The Richmond Register

Local News

April 10, 2013

City commission deadlocks on restoring ball field

RICHMOND — A motion by City Commissioner Laura King to restore a recently removed softball field at Irvine-McDowell Park failed for lack of a majority Tuesday when Commissioner Robert Blythe abstained from voting.

Blythe said he wanted more information before making a decision.

King and Commissioner Jim Newby voted to restore the ball field, while Mayor Jim Barnes and Commissioner Donna Baird voted to continue conversion of the property at the corner of Lancaster Road and Crabbe Street to an area of grass, shrubs and trees.

She believed the city had acted improperly in removing the field that had been used for many years by the girls softball league, King said. In addition, she said the city already had a shortage of ball fields even before the field was removed.

King said she had called the state attorney general’s office to ask whether one commissioner had the authority to order a change in a city facility that she believed had cost $50,000 to $75,000.

The attorney general’s office told her to ask the city attorney to look into the issue, she said, and Barnes said City Attorney Garrett Fowles would review it.

The mayor said the city began removing the field last year when the commissioners then in office informally agreed to the conversion.

Since becoming mayor, Barnes said, he had not taken action without first consulting the commission.

Commissioner Donna Baird said the commissioners last year had been shown a diagram of how the property would look after the conversions, but Blythe said he could not recall the issue being discussed.

Barnes said the work so far had not cost nearly as much as King suggested because it had been done by city employees using the city’s equipment. However, restoring the field, including reconstruction of team dugouts would be more costly than taking them down, he said.

King said the city should restore the field and worry later about the cost.

She and Barnes also disagreed on whether the field was needed.

The mayor said he had consulted the softball league president and was told it could manage without the field by rearranging its schedule. The softball league would prefer to play its games at Lake Reba Park where all boys’ baseball games are played, Barnes said. Many families have both boys and girls who play youth sports and having them play at separate parks is inconvenient, he said. In some cases, a family must choose which child may play.

“If girls’ softball doesn’t want the field, Little League would love to have it,” King said.

With conflicting views being presented, Blythe said he wanted to hear from league officials before making a decision. He also was against “haphazardly” adding anything to Lake Reba Park. Blythe and Newby both said they would like to hear from Dan McBride, who chairs the city’s parks and recreation advisory board.

As the board met a week earlier, McBride noted that changes were being made daily at Irvine-McDowell Park without the board being informed or consulted.

King also criticized the city’s maintenance of ball fields, which she said are still rutted.

A parent had called her, King said, because a ground ball had hit a rut and popped up chipping a child’s tooth.

The fields were a health hazard, she said, and for the commission to insist on seeing a “dog and pony” before making a decision was unacceptable, King said.

Barnes said no one had ever suggested to him that the city’s ball fields were unsafe.

City Manager Jimmy Howard said the city was no longer driving a pickup truck on the fields for maintenance, and the ruts were the result of poor drainage. Recent wet weather had prevented maintenance crews from working on the fields to remove the ruts, he said.

At its March 26 meeting, the commission postponed a vote on changing the title of Erin Moore, assistant director of the parks and recreation.

She met with the commissioners during an executive session prior to the regular meeting.

Unless any of the commissioners objected, Howard said he would prepare an order for the April 23 meeting changing Moore’s title to director of recreation management-parks.

Park maintenance had been put into a separate department in March 2011, Howard said, and Joe Bentley, who heads it, would be given the title of building and grounds maintenance-parks, the city manager said.

Kevin Gorman, who last headed the unified department, retired late in 2012. Although Moore was the top-ranking employee in the parks department she was still known as assistant director.

Text Only
Local News
  • 2-11 Mangan.jpeg Man indicted in I-75 wreck that killed two

    A man who police believe started the chain of events that led to the deaths of two people on Interstate 75 in February was indicted on several felony charges Wednesday in Madison Circuit Court.
    Bryan M. Mangan, 56, of South Bend, Ind., was indicted on six counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and operating on a suspended license.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Man charged with reselling employer’s equipment

    A man who worked for a local satellite TV company has been charged with ordering extra equipment and selling it online.
    Charles William Hensley, 39, of Manchester, worked for the Multiband Corporation at its Richmond office, according to a Richmond police report.
    Multiband maintains DIRECTV’s installations, service and upgrades for single-family homes in 20 states and commercial sites nationwide.

    April 24, 2014

  • Saturday is National Drug Take-Back Day

    A nationwide initiative to dispose of prescription drugs in a safe manner will take place Saturday.
    Three Madison County sites are available for residents to get rid of their unused, unneeded or expired prescription drugs as part of the eighth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day:
    • Richmond Police Department, 1721 Lexington Road, box is outside by the front door.
    • Kentucky State Police Post 7, 699 Eastern Bypass, across from the EKU stadium, box is inside at the front door.

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-25 Revue 1.JPG Retro Radio Revue

    “Stan O’Donnell’s Retro Radio Revue,” presented by Rose Barn Theatre, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Gillum’s Sports Lounge in the Richmond Mall.
    The production focuses on the performers of the show and the follies and chaos that take place as the unexpected ensues. Local musical performers from Madison County will be showcased throughout the production.
    Gillum’s will provide a full menu service and cash bar beginning at 5:30 p.m.
    Tickets for the show are $15 and available at the door or in advance at www.rosebarntheatre.org.
    The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit arts organization.

    April 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • 4-25 Crit Luallen.jpg Luallen says no to 2015 governor’s race

    After months of deliberation, former state Auditor of Public Accounts Crit Luallen announced Thursday she will sit out the 2015 race for governor.
    The announcement disappointed friends and associates who see Luallen as an able and experienced administrator — she served in six gubernatorial administrations — but also someone with the character and integrity to restore confidence in government.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blue Grass Army Depot sponsors 5K

    The Blue Grass Army Depot is hosting a 5K run/walk Saturday in support of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
    The no-entry-fee event will begin and end at the depot’s new sports complex ball fields, according to a news release from the installation. Preregistration is available online at www.bluegrass.army.mil or starting at 9 a.m. the day of the event.

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24 UKatWaco1.jpg Wildcats encourage Cardinals to work hard in school

    University of Kentucky student athletes Kastine Evans, a guard on the women’s basketball team, and Jon Hood, a guard on the men’s team, stopped by Waco Elementary School on Wednesday to talk about the benefits of working hard in school.

    April 23, 2014 4 Photos

  • Mayor, commissioner pay changed

    The Richmond City Commission approved 4-1 a new pay scale for the mayor and commissioners at a special-called meeting Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-24 Lorenzo McWilliams.jpg Harrodsburg to get old Richmond police mobile computers

    Richmond is donating to the city of Harrodsburg eight of 39 old computers formerly used in police cruisers.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-24 HOSAblooddrive.jpg Health science students organize blood drive

    Aside from the gift cards and free snacks, 50 Madison County high school students have other reasons for donating 35 pints of blood Wednesday to the Kentucky Blood Center at Madison Central High School.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results