Pharos-Tribune

October 14, 2012

Opinions split on proposed new ball field

Backers say project would draw more tournaments

by Amie Sites
Pharos-Tribune

KOKOMO — Opinion were divided last week on a proposed new youth baseball

field at Fairview Park.

Anthony DeHaven, president of Logansport Youth Baseball, joined

other league representatives in appearing at a Logansport Parks

and Recreation Board meeting to answer questions about the

proposed field.

Logansport Youth Baseball now uses two fields at Fairview — Crain and Metz — and it want to add another field in the green space across from Crain Field.

Board members and others brought up questions about the trees,

open space development, economic impact and funding for the

project.

City Councilman Joe Buck expressed concern about the ballpark

that would be placed in his ward.  

“This is the only park on the south side,” Buck said. “I feel that by

eliminating the open space we are wiping away the city park and the people who use it.”

Fellow Councilman Bob Bishop said he had no opinion one way or the other about the park, but he thinks that there are some issues

that should be discussed.

“I would suggest that the funding for this project is secured so that, if approved, it’s not just built halfway,” Bishop said. “My concern is that the area right now is used year round, and if changed to a ball field it would only be used at certain times.”

DeHaven said that to use the proposed green space, the league

would have to remove trees in the area but would either move trees to other places or plant new ones.

“I want to stress that we aren’t getting rid of green space, we are

moving it around,” DeHaven said. “We’re open to working with the

board, and we’ll keep plugging ahead and tweaking our proposal as needed.”

Susan Rodriguez, a teacher at neighboring Fairview Elementary

School, said she lives on the south side of town and has visited the park often.

“I hate to see beautiful open space go to a ball field that will be used for just a few tournaments,” Rodriguez said. “We don’t have a lot on the south side, except a great school, and I would like to keep the park as it is now.”

Reva Record had similar concerns and asked that the board save

the park.

“I would hate to see this space disappear,” Record said. “If you tear it down, I don’t know how it will be replaced.”

DeHaven said the league hoped that if its plan were approved, the

program would be able to expand, hold more tournaments and

lower registration fees so that it’s more affordable for kids to join.

“I think the meeting went as expected for both sides of the issue,” he said. “We want to hear what people think.”

Marty Monahan, parks and recreation board member, said he

believed the proposed field would be positive and would bring more people to the area, which would mean more money spent in

Logansport restaurants, gas stations and motels.

Representatives from the league said that the land use agreement

is coming up at the end of the year and they want to include the green space in their lease, if approved.

The project would cost about $150,000, and most of that money

would come from a grant, according to league representatives. They say any remaining money would be raised locally through

fundraisers. The league stresses that it is not asking for tax dollars.

Representatives say putting the field at Fairview would allow the

league to save money by using the existing concession stand and

restrooms.

A park development committee will meet before the next regular park board meeting to put together a recommendation for consideration at the board’s next meeting on Nov. 14.

• Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or amie.sites@pharostribune.com