Palmetto baseball fields ready in August 2014

jtate@Bradenton.comJuly 25, 2013 

PALMETTO -- In about a year, Palmetto Little League players will have new baseball fields complete with amenities at Blackstone Park.

Tom Yarger, Manatee County Property Management Construction Services Division manager, said the project should be complete by August 2014.

"We've been jammed up a little bit with the weather. But we are not behind," said Yarger.

He said the construction phase now requires a survey be taken to make sure the accurate depth of soil was removed for construction of the baseball fields.

"We've taken the first survey and realized there were areas that need to take a full 6 inches," said Yarger.

Once this phase is complete, Yarger said construction of the ballfields, parking lot and storm water system will commence.

"The contractors will work on these all at the same time," said Yarger.

The completed project at 2112 14th Ave. W. will feature three regulation Little League baseball fields, press box, concession building, bleachers, sidewalks, lighting and parking lot.

County workers began work in March on the $3.3 million project paid for by the county with the help of city funds.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Charities organization contributed $75,000 toward the project. Palmetto officially wired its $800,000 contribution to the county March 8. The city's portion came from tax dollars and proceeds from the future sale of land at 705 10th Ave. W. and 715 10th Ave. W. being transferred to the city from the Manatee County School Board.

The Palmetto City Commission approved the quit-claim deed Monday for the property being transferred by the school board.

"The school board wants to help because they built Palmetto Elementary on the old baseball field," said Jeff Burton, Palmetto Community Redevelopment Agency director.

"They chose to give it as surplus," he said.

Burton said the School Board used a quit claim rather than a warranty deed because there is no deed on record. He said the properties were given to the school board in the 1800s by Palmetto founder Samuel Sparks Lambs.

"Someone has to go through the process to re-establish the deed," said Burton, who said there will be no legal issues with a quit claim.

Once the deed is in place, Palmetto will sell the property to the CRA, which will then sell it. Money from the sale will go toward construction of the baseball fields at Blackstone Park.

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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