Gunnison seeks funding to improve local ball fields
By Robert Stevens
GUNNISON—Gunnison City is pursuing a possible funding opportunity to improve local ball fields.
The city council held a public hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 2 to request a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to improve the valley wide recreation department.Councilmember Robert Andersen said the Gunnison Valley Recreation Committee wants to resurface all of the four baseball diamonds adjacent to Gunnison Valley High School, adding that “they need a lot of work.”
Anderson said Mayfield Mayor John Christensen is on the rec committee, as well as the CDBG committee, and he felt the chances of receiving a grant to pursue the improvements might be good.
Andersen said the rec committee was looking to raise $250,000, and he felt Gunnison City would be in the best position to sponsor the grant request for the Gunnison Valley as a whole.
Gunnison City Mayor Lori Nay said she wanted the project, as it moved forward, to be a closely coordinated between the rec committee and the South Sanpete School Board.
Councilman Blane Jensen said the city had already spent an inordinate amount of money on the rec facilities shared with the school district, and most of it has been a waste since the grounds had not been properly kept up.
Nay noted there haven’t been any investment in the infields for several years. According to her, the school owns the fields, but there is a shared usage, with the city having access to them from May through September.
Councilmember Andersen agreed that the school hadn’t taken good care of the fields.
After some discussion about upkeep and water shortages the previous year, council members said they didn’t want to see improvements made, only to have the fields dry up again. Jensen said perhaps the city might have to help more during dry years to keep the fields in good shape.
Andersen mentioned that in Richfield, rec facilities had been turned over to local agriculture students. The students had successfully raised fertilizer donations from IFA and had transformed the fields from dry, unhealthy areas to green and lush ground.
Nay proposed that the city try to strike an agreement with the South Sanpete School District for proper maintenance and then go after a CDBG grant to improve the fields.