Grass infield proposed for baseball diamond
By Jane Myhra
Improvements to the Lindsay Park baseball diamond were presented to the Manawa Common Council at its July 20 meeting.
Carey Celske, chairman of the Manawa Coaches Club, presented a proposal to resurface the baseball diamond’s infield.
The upgrade will be at no cost to the city or to taxpayers.
“We have money in the coaches club fund that we want to spend,” Celske said. “We want to do it in phases.”
To date, the club has raised $3,200 for a grass infield, extending from home plate to the outfield.
“It gives us an opportunity to play when it rains,” Celske said.
In addition to adding grass, the project includes re-using the excavated dirt for a six to eight-foot warning track around the outfield extending from the left field opening in the fence to the gate in the right field fence.
Besides serving in an advisory position, the city crew will not be involved during the project.
“The coaches club will take care of watering until the grass begins to grow,” Celske said.
According to Celske, Phase 2 will involve adding more grass to the field. The proposed plans for Phase 3 involve a re-mix of the base soil, which could be expensive.
Phase 1 will begin after the current playing season in mid-August. The project is projected to be completed in about two years.
Celske asked for the city’s input on fence improvements and possible rerouting of the fencing by the dugouts.
After the proposal was reviewed by the Improvements and Services Committee, the council approved the park improvements at a special meeting on Monday, July 27.
The council approved an update for the Manawa Police Department office.
Police Chief David Walker provided details on the project, at the Protection & Welfare Committee meeting, held prior to the council meeting.
The update will include new carpeting, drapes, paint and furniture for the police and Department of Natural Resources offices.
“There is a lot involved in this project,” said Walker.
The cost will be between $5,000 and $7,000 and is a budgeted item. More information will be available after bids are received.
According to Mayor John Smith, the MPD has had about three employee complaints concerning health issues (allergies) in the current office space.
“It’s silly to keep losing officers to this thing,” he said.
In other business, Fire Chief Rob Rosenau reported that the new fire truck will arrive on Aug. 1. It will be publicly introduced during Manawa’s National Night Out event on Aug. 4.
According to Rosenau, the Manawa Rural Fire Department’s Fire Fest is set for Sept. 19, at Conroy’s Bear Lake Resort. He said the event will begin later this year, so it does not interfere with the downtown farmer’s market event.
In new business, the council discussed the cost of police enforcement during the Mid-Western Rodeo.
“It is a huge cost to us,” Smith said. “I don’t feel completely comfortable with the city of Manawa picking up the entire tab for the rodeo weekend. It isn’t like the city benefits like it once did.”
“All of the MPD officers are on duty, and we pick up the tab,” said Alderperson Alice M. Brown.
“It’s for traffic control in the afternoon and evenings,” Walker said. “It’s a matter of officer safety.”
He said the city also pays about $300 to $400 for the reserve deputies supplied by the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department.
Smith recommended that the city discuss the situation with the Manawa Lions Club, which sponsors the annual rodeo.