School board, BCRC agree on ball field proposal
After some slight adjustments were agreed upon, the Baldwin School Board approved the Baldwin City Recreation Commission’s ball field proposal.
A small committee of school board members and BCRC employees met several weeks ago to discuss the agreement that was proposed by BCRC. The school board unanimously approved the proposal at the Jan. 11 meeting.
“The committee met and made a few changes to the agreement,” Supt. Paul Dorathy said. “Basically, we came down to an agreement that everybody was OK with and now we just need to sign off on it.”
In December, BCRC director Steve Friend brought the ball field proposal to the school board. Friend wanted an agreement with the district about the maintenance and usage of the district’s fields.
The school board and Dorathy liked the idea of the agreement at the time, but wanted additional time to look over the five-page proposal.
“I think the recreation commission really put some good things into the agreement that help the school district out in many ways,” Dorathy said. “Many of their programs operate out of our facilities. They were able to add some things to this to make it worth our while to work with them. Basically the recreation commission is going to put a lot of labor into keeping our fields maintained.”
Some changes were made to the original agreement. The largest changes were made to the cost of the utilities and maintenance expenses. The original agreement called for the district to pay for all of the utilities, which include electricity and water.
The utilities will now be split evenly between the two parties for the first year. The Baldwin City Council has decided to pay $6,000 toward utilities at the new ball field complex in 2010, but none after that.
Meanwhile, the material costs for the grass and turf maintenance will also be split evenly for the first year.
“We made an agreement for at least a year that we would split the cost on maintenance and utilities, over what the city committed to pay this year,” Dorathy said. “After this first year, we will come back and revisit that. During this first year, we don’t know how much water or utilities are going to cost. They felt like we should do it 50-50 this year and then come back to revisit the agreement next year.”
The maintenance on the district’s fields would be handled by the BCRC. Dorathy knows the importance of maintaining proper playing fields for the district’s teams.
“If you’re going to take care of your field properly, they do need to be top-seeded, aerated and fertilized,” he said. “We need to do that for the safety of kids on those fields. I’m always looking at is the safety of kids.”
The other issue the board discussed was the maintenance building that was proposed in the agreement. It was proposed as a 50-foot by 50-foot building and would cost $50,000.
While several board members agreed a storage building at the new complex is needed, they wanted to look into the cost and size a bit more. Plus, the funding for the building is another issue.
Friend proposed the district pay for it with any additional funds from the 2008 bond issue. However, the performing arts center hasn’t been bid yet, so the board doesn’t know where it stands with the final bond issue figures.
“I think we are going to look into a building,” Dorathy said. “First, I think the board wants to hold off and see how our bids come in on the performing arts center. Then after the bids come in, we talk about what size and what are the needs of the building. We have to have a place to put your equipment and machines that are needed to work the fields. We can’t just leave it sitting outside or it just disappears.”
The school district is also looking into drilling a well at the new ball field complex. No plans have been made, but they are looking into the cost savings, where it might go and how much water would come from a well, according to Dorathy.