Clanton plans for more softball fields

Published 9:45 pm Friday, August 9, 2013

Clanton youth softball competitors could soon have brand new fields to play on.

Mayor Billy Joe Driver said the loads of dirt dumped on city property behind Advance Pawn Shop off Highway 31 are the beginnings of a new youth softball complex.

Final plans for the project would have to be approved by the Clanton City Council, and Driver said he’s not even sure yet how the fields would be laid out, how many there would be or how much the project would cost.

“We may get an aerial photo—you can tell more about that than you can just looking at it,” Driver said. “Then we’ll get somebody to help lay them out, just decide on where the home plates will be, then we’ll go from there.”

Driver said he expects the complex to include at least three fields, a concession area and restrooms.

The effort is a response to representatives of the city’s youth softball league addressing Driver and the council on July 8 about needed upgrades at the current complex at Clanton City Park.

Those representatives talked about safety concerns, including inadequate lighting and having a concession/restroom area that required girls to walk through a parking lot.

“We need to do something else,” Driver said.

The mayor said the new area could also include a soccer field.

He said the softball fields could be built with outfield fences that could be adjusted based on the age group playing at the time.

The dirt is from work at the Chilton County Airport to build new hangars.

Driver said the planned fields would likely be accessible by a drive off Highway 31.

Above average rainfall this summer has slowed progress.

In case the new fields aren’t ready by the end of the summer, Driver said the city would also make some upgrades at the current complex, such as possibly renovating the restrooms and adding lights.