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Softball reps address City Council about new complex

Representatives of the Clanton youth softball league addressed the City Council on Monday about an under-construction softball complex.

Tony Burnett and others with the league expressed concerns to the council about plans for the complex, lack of progress and ongoing safety issues at the current facility.

Burnett said safety concerns were first brought to the council in July 2013.

“It’s 2015, and none of those concerns have been addressed,” Burnett said and added that the league’s board has received complaints about the facilities.

Safety concerns include the restrooms not being handicap accessible, poor lighting, electrical hazards posed by faulty scoreboards and a press box infested with pests.

The council’s original response to the issues was to construct a new complex adjacent to Clanton City Park.

Council members and Mayor Billy Joe Driver said it has taken longer than expected to complete the work, mainly because city workers are contributing when possible and Driver has attempted to save money through other measures, as has been done with similar projects.

The softball league representatives also asked why the press box/concession facility is smaller than that at the nearby baseball park, whether sod would be used on the fields, how parking would be handled and if there would be a batting cage at each field.

City officials said the press box was designed based on what they thought was needed, pointing out that much of the space in the three-story baseball press box is unused.

Sod will be used on the fields.

Officials said two of the planned four fields should be ready by March 1, 2016, and that parking would be addressed at that point.

Councilman Jeff Price said he understood the concerns but assured those in attendance that there has been no effort to delay the process.

“It’s been too long, there’s no doubt,” he said.

In other business, the council:

•Approved minutes from the Oct. 12 meeting.

•Approved paying necessary bills.

•Approved the request of bids for extrication equipment for a fire truck.

•Approved the transfer of Charles White from laborer to side-cutter operator.

•Approved the posting of a position for laborer in the sanitation department.

•Approved the posting of a position for a part-time truck driver for the sanitation department.

•Approved a project to correct a drainage issue in Maplewood Subdivision.

•Approved the acceptance of two lots in Creekwood Subdivision as partial payment for the cost of the city paving roads in the subdivision.