic Complex, Inc., a nonprofit 501-c-3 which recently entered into an agreement with the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Senator Johnson and Senator Trunzo recognized the ongoing cooperation and support of local groups including the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, Brentwood Soccer Club, Wicks Gardens Civic Association, Brentwood Civic Association and Brentwood Travel Baseball. The support of these groups, together with the grant and contributions from corporate sponsors, would see this entire project completed in the shortest time possible.
"The mission statement of the Brentwood Athletic Complex, Inc. is to develop and manage a state-of-the-art complex that fosters physical fitness primarily through sports, while improving the quality of life in the community," said Tom O’Hara, President, Brentwood Travel Baseball. "Senators Johnson and Trunzo were the ones willing to step up to the plate and make this dream a reality. And it is comforting to know that we can count on their leadership on behalf of the community again."
"Senators Johnson and Trunzo have worked hard to deliver our children and community a ‘Field of Dreams’," said Violette Smith, President, Brentwood Soccer League. "Our children and our community deserve this ‘field of dreams’ and our community will pull together and work with the Senators to get what our children are entitled to."