• Last modified 1403 days ago (June 17, 2015)


City bristles at misuse of ball fields

Staff writer

Baseball and rainy weather don’t mix.

With Cottonwood Valley League recreational baseball in full swing, teams are making use of Marion’s baseball/softball complex for games and practices — just not always when they should be.

Administrator Roger Holter told the city council Monday that complex groundskeeper Scott Heidebrecht had complained teams had practiced on the fields after rains when conditions weren’t yet conducive for play.

“This required over four hours time investment into dragging fields and laying down shale,” Holter said.

He said it was the third time a team had used the field without giving it ample time to dry.

One team had to move its entire practice to the outfield despite dry conditions because of damage to the field, Holter said.

Heidebrecht requested he have the power to close the gates to the field when conditions weren’t playable.

“I wasn’t aware we took that power away,” council member Chad Adkins said. “He should absolutely have the ability to close that up.”

Coaches wanting to practice in the outfield or the batting cages would be able to call Heidebrecht to gain access.

“He wants to know who’s tearing up the field,” said city attorney Susan Robson, who coaches a softball team in the league.

She said that because so many teams want to practice there, they may be more inclined to practice despite poor conditions because of the lack of alternative practice time.

Mayor Todd Heitschmidt said it could be a worthwhile investment to purchase video cameras to monitor the facility.

Council approved the change, allowing Heidebrecht to close the field during poor weather. Signage will be placed on the gate to indicate that Heidebrecht has closed the complex.

In other business:

  • Alex Case presented the council a dividend check of $19,480.75 from EMC Insurance. Case said it was the seventh consecutive year the city had received a dividend, but this year’s was the largest in the 33 years the city has had its policy with EMC.
  • The council approved an application for sale of fireworks before the Fourth of July in the a parking lot east of Marion County Food Bank and Resource Center. Proceeds will benefit the youth center that formerly occupied the building.
  • The council accepted a warranty statement for the stone wall on the Central Park stage. The warranty will be void if the city hangs signs on the wall.
  • Holter announced that the city would find out July 15 whether its East Park renovation grant application was approved.

Last modified June 17, 2015