10/25/2013 2:29:00 PM CF council talks John Burch use
by Ken Haggerty
Council member Morris Mattson asked at the October 15 council meeting for some clarifications on field use policies at John Burch Park.
Mattson said he had received a number of calls after the city told the CF Youth Athletic Association that it could not host a sixth grade football game against Hayfield at the field in early October.
City administrator Aaron Reeves said the city had met with the school and other users of the field earlier this year to try and set up some use policies at the field and set limits on how many games would be played there.
Reeves said heavy use last summer and fall had left the field in poor condition going into the winter. Then conditions in the winter and spring led to winter kill and slow Spring growth, making the field unplayable for baseball until late- May, and even then was still not in the condition the city would like to see it.
Reeves said after meeting with University of Minnesota turf specialists, the city decided to limit use as it attempts to reestablish the condition of the grass at the field.
Varsity school sports and amateur baseball will get priority usage, said Reeves. The school agreed to not play 7th, 8th and 9th grade football at the field this fall, he said. Reeves said the city will work to communicate better in the future with the CFYAA on youth football usage.
Reeves said it is a continuing process to balance out all the groups that want to use the field with the health of the field.
Council member Merlyce Johnson said she wants to see the Powder Puff football game to be listed as a priority usage in the future.
Council member LeRoy McCusker suggested the Parks spend less money on playground equipment and more on John Burch to make sure it is in good shape.
McCusker said he hears compliments from people from outside of Cannon Falls on the beautiful park and that it is a real community asset.
Mattson also said he was concerned that the city was asking the CFYAA to vacate the storage portion of the concessions building at the Archie Swenson softball/little league field complex. He said that complex was designed and funds were raised to build it so it could be used for youth uses, not city storage uses. CFYAA stores football and other equipment there. Mattson said he was told the city was looking to store Christmas decorations there.