Fairview council won't ask for delay of special needs ballfields

News-DemocratSeptember 17, 2013 


The Fairview Heights City Council won't ask that construction on a special needs ballfield be delayed while funding for handicapped bathrooms is found.

The council voted five to four to not collectively ask the driving force behind the Miracle League special needs ballfield to delay construction of the $350,000 field at Moody Park.

Alderman Linda Arnold asked the council to vote to request Brenda Wagner halt construction for two weeks so an individual who recently volunteered to donate handicapped restrooms could survey the site for the facilities.

Even if the council had voted to ask Wagner for the delay, there would have been no legal standing for the city to force her to stop the work that began Monday in Fairview Heights.

"I am in no way against this project," Arnold said. "But, I strongly feel we need to get bathrooms in for these kids. I don't want to stop this project, I think it's a great project. I think this ballfield would be a premier destination for Fairview Heights, but, I do think we need to do this correctly, with restrooms."

The field, which is a rubberized surface with bases flush to the surface, is expected to be completed by mid-October. Moody Park has four ADA-compliant restrooms, but, the closest is 600 feet from the planned ballfield, Arnold added.

Councilwoman Pat Baeske told the council the long-term plans for the field includes two special needs ballfields, a concession stand, and handicapped-accessible restrooms.

But, right now, the group does not have the funds to build everything at once. The city approved the project without the restrooms before construction began and a contract was written when the city donated the land for the ballfields.

"A restroom can be put in at any time in the future," Baeske said.

In other council action:

The council approved the purchase of a $228,800 street sweeper. With a trade-in of the city's current sweeper for $45,000, the city will spend $183,800 for the new machine.

Approved reappointing Mike Malloy as the city's Economic Development Director with a contract that gives him a raise from $65,000 annually to $68,000 annually. His contract will expire in 2015.

Approved allowing Fairview Heights Patrolman Jason Totel to purchased retired K-9 Kohl for $1. Totel was Kohl's handler before the animal was retired from the force in June.

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