Unremoved thick layers of ice at Bowman Field has delayed the city from filing a lawsuit to recover $46,000 in unpaid utility bills owed by the now defunct Williamsport Outlaws hockey team and Syracuse Junior Hockey Club.
The city is preparing litigation against the Outlaws and the nonprofit operation based in Dewitt, N.Y., to recover the losses, but won't file the lawsuit until the rink is removed and the stadium is inspected, according to Norman Lubin, city solicitor.
Meanwhile, Rink Specialists, the company that owns the ice rink equipment, has taken its chiller and the glass, but has not removed the ice, said Gabe Sinicropi, vice president of marketing for the Williamsport Crosscutters, the professional baseball team and affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies that plays home games at the stadium in the New York-Penn League.
Sinicropi briefed the Bowman Field Commission Tuesday about the situation and it didn't sit well with one member.
"I think they (Rink Specialists) are waiting for the ice to melt to incur the least amount of expense because they are owed so much money," Sinicropi said.
The ice is "three ice rinks worth of ice in that rink," he said, a reference to its thickness.
"I am concerned the delay won't add more negatives to an already negative situation or impact the restoration of the field," said Lou Hunsinger Jr., commission president, following the meeting.
Damage and costs to repair the field in time for baseball season have been estimated at $15,000 or more.
Mayor Gabriel J. Campana, who attended the meeting, said the city has received $20,000 from the Outlaws and nonprofit to pay for the costs to repair the field.
"I did that," said Council President Bill Hall in a follow-up telephone call. Council agreed to the measure.
"I wanted it to be more," Hall said.