Cooperative effort underway to score improvements for Stacy ball fields

By Anne Thom—

Stacy City Engineer Chuck Schwartz held a meeting with Bob Gustafson, a recreation director in Chisago County.

City resident Troy Nelson, who came to the council last month lobbying for improvements to the west side ball fields, listened to the results.

The Minnesota Twins oversee a Fields for Kids grant program offering matching grants to local governments that operate youth baseball or softball programs.

Schwartz determined that if Gustafson, who operates a youth baseball program in the county, can be designated as a youth baseball-softball coordinator, this would include Stacy in a youth program and the city will qualify to apply for grant money.

The council learned the city will need $4,000 to build benches, a backstop overhang, expand the field and clear the ground for parking in order to accommodate a state softball tournament.

“The advantage to hurrying this along is this money would make the fields usable this year,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz asked that Gustafson be designated park committee coordinator. This is sufficient for the city of Stacy to officially have a youth program and be eligible for a grant.

Schwartz suggested Gustafson operate under the jurisdiction of the park and recreation committee chair and City Attorney Peter Grundhoefer recommended this be formally declared a volunteer position.

“How does everybody feel about that,” Councilor Michael Carlson asked his colleagues. Councilor Charles Lucia said “yes,” if Gustafson is willing to take on the job.

Gustafson at one time was the contract park and recreations director in Stacy. He presently represents Lent Township in this capacity.

“I think you can go forward, my only concern is that someone sit down with Bob and work out those details,” Grundhoefer said. The details are responsibility and liability.

Councilor Jim Ness made a motion to appoint Gustafson with the details of the relationship to be worked out with the park and recreations committee. The motion passed.

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