Havre Daily News
An almost-decade-old proposal to revamp the Havre Men's Slowpitch Complex softball fields south of town has been scaled down but is moving forward, Havre Mayor Bob Rice said Monday.
Gene See and Eddie Boucher, members of the Havre Men's Slowpitch Softball Association, said improvements to the field could increase the league's chances of bringing large tournaments to town. The Havre City Council's Parks and Recreation Committee will consider a proposal on May 2 at 7 p.m. to apply for state Community Transportation Enhancement Program funding to pay for the improvements.
City parks and recreation director Chris Inman said today the original plan called for the expansion of the complex from two to four fields.
Rice said that proposal is too expensive and would cost in the neighborhood of $60,000.
Instead, he said, the city plans to add a sprinkler system and a new fence to the complex. He said he's not sure if the fields will have to be resodded or if the city will be able to get grass to grow back on its own.
See said the league would eventually like to see more playing fields added to the complex, which is located on Fifth Avenue.
Boucher said he has spoken with other leagues around the state and learned that a 36-team weekend tournament could bring as much as $150,000 worth of business into the community by way of hotel stays, meals at local restaurants and other expenses for the incoming travelers.
The association will host a 10-team tourney at the complex on Saturday and Sunday.
The city is planning to apply for about $15,000 in CTEP funding, Rice said, adding that the softball association would provide a 13 percent match.
Rice said the city-owned fields used to be in good shape but they haven't been properly taken care of.
"I used to play up there when I first retired," he said. "The fields were in good shap then, but they've been let go for too long. And they deserve our consideration."
At Monday's City Council meeting, See thanked Rice, Inman and city parks maintenance supervisor Kris Bakke for their help in cleaning up the fields for this weekend's tournament, which will be the largest the association has hosted.