, Corbin, KY

Local News

April 10, 2014

Softball field lights discussed in B’ville

Thousands of dollars needed for proper installation

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Barbourville’s recreation board anticipated a big turnout from participants with girls’ softball Wednesday — but it simply didn’t happen.

Three members of the city’s recreation board met with a quorum Wednesday afternoon in city hall — Jason Smith, John Prichard and Ray Canady.

Recently-appointed mayor Darren West and council member Gary Williams were also in attendance.

During the meeting, needed lights for the softball field were discussed — and it was learned that in order for lights to be installed properly, thousands of dollars would be needed.

And the city’s coffers are basically empty.

Prichard said that former mayor David Thompson had tried to get the lights for the field but there was “no progress.”

Thompson did acquire field lights, and donated them to the city.

However, getting them installed on poles and hooked up won’t happen without money.

Josh Callihan, general manager for Barbourville Utility Commission, said “if the project is done right it will cost a lot of money.”

It was learned during the meeting that several telephone calls had been made to recreational board members, the city clerk’s office and council members about getting the lights installed. The belief is that funds have already been earmarked for the project through federal Title IX funds — but that is not the case.

“I’ve gotten calls from parents and coaches,” Prichard said, adding that those parents and coaches were told the lights would be working and functional during the winter months. It wasn’t made clear during Wednesdays’ meeting who had spoken to those parents and coaches.

“I heard that too — that it could be done by the spring,” said Williams. “We were told a great many things concerning those lights.”

Canady said that he expected the anticipated crowd.

“They were coming here today,” he said.

“Yeah, I thought so, too,” West added.

And although the expected crowd was not there, Callihan reiterated the difficulty and expense in placing the lights — and that the utility commission could not donate the labor required.

“It’s not going to happen in two hours,” Callihan said. “This needs to be done correctly — there are lots of issues that need to be addressed.”

It was unanimously decided, then, to donate the donated lights to Barbourville High School.

“If (they) want lights, it’s going to have to be (up to the school),” Prichard said, explaining there was just no money to properly install the lights.

The city already provides care and maintenance of the field.

“We provide everything else,” Williams said.

“At least they could do lights,” West added.

No final decisions were made by the recreation board — their decisions become recommendations to the city council. City council meets tonight at 6 p.m. in city hall.

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