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Lighting still being considered for Ray Jewell fields

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By William Carroll

Citizens listened to a proposal for the installation of new lights at Ray Jewell Park with cost estimates ranging from $40,000 to $50,000 depending on the scope of the project.
Dayle Sutherland with Hunter-Knepshield in La Grange said his inspection of the current light poles at the park led him to the conclusion that new poles would actually be cheaper for the county.
“I looked at the field, measured it, looked at the anchor base and it didn’t look right,” Sutherland said.
Sutherland’s associate Jim Taylor said that the existing poles are “just as bad as they can be.”
“You could try to use the existing poles but we really don’t know how old the poles are,” Taylor said. “The main issue out here is that you have anchor bolts that were just slapped into wet concrete. I think the best way to handle the situation would be to abandon those and the poles and go to a new four post system.”
Sutherland said that based upon price estimates he prepared, it would cost the county $52,730 to use the existing equipment per field at Ray Jewell. Four new poles would cost between $43,000 and $47,000 depending on the type of poles used.
Sutherland and Taylor suggested that the four poles could be placed at both the corners of left field and right field with two more being positioned about halfway between the outside poles and home plate.
Sutherland said that the quotes would include equipment with a standard ten year warranty.
“I can’t warranty the poles you have out there,” Sutherland added.
Several parents were on hand to ask questions regarding the lighting and fundraising for the lighting. Spencer County Judge Executive Bill Karrer said the county would be seeking a grant in order to place lighting on two of the fields but urged citizens to get involved with fundraising.
“Every dollar helps get us that much closer,” he said.
Karrer said the county sought a similar grant in the past but was denied.
“There are a finite amount of dollars out there,” he said. “The state looks at the projects and gives them a score. The final decision is with the governor.”