Two ballfields to be built at fairgrounds

Wednesday, December 22, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:16 p.m. CDT, Sunday, May 4, 2008

A $76,000 matching grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will help create two baseball fields on the Boone County Fairgrounds.

Boone County will pitch in $50,000 from the fairgrounds’ insurance proceeds, and baseball organizations have pledged funds and labor to help build the fields. The total monetary amount that will go into the project is $146,000, and other groups plan to volunteer labor, Northern District Commissioner Skip Elkin said Tuesday.

The commission discussed the budget for the project during its Tuesday meeting. Elkin said the county has been working on this project for about five years and received the grant in August.

“Several phases of planning went into this, and we’re fortunate to be co-applicants with the city of Columbia and get this grant,” Elkin said.

The grant stipulates that the fields, which will be open to the public, be complete by the end of 2006.

“We did surveys and held public forums to identify priorities for recreation at the fairgrounds and that came out as a priority,” Elkin said.

BC Baseball pledged an initial $10,000 to the building of the fields and an additional $15,000 toward the long-term project.

BC Baseball Executive Director Steve Reller said the growth of baseball leagues has created a need for more fields.

“We’re in a situation right now where we could use fields ourselves,” Reller said. “We bought four fields, we have complete control of them, and we need fields right now.”

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