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Lights to shine at memorial field

The summer will be a little brighter-and it won’t be due to the sunshine.

Crews from All-Purpose Erectors, Inc. in Illinois finished installing the new lights at Randy Ragsdale field this week.

Up next will be the installation of a concession/restroom facility-a structure delivered in three pieces and set up in one day.

The council approved the purchase of the structure during a meeting earlier this year.

And, to many, the ballfield is the perfect way to honor a member of the Parks and Recreation board who dedicated many years to the city’s church softball league.

Randy Ragsdale was a long-time educator…and a sports fan for just as long.

Following his death in 2010, members of the Parks board voted to honor Ragsdale by naming a newly-constructed practice ball field in Ragsdale’s memory.

The announcement was made during a volunteer appreciation banquet held by the city in April 2010.

Now, this summer the lights will shine bright on the field paying tribute to an individual who contributed to the city park’s program in many ways.

Funds for the improvements come from the half-cent sales tax approved by voters last November. The measure will generate an estimated $16 million during a 10-year period. Ward II Councilwoman Lynn Crites spoke of the work during in her Public Services report during the March 24 council meeting.

The ball field is just one of many projects funded by the measure.

Perhaps one most anticipated is the construction of a new library facility.

The councilwoman reported library staff is down to the “fine details” in discussion with FGM Architects Inc., the firm hired to by the city to design the facility.

“(The staff) is picking colors, carpeting, furniture, shelving” Crites said during the meeting. There’s also fine-tuning details like light fixtures and plug-in placements. The firm will attend the April 10 regular meeting to give full council an update on the progress.

Crites said the new library should be out to bid on June 1, with hopes of a groundbreaking for the new facility sometime in July.

It was also reported the OAKS Senior Center is beginning to see an increase in patrons. There is also a need for volunteer drivers, especially on Fridays, according to Crites. Anyone wishing to volunteer at the center should call Mona Yates at 756-1376.

There are also two fundraisers in the works for the center, both on April 5. One is a rummage sale at the location. That evening, Nelson’s Music Theatre on U.S. 67 is holding a benefit concert for local senior centers.

Crites also spoke on an item up for council action regarding the purchase of three shade structures for the Farmington Water Park.

A bid from Brockmiller Construction in the amount of $27,000 was approved for the structures.

City Administrator Greg Beavers explained Brockmiller’s bid came in as the middle bid, but the low bid from S. Bollinger and Associates was disqualified since it was not in line with what was specified during the bidding process.

The bid from Brockmiller was unanimously approved.

In other committee reports, Forsythe thanked Public Works Director Larry Lacy and his crew for the completion of work on Columbia Street. The project was delayed by several weeks due to winter weather and opened up to traffic late last week after one more delay due to the March 16 winter weather.

Legislative items up for a second read and council approval were all passed unanimously.

Those items included:

• An ordinance amending the code regarding setback determinations. The section refers to

averaging the setback based on existing structures in lieu of requiring a land surveyor. The city

will use GIS equipment to determine those setbacks.

• An ordinance amending “non-conforming buildings and uses.” This provision provides assistance

to those homes damaged by fire or natural causes. The provision allows the owner to use

the same footprint of the previous structure without having to meet current setback requirements.

The building permit must be issue within 180 days from the time of damage.

• Rezoning of 608 North A St. from R-3 Single Family Residence to C-2, General commercial.

The owner plans to consolidate the property with the existing Car Mart property.

• Final subdivision record plat of Ridge Haven Subdivision located off Fredericktown Avenue.

Phase I was approved last year and council action on Monday approved Phase II.

• Planned unit development/plat approval for Liberty Landing Subdivision. The development is

located along Maple Valley Drive near Parkland Hospital and calls for the building of five threestory

apartment buildings. The land was recently annexed into the city and will have land dedicated

to walking/bike trails to meet the city’s “green space impact” requirement.

The sign on Perrine Road points visitors to Randy Ragsdale Field. A number of improvements are being added to the complex, named after a park board member who dedicated many hours to the city’s softball program.

The sign on Perrine Road points visitors to Randy Ragsdale Field. A number of improvements are being added to the complex, named after a park board member who dedicated many hours to the city’s softball program.

Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor for the Farmington Press and can be reached by calling 573-756-8927 or

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