Koeppen family makes $15,000 donation
By Bert Lehman
Clintonville resident and former mayor Dick Koeppen addressed the Clintonville City Council Tuesday, July 14 about his family donating a scoreboard to the city to be placed at Jirschele Field at W.A. Olen Park.
Koeppen told the council about the time he spent playing baseball in Clintonville, first in high school and then with the Clintonville A’s.
“That was a big part of my life,” Koeppen said.
He added, “Baseball has meant a lot to me and my family. It’s meant a lot to some of the council people here who I’ve seen work real hard for the Clintonville A’s organization to raise a few bucks and put a lot of money into W.A. Olen Field.”
Koeppen said there are probably 100 games played at the field each year between all the teams that use the field.
“We happen to take this field for granted,” Koeppen said.
Koeppen said the current scoreboard is old, and has been at the field for a long time.
“Now is the time that I’d like to do something and make a commitment to donate a new scoreboard for the baseball field, for the city of Clintonville. It’s not just for the A’s,” Koeppen said. “… Our stadium is already a first class stadium, and it’s going to be a lot classier with a new electronic scoreboard.”
Koeppen said he met with Mayor Judy Magee about the idea about a year and a half ago. He also met with the former city administrator, but the city had more pressing issues a year ago. Most recently he met with interim City Administrator Chuck Kell, who said he would get the process moving.
After some research, Koeppen found out the cost of a new scoreboard would be around $15,000. Koeppen said he originally thought it would cost around $9,000. The $15,000 figure didn’t include installation of the scoreboard.
Despite the cost being more than expected, Koeppen said he would still donate the scoreboard, under one condition.
“That is says, ‘Compliments of the Koeppen family,’” he said.
Koeppen expressed disappointment that the issue became controversial after the Tourism, Marketing, and Advertising Council meeting held July 6. At this meeting there was disagreement as to what should be included on the scoreboard, and whether businesses in the city should be allowed to buy the scoreboard.
“This really became disgusting to me,” Koeppen said.
Despite the controversy, Koeppen said he still wanted to donate the scoreboard, but it was under the condition that on it, it stated, “Compliments of the Koeppen family.”
“If I’m going to donate a $15,000 scoreboard I would like a say as to what should go on there and approve it, and where it’s going to be located in that outfield,” Koeppen said.
Koeppen then presented his idea to the council. He asked that the top of the scoreboard say, “Welcome to Clintonville.” The bottom of the scoreboard would say, “Compliments of the Koeppen family.”
When the council discussed the scoreboard donation, Kell told the council the initial cost estimated to have the scoreboard installed was $12,000. The Tourism, Marketing, and Advertising Council approved up to $4,000 of that cost. But after meeting with Koeppen and a representative from the Clintonville A’s, Kell said the installation cost was reduced to $3,000-$4,000. Members of the A’s baseball would do some of the installation work.
That figure did not include the cost of electrical installation. Kell said the lowest estimate of that cost was around $1,300.
The council unanimously approved the scoreboard donation and up to $4,000 for installation from the Tourism fund, as well as what will be on the scoreboard.
“Welcome to Clintonville” will be on the top of the scoreboard, and “Compliments of the Koeppen family” will be on the bottom.
Aldermen Brad Rokus and John Wilson were excused from the meeting.