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CYB offers city help with Costa ballpark improvements

POSTED December 11, 2012 5:43 p.m.
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Ceres Youth Baseball wants to see new improvements to Costa Fields baseball park in Smyrna Park but the Ceres City Council batted around a host of issues associated with costs and liability.

CYB officials want to see improvements at the city park that include: a meeting building, a 70' x 70' batting cages and lighting for field #5 where tee ball teams play. The council loudly added its support to the plans but made it clear there are no city funds available.

With the loss of redevelopment monies following the grab by the state and Gov. Jerry Brown, Ceres Mayor Chris Vierra said he would be "hard pressed" to commit general fund dollars to improvements to the park.

"The improvements would be a great addition but how to pay for them are the big problem," said Councilman Eric Ingwerson.

"If you have some creative methods, be sure and let us know," Mayor Chris Vierra told CYB officials. He then instructed City Engineer Toby Wells to delve into the "cheapest way to go" to develop a fundraising goal to take to the community.

Wells noted that making placing the new features would be easy compared to where to come up with funds.

CYB would like to help build a 70 foot by 70 foot batting cage enclosed with cyclone fencing divided into four sections by internal netting. The structure would be at least 14 feet tall.

CYB hopes to see the improvements go behind Field #2.

In discussing costs, the council inquired as to whether or not the labor could be done by volunteers or if the construction would be required by state law to be done by laborers under prevailing wage.

City Attorney Mike Lyions said that as a public entity, the city might be challenged by labor, saying "it's risky." Wells stated that the "safest way to go" is pay prevailing wage rather than risk being contacting by Foundation for Fair Contracting.

"The extra brain damage that it creates generally it's not worth it," said Wells.

An estimated $48,000 would be needed to light up Field #5 which is used heavily for tee ball, is the largest group in CYB.

Both Vice Mayor Ken Lane and Councilman Bret Durossette believed that lights could be attached to existing poles.
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