East Bethel plans to convert soccer fields to baseball

The East Bethel City Council July 17 approved a 2014-2018 parks and trails capital improvement plan that calls for the conversion of Booster West soccer fields into a regulation baseball field and the addition of skateboard equipment for Booster West Park in 2014.

The city’s approval of the plan dedicates $125,000 for only the two 2014 projects. Projects beyond 2014 have been identified and prioritized, but final decisions and funding for those will be addressed in future budget years.

City Administrator Jack Davis said developing the baseball field will include bleachers, sod, fence and an irrigation system and is estimated to cost $110,000. The additional skateboard equipment is estimated at $15,000. These projects will be funded through the park capital fund balance, general fund transfers, park dedication fees and trail dedication fees.

Davis said a regulation baseball field is expected to generate more use of the park and the collection of a few fees.

Potential projects identified in the capital improvement plan for 2015 include irrigation and soccer/lacrosse fields in Bonde Park, developing a parking lot and entrance road at Bonde Park, adding playground equipment to Booster East and tree planting at various parks.

Potential 2016 projects include adding playground equipment at Anderson Lake Park and Rod and Norma Smith Park, more tree planting at various parks, installation of a baseball fence at Anderson Lake Park, Carlisle park improvements and parking lot, an irrigation system and field improvements at Anderson Lake Park and the installation of a fence at Norseland Manor Park.

The capital improvement plan also recommends extending the trail at John Anderson Park to allow access to the park from an adjoining neighborhood and to further expand the city’s bike trails. These trail system improvements will depend on future direction by the city council and available funding.