City Council discusses budgeting for Crow-Heath ballpark and library

Linden City Council had a lengthy conversation at a budget meeting about budgeting for remodeling of the Crow-Heath Baseball Park concession stands and bathrooms. 
“We should really consider remodeling the snack bar and bathrooms and opening another field at Crow-Heath,” said City Administrator Bob Swisher. 
The city administrator presented a budget worksheet for the council to consider and improve upon. 
Swisher said there is no longer a Parks Board, and that any funds accumulated from the park will go into a park revenue fund since the city provides the maintenance. 
Swisher also spoke about no longer having a contract for service to mow the park, and said a city employee and a seasonal employee will be responsible from now on. 
“Crow-Heath needs a facelift, the snack bar is in horrible condition. Every year it is trashed out and the bathrooms are trashed out, it is an embarrassment,” said Swisher. 
Swisher recommended that the other baseball fields near the Linden VFW be moved tod Crow-Heath and that area used for other activities. 
“The parks being spread out are a pain -- it is a pain for the parents that have kids playing on different age groups and they lose out on money because there is no snack bar at the other field,” said Swisher. 
The council spoke about saving the snack bar and bathroom building at Crow-Heath or possibly building a new one.
“I think we could save that structure, the concession stand itself, but I think our best bet would be to be build a separate bathroom building,” said Alderman Mike Berry. 
“This as a city is probably the only investment we are making for the kids, is the Crow-Health ballpark,” said Swisher. 
“It’s a horrible ballfield right now and we are losing a lot of kids because that is the oldest age group that plays out there and they are just going to other towns,” said Swisher. The council also spoke about how the ballpark needs to be up to standards with other towns because that will attract leagues to use it. 
The council also discussed funding for the Linden Library that will open soon. 
Swisher said he put a number for a library budget in the worksheet for $50,000, but he said it will more likely be around $20,000.
“Grants are available -- we just have to get the library open, they will not fund a library that is not open,” said Alderman Sue Lazara. 
“They have dropped the requirements and there are a lot of good grants out there,” said Swisher. 
“To get this thing on its feet it is either going to be super expensive or super time consuming or both,” said Swisher. 
Lazara suggested that the city get a qualified person and put them in charge of taking care of the library and keeping the library within its budget.

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