Jemison approves baseball field renovation

Published 11:04 am Tuesday, December 3, 2019

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Jemison City Council approved spending $11,850 to renovate the baseball field at Jemison City Park during a Dec. 2 meeting.

The cost was estimated by Specialty Turf Supply Inc., which will be completing the upgrade.

Mayor Eddie Reed said funding for the project could come out of the construction fund or reserve funds.

“The ballfield (in its current state) is not what we want our kids to play on representing the city of Jemison and representing our schools,” Reed said.

He commented that the project needed to get started because baseball practice would be starting in January.

Scott Ellison, vice principal at Jemison Middle School, said the company that would be doing the job has done work on several college-level fields.

‘This is a full blown rebuild,” Ellison said. “It involves going all the way to the base and rebuilding it. If you have had experience with fields of any kind — football, baseball … if you don’t go down to the base and redo it, you are not going to do any good.”

He said the field had drainage issues that would be fixed by this.

Ellison said a professional company is needed to have the correct balance of clay and sand.

“Everybody has worked hard out there … but there is a different art to maintaining a field than anything else,” Ellison said.

Councilman George Brasher said the company has mentioned coming out every three months to maintain the field would be ideal. This is expected to be discussed further and was not included in the initial price.

Jemison government had committed to keeping up the ball field when the land was secured for a park for the schools to be able to use it. Reed said in the past the city had hired additional summer help knowledgeable about upkeep of a baseball field to keep it in good shape. However, funding issues prevented this program from being continued, so the maintenance department added it to its responsibilities.

Also during the meeting, Reed updated the Council and others present on the garbage pickup situation. The company providing the service to the city has changed to Republic Services from Waste Pro through a mutual agreement of the two companies. The city initially had some questions about the arrangement, but those have been cleared up. Reed said the new company is transitioning into the role and asking for patience from the residents as drivers learn the routes.

The contract terms will be the same. Trash pickup schedules will remain the same.

However, the Thanksgiving holiday threw things of a bit, which resulted in residents calling the city leadership. Reed said residents “have a right to complain” when services are not delivered as promised.