Officials: Controversial grass infield removed

EAST LIVERPOOL — The grass infield which caused controversy over a ball field at Thompson Park has been removed, and those responsible received thanks this week from the park board.

It was reported that the grass was taken out with letters of thanks sent to Josh Ludwig and Jonathan Ludwig of Ludscapes; James Reed of Lawn Elite; Angel Brown, East Liverpool High School Girls Softball Booster president; and Dave Kyle of Kyle Landscaping for the removal.

The girls softball team had refused to use the newly constructed field with the grass infield, but board President Betsy Wells reported at the meeting the Girls Softball Boosters have now expressed interest in placing a storage shed at the field which they would remove after the season, removable banners, having a basic practice pitching lane, placing a manual scoreboard at the field, concession sales at the games and spring cleanup.

She pointed out these actions would each need board approval and wanted board members to be aware of the requests. No action was taken during the meeting on those requests.

It was also reported Lee Cain Fencing has repaired the fence around the ball field, and Superintendent Shawn Rybaczenko asked permission to post a sign saying no dogs are allowed on the field. Member Scott Thornberry will check on the price of a sign at Campbell’s Signs, along with the cost of changing the dates and times of the park opening.

Donations were accepted for the purchase of a truck for the park from The Patrick Foundation, $5,000; East Liverpool Rotary, $1,000; Calcutta Rotary, $2,500; Good Wheels, $500; and $1,500 from anonymous donors, with letters of thanks sent.

The board approved the purchase of two dusk to dawn lights at Rybaczenko’s request, after he said some areas of the park are quite dark and the lights would help keep animals away.

The superintendent also asked to purchase a new laptop and was advised to check with PC Doctors downtown to see what is available.

A bid of $1,200 from Connor’s Tree Service to remove two ash trees was approved. One of the trees is between the tennis court and power lines and the other is leaning over the amphitheater.

Permission was granted to Greg Harding to hold the annual Walk for Autism at the park April 29, and board member Samantha Kinemond reported she was contacted by someone interested in holding an event at the park Nov. 5 for dogs, which would include nail trimming and other services, saying this person is also interested in revising plans for a dog park.

The next meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Nov. 16 in council chambers at City Hall.