A diamond deal for city and SWCS

The City of Grove City and South-Western City Schools have agreed to play ball.

At the March 17 Grove City Council meeting, council unanimously passed an ordinance that allows the city administrator to enter into a facility use agreement with the district.

This two-year agreement will allow the Grove City Parks and Recreation Department to maintain and schedule outdoor field space at five schools, including Monterey Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, Buckeye Woods Elementary, Brookpark Middle and Jackson Middle School.

"This is a landmark deal," said Grove City Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage. "It’s the kind of thing we have to do more of."

Parks and Recreation Director Kim Conrad explained that the district will allow the city to use the baseball fields at the schools if the city agreed to maintain the fields. The city will be responsible for mowing the areas of use and keeping up the diamonds. They will also place field equipment boxes at each usage area, provide litter and trash receptacles, and provide portable sanitary facilities.

This comes at no cost to the city, unless damage occurs or the grounds become "unsightly" due to the city’s use.

"This is great," said Council President Ted Berry. "It’s extra space we didn’t have to pay for."

The city will defer to the district’s sports and activities schedule if there is a conflict of availability. The district agreed to provide a formal schedule of all school activities to take place at the facilities as soon as it’s finalized. When there are no activities scheduled, the city will have priority of use. The agreement also gives permission to the building principal to notify the city of any change of schedule.

The city’s activity schedule will be posted at the facility in which the activities are to take place. This would also include emergency contact information and open use times for city residents.

This agreement runs from April 1 until Oct. 31, 2010. It may be terminated by either the city or SWCS after a 90 day notice. It may also be extended for an additional two-years. Both parties plan to meet annually to review the contract.

In other news

•Council passed a resolution to establish a charter review task force to ensure the city operates under its governed rules and identify city issues.

Berry explained that the task force will include six members combining members of council, city administration and the general public. All will be appointed by the city.

Stage said this is more of a fact-finding group that will determine if there should be a charter review committee.

•An ordinance was passed to appropriate $18,500 from the development fund to repair the tennis courts at Gantz Park.

According to Park Maintenance Supervisor John Weber, the courts are cracked due to weather and general wear and tear. The city gathered four quotes for the project and gave it to the lowest bidder.

•The "Blizzard of 2008" cost Grove City over $41,000, according to Darryl Hughes, the city’s service director. The amount combines the cost of fuel, salt and overtime hours.

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