Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1689762

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 15, 2017

City approves $10,000 for paving Case Field lot

Sep 21, 2017

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

 

In the future parking at Case Field will be easier thanks to a partnership between the City of Washington and the Washington Community School Distirct to pave the parking lot of the sports complex.

During Tuesday’s regular meeting, the council approved a $10,000 contribution to help the school district pave the lot in front of the Case Field buildings as a way to help support a Washington County Riverboat Foundation grant request. City administrator Brent Hinson said the money, which was not part of this year’s budget, would come from the city’s general fund. If the district doesn’t get the riverboat grant, the contribution will not be given.

“This project came to us from a group of citizens who have a lot invested in Case Field,” Washington Schools Superintendent Jeff Dicks told the council.

The council will consider a resolution of support for the project during the Sept. 26 workshop.

According to the council packet, the city owns the adjacent Green Field and Redlinger Field, as well as part of the parking lot. The memo said the district had been moving ahead with a grant application when it was discovered the city owned a portion of the lot.

“This is a much-needed improvement, and hopefully will really just be the start in terms of addressing the parking issues at Case Field,” city administrator Brent Hinson said.

Hinson also said part of the project would be to work with Alliant Energy to provide additional lighting for the parking lot.

Currently there is one light for the entire lot. Three additional lights could be installed using existing utility poles. He said there would be a per light charge. Dicks commented if the poles could be moved slightly, it would allow for more parking.

Dicks said there is a lot of traffic that uses the gravel lot, and the district fills potholes in the lot every year. He said once the lot is paved, the school would be able to put parking lines in the lot, which would probably increase the number of cars that could use the lot at a time.

Dicks also said people in wheelchairs have a hard time navigating the gravel lot. He commented there are handicapped accessible bleachers now.

“When I look at the numbers I see this request as being about six percent of the project cost,” Council member Jaron Rosien said. “We certainly own more than six percent of that lot. I think it is a reasonable request and a worthy project.”

Council member Steve Gault asked why, when the city has discussed removing the ball diamond from the area as part of the planning for the proposed wellness park, should the city spend money to pave the lot.

Hinson said that is not a sure thing, because it is the city’s biggest field right now. He also said the city and the school district have worked together on many occasions and he felt the project was a good one.

Gault voted against the proposal.

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