By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
Tucker County Parks and Recreation Board met in open session at Holly Meadows Golf Course. Among the agenda items was the scoreboard at the baseball field across from Camp Kidd.
“We bought that scoreboard over two years ago and it’s still sitting,” Board Member Tom Gutshall said.
“I’m going to call them tomorrow and say, ‘Hey, something has got to be done about this scoreboard.’ I mean its sit there for two years. I mean, it’s a brand new scoreboard.”
As part of the discussion on the matter, the board discussed the need for a comprehensive plan for the ball field area before they could move forward with placement or improvements. “(The School Board) was supposed to give us a comprehensive plan on what they want to do, what is their idea,” Gutshall said. “We were going to make some changes up there…the way we want to make it to hold Tournaments like softball tournaments and Little League Baseball. We got to have the fields back-to-back.”
Gutshall posed the idea of having two fields back-to-back with the press box and concessions stand between the fields. “You could put one press box in the middle,” Gutshall said. “Then you could use the same press box for both fields.”
Gutshall commented on plans for a concession stand. “The whole idea if that is, if you do it right, if you build it correctly, you can put a concession stand underneath the press box,” Gutshall said. “So now its accessible to both fields. Rather than build another building.”
Gutshall also expressed some opportunities an updated ball field could bring to the county. “You could get a softball tournament there,” Gutshall said. “They could rent out Camp Kidd because we’d have eight, ten teams come down here.”
Tucker County Commissioner Mike Rosenau questioned the board on the subject. “Let me ask you this,” Rosenau said. “I don’t know much about it. So, if you put your fields back-to-back, how do they play?”
“Home plate would be right at center field,” Gutshall said. “It would be adjacent fields.” Gutshall said that there was plenty of room to expand and not impact parking for the area. “You’d have the same amount of parking you have now,” Gutshall said.
“The Little League Baseball and Softball were supposed to put together a comprehensive plan of what they were wanting,” Board Member Mike Shaffer said.
“But when it comes to the scoreboard, if you had your plan, you could save a step and do it,” Rosenau said.
“We need to have a plan first before we can do any kind of financing,” Shaffer said.
“But the thing is, once you have a comprehensive plan,” Rosenau said, “then you can move toward it. Maybe it would be in steps, maybe a grant becomes available. That’s what I’m keyed into is grants, but you can’t have anything for grant applications without a plan.”
There was discussion that the board was promised a comprehensive plan from the organization two years prior, but due to it never being presented, the project has been at a standstill. The board voiced frustration over the inactivity on the project. The board also discussed the issue of the county schools use of county facilities.
“Like everything in the county, schools use the fields for nothing,” Gutshall said. “You know, we charge a little bit of nothing, we charge softball nothing for use of the facilities. We pay electric, we pay the water, we pay for everything, which is fine…Everything done down here is done voluntarily.”
Rosenau said, “Another thing I will tell you I think is the school utilizes it, I think the Board of Education should be involved in it, you know.”
“They should be invested in it. They should have some money in it,” Shaffer said.
“I didn’t want to say that out loud,” Rosenau said. “But that’s exactly how I feel, too. They should be.”
The board discussed that they were glad to help the school and allow them to use the field, but also discussed that the maintenance of the facilities fell solely upon Parks and Recreation. “The bottom line is this,” Gutshall said. “It is for the kids and we would never say no to the kids. But then again, they have to have some responsibility.”
The board discussed getting on the agenda for the next school board meeting. “That’s what I’d do,” Rosenau said.
“We can’t move forward without a comprehensive plan,” Shaffer said. The board tabled the subject.