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Calfee sale should be a financial no-brainer

view from the sidelines mugSome times an offer comes along that you just can’t pass up. This would certainly look like one of those times as David Hagan and the Shelor Motor Mile are presenting not only a solid option for improving Historic Calfee Park, but also a chance to bring some much needed revenue to the Town of Pulaski.

Let’s just look at the basics of the deal.

The proposal is to allow Hagan and his company to purchase the park for $100,000. In return, they would agree to take on the task of making what could be over $500,000 in park improvements. Should Shelor ever decide to get out of the baseball business, the Town of Pulaski would be allowed to purchase the park back for that same amount, plus the cost of any improvements made, minus depreciation.

In other words, many much needed improvements would be made to the park without costing the Town of Pulaski anything.

Some of those improvements would be the tearing down of the existing clubhouse and other buildings at the front of the park and expanding the parking toward the outfield, building a new visitor and umpire locker room area, moving the press box back toward the embankment and building a new air conditioned VIP tower and press box, and adding more restrooms. The plan would also include adding about 10 more patio-style boxes like the ones currently located along the first base line, improving and increasing handicap seating and accessibility, and installing new features like a “kids area” and a jumbotron video screen at some point.

There are plenty of other improvements mentioned in the proposal, all of which will make a night at the ball park a memorable and fun family event, as well as improving some of the safety features at the park. They will make a good thing even better.

On top of the fact that the deal would get the much needed improvements taken care of without a cost to the Town of Pulaski, the deal would also be a boost in revenue. The current revenue sharing agreement with the town would stay in place, but as a privately owned business it would also begin to contribute tax money to the Town, something it dearly needs.

Hagan has also outlined plans to help improve the experience for the players who come into town. He has already purchased an adjacent property on Pierce Avenue to expand parking, and has acquired a former warehouse building adjacent to the Pulaski Municipal Building to build what would amount to an “extended stay” hotel for the players. One of the major concerns of the Seattle Mariners is that “$4 million worth of players” are being shuttled between Pulaski and Wytheville each day due to a lack of local housing for the team. The new team home would solve that issue completely.

The bottom line is that the deal would allow major improvements to Historic Calfee Park to be made at no cost to the Town of Pulaski or it’s tax payers, improve the experience of fans and ball players who visit the park, and would generate much needed revenue for the Town of Pulaski in a time where every dollar counts.

A meeting of the Pulaski Town Council is scheduled for September 2 at 7 p.m. for citizens to voice their opinions and concerns on the proposed sale. This will be the first step towards making the proposed deal a reality. Hopefully a closer look at the deal by the citizens and those responsible for making it happen will get things moving forward quickly.

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