Rights and responsibilities for the Light Capital Ball Fields are now in the hands of McPherson College and Central Christian College.
The McPherson Recreation Commission, who formerly had the rights and responsibilities for the field, expressed a desire to remove it from its lease agreement with the city, as the field was being utilized for college games more than the recreational groups the MRC hosts.
The American Legion has agreed to use the Grant B. Field instead. For the colleges, city commissioners signed a lease establishing McPherson College as the primary lessee for the Light Capital Ball Fields, with Central Christian College as a secondary lessee. The lease agreement between both colleges ensures McPherson College has primary access to the field, while maintaining a schedule of use with Central Christian College. In the event of a conflict, McPherson College takes priority of the field’s use. Central Christian also is authorized in its lease agreement to have use of the Eickbush Ball Field.
McPherson College will now be responsible for Light Capital’s maintenance and upkeep. Central Christian College will provide and maintain an infield tarp for the complex, and the city will be responsible for the nearby parking lot. Both McPherson College and Central Christian College will share 50 percent of the water bill during the months of September through June, and McPherson College will pay 100 percent of the water and electricity bill during July and August.
For Eickbush, Central Christian College has the right to build a pitcher’s mound and a watering/sprinkler system. If Central Christian College irrigates the field, they will be responsible for any water usage, including the cost to meter the field.
Nick Gregory, city administrator, said the goal of the lease agreements is to satisfy the needs of each party.
“We wanted to make sure everybody felt like they had a place to play,” Gregory said. “We wanted to make sure nobody’s left out in the dark.”
The lease agreement for both McPherson College and Central Christian college is 30 months, expiring on June 30, 2015. Mayor Tom Brown said he hopes to find a more permanent solution for everybody to host games in their own ballfields.