NEWS

McAlester 'Willing To Participate' In Sertoma Club Complex

Friday, Jul 29, 2016

McAlester inched closer to getting a new multi-sports complex.

The McAlester Sertoma Club presented its plans for a $7.9 million facility for discussion on Tuesday at the McAlester City Council meeting, and although no action was taken at the meeting, most council members seemed amenable to being part of the project.

McAlester Mayor John Browne also suggested the club return after conducting further research on finances and potential locations for the facility.

“The council seems willing to participate,” Browne said during the meeting.

MONEY

Councilman Weldon Smith agreed the complex is a “great project” and would benefit the area, but voiced monetary concerns.

“Where does the $8 million come from?” Smith asked during the meeting.

The Sertoma Club has until Aug. 16 to raise $270,000 to purchase 93 acres in Alderson after missing its original deadline.

The club has raised $3,900 in donations, $3,000 in pledges, and will vote whether to add the $7,271 it raised during a recent radio takeover.

Sertoma Club President Aaron Heathcock said several committed donors agreed to contribute financially as soon as the club purchases the land for the project.

He said the club will also reapply for funding through the Choctaw Nation — which he said couldn’t contribute at the time the club first applied — and will soon have Jennifer Watkins working on acquiring grant money.

Heathcock also said the club is reaching out to surrounding communities for support and is on upcoming agendas for both the Pittsburg County commissioners and Krebs City Council meetings to discuss plans for the facility.

Heathcock also provided council members with a projected total yearly profit of $258,000 that included revenue from admission, concessions, league fees, and more, as well as expenses for grounds maintenance, salary for a complex supervisor, utilities, etc.

He said the projections were based on discussions with complex managers at facilities in Skiatook, Jenks and Bixby.

LOCATION

While money became the crux of the issue, most of the hourlong discussion involved the location of the complex.

Councilman Buddy Garvin suggested the city annex the Alderson property — which he said is outside of Alderson city limits — so McAlester could both help the club and itself.

“It will show people that will donate money that McAlester is serious about backing this project,” Garvin said during the meeting.

Councilman Robert Karr said building the park in a 115-acre plot in McAlester’s industrial park west of Indian Nation Turnpike was “interesting” and “more feasible.”

McAlester City Manager Peter Stasiak called attention to a high-pressure gas line running through the McAlester property and suggested the club look into it.

McAlester Sertoma Club member Jim Kelley said the project would help boost tourism and dwindling events in McAlester and surrounding areas, but asked that the city have its engineers ensure the facility could fit in the suggested location.

“Our engineers are in the audience tonight and we’ll get with them and see if it’s to their liking,” Stasiak said.

PLANS

Plans for the new facility include eight little league baseball and softball fields, two high school fields, three soccer/football fields, a large parking lot, a gazebo, and two ponds, as well as covered, stadium-style bleachers at each of the fields.

The Sertoma Club met earlier this month with Jim Anglea of Anglea Sports Fields — which has worked on facilities for the Florida Marlins, McMurray University, the University of Texas at Dallas, and others — and received an estimate of $7.9 million for construction and fees for the complex.

Sertoma Club is set to meet with Pittsburg County next week and with the Krebs City Council next month, and will reach out to surrounding communities.

Heathcock said once the club has raised all the money, the complex will also have to be constructed in phases — starting with a high school field and one baseball/softball quad.

Although much remains unsettled, Browne left an open invitation to the club to bring a proposal.

“Do more research and let us know when you’d like to be back on the agenda,” Browne said.McAlester inched closer to getting a new multi-sports complex.

The McAlester Sertoma Club presented its plans for a $7.9 million facility for discussion on Tuesday at the McAlester City Council meeting, and although no action was taken at the meeting, most council members seemed amenable to being part of the project.

McAlester Mayor John Browne also suggested the club return after conducting further research on finances and potential locations for the facility.

“The council seems willing to participate,” Browne said during the meeting.

MONEY

Councilman Weldon Smith agreed the complex is a “great project” and would benefit the area, but voiced monetary concerns.

“Where does the $8 million come from?” Smith asked during the meeting.

The Sertoma Club has until Aug. 16 to raise $270,000 to purchase 93 acres in Alderson after missing its original deadline.

The club has raised $3,900 in donations, $3,000 in pledges, and will vote whether to add the $7,271 it raised during a recent radio takeover.

Sertoma Club President Aaron Heathcock said several committed donors agreed to contribute financially as soon as the club purchases the land for the project.

He said the club will also reapply for funding through the Choctaw Nation — which he said couldn’t contribute at the time the club first applied — and will soon have Jennifer Watkins working on acquiring grant money.

Heathcock also said the club is reaching out to surrounding communities for support and is on upcoming agendas for both the Pittsburg County commissioners and Krebs City Council meetings to discuss plans for the facility.

Heathcock also provided council members with a projected total yearly profit of $258,000 that included revenue from admission, concessions, league fees, and more, as well as expenses for grounds maintenance, salary for a complex supervisor, utilities, etc.

He said the projections were based on discussions with complex managers at facilities in Skiatook, Jenks and Bixby.

LOCATION

While money became the crux of the issue, most of the hourlong discussion involved the location of the complex.

Councilman Buddy Garvin suggested the city annex the Alderson property — which he said is outside of Alderson city limits — so McAlester could both help the club and itself.

“It will show people that will donate money that McAlester is serious about backing this project,” Garvin said during the meeting.

Councilman Robert Karr said building the park in a 115-acre plot in McAlester’s industrial park west of Indian Nation Turnpike was “interesting” and “more feasible.”

McAlester City Manager Peter Stasiak called attention to a high-pressure gas line running through the McAlester property and suggested the club look into it.

McAlester Sertoma Club member Jim Kelley said the project would help boost tourism and dwindling events in McAlester and surrounding areas, but asked that the city have its engineers ensure the facility could fit in the suggested location.

“Our engineers are in the audience tonight and we’ll get with them and see if it’s to their liking,” Stasiak said.

PLANS

Plans for the new facility include eight little league baseball and softball fields, two high school fields, three soccer/football fields, a large parking lot, a gazebo, and two ponds, as well as covered, stadium-style bleachers at each of the fields.

The Sertoma Club met earlier this month with Jim Anglea of Anglea Sports Fields — which has worked on facilities for the Florida Marlins, McMurray University, the University of Texas at Dallas, and others — and received an estimate of $7.9 million for construction and fees for the complex.

Sertoma Club is set to meet with Pittsburg County next week and with the Krebs City Council next month, and will reach out to surrounding communities.

Heathcock said once the club has raised all the money, the complex will also have to be constructed in phases — starting with a high school field and one baseball/softball quad.

Although much remains unsettled, Browne left an open invitation to the club to bring a proposal.

“Do more research and let us know when you’d like to be back on the agenda,” Browne said.

 

Source : mcalesternews.com

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