In “Field of Dreams,” Kevin Costner said, “If you build it, they will come.”
Linda Casablanca and Mike Robertson, Batesville Baseball Complex Fundraising Committee co-chairs, hope this philosophy works for them as they continue their efforts to make their dream a reality.
The duo updated Batesville City Council members Oct. 20 on the progress being made to the baseball/softball complex that will be located between Delaware and Coonhunters roads, just south of Bill Gillespie Soccer Park.
Robertson said local engineer Ted Cooley has been in contact with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and they indicated “there are no wetland issues” on the proposed fields.
The engineers also “determined spots to avoid .... We know exactly what to not touch .... An access road coming off of Coonhunters (will be used) to bring in fill dirt and heavy equipment.”
Robertson hoped “to be moving some dirt no later than the middle part of December .... I feel once we start moving dirt ... donations will pick back up. We’ll also have something to show when we go after grants.” That first phase will cost about $900,000, with the total project approaching $2.9 million. So far $290,000 has been contributed by individuals, businesses and organizations.
The co-chair revealed he had talked to a fencing company’s representatives, and “they are willing to give us all the fencing for the entire field in return for advertising .... We said OK .... We will also be negotiating with Coke and Pepsi.”
Casablanca pointed out, “We still have several fundraisers for the community .... Skyline Chili has already offered to do the AppleFest next year.” There are plans for a fishing derby and a raffle, with various prizes, including “a condo in Florida for spring break, things signed by the (Cincinnati) Reds.”
Robertson added, “There is a very good chance the Reds caravan will stop here in Batesville .... The Reds are very interested in what we are doing.”
Casablanca announced, “Once these fields are built, we’re planning on having tournaments .... (which will generate) big, big money” into the local economy.
She later thanked all those who have helped in any way with this project. “There are so many people involved in this behind the scenes .... (and) they are only one phone call or e-mail away.”
President Ham Struewing told members, “I think we ought to give them something out of the Belterra funds .... (because) a lot of kids will get use out of it (the complex).
“It is our ground .... When they go around for fundraisers, people may ask what is the city doing? ... It’s good PR.”
Members agreed to give $10,000 to the baseball/softball complex.
Diane Raver can be contacted at 812-934-4343, Ext. 114; or diane.raver@ batesvilleheraldtribune.com. To comment on stories, visit batesvilleheraldtribune.com.
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