On Tuesday, Feb. 5th, the city of Whitewater’s common council met for their first meeting of the month and on the agenda for the night included discussions about street lighting on Main Street and Starin Road, the purchasing of a new city police vehicle, and most notably the progress report on the site plan and budgeting of the Treyton Kilar Field of Dreams.
The first major item on the agenda was the report on the Field of Dreams, presented to the council by Whitewater parks and recreation director Matt Amundson. Amundson expressed that the Field of Dreams project would be an ideal four baseball field venue capable of holding large tournaments, similar to that of the city of Waupun, with the draw being the newly constructed field dedicated to the memory of Treyton Kilar. Along with the construction of the new baseball field, the remaining three fields are currently working on low cost, high revenue improvements. Covering dugouts and enclosing all fields with fencing allows for ad space on new fences and a more complete field complex to attract teams to tournaments. Amundson explained to the council that tournaments provide a sizable revenue jump for the city when they are held. For the complex to hold a 16 team tournament, it could be estimated that 600 or more patrons from out of the city would converge to Whitewater, meaning spending on lodging, food, gas, retail, etc. from local businesses.
The community, according to Amundson, has raised nearly $600,000 for the project and that some expenses and services have been offered to be donated to the Field of Dreams project including field site grading, new pavilion utilities, and volunteered workmen hours to construct the new field. The common council wondered whether tax payers would be at risk if volunteered work did not pan out or go through on their prior promises. With that concern, common council asked if written commitment papers could be acquired so that costs were not dropped onto the city that were not expected to be paid. Amundson added that the company making estimates on the project, Strand Associates, “makes cost estimations on the high end to avoid under funding and that the funds needed are most likely above what the costs will turn out to be.”
Council closed the issue without setting a site approval or site contract award within the month like Amundson had suggested, but looked towards an April date to approve the site and award a site bid.