At last night’s Gillette City Council Meeting, the council had consideration for the acceptance of a guaranteed maximum price, and agreement for construction services associated with the Gillette Softball/Baseball Field Complex. That complex at the Field of Dreams site received a 4-3 vote in favor. Last week, City Administrator Carter Napier appeared on News Talk 1270 A.M. KIML with Don Carpenter, where he previewed what the council would be voting on.
“This would be only the construction of the Softball Fields that we have talked about before on your show. As far as I can tell for the near term, that will be the final phase of the Field of Dreams Project until another need presents itself to whatever sitting council is in place.”---Napier
The guaranteed maximum price of just under 7.5 million dollars had City Council Member Robin Kuntz reiterating his opposition to the project.
“I haven’t supported this before, and I’m not now, but this 8 million dollars is out of our operations budget. What are we going to do if we have a downturn? Then are we willing to cut services to our citizens to maintain this?”---Kuntz
Council members Forest Rothleutner and Kevin McGrath were the two other council members voting no to the consideration. Of the four council members voting yes, Mayor Tom Murphy did the most talking during the public comments. Murphy said the cities revenues continue to be in good shape and have not declined, as many who have been against the Field Of Dreams have predicted.
“And so, it is the duty of this council to spend those tax payer dollars for the benefit of this community. That is what we are charged to do; and we have been working very diligently on trying to doing exactly that.“---Murphy
Murphy also said that there is a need to accommodate youth activities now; and addressing the current youth population in Gillette is what this council is attempting to do.
“We have thirteen thousand people in our community, almost half the population below the age of 17. That’s why we are doing what we are doing. Whether or not the rest of it happens or not, future councils will decide that.”---Mrphy
Also last night was a public hearing for the Camplex Annexation, which drew no comments from the public last night. The council voted 5 to 2 in favor of that annexation, with Council members Kevin McGrath and John Opseth voting no.