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Park Board Earmarks Money for Lighting of Baseball Fields

The McCreary County Little League could finally get lights for the baseball and softball fields at the McCreary County Park after the Park Board voted to set aside $50,000 to that end.

Little League officials will have to decide how that money is spent: either illuminating one field to National Little League specifications, which would allow them to host tournaments – a possible revenue source. Or, purchase non-standard lighting, and provide illumination to several fields.

With money from a previously established contingency fund no longer needed to pay for possible litigation concerning construction of the McCreary County Park, members of the McCreary County Park Board met on Monday and were eager to spend some of the funds for improvements at the Park.

The contingency fund contained approximately $200,000; money set aside against the possibility of litigation over the initial park development. In April the legal issues were resolved, and the Fiscal Court approved releasing the fund back to the Park Board for use on projects related to the park. Approximately $110,000 has already been used, or designated for projects, including to pay half of the cost of a splash pad at the park, construction of additional camp sites at the Sand Hill RV Camp and the purchase of a new lawn mower.

Discussion during Monday’s Park Board meeting focused primarily on providing funds for lighting of the baseball fields.  Board Member Hoover Keith, Jr. brought up the possibility of lighting one field to meet standards as required by the National Little League.  Although the cost of lighting one field to meet Little League standards is approximately $43,000 and requires the use of aluminum poles, it allows the hosting of official Little League tournaments.  Others present at the meeting noted the possibility of lighting more than one field by using wooden poles and less expensive lights.

Board member David Decker expressed his feelings that more research is needed before specifying exactly how the lighting should be installed.  Decker stated the primary users of the fields should research and have the most input as to the specifics of the lighting.

Finally, with a motion by Keith and second by Park Board Member Roger Phillips, all members present voted to allocate up to $50,000 for lights on the baseball/softball fields as recommended and determined by the local Little League.  The allocation of money for lighting is dependent upon meeting insurance and liability requirements for Fiscal Court and meeting state codes.

Board members also discussed the possibility of having an open gym time on weekday afternoons during summer break from school.  More discussion and planning are needed before the organization of weekday open gym since the building is used by the Senior Citizens from 8:00-4:00 on M-F.   In their next meeting, board members hope to address the possibility of using some of the remaining litigation contingency funds to build one or two outdoor basketball courts.  This would allow outside access to basketball courts when the multi-purpose building is in use or closed.

The McCreary County Park Board regularly meets on the first Monday of each month at 5:30 at the Park in the Senior Citizens’ Building.

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