by Dennis Dalman
The drainage project of Phase II improvements to Champion baseball field in Northside Park can proceed, thanks to an agreement between the City of Sartell and the Sartell Baseball Association and a positive nod from the city council.
At its April 9 meeting, the council voted unanimously to provide up to $30,000 in regional half-cent sales-tax revenue for an irrigation system and a berm. Those two projects will have a combined cost of about $17,250, according to Sartell Public Works Director Brad Borders.
Steve Gabrielson of the SBA presented his group’s plans for Phase II of Champion Field improvements.
There is a drainage problem at the field, he noted. Water from the hilly portion of the north section of Northside Park tends to run down into the field area. Constructing a berm and diverting that runoff water would help prevent that. Gabrielson said SBA volunteer labor will undertake an ambitious project in May by laying down paver stones as a walkway along the north and east sides of the field. He had previously proposed the SBA park-improvement plans to the Park Commission and city staff.
The paver pathways would be water permeable, Gabrielson noted. They would be installed beyond a retaining wall that was constructed last year. At the edge of the paved pathway would be a 2-foot-high retaining wall, which could be used for additional seating. At the top of the wall would be a 30-foot-wide grassy area where bleachers would sit. At the edge of that grassy area would be another 2-foot-high wall.
Last year, the city and the SBA made joint Phase 1 improvements to Champion Field, with the city spending about $74,000 and the SBA $70,000. The city’s part of the project included demolition, excavation and the poured concrete wall for the dugouts and the new backstop.
The SBA is responsible for dugout roofing, turf repair, backstop netting, fencing and construction of a permanent storage building. The SBA is currently raising $20,000 to complete Phase I, especially construction of the storage building. In addition, the SBA is appealing for contributions so the rest of Phase II (aside from the drainage project) can be completed eventually. Gabrielson said the SBA is even going to check into the possibility of getting a loan.
The rest of Phase II involves construction of a bathroom-concession stand-press box structure. That interconnected structure would be built right next to the field on the north side. The city will provide water-sewer connections if the SBA can raise enough funds for construction of the bathroom-concession-press box building. That project is not likely to be done until 2013, at the earliest.
Northside Park and Champion Field have never had flush-toilet bathrooms. If this one is built, anybody in Northside Park will be able to use it.
The ongoing Champion Field improvements are part of a larger park-improvements plan for Sartell, most of which have been done or will be done through private-public partnership agreements.