Staying true to its words, the city submitted plans for more area ball fields to Triple Crown founder Dave King this week.
Under a five-year contract signed last fall, the city said that by Aug. 20 it would present a plan for adding two to four more ball fields that Triple Crown can use. If the city did not present the plan, Triple Crown could cancel the contract after the 2004 season.
For much of 2003, the city and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association were negotiating a deal with the Fort Collins-based sports organization, which promotes baseball, softball and soccer tournaments across the country and is a key component of Steamboat's summer tourism.
The negotiating team has been working for the past year to come up with ball field plans. City Parks and Recreation Director Chris Wilson said the plan submitted this week has a variety of options King can review.
The group identified three properties owned by the Steamboat Springs School District that could be used:
n A site near Strawberry Park Middle School that was previously used as a backup field for Triple Crown but is out of commission this year because of construction on the school;
n Land near Whistler Park that is being used for extra parking;
n Land by Steamboat II
The team also evaluated land by the Christian Heritage School and said it considered a piece of land in West End Village but took that site off the list because of its size.
The plan also looks at the option of purchasing additional property and developing it into a ball field, but Wilson said the plan does not identify specific pieces of property that could be purchased.
Along with identifying potential ball-field sites, the plan includes ways to fund the fields and a timeline for building them.
City Council President Kathy Connell and President Pro Tempore Paul Strong were on the negotiating committee and worked on the proposal given to King; the rest of council has yet to see the plan.
When the plan comes back with King's comments, Wilson said the council and the rest of the community will have a chance to weigh in on the options.
The committee has yet to discuss the plans with the school district. With superintendents changing, it wanted to wait before talking about forming partnerships with the school district, Wilson said.
The need for new fields arose when the City Council refused to allow Triple Crown to use Emerald Park. The decision came during a July council meeting, just as the council was approving the final reading of the contract. At that meeting, King said he would not approve the contract with Emerald Park off the table.
The city and King later negotiated a deal under which the city would present a plan for more fields by Aug. 20 or King would be allowed to cancel Triple Crown's contract after the 2004 season. The contract also allows King and the city to re-examine the use of Emerald Park and other fields annually.
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