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Motion to Postpone Field Lights Project Fails

The Richfield School Board’s decision to use turf field revenues to install fields on the high school baseball field was upheld Thursday night.

, the district will be moving ahead with the installation of lights on the high school baseball field.

During a , a motion to postpone the controversial $200,000 project and revisit it in December 2013 did not receive a majority vote, deadlocking at 3-3.

Prior to the board's decision, the public was allowed to speak, however, most in attendance were displeased with the final result.

“That’s a shame,” one audience member said shaking his head following the board’s decision.

“Good thing we had a public forum so we could be listened to,” another shouted.

“You’ve got my vote,” one said sarcastically while exiting the boardroom.

Those against the project—many of whom were holding signs in protest—believed a district struggling to close an achievement gap and in need of passing a referendum this fall, should spend the money in the classroom or use it bolster the general fund balance. However, those in favor of the lights believed the addition could create a greater since of community pride, make night games possible and generate revenue through facility rentals.

The project uses revenue from the new turf field to pay for the installation over seven years and pairs with a received to revamp the ball field. , after the board discovered the turf field would generate nearly double the revenue it expected this year and be sufficient in years to come. Board Members Todd Nollenberger and John Easterwood were the two who voted against the project that evening.

After public outcry, Board Member John Ashmead joined Nollenberger and Easterwood in the request for a special session and, in turn, were the three who voted to postpone the project Thursday night.

Details on when the lights project will begin, however, some construction has already begun. Stay tuned for more from the meeting in another article.

Caitlin Burgess June 29, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Yes, Kari. All that is true about where the money is coming and that the board, even those members not in support of the lights, agrees that the revenue stream should be sustained in years to come.
Mary Supple June 29, 2012 at 07:56 PM
That seems reasonable.
Kent July 03, 2012 at 04:08 AM
The question I would ask is: For all the people who talk of not re-electing the school board members who is willing to run for office? We have 3 positions on the city council up for vote this year and only 1 ward has any challengers. It is hard to make changes when no one steps forward to try and change things. This is pretty common for Richfield and probably many other cities. I decided to run against a seasoned politician in ward 2 because I appreciated Fred Wroge and his desire to fully vet issues. He did not seem go be concerned about his re-election or next position, but rather getting to the root of the issue. If people want change then they need to make it happen. So again I ask: Who is going to step forward for the school board seats or we will be forced to accept those running?
Kent July 03, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Did I miss where this was brought before the city council? I would think they would need to approve the lighting before they can begin installation due to its impact on the neighbors, permits required, etc...
Teresa Kruse July 03, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Kent - we had 15 candidates for School Board last go-round with only three positions open. I'm pretty sure we'll have several candidates again this next year. Especially as the happenings this past week.

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