Making the case for new baseball field

By Traci Chapman
Published on January 17, 2007

Weeks remain before voters will decide the fate of a $2.9 million baseball complex plan, but pitches on both sides of the issue are already being thrown.

Ward 1 City Councilman Jay Adams is leading a campaign aimed at informing all residents about the needs at the city’s baseball fields. Adams said a previous bond issue for a $4.2 million facility failed in December 2006 because voters were not given enough information to understand how important the project is to the community.

“We really fell down last time,” he said. “My goal is to make sure everyone — not just those people who have kids playing on the fields — knows what this would mean to our community.”

Adams said he has spent “a great deal of time” at the city’s current fields, analyzing what he calls the hazards and downfalls of that facility.

“First and foremost, there’s the safety issue,” he said. “We have places where the rains have caused such terrible erosion that it’s hazardous to walk by some of the fields. Then you have fences that are falling apart — they’re just too far gone to fix them — and bleachers that are too close to other playing fields.

“Finally, you have the spray,” he said. “Think about that being your child or you, and spray from those wastewater ponds is blowing on you. Beyond how unpleasant that it is, it really is a safety hazard.”
While he understands that some will vote against the measure because it may benefit a select group of people, Adams said such a complex would enrich the community.

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