By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Faced with an estimated $500,000 in upgrades to Calfee Park, the town of Pulaski is hosting a community meeting Tuesday, Aug. 12, to receive citizen input to help town council make crucial decisions on the future of the historic park and having Minor League Baseball (MiLB) in Pulaski.
According to a press release from the town, the fact the current franchise owner, Pulaski Baseball Inc., is transferring ownership to Shelor Motor Mile “is but one of several … important issues facing baseball in town.”
Other issues include the use of public funds to upgrade umpire and visitor locker rooms to MiLB standards, installation of a new drainage line for the south parking lot and entering into an agreement with the Seattle Mariners to extend their commitment to the owners.
“The immediate, potential financial impact to taxpayers for repairs and construction is estimated to be $500,000,” states the press release.
“Conversations have taken place over the course of the summer with the new ownership group, regarding options that may address these financial commitments and that may strengthen Pulaski’s future as a continuing site for MiLB,” said Town Manager Shawn Utt. “It is these conversations that will be the focus of our Community Input Meeting.”
The new owners will present a proposal to address these concerns at Tuesday’s meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church Family Life Center, 135 4th St. NW, Pulaski.
“After a great deal of discussion and consensus building, town council is committed to making Calfee Park a better facility and insuring professional baseball continues in the town for many years to come,” Mayor Jeff Worrell said.
However, he said, council realizes “the level of investment needed to be competitive is quite large and comes at a time when the town and its taxpayers face other critical needs. As a result, the time may be ripe to consider other options that may be out there.”