City Council hears update on Friendship Park brick backstop initiative
Trevor Adam (far left) discusses Friendship Park brick backstop program
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Picayune City Council, Director of Parks and Recreation, Trevor Adam, gave an update on the project that has been underway to seek private sponsorship to construct brick-based backstops at Friendship Park. The focus of the project is to utilize private funding in the form of individual business sponsorships to build the new more durable structures.
Adam stated, “Typically, we are having to replace fence every three to four years due to baseballs hitting them and the constant wear and tear. Backstop replacements cost about $3,000.00 to $7,000.00 every couple of years. By going to the bricks (for a backstop), it can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years and in some cases maybe 25 years. This will save us, the city, a lot of money by taking this route. It’s not just a cosmetic upgrade, it’s a cost savings.”
Adam said that the cost to a sponsoring business is $5,000.00 and a business could pay in three yearly increments. This amount allows the city to construct a two to three foot double-sided brick ledge, install netting, and put a sign on the scoreboard of the field recognizing the sponsor for their donation to advertise their business and a placard on the bricks for a period of four years.
At current time, Adam said that three of the backstops were constructed last year out of the city’s recreation budget and there are ten fields left to do. He said he has commitments from six businesses at this point.
Council member Lynn Bogan Bumpers asked Adam what happens if the program does not get the sponsorships needed to complete the project?
Adam responded, “It will come out of our budget (recreation department). I’m trying to make sure we have the money from a sponsor before we start work on putting one up on a field.”
Council member Larry Breland asked Adam what the leagues that use the fields were paying toward this effort? Adam answered, “Nothing right now. But they are in a period of change right now with a new board and they want to find ways to help with this program.”
Adam reiterated to the council that if sponsorships are not found for all of the brick backstops, he has money available in the Parks and Recreation budget to cover the costs.