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Parks committee look at new, improved concession stand

BONNE TERRE – Members of the Bonne Terre parks committee hope to get moving on a new and improved concession stand for the ballfields.

The cost of a new concession stand had been estimated at $50,000 but Shawn Kay, who heads the city’s baseball league, and David Spray, who heads the soccer league, are hopeful they can get the labor for the project donated. They plan to meet with local contractors this month to get things ironed out.

The parks committee made the concession stand one of the top priorities for parks this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.

A total of $50,000 is set aside in the city budget to pay for the new building. The building would be paid for with money already generated from the quarter-cent parks sales tax.

Kay said the condition of the existing building has deteriorated beyond repair. The building needs new plumbing, wiring, flooring, fixtures, drywall, roofing, siding, doors and windows.

Vandals have broken into the current building several times causing damage. There is also water damage from a leak in the roof.

&#8221The roof still leaks,“ Kay said.

The existing building is small – with one main room for serving concessions, a small room for storage, and restroom facilities.

He said the restrooms are not compliant with the American with Disabilities Act and the existing facilities are not large enough to make them compliant.

Construction of the new building, now proposed to be a 24 by 54 foot building with a meeting room, would not start until November after the end of the soccer and softball season.

Kay said they would resituate the building so that there would be enough room for two vehicles to get through the gravel drive.

He said the location of the existing building is a safety hazard for drivers and pedestrians. He said the road behind the building is narrow and dark, making it hard for drivers to see people walking behind the building.

The parks committee also discussed the possibility of constructing soccer fields on the site of the W.C. Reynolds property once it is out of litigation. The city purchased the W.C. Reynolds Company property, near the city’s public works and utility departments and the baseball fields, about six years ago but it is tied up in a lawsuit.

Members of the soccer league believe it is a prime spot for soccer fields. The original plan had been to construct soccer fields on the top of the chat pile.

Spray asked if they could also construct a practice field for soccer in the city park because they need more places for the 26 teams to practice on.

Another priority for this year is to fix up the Boy Scout building in the city park.

Janet Barton, a member of the city council who chairs the parks committee, said they will need to set aside money in the budget for the Good Earth Park. They will receive $150,000 in funding for the park through a grant but they have to provide a 50 percent match.

To receive the grant, they have to own the top of the chat pile. Currently, the property is owned by the Doe Run Company. The city expects to spend another $37,000 to acquire the land.

Other ideas that came up during the meeting was looking into converting the asphalted area in the city park to a skate park, resurfacing the basketball court, and adding water lines and water fountains in the ballfields.

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