Delaying construction of field would bring cost down, allow city time to make sure space is suitable

By Kellen Olshefski

SLN Staff

The City of Elkhorn Common Council voted March 21 in favor of holding off on the construction of the second field at Tasch Park this year.

City of Elkhorn Utilities Director John Murphy, who is currently overseeing Department of Public Works operations, said Monday the location where the second field at the park would go is somewhat of “dug up mess” at this time, having recently pulled out the playground equipment. Waiting on the construction of the second field, he said, would allow the city to seed and grow grass before putting in the field.

Additionally, he noted this would bring the budget of the total project – including two tee-ball fields at Sunset Park, one at Tasch Park and the complete redevelopment of Tasch Park – down to about $135,000.

In speaking with Recreation Director Wendy Meyer, Murphy said it was determined at current need levels for youth programs, the second field at Tasch Park would not be needed for this year.

Meyer said as long as the city moves forward with the two at Sunset Park and the one at Tasch Park it would be acceptable.

When it comes to fencing for the new park, Murphy said the city is looking at a 54-inch tall aluminum fencing. He said the city is waiting on samples before making a decision on what vendor it will pursue a contract with to complete that portion of the project.

Alderman Scott McClory said he wants to make sure the city is choosing a safe fencing, something with a flat top that someone couldn’t “impale” themselves if attempting to climb over.

“If it’s predictable, it’s preventable,” he said.

McClory also noted the fencing near the city’s department of public works building, which has often been referred to as the “bullpen.” He said while the city previously talked about trying to save the fencing, he said with pieces missing and the fencing being quite old, he doesn’t think it’s something that’s saveable.

“Don’t put in brand new playground equipment and leave that fence,” he said. “Even if we throw a brand new coat of paint on it, it’s still just lipstick on a pig.”

Alderman Bruce Lechner questioned what the timeline would be for adding the second field at Tasch Park, noting the council has heard numerous times about the increasing need for these types of fields.

“We always hear there’s not enough for practice, not enough for this, but if we don’t do it now, is it ever going to get done,” he said.

Rehberg said this doesn’t mean the city isn’t going to add the second field, but is simply holding off until fall to re-evaluate and allow the grass where the field will be located to establish itself.

 

 

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