by Mitchell Kirk
The Logansport Babe Ruth League and Logansport Parks and Recreation Department want funding from the city to help replace two sets of bleachers at Steinman Field ailing from eroding wooden boards and bent support poles.
Brandon Collins, president of the Logansport Babe Ruth League, said the state of the boards on the bleachers poses trip hazards and several of the metal brace supports are bent and curved.
“There’s gaps between the bleachers where it wouldn’t take nothing for kids to drop something and go down to get it and the next thing you know, his head’s hitting the pavement,” Collins said.
Mitch Long, a board member of the Logansport Babe Ruth League, said the league spends around $500 a year maintaining the boards on the bleachers.
“There’s nothing about them that I think would even pass an inspection anymore,” Long said.
The new bleachers cost around $20,000 and are made from aluminum, which Babe Ruth board members and Parks and Recreation Department members say will allow them to last longer than the wooden seats that stand there now.
Collins said the league’s fundraising efforts would not be enough to buy two new sets of bleachers, which is why he’s requesting assistance from the city.
“We’ve drafted letters and we’re going to approach some of the more prominent businesses for donations to help out with this,” Collins said. “We’re not leaving it alone and just relying on the parks or City Council to take care of this. We’re going to exhaust every avenue of fundraising that we can.”
Collins said the league is planning on replacing two of the worst sections of bleachers for now with hopes of replacing more in the future.
Logansport Parks Administrator Jan Fawley said the bleachers are around 50 years old and have been an issue she’s been trying to address for the last few years.
“They’ve been on my capital improvement plan for several years but with budget cutbacks, that was one of the things that kept getting pushed off and pushed off,” Fawley said. “I put together this resolution to get the ball rolling. If it’s not something we can take care of this year, I think we definitely need to get it in our budget next year. I think it’s critical as soon as possible.”
Bob Bishop, a Logansport city councilman and chairman of the Logansport Parks Committee, said the committee will await a request from Fawley to meet to discuss the bleachers. While appropriating money to replace the bleachers is ultimately up to the council, Bishop expressed a desire to decommission them until they’re removed.
“I would say we need to take those out of service until we can do something about it, whatever ones are unsafe, because I think we certainly would be liable for it, especially now that we’ve made public attention to it,” Bishop said.
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