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Diamond troubles: Resident voices baseball concerns



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July 15, 2014 | 02:33 PM
WALWORTH — The problem started with a few foul balls in yards facing the Devils Lane Park baseball diamond.

During the July 14 board meeting, Director of Public Works Tim Boss said he had a written estimate for about $8,000 to move the wiring and replace the nets.

The board delayed officially approving the change until Boss could bring the contract to the board for review. But that hasn’t solved the problems of one resident on Fifth Avenue.

Grace Churchill has taken issue with the traffic, the dust and the kids that the park all bring to her neighborhood.

Churchill told the village board that she doesn’t think it’s fair to taxpayers for the high school to continue to use the baseball diamond.

“I’m not a chronic complainer,” Churchill said. “The village owns the park. Why aren’t you going to the school board?”

She’s lived there for years, Churchill said, and the increased traffic and play on the baseball diamond has decreased her house’s salability. A few years ago, when she looked out her window she didn’t have a big fence across the landscape.

Now that’s what she sees.

On nights with a baseball game, Churchill said it’s nearly impossible to get to her driveway. There are frequently children playing in the streets during the games.

Churchill said the trustees should go to the Big Foot High School Board to insist the school baseball team use school facilities.

Trustee LeRoy Nordmeyer asked Churchill why she hadn’t gone to the school board, since she was the one with the issue.

“It’s a village park,” Churchill said. “It’s the taxpayer’s property, not the school’s.”

Village President David Rasmussen said it seemed like Churchill just didn’t like baseball.

“I have nothing against baseball,” Churchill said.

Rasmussen said she should have brought her issues to the board before this.

“Where were you when we were building that fence?” he asked her. “Why weren’t you here then?”

Rasmussen said he expected Churchill to be grateful for the board’s work on moving electrical wires to enable the netting to be raised.

“We’re solving one problem,” he said. “The impression we have is that you’ve gotten your podium and off you go. These issues really aren’t related.”

In other village news

The board approved contracts for repaving two streets in the village this summer.

Adeline and Read streets will be repaved from end to end.

Read Street will have new curbs and gutters installed as well.

Boss said First, Second and Third streets on the Read Street side will also see about 25 feet of repavement to correct water issues.

Mechanical drawings for the new library site are already done, Trustee Ed Snyder said.

Snyder, who is on the library board, said the costs are currently being worked up.

The village’s flood plain ordinance was updated to reduce the daily fine for violations. The updated ordinance, now in compliance with state law, reduced the fine from $250 per day for violation to $50 per day for violation. The original ordinance was created in 2009 to allow residents in the flood plain to get flood insurance.

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