Licking County News

Council keeps Foundation Park ball fields in the dark


Pataskala City Council on Dec. 10 voted 5-2 to deny a motion to light two potential new baseball fields in Thomas J. Evans Foundation Park, 10255 McIntosh Road in Pataskala.

Bernard Brush, Mike Compton, Mike Fox, Dan Hayes and Merissa McKinstry voting against the motion and Bryan Lenzo and Pat Sagar voting in favor of it.

City Council approved legislation in August authorizing construction of the fields, which can only happen with financial support of the Central Ohio Clippers, a youth baseball league that spent $14,000 to rebuild the Pataskala Municipal Park baseball field.

Steve Kenney, a member of the Central Ohio Clippers executive board, told City Council in November the lights would not be used often. He said it would be used only for makeup games and tournaments.

Fox questioned the city's parks and recreation advisory committee's survey of neighboring residents after three residents spoke against the project Nov. 19. He requested City Council approve a motion to send the issue back to the committee. That motion failed 4-3, with Hayes, Lenzo, McKinstry and Sagar voting against it.

Hayes said that turning down the motion to light the fields accomplished the same thing. He said rejecting the motion would not preclude the city from having the fields built, but it would cause the parks and recreation advisory committee to renegotiate an agreement to build the fields with the Central Ohio Clippers because the group would not be able to light the fields.

Lenzo said he supported the field lights and the Central Ohio Clippers' project because of the organization's past work in Municipal Park, which he called "a gem."

Lenzo said he was satisfied that the parks and recreation advisory committee tried to contact neighbors about the project and said the lights would only be used a few days a year.

Fox said he still was not pleased with the idea that fields could be built in Foundation Park. He asked about parking for the fields and wanted to review park master plans, prepared in the 1990s.