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Improvements eyed at baseball field

Fence project first step at Olson Park

By Holly Neumann

The baseball field at Ingval Olson Park in Iola has received a facelift with new backstop fencing.

“The fencing project was started because Pete Timdal and Brian Korb brought to my attention that the fencing was becoming dangerous and we didn’t want anyone getting hurt at the park,” said Kathy Briqulet, chairman of the Iola Village Board’s parks committee. “It is important for safety reasons and we want our park to look well-maintained.”

Timdal, Iola-Scandinavia High School’s baseball coach, credited Korb, who coaches the Iola Legion baseball team, and Iola-Scandinavia District Administrator David Dyb as the driving forces behind getting the work done at the field to date.

“Their efforts should definitely be noted,” he said. “The new fencing is very important to the safety of everyone using the field and the fans that come to the park to support their teams.

“There were a few joints that were coming apart and the bottom of the fence was curled up in plenty of spots,” he said. “The new fencing is much heavier and hopefully if properly taken care of, it will last a long time.”

The fencing is the first step in bringing the park up to the standard that the community can be proud of, according to Timdal.

“With the work that is being done now and the future work that will be done, baseball in Iola will be something we as a community can be proud of,” he said. “The field has been status quo for a little too long and the costs to repair some of the issues is not going allow for it to happen overnight. With the efforts of the village, the Lions and the Legion, I believe things will come together and all of the issues will be resolved in time.”

Timdal said the field will eventually need to be surveyed to ensure that it is squared up, in addition to new lighting and updated or entirely new bathroom facilities.

“Our high school team very rarely uses the lights, but they are essential to the Legion team and some of the ISRA teams,” he said. “David Dyb has filled out a grant that will cover a large portion of that cost and we have our fingers crossed that we will get good news on that front in the near future.”

Timdal hopes other vested groups will become involved in the process.

The fencing project cost just more than $7,000 and is the only renovation at the field planned for this year.

“Half of the funding came from the park budget and the remaining came from a donation through the community development committee,” Briquelet said. “The budget has to cover all maintenance and repairs. We are at our limit for 2016.”

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