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City council discusses baseball association

The Tea City Council met Sept. 12 and heard from Rob Schramm about starting a baseball association.

Schramm wants to start a baseball association so baseball teams in Tea could play in the South Dakota A Baseball League, which would mean participating against larger communities like Brandon and Harrisburg. In order to join the league, they would need to have an association and pay dues.

About a month ago, a group of 30-35 people attended a meeting about forming a baseball association and put together a board of directors. They talked with the park and rec board about their plans.

In forming an association, they would want to use four of the six ball fields at the athletic complex and would want to use the uniforms and equipment that park and rec has to get started.

Council president Jim Erck ran the meeting in the absence of Mayor Casey Voelker and asked why they want to take over the youngest age levels.

Schramm said the main benefit would be under one umbrella. Money generated from the younger groups would be used to help expand the upper level players.

While he has nothing against club sports or more advanced leagues, John Lawler said that park and rec is for the masses. He does not think it’s right to turn over city items to another organization. He does not like the idea of the younger age groups subsidizing the older kids.

“We are here to provide opportunities for all children. As a person speaking from the public to turn the fields over to another entity, I don’t agree,” Lawler said.

Members of the council were skeptical of the proposed changes. Councilman Lynn DeYoung needed more details and councilman Aaron Otten thought there was a way they could work together.

Erck suggested setting up a time for Schramm to meet with park and rec director Jake Kerr, some council members and park and rec board members to talk through the possibilities.

Tom Grimmond from Colliers Securities provided information on tax increment financing to the council for their information on a possible future project.

The council approved the site plan, building plan and shell permit for Orthopedic Institute to build an 80,000 square foot medical facility in Bakker Landing.

They approved the final pay application for the Tea Law Enforcement Center from Visions Construction Group for $60,216.58.

Another report of vandalism in the bathrooms at the athletic complex three weeks ago, prompted councilman Aaron Otten to suggest the city purchase security cameras for the bathroom and concessions area at the athletic complex and the bathrooms at the park.

They will put the security cameras on the agenda for the Sept. 18 meeting when they will have more exact numbers on how much they will cost.

The council surplused two Ford Explorers from the police department and five pistols.

They approved the hiring of Andy Thomas for maintenance at $23.50 per hour and Lillia Matthews and Alexis Roeboom as volleyball supervisors at $15 per hour. They also approved plats in Serenity Park Addition, Pinnacle Addition and Bakker Landing Addition.

They adjourned at 8:31 p.m.

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