Continued school, city cooperation urged on use of fields
Kudos to the Imperial city council on its vote Monday regarding a land swap proposal. The council correctly voted against an offer to trade nine city-owned lots along newly-paved streets in the Cornerstone property for the Wellington football field.
Soccer enthusiasts may be disappointed, but it takes some further consideration. The trade would have been even-steven when looking at the “dollars” involved in trading property, but a closer examination shows the city (actually, we
the taxpayers) would have come out on the short end.
The city would have been left with an undeveloped field with no water or sewer service while trading developed lots ready for construction.
Certainly, the community would like to have one central field to accommodate its popular soccer program, which the Wellington field could provide after a lot of work and more money.
However, small communities like Imperial should emphasize all that it has and work hard at utilizing the recreational areas now in place to their fullest.
We have a beautiful football/track complex at Chase County Schools that taxpayers are funding, which is used constantly by both the school’s athletic programs and the community. For a second year, the school is allowing the city to use its football practice field there for junior and senior high soccer matches. Likewise, the city allows use of one of its ball fields for the high school softball program. There is no charge by either entity for use of those fields. That’s a great example of cooperation which hopefully continues.
Does each entity really need its own facility or is it a better use of funds to share those facilities when possible?
A brand new soccer field definitely would be an attractive economic development tool and possibly draw in some young families to live here. But, so would wise use of tax money, including sales tax money.
The city and school set a great example years ago on interlocal cooperation when it jointly built the swimming pool and adjoining parking lot. Officials should continue that cooperation in providing fields for soccer and the school’s softball program.