North River Little League will soon have a new baseball facility all its own.
On Oct. 6, officials from Manatee County, the City of Palmetto and the School District of Manatee County agreed to work together to build a high quality set of ball fields for the league.
NRLL used to practice and play behind the Boys and Girls Club on 17th Street West in Palmetto, but with the recent expansion of Palmetto Elementary School, the league was forced to relocate.
The plan now being considered would realign 23rd Street West slightly north and move the fields about 300 yards east.
“Our commitment is to move forward and build the fields,” said County Administrator
Ed Hunzeker, adding that the group will look at all funding possibilities including grants, naming rights and private partnerships with Major League Baseball teams to pay for the estimated $1.1 million to rebuild the fields.
“Certainly the fields will be something the league can appreciate,” he said. “We’re under promising and over delivering.”
Officials said they hope to build the fields by the spring of 2011.
“We’d like this pulled together as quickly as possible,” said Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant, echoing the sentiment of the three groups. “We don’t want the kids to be shortchanged.”
Palmetto Public Works director Alan Tusing added “It has always been our intention to expedite everything, including the ball fields. The three groups have met regularly and come up with a very good plan so the project becomes a reality. We want it to be on a list of everyone’s priorities.”