The city will be able to use $3.41 million in capital outlay funds for the construction of four new fields at the Players Softball Complex, but around $998,000 is still needed to cover the estimated cost of the project.
Construction of four fields near the existing fields at the Player's Softball Complex, 1215 N. County Road 19, is just the first of three softball complex improvement projects.
The first phase includes $2,396,826 million in site work, $1,060,381 million for utilities, irrigation and lighting and $951,539 for building and shade structures, for a total cost of $4,408,746.
Jordan Moench, a longtime member of the men's softball league in Aberdeen, described the poor conditions of the existing softball fields around town.
Moench said the fields are too small to host a state tournament or any big tournament that would attract teams from towns across the Dakotas.
The future four fields will have outfields measuring 300 feet. The north fields are 230 feet and south ballpark outfields are 280 feet.
He said there are holes in the fencing, inadequate lighting, poor umpire and bathroom facilities and, at the Moccasin Creek complex, insufficient netting, which has resulted in nearby homes being hit by balls.
The participation levels have stayed steady and strong throughout the last decade, Moench said.
Although the City Council approved the 2020-24 capital outlay project, councilors warned that the association will have to find a way to make up the cost difference. City Manager Lynn Lander said Doug Johnson, the city Parks, Recreation and Forestry director, has been working hard to try to find other funding sources, such as awarding naming rights in exchange for a donation.
The capital outlay funds are generated by a second-penny sales tax.