City, youth league work together
Clintonville plans improvements at Bucholtz Park
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville Fast Pitch Girls Youth Softball League and the city of Clintonville will work together to improve Bucholtz Park.
In the spring the Clintonville Youth League pulled some of its programs out of Clintonville when they were unable to agree on the city’s fee for using the ballfields.
In a recent interview with the Clintonville Tribune-Gazette, Eveland addressed that matter, and other issues the Clintonville Parks & Recreation Department is dealing with.
Eveland said the city never wants to see any youth organizations pull out of Clintonville.
“What’s important to me and what I look for and what I’m expecting, I want to see organizations that really want to be a part of finding solutions, and appropriate solutions,” Eveland said. “Because clearly we can’t do everything. I wish we were a city that didn’t have the financial constraints that we do. We have to live within those constraints.”
She added that she has seen different cities handle youth sports differently when it comes to charging for the use of city facilities and the maintenance of the facilities.
“No one way is the right way,” Eveland said. “And no one idea is necessarily the only way of doing things.”
“I generally really do hope that it’s working for them,” Eveland said about the Clintonville Youth League’s move. “Because at the end of the day that’s all that really matters, is that the kids are getting access to the program.”
Creating a ‘genuine partnership’
After the youth league moved some of its programs out of Clintonville, Eveland said she met with representatives of the Clintonville Fast Pitch Youth Softball League. From those meetings, the league decided to take over the lease of the concession stand at Bucholtz Park.
She said the league understood that the dugouts at Bucholtz Park needed some work, and that the city didn’t have the money to replace them. According to Eveland, Clintonville Fast Pitch wanted the city to address the ballfield lights at Bucholtz Park, so it offered to provide the labor to paint the dugouts if the city supplied the paint.
“That’s exactly what we did,” Eveland said. “We bought all the paint for the dugouts. Some of the adults and the girls themselves got out there (and painted the dugouts). They really did a fabulous job.”
She added, “To me, that’s genuine partnership. That’s two sides understanding the needs and constraints of both entities and doing something that works for both parties. It’s worked out well.”
Clintonville Fast Pitch also offered to purchase half a truckload of infield mix for the ballfields, Eveland said.
After hearing the offer from Clintonville Fast Pitch, Eveland said she looked at the city’s budget and determined that the city could afford to also purchase a half a truck load of infield mix to make the total purchase a full truck load.
“It was a good conversation. It was a good partnership,” Eveland said.
As of right now, Eveland said the city plans to replace the lights at Bucholtz Park next year. Future projects after replacing the lights would be replacement of the concession stand and bathroom at Bucholtz Park.
Eveland said infield work also needs to be done on the athletic field at W.A. Olen Park.
“We’ve been working with a company trying to get a quote for what needs to get done out there and that’s been a little slower getting the response than we would like,” Eveland said. “At the end of the day the city understands that people expect things to be done, not just in our parks, but everywhere. And that’s why I need the community to understand that we have to address needs everywhere.”