For now, there will be no new softball field going up in Leavenworth any time soon.
On Tuesday, the Leavenworth City Commission decided with a 4-1 vote to not spend $70,000 on the design of the proposed Eagles Ball Fields, which would've been constructed at 21st and Choctaw.
The action also means that the $970,000 that was alloted for the project back in 2012 will now go towards something else, though exactly what that will be won't be decided until later this fall.
“We've got to pay our bills,” Commissioner Davis Moulden said before later voting for the proposition that denied the design project.
Lisa Weakley was the only commissioner to vote in favor of the ball field design.
“Yes, it's a dire economy, but this thing has been programmed in since 2010,” Weakley said. “You could put this off, but it's only going to get more expensive.”
The vote brought the end to an ongoing saga that began last year, when the proposed field had originally been allocated $970,000 by the commission. If built, the new park would have allowed for the construction of an ASA-approved men's softball field, which could've hosted official tournaments.
The trickle-down effect, besides extra income from ASA competitions, would've been the reproduction of the same result for the women's league.
Currently, both the softball fields at Cody and Hawthorne Parks fall below ASA standards to host official softball tournaments. Hawthorne is where the women presently play at.
Yet in the end, the commissioners felt that not only could the money be spent more wisely elsewhere — both commissioner Larry Dedeke and Mark Preisinger mentioned roads and city infrastructure — but also the city's current parks were already sufficient enough to handle its softball needs.
The next question is where the money will go now that it isn't being used on a new field design. That, however, won't be decided until the city's capital improvement program is planned out, which is slated to happen this fall.
“I think it was a project that we should look at sometime in the future,” Preisinger said. “Just not now.”
John Richmeier contributed to this report.