Ball field project moves ahead; changes made


Marysville is expanding the ball facilities at the County Home Road facility. The expansion would add an additional four natural turf fields and put artificial turf on two existing lighted fields.
(Photo submitted)


Marysville is moving forward with a planned expansion of the ball facilities at County Home Road.
The site currently serves as home to four traditional fields, two of which are lighted. The expansion would add an additional four natural turf fields and would also put artificial turf on the two lighted fields.
Marysville City Manager Terry Emery said the city needs the additional fields. He said because the fields at Schwarzkopf Park flood each year it is difficult to count on them being available. Additionally, he said because of the flooding the city was repeatedly paying to fix and maintain the same problems.
“We believe it is prudent and best to use that sight for more of open space activity and to use the County Home Road site for ball fields,” Emery said.
The project came in with an estimated price tag of $875,000. City officials were able to get a $150,000 grant to help with the project. Because the facility is on Union County Joint Recreation District land, officials are looking to other district partners to help pay that bill. Costs at the park are split between the City of Marysville, which pays three-sevenths of the bill, Union County which also pays three-sevenths of the bill and Paris Township which pays the remaining one-seventh.
Emery said the city has “no problem fronting the cost because it is the city’s need to add ball fields that is driving this.”
He said the joint recreation district leadership had a vision for the expansion as a five to 10-year goal. However, he said, because the city needed the fields, “we had a need to move quicker than the other entities were wanting or ready to.”
Aaron Story, a Paris Township representative on the Joint Recreation Board, said the township is “very pleased” with the direction of improvements at the park. He indicated that while the trustees have not voted, he believes the township would likely pay its portion of the bill, especially if the payment can be spread over several years.
Emery met Thursday with the Union County Commissioners. County Administrator Tim Hansley called the meeting, “friendly.”
“They let us know they were moving ahead with or without our support, but they would much rather have our support,” Hansley said.
He said the commissioners want to learn more about how much use residents from the county get from the fields. He said the commissioners will consider the cost, the benefits and repayment options.
“The board took it under advisement,” Hansley said. “What Terry heard was ‘maybe.’ He didn’t hear ‘no’ but he didn’t hear ‘yes.’”
Hansley said the project is a large expense. And the 2019 budget has already been set. He said county staff will make a recommendation about if and how to pay, but the commissioners will ultimately make the decision as part of next year’s budget.
“These are the types of thing, because of the numbers, that we would really need to account for in the budget,” Hansley said.
Emery said he understands.
“We understand they have other things they are working on and we also understand we are already through the budget period and likely they don’t just have the money sitting there.”
The city administrator said the joint recreation partnership is important to the community, regardless of how this project turns out.
“I feel very positive about our working with both the township and Union County and keeping the relationship of the joint recreation board,” Emery said.
Hansley said the joint recreation board is “a partnership (the commissioners) continue to value.”
City officials said in the past, putting artificial turf on all four existing fields was considered. When they received actual bid numbers, recreation officials determined adding more fields was a bigger priority than adding artificial turf. He said the goal will likely be to have artificial turf on all the fields. Additionally, he said there will likely be concessions and restrooms in the second group of fields as well.
“What we really need right now is ball fields, based on what we can afford,” Emery said.
He said it makes sense to turf the lighted fields because, that really maximizes the usage of the fields, transitioning them to artificial turf.”
Emery said officials hope to do the work through the summer with minimal disruption to the park and existing fields.
“I think we are planning on having the work pretty much done this fall so that we are full go next season,” Emery said.
He said recreation officials are “excited to see the potential of what these fields can be.”

...For the full story, select an option below.

Comments are closed.