Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2001

Baseball association pushes ball field upgrades to council

August 30, 2001

The Eudora Amateur Baseball Association said the city struck out when it didn't follow though with the association's request for a permanent concession stand at the fields near West Elementary School.

Board member Janet Campbell told the council she approached them last November with a plan for a concession stand and thought it would be included in the 2002 budget.

"We feel we've been compliant for the last six years when that has been deleted from the budget," Campbell said.

The association also asked for a new scoreboard and a sound system, projects currently underway.

Council member and recreation commission member Rex Burkhardt said the commission had seriously considered the concession stand a top priority.

"I think the problem that has been an issue with the council is whether we'll be building on school property," Burkhardt said. He told her they'd have to reach an agreement between the city and the school regarding who would pay what.

"That's been the argument since 1996," Campbell countered. "There never seems to be a consensus as to whose responsibility it is."

The problem with not having a permanent concession stand, Campbell said, is it limits what the association can serve, in turn, lowering its sales, one of the main sources of revenue. Campbell said revenue in concession stands went decreased from $5,000 to $1,200.

They're missing a big opportunity, Campbell said, because young athletes, who play at the West fields, draw a larger crowd than the older athletes who play at the fields near Nottingham, which have permanent stands.

Moreover, the association can't bring in tournaments, and in turn more revenue, because of space issues.

Council member Tom Pyle thought building such a structure was perhaps too involved for an operation like the EABA.

"It always seems a shame to me the money we spend on recreation any by July they shut down," he said.

The volume makes up for the short time, Campbell said. The organization involves 300 players.

The field near West Elementary wasn't given amenities like lights, permanent bathrooms or concession stands because the district's intention is that it would be a practice field.

"I think they're permanent fixtures right now," Superintendent Marty Kobza said. He said the board would be willing to work with the city on the project.

"We want a quality facility," he said. "It wouldn't have to be the Taj Mahal."

Mayor Ron Conner directed the council to dig up the plans submitted last November and revisit the issue Sept. 13.

In other city council news:

The council approved the addition of Thomas Willis to the Eudora Police Department. Sgt. Greg Dahlem said he hoped to have background checks and drug screens finalized and have Willis on the street Sept. 4. Willis spent one year at the Lawrence Police Department.

Kobza updated the council on school board issues and asked the council to allow city crews to install light poles and hook up the electricity.

He said the district was paying for the materials and only sought the city's assistance with installation. Conner directed Kobza to continue working with city superintendent Bill Harlow and electric superintendent Eldon Brown.

The council heard an update on the proposed franchise renewal with Sunflower Broadband. It was the first of three readings where council members could ask questions.

The council approved easements and rights-of-way for a final plat at Intech Business Park that will include the Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

The council revisited the ordinance violations on the Hattabaugh Property.

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