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Post Messenger Recorder PMR New Glarus Monticello Belleville News Publishing

Streiff Clears Up Misunderstanding


July 13, 2017

Dear Editor,

I would first like to thank Mr. Allen Fjelstad for coming to the special meeting of the Village Board and Veterans Memorial Committee. This meeting was called to discuss the concerns of the Veterans Memorial Committee regarding the possibility of locating a new ball field in Veteran’s Park. However, I do want to clear up some misunderstandings he came away with.

First of all, the motion stands to locate the new ballpark in Veteran’s Park. The vote to move forward with plans was defeated for now and the Board, at its next meeting, did decide to look at other possible sites for the ballpark. If another site is available and affordable the board will then decide which site is better for all involved as best we can. The cost of a new ball park at Veteran’s Park has been estimated at $200,000 ($220,000, in case there are unforeseen costs). The total would come to closer to $400,000 once lights are included. If private property is purchased to use, the cost would go up accordingly. There is an understanding that for a new ball park to happen at any site, we will need a collaborative partnership of public and private groups to help fund it.

There is not a definite plan yet for the Veteran’s Park field. We have a couple of concept plans that have been offered. Mr. Fjelstad stated in his letter that there would only be bleachers outside the fence in left field. This is not true. Both plans call for bleachers behind home plate as well as down both baselines. He also states that “the outfield fence would be constructed one or two feet from the Veterans’ Memorial”. This is also not correct. The plans show that the Memorial would be 35-40 feet from the left field foul pole (the closest distance) and 140 feet from home plate. There would be grass in between the two. There is also a green space area to the west of the Memorial that would be maintained.

Mr. Fjelstad stated that he thought the Lumber Yard property was a perfect place for the library. This property was considered by the village and library boards, even though it was not actively for sale at the time that sites were looked at extensively. There were found to be problems for both the village and library. The village preferred not to take taxable property off the rolls. The library board noted that the property is also entirely in the flood plain, which would mean extra cost for construction. Parking would be an issue that close to the Village Park, as most of the property would be needed for construction and there would be little, if any, room for more parking.

I would like to add that saying the Village President was “snarky” in cutting off discussion of the library site is unfair and untrue. The meeting was called to talk only about a possible ballpark at Veteran’s Park, so it is the President’s job to keep the discussion on that topic only. He was correct in halting other discussion (about library costs and fundraising) and was not, in my opinion, snarky.

The decision on a new ball field site is not an easy one and is being considered as carefully and thoughtfully as possible. If you hear something about this, please confirm that your information is accurate. Village Administrator Bryan Gadow and Parks and Recreation Director Chris Rear would be happy to answer your questions at any time.

Petra Streiff,

New Glarus Village Board Trustee


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