Gunnison seeking grant to fix up city ball fields
By Robert Stevens
GUNNISON—Gunnison City is applying for a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to fix up the ball fields.
During a public hearing held by the Gunnison City Council on Wednesday, Dec. 4, the council detailed a plan to apply for the grant.
“Basically what we are trying to do is apply for a grant to renovate our community ballparks,” Councilman Robert Anderson said. “They were built back in 1981. There hasn’t been much done to them since then and it’s time to get them back in shape so they are safe and playable for our young people.”
According to Anderson, the ball fields are managed by the Gunnison Valley Recreation Department, which is a community wide organization funded by a 0.25 percent sales tax. The rec department needs a government body to apply for the grant, which is why Gunnison City is doing it.
Gunnison City Mayor Lori Nay says the city is not putting up any matching amount. They are simply facilitating the grant application because the rec department is not a government body and the city is required to hold a public hearing by law.
Anderson said the rec department has put over $15,000 into the ball fields this last summer, but much work still needs to be done.
The main purpose for the grant money, if received, is to upgrade the lighting on the fields and improve restroom accessibility.
The restroom improvements would involve a concrete walkway from the entry to the ball field center, as well as a walkway to the east side, where the soccer field is, to improve general bathroom access.
Out there, right now it’s whatever big bush they can get to and that’s not a good situation,” Anderson said.
Councilman Blake Donaldson said, “The parties involved need to make sure the field is maintained and not just wait for another 20 years to get another grant to fix it up again. It costs too much to put it back together.”
No public comments were made during the hearing.