ClawsonJune 25, 2012
City Park diamond targeted for upgrade
By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer
CLAWSON — The heart of the city may be a little fresher by the end of the summer.
The city, school district and a local volunteer group are working together on a plan to upgrade the baseball diamond to include a grass infield. The City Council discussed the issue at its June 19 meeting and is expected to sign an agreement at the July 3 meeting.
“There are teams that won’t play on that field because it is dirt and not up to specs of other schools,” Mayor Pro Tem Howie Airriess said.
Used by the Clawson High School team, the field is one of a very few in the league that hasn’t already been upgraded.
“Two teams in Oakland County have dirt fields and Clawson is one of the teams,” Mayor Penny Luebs said. “The lights are good. We’d also like fencing and bleachers at the baseball field, but it is one step at a time. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”
The project, expected to cost either $31,750 for a sod infield or $35,350 for a skinned infield, will be split evenly between the three groups, although the city will temporarily pick up the tab for whatever the volunteer group cannot raise funds for.
“I listed the cost in here as $42,000, but the anticipation is that we’d come in significantly less than that, but we wanted to make sure we had the agreement costs not to exceed to make sure we covered everything,” City Manager Mark Pollock said. “The cost would be split three ways. The city would cover the shortage of the fundraising group because we know they don’t have $14,000 at this time, but they have committed.”
City Attorney Jon Kingsepp said since the three groups are budgeting for a higher cost than what is expected, that they would have to agree as to how to use any excess funds.
“If there is a surplus of funds after completion, the contracting parties shall agree as to the specific additional improvement that will be made to the athletic fields involving the maximum amount of those funds on a shared basis,” Kingsepp said. “If you demonstrate this type of community effort on the improvement of the field, it may be easier to sell it to someone like a Dick’s Sporting Goods or someone else to fund the bleachers.”
Councilman Tom Palmer suggested any difference be used to offset the cost to the volunteer group, led by CHS baseball coach Ralph Haney. Palmer also said he supported the more expensive skinned infield option.
“If we’re going to do it, let’s do it right,” Palmer said. “We’ve been criticized and we’ve talked about this stuff for years and years and years. And if we’re going to commit to this, let’s do it the proper way and not try to save a couple bucks and have it fall apart in two years. This a manageable project, reasonably priced. Let’s start here.”
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