|Perrysburg ballpark plan not a hit with neighbors|
|Written by ALEX ASPACHER/Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Friday, 19 July 2013 09:30|
PERRYSBURG — A plan to add lighting to a second field at Rivercrest Park was met with concerns from nearby residents Thursday.
Neighbors of the four ballfields said they are worried not only about the facility lighting up the night and also their children’s bedrooms, but that the proposal will lead to more out-of-town teams using the park, located at 13761 Eckel Junction Road near Fort Meigs Elementary School and Interstate 475.
The project would add 1,500-watt lights to four new poles and two existing ones surrounding Field 4 at a total cost of about $100,000.
The city will contribute $45,000, with the remainder covered by the Perrysburg Amateur Baseball and Softball Commission, which has an agreement to organize youth and adult games at the city-owned park, according to Jon Eckel, director of public service.
Utility charges will fall to the city as they do presently, though information on how much the new lights will cost was not available Thursday.
Field 1 is the only diamond with lighting now, and adding it to the smaller Field 4 will allow for expanded use of Rivercrest by younger players, said Frank Cusenza, who handles scheduling for PABSC.
Eckel said Field 1 is already “at a premium,” and additional revenue which would be split by the city and PABSC is “not a bad thing.”
Jamie Schimmoeller said expanding Rivercrest would mean moving from the idea of a community-use park, noting that there aren’t houses near Carter and Pacesetter parks.
“I’ve been to Pacesetter and I’ve been to Carter, and they’re beautiful parks,” Eckel said. “But that’s not necessarily what the city of Perrysburg wants to see at Rivercrest.”
Cusenza said PABSC doesn’t turn the lights on at all while school is in session, though homeowners disputed that claim. He said the organization’s policy is to begin late games around 8 p.m. and never after 9:30 p.m., with the lights being shut off by shortly after 11 p.m.
A handful of residents of Laurel Lane and other nearby streets asked Eckel to look into installing light shields or planting trees to minimize impact of the lighting.
Representatives of the supplying and contracting companies present at the meeting said light shields would likely be a significant additional cost.
Eckel promised to look into the problems and potential solutions, noting that the city has final authority in deciding how many tournaments could be held at Rivercrest.
As Perrysburg continues to grow, the need for additional lighting will likely only increase if the project is put off, Eckel said. It makes more sense to do the work now while PABSC is splitting the cost, he reasoned.
“When I can enter into a potential relationship where we can get a very nice feature added to a park at a very reasonable cost to our taxpayers, I like to take advantage of that,” Eckel said.
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