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Improvements needed at city sports complex

There are several items on the Cadwell Park Sports Complex wish list for 2014.

Getting a new batter’s eye on Drake Field, purchasing new turf for the batting cage and replacing the backstop on the east fourplex are atop the list for Chuck Jones, field operations supervisor at Mitchell’s sports complex.

“We’re trying to get these things put into the budget for next year,” he said. “We’ve tried keeping costs to a minimum this year to get what we need next year.”

Within the next two weeks, he’ll know if the complex can implement those changes for next year as the budget is reviewed the second week of August.

Jones has wanted to renew the batter’s eye at Drake Field since last summer. He said he put it in the budget as something that needed to be upgraded but the sports complex didn’t receive the money to get it done.

A batter’s eye is the large mesh netting over center field that helps block out distractions for a batter at home plate. The batter’s eye on Drake Field — which was put up in 2009 — help prevent lights from the west softball diamonds from coming into the batter’s view.

Drake Field’s batter’s eye was taken down in fall 2011 because poles started to bow and high winds began to rip the netting.

Jones estimated the cost of the project being between $5,000 and $11,000.

Secondly, the turf on the batting cages, which are on the north side of Drake Field, is due for replacement. The turf — which has been in place for six years — is ripping due to teams and players using virtually every day during the baseball and softball seasons, Jones said.

Jones believed the cost of new turf to be $16,000.

The last item on the list for renovations at Cadwell is replacing the backstops at the east fourplex.

Four backstops from dugout to dugout on each field needs replacing, according to Jones.

“Some of the posts are starting to show some wear and some other things that need to be redone,” said Jones, who estimated the project costing $80,000.

As far as what items are pushed through, the council must prioritize with other measures and additions are brought forth.

“We submit our request for capital items and basically look at what we’ve got,” Mitchell Park and Recreation Director Dusty Rodiek said. “ ... The council has been very supportive of the Park and Rec Department in general and it has an interest in seeing Mitchell thrive.”

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.