County pursuing larger Frontier Field project


Monroe County officials have applied for $4.5 million in state grant funds to help cover the cost of a planned $7.5 million project at Frontier Field.

Last night, the County Legislature's Planning and Economic Development Committee gave the county administration permission to make the application. But the vote was something of a formality, since the administration had to submit the application to the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council by June 16, which it did.

The county already has a Frontier Field project in the works. Its proposed 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program — essentially a multi-year plan for construction projects and major equipment purchases — calls for the county  to spend approximately $2.4 million for maintenance work and upgrades at the stadium. The work spans six years, and Rochester Community Baseball will kick in some funding, too, says the draft CIP.

The grant funding will allow for additional work to support what's included in the CIP, says Democratic Legislator Josh Bauroth says. The legislation, submitted by County Executive Maggie Brooks, says the expanded project will include replacing the field.

Democrats have so far backed the CIP, which is up for a public hearing at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 8. The Legislature will likely vote on the CIP at that meeting, too.

In May, Democrats voted against a resolution to refinance past borrowing for Frontier Field, but solely as a protest. They wanted to draw attention to the county administration's practice of budgeting for rent income from the Red Wings, even though the team never pays the rent. Democrats held the measure up for a month, but ended up voting in favor in June.