EAST LIVERPOOL - Work has begun in earnest on the ball field renovation project at Thompson Park, which was discussed at length during the park board's recent meeting.
Heavy equipment was on the field last week, excavating the site.
David Dawson, who is overseeing the project, told the board the project is "coming along well," and a rough survey has shown everything planned for the ground will "fit well."
Beginning this week, top soil will be removed to make way for installation of a sprinkler system and a French drain system, after which the top soil will be replaced, which Dawson estimated will be complete within three weeks.
Board member Wink Smith said more than 200 dump trucks of dirt are being used for the field.
A point of contention arose when Smith said, "We are shooting for 14 feet all the way around the fence so we can drive vehicles around it for maintenance. We need access."
Dawson said, however, construction of dugouts will not allow for that much space near the third base area due to the hillside against which it will be built.
Smith voiced his concern that, if a problem arises that needs maintenance, Murphy's Law dictates it will occur near that area if room is not left for access by full-sized equipment.
After reviewing the available financing for the project - including $20,000 from the school district, $16,000 from pledges and $3,000 set aside by the board for contingencies - the board agreed the budget will not support digging out the hillside to provide access.
Member Betsy Wells said she sees no problem as long as there is room for a pickup truck or bobcat.
Dawson said the layout can be reviewed once digging is complete to see if something can be done to meet Smith's request.
It was reported that work will begin in the fall on the old football/soccer field, which is being expanded.