Grayling Little League seeking three more fields at Crawford County Sports Complex
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Crawford County officials are taking the necessary steps to plan for the relocation of Grayling Little League fields to the Crawford County Sports Complex.
The Grayling Little League has asked the Crawford County Board of Commissioners for approval to develop three new ball fields at the Crawford County Sports Complex. The area was the former Crawford County Fairgrounds, which is now shared by the Crawford AuSable Youth Soccer Association, Grayling Junior Vikings, and little league.
Crawford County Administrator Paul Compo said little league would like to develop a junior league field for 13 and 14-year-old softball and baseball players. That age group current uses facilties at the Grayling High School, but face conflicts when trying to schedule practice times and games.
A T-ball field for 4 to 6-year-olds and a minor league field for coach pitch 7 to 8-year-olds would also be developed on the site. The current fields on North Down River Road are located on a former dump site. Glass and other debris occasionally come up to the surface of the field. There are also concerns with traffic and a lack of parking.
“The little league would like to do something before winter as far as site work,” Compo said.
Northwest Design Group, a Petoskey-based planning and engineering firm, was asked to develop a layout for the new ballfields.
The little league was asked to share in the costs for the plans.
“It really should be minimal,” Compo said.
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners wanted to ensure the development of the new ball fields can take place on the land made available to the little league.
“We would want to see what this layout is going to be once they change it, so going forward it’s still going to work,” said Dave Stephenson, chairman of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners. “Otherwise it’s going to end up hodgepodged.”
In addition, the county board is asking for the little league to pay $10,000 for dugouts when the last ballfields were created on the property. The county fronted the little league the funds to keep the development of the fields on schedule.
Scott Gabriel, president of the Grayling Little League, said fundraising still needs to take place before plans for the new ball field move forward.
“The land is there, it’s been cleared, but have to make sure we get it OK’d and get some money,” Gabriel said.