After months of discussion and numerous trips back to the drawing board, the Brownfield City Council voted unanimously Monday morning to move forward on a plan to replace the city’s decades old youth baseball and softball fields. A new six-field complex will be built on the same location where generations of Brownfield kids have played Little League ball on South 2nd in the southwest corner of Coleman Park. The price tag of the new complex will total $4,415,900, according to a presentation by Parkhill, Smith, and Cooper, the Lubbock-based engineering firm who designed the fields. That price includes $432,000 in professional fees to PSC. The council still hasn’t voted on how it will pay for the sports complex; however, a certificate of obligation was discussed in depth at a previous meeting with a 15-year amortization.

Other funding options include the pay-as-you-go formula used by the city to pay for the Brownfield Family Aquatic Center and the new Police and Fire Departments. However, city administrators said Thursday that they would prefer to let the city’s reserve funds replenish for a few years before

tapping into them for additional capital outlays. Another funding method discussed was a traditional loan from one or more local banks. The council intends to pay $500,000 down on the project using HOT Funds reserves. That account current holds just shy of $770,000. The cost of the fields presented Monday was several hundred thousand dollars higher than previous figures, drawing questions from the council about the increases. Engineers explained that the new estimates include six 200foot fields, whereas previous plans called for four 200-foot fields and two 180-foot fields, requiring a larger overall footprint. The larger fields also require additional light poles at significant expense. Another costly addition were plastic slats that wind through chain-link fencing to make a solid wall around the outfield perimeter of each field.

Article courtesy of Brownfield News

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