2014-04-03 / Front Page

City approves pursuit of baseball grants

Funds will be used to construct new field

MANISTIQUE – The city will be pursuing grants to help construct a baseball field for children 12 and older. The field, expected to cost approximately $141,000, was discussed during a recent meeting of the Manistique City Council. According to City Manager Sheila Aldrich, Department of Public Works Superintendent Nick Bosanic and Coleman Engineering Project Engineer Kevin Trevillian have been working together to develop a funding plan for the proposed field. It will be located near the water tower area of Central Park, she added. The field will be primarily used by children 12 and older, explained Trevillian, who currently have no field on which to play. Funds for the field will come from a joint grant application, including a $45,000 grant request from the DNR Recreation Passport Grants Program. This program obtains funding from a percentage of the money raised from those purchasing Recreation Passports to enter state parks. “It’s made available for improvements to the city’s facilities, developments – like this one,” Trevillian said. The city will also be applying for $81,000 from Major League Baseball’s “Baseball Tomorrow Fund”. If received, these funds, along with the DNR grant, will be combined with a $15,000 local match from city of Manistique. This match could be in the form of cash or in-kind work during the construction of the field, Trevillian said. “With that, we feel we could develop a baseball facility that you could be proud of; a nice baseball field,” he said.

Councilperson Bill Vandagriff proposed multiple questions and suggestions to Trevillian, noting he had spent a lot of time on and working with baseball fields. Among his questions was whether or not a grass infield would be best. Vandagriff noted that such an infield would limit the base placement so that only one age group of children could play on the field. He also pointed out that the infield would require more maintenance and an efficient drainage system. “One of the most important things is to be able to play the game, if you have no way of draining the infield, that’s going to be really tough to do,” he said.

Trevillian noted that the sketch for the proposed field was only a concept drawing and that the logistics were still being worked out. “We would do something off the playing surface with the way it’s pitched,” he said. “(I) certainly understand the importance of drainage.”

Vandagriff also questioned what kind of maintenance plan would be implemented to ensure weed control.

He suggested that players take time after games to help with the maintenance.

Another suggestion made by Vandagriff was that Coleman Engineering use an unfired clay brick below batter’s box so children can’t dig the area out with their shoes.

He further asked about the fencing and if the quotes included local companies.

Trevillian explained the quotes used to send in for grant money were for budgetary purposes only, and that bids would be solicited from area businesses once any funding was secured and the project approved. “This was a very nice-looking field, I was pretty impressed,” said Vandagriff. “If you can build that and maintain it – good for Manistique. I’d be glad to play on a field like that.” The city council unanimously approved pursuing both grants and supplying a match if the grants were received.

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