BCRC ball field proposal is made to school board
Steve Friend has proposed a joint agreement with the Baldwin
School District about usage and maintenance of all district athletic fields.
Although the agreement is packed with ideas, the biggest change from the current policy would be the utility payments. Friend proposes the school district pay for all utilities up to a certain point, which hasn’t been determined, then the Baldwin City Recreation Commission would pay the rest.
Since the utilities would be paid for, the BCRC would provide labor and maintenance of the district baseball, football, soccer and softball fields. Friend brought the agreement to the Baldwin School Board meeting Dec. 14.
“This upcoming season, the city isn’t involved anymore and I just wanted to start the process of deciding who’s going to do what,” said Friend, director of the recreation commission. “We took the step of going beyond what we proposed before. We used to just take care of the baseball and softball fields.
“We’ve now proposed to take care of the football and soccer fields with seed and water, which I think would help the school some,” he said. “But I wanted some stuff in exchange. I’m trying to get out of the utility business, because we don’t use the lights that much. I think water is going to be the big issue.”
The Baldwin City Council has decided to pay $6,000 for utilities for the ball fields in 2010, but nothing after that.
Supt. Paul Dorathy said funding all of the utilities, which primarily includes lights and water, would be the big issue with the agreement.
“That could be a big jump from where we’ve been at,” Dorathy said. “The city has said they will stop paying for those, so we are going to have to take that burden on anyway. Now we just have figure out how we are going to split the cost or agree to pay for those utilities.”
In exchange for maintaining the district fields, Friend is hoping he can get some help from the district. In his proposal, Friend has asked for a maintenance facility at the ball field complex. The building will be used for equipment and vehicle storage. The estimated cost would be $50,000 for a 56-foot-by-30-foot building.
“I want a maintenance building out of this,” Friend said. “I want a location and I’m asking the school district to use excess bond money, if they can. That’s why I think they need to wait until the performing arts center goes out to bid so they can see where they are at money wise. I’m not talking about a lot of money for the building.”
His other two requests were a utility vehicle with snowplow and field drag ($17,000) and mower ($10,000).
“I want a utility vehicle that I can throw bags of seed, fertilizer, rakes or shovels on. I want to use it to move dirt. Right now we have one six-foot mower and that isn’t going to mow 20 acres and keep everybody happy. We’d get behind. So I figured I’ll need another mower.”
During the winter months, Friend said he doesn’t have much for his maintenance worker to do. So he has proposed that Dana Rockers work maintenance for the school district during December, January and February.
“I’m not sure why I had a full-time maintenance person when I came here,” Friend said. “So in exchange, he goes to the school district to work maintenance 40 hours a week. That kind of makes up for some of the things they don’t charge us for.”
The proposed agreement also includes responsibilities for each organization, estimated seed and fertilizer costs for all fields, estimated lighting costs per hour and facility rental prices.
Friend also added several items for discussion. One of those is allowing the BCRC to develop the land west of Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center for soccer fields. Others are alcohol and tobacco use, sponsors hanging signs on ball field fencing, naming the fields, portable fencing, portable pitching mounds, lights at two physical education fields near Baldwin High School and allowing the fireworks display to move to the field west of BESIC.
“There are quite a few pieces to this proposal,” Dorathy said. “Our board wanted to take its time and review all of the material. They also formed a committee of about six people to discuss the agreement.”