Shine a Light on City Government
Shine a Light on City Government
Friends and Neighbors,
This Wednesday, July 15, we are having a ceremonial ground breaking at the ball fields next to City Hall at 5:30 PM. This event will mark the start of the renovation and construction of the Dardenne Prairie Athletic Complex, a dream that has been five years in the making. I invite you to attend and observe this ceremony.
Five years ago I was elected by the Board of Aldermen as Mayor of Dardenne Prairie (and subsequently elected twice by the people). One of the first people I met was Bill Cohen, the President of the Dardenne Athletic Association. The City then entered into a new working relationship with the Dardenne Athletic Association (DAA) for the management of youth baseball and softball on the DAA’s ball fields. The DAA, a non-profit corporation has operated on this site since the early 1950’s. Generations of volunteer parents have built and maintained the 4.5 acre site, managed the spring youth baseball and softball leagues, coached the teams, and provided a community activity that thousands of people have enjoyed over the last 70 years.
Starting with the spring season of 2016 the City of Dardenne Prairie took over the maintenance of the ball fields and the operation of spring baseball and softball league. The City and the DAA agreed that, at a future date, the DAA would donate the 4.5 acre ball field facility to the City when the City made a commitment to invest in a substantial upgrade of the facility.
The voters of Dardenne Prairie approved the half cent sales tax to support Parks and Storm Water projects in 2017. In 2018 we engaged a firm to prepare a Parks and Recreation Master Plan which, among other things, recommended the modernization of the DAA ball fields. In 2019 the City purchased 2 acres of farm land immediately south of the DAA ball fields to accommodate a 6.5 acre Athletic Complex. In 2020 the City received the donation of the 4.5 acre facility from the DAA and awarded a construction contract to build the Dardenne Prairie Athletic Complex. We estimate the total cost of the project to be about $2.5 million. The project has been financed at a low interest rate. Principal and interest will be paid from the Parks and Storm Water Sales Tax.
The plan for the Dardenne Prairie Athletic Complex includes: removal of the old cinderblock buildings, fences and backstops; laser leveling of existing fields 1 and 2; removal of the small field 3; construction of a new larger field 3; new LED lights for all three fields; construction of new, modern restrooms and storage building; construction of a maintenance building to house City vehicles and equipment; enlargement and paving of the parking lot to accommodate 95 vehicles; construction of four pickle ball courts; construction of a walking trail around the perimeter of the facility; enhancement of three infields; addition of irrigation for the fields, new dugouts and perimeter fencing and backstops. Work will commence next week and will be completed in time for the 2021 spring baseball and softball season.
I want to commend the Board of Aldermen who have insisted all along that we do this project right; that we get the best design and the best deal for the construction of the facility; and that the finished product be worthy of Dardenne Prairie. I want to commend the new City Administrator, Dan Lang, who brought to the table his decades of experience in similar projects that helped bring this effort to its conclusion. Finally, I want to thank the members of the Board of Directors of the Dardenne Athletic Association for their vision to continue to serve the youth of Dardenne Prairie by working with the City to make this project a reality.
The ground breaking ceremony is Wednesday, July 15 at 5;30 PM at the ball fields next to City Hall. The public is invited. The Board of Aldermen work session will begin at about 6:00 PM and the business meeting of the Board of Aldermen is set for 7:00 PM. Come see your City Government at work.
“Shine a Light on City Government”DAVID C. ZUCKER
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO